The following coffee tips were provided by Krups in honor of National Coffee Day.
Tip 1 – Buy Better Beans: Fresher beans equal better coffee, so look to smaller, independent coffee shops that stock beans that are roasted on the premises or nearby. Quality establishments will stamp your coffee with its roasting date, so you know you exactly how fresh your coffee is. Coffee taste peaks from 1-3 days after the roast.
Tip 2 – Store Correctly: Contrary to popular belief, you should never store beans in a freezer or a refrigerator. Coffee actually absorbs aromas from surrounding foods, and freezing the coffee will alter oil properties affecting taste. Transfer whole bean coffee into an air tight container after opening, and store in a cool, dry and dark place.
Tip 3 – Do it Yourself: Freshly ground coffee makes a world of difference, as beans start losing flavor immediately upon reaching the grinder. Grind beans right before you brew, and pay attention to the coarseness of the beans, as different filter shapes require different textures. For example, mesh filters require a coarser grind, while paper filters require a finer grind, and espresso requires grinds that are almost of a sugar-type consistency for optimum flavor.
Tip 4 – One for Good Luck: Measure ground coffee out to equal one tablespoon of grinds per 5 ounces of water, plus one heaping scoop at the end for good measure.
Tip 5 – Water Works: The quality of the water being used is extremely important. Use cold, filtered water when possible, depending on the quality of your tap water. Since coffee is 98% water, the taste of the water will come through in the brew.
Tip 6 – Don’t Hesitate: Brewed coffee should be enjoyed immediately, as it will begin to lose its optimal taste mere moments after brewing. Coffee should never be left on an electric burner plate for longer than 15 minutes, or it will develop a stale, burnt taste. If not served immediately, coffee should be poured into insulated containers and used within the hour.
Tip 7 – Become a Coffee Connoisseur: Much like a fine wine, coffee should be enjoyed with all the senses. Take note of acidity, aroma, bitterness, body and nuttiness. For in depth coffee tasting, or “cupping” tips, check out the guide from CoffeeCuppers.com.
Tip 8 – Quick Sips: Drink smaller, more frequent servings (about 1/4 cup every hour). Research shows that caffeine works best in small, frequent doses, and a large cup can actually lead to a crash.
Tip 9 – Butt Out: Studies show that caffeine combined with Nicotine intake significantly reduces caffeine’s staying power. Nicotine suppresses the effect of caffeine, cutting some of its stimulating properties in half.
Tip 10 – Cat Nap: Since it takes about 20 minutes to feel the effects of coffee, and sleep is the only solution to really offer a feeling of restfulness, the best way to get that second wind is by drinking a cup, then taking a quick nap while the caffeine sets in. You’ll wake up feeling alert and refreshed!