11 Ways to Brew Better Coffee at Home

At its heart, brewing better coffee is a straightforward task. You want to pour the proper amount of water at the proper temperature through the properly portioned and ground coffee to extract the best flavors out of it. Improving your morning cup may be easier than you think.

Find the right, fresh coffee.

If you’re going to take your home coffee experience to the next level, you’re not going to do it with just any coffee. The most surefire way to brew great coffee at home is to start with great coffee beans. Do some research to find the best roasters in your area and buy from a reputable company that sources their product ethically and transparently.

Also make sure the coffee you’re buying is freshly roasted. Unlike wine and some beers, coffee doesn’t improve with age. In fact, it reacts to aging more like food: It doesn’t necessarily spoil or go bad, but its chemical structures and flavor profile certainly deteriorate over time.

Keep the air out.

Deterioration speeds up when coffee is exposed to oxygen, roasted beans’ sworn enemy. Oxidation contributes significantly to flavor degradation, and it doesn’t take much to render the coffee stale. Ambient air contains 19 to 21 percent oxygen, and it only takes 70 cubic centimeters of ambient air to make a pound of coffee stale (a one pound bag contains around 1000 cubic centimeters of space). Airtight packages with degasser valves work for the most part, but if there is even four percent oxygen inside the package, it’s only a matter of time until you’ve got stale coffee. So, if the packaging doesn’t have a “roasted on” date on it, don’t bother buying it—you’ll have no way of knowing how long it’s been sitting on the shelf.

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