The COVID-19 pandemic taught us many things about ourselves. From learning to stay in touch with friends at a distance and figuring out how to be incredibly self-sufficient at home, the last year has shown us that we are more capable than we had ever realized.
As the weeks turned into months, many people started picking up new hobbies and learning new skill sets in socially-distant ways. Not only was this a way to occupy our time, but it also became necessary for us to fulfill our own needs as more and more businesses closed.
It was no longer possible to roll out of bed, walk outside, and grab a latte from your favorite local coffee shop. Instead, people started figuring out how to brew coffee at home. And while a lot of major cities in the United States are opening back up again, there are still many parts of the world where people remain under stay-at-home orders.
The 3 Coffee Brewing Tips You Should Know
Whether you are still in lockdown or your area has lifted pandemic mandates, it’s never too late to learn how to brew coffee at home. From cold brew and pour overs, to drip coffee and a French press, the coffee-making options are endless.
Different coffee procedures are going to have their own set of rules, but at the core of all processes are a handful of coffee brewing tips that you should follow. So whether you want to pull a shot of espresso or grind coffee for an Aeropress, apply these 3 coffee brewing tips!
Make Sure Your Coffee Beans Are Fresh
Not only is it essential to store your coffee beans out of direct sunlight and inside of airtight containers, but you should also make sure the beans you’re storing are fresh. There are many ways to figure out if your coffee is still fresh.
One of the easiest ways to determine freshness is to check the roasting date on the bag that your coffee beans were in when you bought them. Before coffee beans are distributed, roasters always make sure they add a sticker or stamp denoting the date.
Now, coffee freshness is often an opinionated topic. Some people think that coffee is no longer fresh within three days of opening the bag, while others trust that coffee stays fresh for up to six weeks after being roasted.
In all honesty, a great rule of thumb to follow is to use coffee within four weeks of the roast date. The sooner you make coffee with the beans, the better. However, since this suggestion is not set in stone, you can determine the freshness of your coffee in other ways.
The best alternative approach is to smell the beans and judge the aroma. If the scent is not favorable or you cannot smell the coffee at all, it has likely become too stale to brew.
Grind Your Coffee Beans at the Right Grind Setting
When you start making coffee at home, you’re going to quickly realize that there are a lot of steps in the coffee-making process! It’s a lot easier to stand in line, order your coffee, and wait for baristas to prepare it for you.
But now, you are the barista, so it’s important to understand how coffee works. The grind size of coffee refers to how big or small the granules of coffee are once they are ground in the grinder. Different brewing methods call for different grind sizes!
For example, you would not grind coffee beans intended for cold brew at the same grinding setting as coffee beans that you plan to use for espresso. The way you plan to prepare your coffee will impact which grind setting you’ll use when brewing coffee at home.
The size of coffee once it is ground falls on a spectrum. The smaller grind sizes are referred to as “fine,” while the larger grind sizes are called “coarse.”
Here is an amazing grind size chart for you to follow the next time you prepare to brew coffee at home!
Single cups of coffee
Flat bottom drip coffee
Always Store Your Coffee in Airtight Containers
Did you know that coffee is very sensitive to temperature changes in the environment? Not only is it essential to keep the temperature as consistent as possible, but protecting your coffee beans from the moisture in the air is equally as important.
The more frequently your coffee is exposed to air, the more often it comes in contact with oxygen. Now, this might not sound like a bad thing, but the difference is that coffee beans do not benefit from exposure to the air.
Unlike humans who need oxygen to survive, coffee beans are much better off without access to oxygen because these molecules negatively alter the makeup of your coffee beans. Through a process called oxidation, the oxygen causes the staling of the coffee beans.
Of course it's impossible to completely and entirely protect coffee from oxygen. It's normal for coffee to come in contact with oxygen molecules each time you open and close your coffee beans bag or container.
However, the less often you expose your coffee to the air around you, the better. That's why we recommend storing your coffee in airtight containers. To further protect your coffee, keep your coffee in a cool, dry place.
Instead of storing your coffee on the counter in direct sunlight, put the container in your pantry or keep it in a cabinet. The area must also be cool, so try to avoid cabinets above the stove or cupboards next to the oven.
Where to Buy Coffee Beans to Brew at Home
Now that you have learned about the top 3 coffee brewing tips, it’s time to get your hands on some high quality coffee beans so you can start making coffee at home! When it comes to great coffee you can feel good about, there's no better place to turn than Altruistic Joe.
As a small, veteran-owned business, we strive to provide only the best of the best coffee. For every order you place, we donate 20% of our net profits to one of four charities that we believe in and wholeheartedly support.
From year round blends to single-origin coffee, you will always find variety at Altruistic Joe. If you have any questions or would like advice on which coffee to purchase for your at-home brewing process, send us a message! We’re happy to help.