We’ve been in the coffee growing business for over three decades and have learned some things in the process that we’d like to share with you. Hopefully, you can benefit from the years we’ve spent experimenting and avoid our mistakes. Here’s a list of the five most common mistakes that can have a huge impact on the taste of your favorite beverage
MISTAKE #1: PUTTING PRICE OVER QUALITY
When you’re financing a pot a day (okay fine, two pots) habit, it’s tempting to cut costs by purchasing the cheapest option, but unfortunately when it comes to coffee, the least expensive financially is often the most expensive in the long term.
Higher priced coffee means that the roasters and growers are paid a fair wage. It also ensures the finest quality and natural flavors by removing the need for short cuts like sweetener and sugar. In short, it’s true that you get what you pay for, and buying fair trade, locally sourced coffee is better for the planet and your body in the long run.
MISTAKE #2: PROPER BREWING IS A MYSTERY TO YOU
Even the highest quality Arabica beans require a particular brewing process to draw the best flavors out of the bean.
We get that it’s hard to fit proper brewing into your busy schedule, but honestly if you don’t have time to enjoy a cup of joe the right way, what do you have time for?
The best way to brew coffee is using tried and true methods like the French press or a pour over (chorreador)
- The French press brewing method requires you to press the coffee grounds through steaming water. This removes the papers and materials of automatic coffee machines, which can often absorb or negate some of the best flavors of the beans.
- The pour over method is exactly what it sounds like: pouring steaming water into a funnel leading to the coffee grounds. Pour overs allow you complete control of the strength and flavor of your coffee and may actually take less time than an automatic coffee maker.
MISTAKE #3: YOU DON’T KNOW HOW TO GRIND YOUR BEANS CORRECTLY
Not all brewing methods are created equal which means that in order to maximize your coffee’s flavor, each type of brewing method requires that the beans be ground differently. There are three levels of fancy grounds:
- Coarse: still has thick, visible chunks of coffee visible
- Medium: is slightly more ground than coarse, like fine dirt
- Fine: ground beans are perfectly smooth with no separate pieces.
The brewing method you use will determine the type of grind. Follow your device’s instructions to see which grind level will produce the best java.
MISTAKE #4: YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND PROPER BEAN STORAGE
Many think that they can prolong the life of their coffee beans by putting them in the freezer, but contrary to popular belief cold environments are actually harmful to ground beans.
Once a package of coffee has been opened, the best way to keep the beans fresh is to keep them as far away from oxygen as possible. The best place to store beans is in a sealed container in a cool space. Basically you want to keep your beans away from everything that humans need: air, light and heat.
5. MISTAKE #5: RATIOS ARE NOT YOUR THING
When it comes to getting the most flavor bang for your buck, maintaining the correct water to coffee ratio is essential.
All you need to remember is “1 to 10”, meaning that for every one gram of coffee you should use roughly 10 milliliters of water. This ratio will maximize the flavor potential of your beans and take your coffee drinking game to a whole new level. Remember how you ignored every math teacher you ever had when they told you that you would need math in the real world? Time to call them and apologize.