Coffee Information

Coffee - How to Buy, Store, and Grind it for the Perfect Cup

In the early days of the coffee craze, before the first Starbucks arrived in my town, I owned a tea and coffee house for several years. At the time, espresso was something new for most people, and a lot of my customers had questions. I decided to teach a class on coffee at the shop, and learned in the process that there are several misunderstandings about buying, storing, and grinding coffee that when corrected can lead to a much more enjoyable cup of coffee.

True coffee connoisseurs know that buying coffee beans in small amounts that allow you to brew your coffee within a day or two of being roasted will result in the closest to a perfect cup of java. If you keep the beans in an air-tight container the flavor will remain strong for seven to ten days. Contrary to popular belief, storing beans in your refrigerator or freezer will actually diminish the flavor. There are two reasons for this. First, the beans will soak up the flavors of other stored items. Secondly, moisture affects the oils in the roast. Better to store that container on the counter (in a dark, cool place, if possible). If you can't smell an aroma or it's unpleasant, the beans are past their prime.

Soapy water can leave a residue, so when cleaning your coffee storage, use a dry cloth or paper towel to soak up the oil. Clean the container regularly because oil can get rancid over time. Also, frequently clean the equipment you use for brewing. Again, don't use soap because of the residue. Instead use vinegar and salt and rinse thoroughly.

Always grind only the amount you will use immediately. Once exposed, the oils in the beans disperse, affecting the coffee flavor. If you grind your beans the night before you brew your morning cup, you will be losing flavor. Switch to grinding in the morning, unless you don't want to wake your sweetheart with the noise from the grinder. How fine or coarse the grind should be depends on how long the hot water will be in contact with the coffee grinds. The shorter the length of time, the finer the grind so that the surface area is maximized. Here are the consistencies you will want for the different methods of brewing:

Drip Brew: Grind to a character similar to table sugar if the drip cycles range from four to six minutes. Grind to a finer consistency if less.

French Press: Use an extremely coarse grind.

Espresso: Very fine, powder-like. The extraction time of espresso should be between 25 and 30 seconds. If a one ounce extraction takes longer, use a coarser grind; if it takes less time, grind finer.

How much coffee do you grind? For brewed (and French Press) coffee, three tablespoons for eight ounces of water. For espresso, an ounce (7 grams) for a single shot. Double that for a double shot.

Time and again I heard from my customers that they had no idea what a good cup of coffee really tasted like until after they had followed these easy guidelines. Try it. It's the small things that will make your coffee drinking experience sublime.

Professional writing coach Marilyn J. Schwader writes on a range of topics. Her articles about coffee are published in The News at QY Coffee the single on-line resource for a world of news about coffee. Be sure to refer to all Marilyn's articles at



Coffee sold in California could carry cancer warning labels
A future cup of coffee in California could give you jitters before you even take a sip. A nonprofit group wants coffee manufacturers, distributors and retailers to post ominous warnings about a cancer-causing chemical stewing in every brew and has been ...
Cancer Warnings on Coffee May Be Coming to CaliforniaFood & Wine
Does Starbucks Coffee Cause Cancer?24/7 Wall St.

all 10 news articles »

Coffee sold in California could carry cancer warning labels - ABC ...
ABC News
Coffee sold in California could carry cancer warning labels.

and more »

Freebies for Friday's National Coffee Day
The News Journal
Few things jolt caffeine fiends out of a bed like a free hot cup of coffee. As part of Friday's National Coffee Day, several businesses will be offering gratis or discounted cups of Joes, although you might have to download an app or sign up for a ...
Where To Find Free Coffee In PA On National Coffee

all 2 news articles »

Not your average joe: How today's coffee has evolved
To our parents and grandparents, coffee meant one thing — a steaming cup o' joe. To today's Central Jersey java aficionados, a cup of coffee can mean many things — varying brewing techniques, farming practices, milk mechanics, flavors and much more.

and more »


Has Craft Coffee Finally Peaked?
What they're saying is that it won't change us,” a barista at one of Blue Bottle's Manhattan locations said as he carefully poured hot water over a pile of coffee grounds. Referring to Nestlé's recent acquisition of the San Francisco-based coffee ...


The Coffee Collective: Back To The Beginning And Looking Forward
In all, there are nearly 40 independent shops on these 350 meters that include art galleries, boutiques, chocolatiers, nitrogen ice cream, and The Coffee Collective, which opened its first coffee shop on this street in February 2008, before all their ...


Backed By Chobani Founder, A Local Coffee Chain Pushes A Revolution
La Colombe Coffee Roasters, with 750 employees, now runs 26 cafés in five cities, distributes its coffee to some 3,500 restaurants, hotels, cafés and retailers and operates an online store. The company says revenue is approaching $100 million ...

and more »

Harvard Health (blog)

The latest scoop on the health benefits of coffee
Harvard Health (blog)
What a difference a few years can make. Not long ago, I was learning about the dangers of coffee — how it could raise your blood pressure, make your heart race, impair sleep, and maybe even cause cancer. Now, the World Health Organization (WHO) is ...


Coca-Cola Plus Coffee is here, because you wanted them simultaneously, right?
It's being positioned as a late-afternoon drink, something you'd drink instead of coffee. At 14 mg per 100 mililitres, there's much less caffeine than a regular cappuccino (43mg), but slightly more than a Coca-Cola (9mg). And as the name gives away ...
The New Coca-Cola Flavour Mixes Coke And CoffeeLifehacker Australia
Coca-Cola announces the launch of new flavour, Coke Plus Coffee No
Coca-Cola introduces new flavour for Australian heatwave - but would you try a Coke with COFFEE in it?Daily Mail

all 42 news articles »

Beyond Espresso: Where to Find Delicious Coffee in Paris
Paris is in the midst of a third-wave coffee revolution. More places than ever are roasting their coffee beans in-house and expanding far beyond the classic espresso. New concepts—like open-air coffee kiosks or fashionable boutiques taking coffee ...

Google News

home | site map
© 2007