Brewing Coffee – From Bunn To Coffee Drink
The Art Of Brewing Coffee.
Coffee revives the spirits and always tastes unique. At least when it’s good coffee. To acquire this you must take into account small but fine details.
A very sensitive bean.
Coffee is one of the most delicate products generally. Nothing alters the noble aroma as air or moisture and both of these factors cannot be avoided when making a pot of coffee even by just opening the pack of coffee.
That’s the reason a lot of people swear by the modern coffee makers with airtight capsules of coffee packed in boxes like expensive chocolates. Normal bought coffee should always be kept in airtight containers and preferably away from light. After purchase leave the coffee in the aroma package, do not empty it into a container as this will usually mean the coffee will be exposed to air.
It is better to leave the coffee in the original packaging and place this in a closed tin. Jars of instant coffee should be closed immediately after use and also kept in a cool, dry place.
You have had a long hard day behind you and you often go to cafes which can be found almost anywhere these days and order a coffee.
It is quite possible that this will result in a quizzical look. Coffee – which type? Cappuccino, Latte or a melange, with vanilla essence or chocolate, a simple espresso or a double, milk, sugar or perhaps both?
Cup or mug?
Drink here in house or to go?
And so on, what a choice!
Sadly the solid base is lacking.
A hot drink is made by pouring hot water onto the powder in the pot but this is only the beginning of the wonderful properties that can develop when brewing coffee.
No vanilla essence or caramel extract can compete with the aroma of freshly roasted beans, just as not perfect milk froth can cover up the mistakes made while brewing.
“Cup of coffee” is how our grandmothers called their favourite beverage. It was the highlight of the day then as now, especially if not drunk too often but consciously and in moderation.
However, what was important then is as important today – the preparation. It is no secret, although there are secret brewing recipes that are passed on.
Arabica and Robusta are the two most sorts of coffee used worldwide. American filtered coffee, Turkish mocca or Italian espresso – almost all the specialties are brewed from a blend of these two bean types.
Arabica beans are known for their delicate and mellow aroma making them popular and thus make up two thirds of the world’s production.
A sizeable smaller proportion of the worlds coffee production is taken by Robusta, these beans have a much stronger aromatic taste and contain more caffeine.
Coffee develops a specifically fine aroma when grown in higher regions.
Top quality coffees are grown in regions higher than 1600 meters (5000 feet) where the coffee cherries ripen slowly. The soil and climate conditions also influence the taste.
The fine balance blending of both sorts of beans produces the unique aroma of the different coffee productions.
This is where the skilful hand and the taste security of the coffee expert is required. Coffee fans have to also rely on their own “taste”.
The best thing to do is to try out something new each time, especially different “coffee producers” so each time you experience a new aromatic surprise when brewing coffee.
The typical colour and the unique taste as we know coffee is only developed through roasting the beans using heat between 392F – 464F (200C-240C). Depending on the effort the roasting is done in small amounts by hand in drum roasters or under high-tech conditions.
The longer the beans roast the darker it becomes and therefore more intensive in taste. When the desired roasting color has been reached, the beans are cooled down and then sorted.
For dedicated coffee fans there is only one satisfactory solution: coffee has to be self-ground just prior to brewing.
Today, the high quality products are gently ground so that the difference is hardly noticeable. Regardless of whether you grind your coffee beans at home or have them ground in a good coffee store the fineness of the grounds has to fit your needs.
Finely ground: Ideal for infusion and filtering up to 4 cups
Medium-fine ground: Optimal for brewing coffee in coffee makers
Coarse ground: Used mostly for French press (Chambord)
Methods of brewing coffee
For years the filtered coffee was the absolute hit for coffee drinkers.
Today specialities such as espresso and cappuccino have moved up the list of popularity.
In place of the traditional coffee maker with filter, more and more high tech modern espresso coffee makers that prepare coffee through the high pressure method are taking over our households.
Which is the best method to provide the best cup of coffee?
Manual filter machines.
Unjustly this method is slowly being forgotten. Here the coffee always works out. Rinse the coffee pot out with hot water, then using medium-fine ground coffee in the filter (1 slightly heaped coffee spoon full per cup).
Pour the freshly boiled water onto the coffee grounds slowly until on the coffee has been covered in water and then pour on the remainder of the water.
The coffee mixture then will filter into the pot.
After approx. 6 minutes you have a wonderful cup of hot coffee.
Brewing Coffee with the Drip Coffee maker
This type of coffee maker is based on the principle of the hand-filter. The coffee should be medium-fine ground.
When the coffee has finished filtering, it is recommendable to stir it as the majority of the aroma leaves the coffee powder at the beginning of the filter process and so by stirring quickly the finished brew the aroma is evenly distributed.
Do not leave the coffee pot on the warming plate of the machine as the coffee can catch-on and this can cause the coffee to taste bitter.
To keep the remaining coffee warm it is recommendable to transfer to a thermos flask.
French press method of brewing coffee
An elaborate method by which the hot water and the coffee powder are in contact long enough for the aroma to unfold. Then both are cleanly separated so that the bitterness remains in the coffee dregs.
For best results the pot should be warmed first by rinsing out with hot water.
Fill the pot with the coarsely ground coffee and then pour on hot, no longer boiling water and stir so that the coffee powder is completely covered so the aroma can be released. After approx. 4 minutes slowly plunge the filter down. Serve immediately.
Fully automatic or grind and brew coffee maker
This method is ideal for those who like to try out various coffee specialities and often have guests.
The machine does almost everything itself, from grinding over frothing the milk to brewing coffee.
In order to get the correct coffee aroma you should adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions and keep your machine as clean as possible.
Always fill with fresh, cold water so that bacteria cannot collect and descale regularly.
The water used should always be fresh, never use water which has been standing.
When brewing coffee you can use mineral water if you live in a hard water area.
Tasteless soft water can be enhanced by adding a pinch of salt.
Beans or berries?
Coffee plants can grow to be 4 meters tall, therefore they are often called coffee trees or coffee bushes.
The fruit of the coffee plant changes its colour during the ripening process from green to yellow to red and has as a rule two seeds. Botanically speaking they are not beans but berries.
This mistake probably comes from the Arabic word for berry “bunn” which was mistakenly translated into the word bean.
Coffee was originally grown only in Africa and Arabia. At the beginning of the 17th century the coffee cultivation spread to other countries from Ceylon to Brazil to Guadeloupe.