18 Brewing Secrets Every Coffee Fanatic Needs To Know

1. Drink coffee roasted within the past 7 days because it will have the most flavor.

After about 7 days the coffee has lost about 75% of its aromatics.  You want aromatics.  High quality roasters often stamp a roast date on their coffee bags.


2. Grind immediately before you brew

You lose aromatics and flavor quickly after the coffee has been ground.


3. Adjust your grind for each brewing method

French press uses a rough grind, Aeropress, Chemex and other pourover techniques use a regular ground, espresso uses a fine grind, filling your Keurig K-Cup requires a super-fine grind similar to Splenda’s.


4. Measure the amount of coffee by weight not by the scoop

Because coffees vary in volume depending on their roast level and grind.  Instead, weigh your coffee.  Use the same grams of coffee – to – water ounces every time.


5. Pre-rinse your paper filter

It removes any loose fibers that might get into your coffee giving it a papery taste.



6. Make only enough coffee to drink at a time

Because after 10 minutes coffee loses a great deal of its aroma and flavor.


7. Coffee freshly ground by a conical burr grinder will taste way better than pre-ground

Those spice grinders everyone has don’t cut it.  They grind roughly and unevenly.


8. Good tasting water makes good coffee

That’s because coffee is 98% water.  You do need some natural minerals in your water to taste good.  A Pura water filter helps.  If the water is distilled it will taste sharp and bitter.   Some cafes even spend as much on their water filtering system as their espresso equipment.


9.  Heat water to only 170 – 195 degrees, not boiling.

Hotter than that and you’ll recook the coffee beans.


10. We beg you to ditch the ubiquitous Cuisinart, Krups, Kitchenaid and Hamilton Beach coffee makers.

If it boils the water and doesn’t have an infusion time where the coffee steeps with the water or at least 2 minutes, it won’t make great coffee.

11. Coffee out of an Aeropress, Chemex, or other pourover equipment will taste WAY better than regular drip from a home machine.

That’s because the coffee is in contact with the hot water longer than in your  old Mr. Coffee.


12. Your coffee equipment should be squeaky clean before each use

Otherwise old sediment could add rancid flavors to your coffee.  This is especially true of espresso machines and old drip coffee machines (if you must use one) that tend to build up rancid sediment.


13. Coffee that has been steeped (in contact with hot water) for 2-3 minutes will taste way better than ordinary drip coffee.

That’s because it will extract the most flavor from the grinds that way.   That’s the reason to try Aeropress, Chemex and other pourover equipment.


14. It’s okay to agitate the coffee-water infusion during steeping

It increases the extraction rate and gets you more flavor faster.

15. If you buy national brands (Starbucks, Folger’s, Maxwell House) buy it whole bean not ground

In the coffee industry, ground coffee is the dumping ground for lower grade coffee:  unsorted, with twigs, insects, mold.  Not surprisingly, whole bean coffee rates consistently higher than ground from national brands.


16. Try light or medium roasts if you want to taste the origin character.

Because the darker you roast coffees the more coffees from around the world taste similar.   Why does Starbucks roast dark?  So it can mix coffees from around the world and still achieve a consistent flavor.


17. Keep a coffee journal so you learn what you like

Note every coffee you’ve tried and the preparation technique and proportions you used — and what tweaks you’d make next time.   You’ll be a rock star in no time.


18. If you reheat coffee in a microwave, the coffee police will find you and bring you to justice.

It also won’t taste good because most of the organic volatiles (good aroma) evaporate within a few minutes of brewing a cup of coffee.