Extraction – Getting the best out of your coffee – Three Key Factors
The ideal water temperature is between 195 and 205 degrees F (this is not a rolling boil). Brewing with hot water should never exceed 8 minutes.
If you like the taste of your tap water use it. Unpleasant flavors in your water will come through in your coffee. City water should be filtered before use. Hard water and softened water can react with and neutralize flavor giving acids in the coffee. Cold tap water is often fresher (electric drip machines prefer cold water), and contains more oxygen which some believe imparts brisker, livelier flavors. *Never use distilled water!
Paper filters – screen out the oils and colloids that give coffee its mouth feel and texture. Metal filters allow these important elements to remain in your coffee.
Steeping – also called the Infusion Method is most commonly done using a Plunger Pot, also called the French Press. This method produces a thick coffee with great mouth feel.
Vacuum Pots – use double glass globes. Heated water from the lower globe is forced into the upper globe mixing with the ground coffee and then passing through a filter on the way back down. This method produces very flavorful, sediment free coffee, but requires both time and cleanup.
Drip is a basic method where hot water is poured over ground coffee in a filter. The appropriate amount of fresh beans, ground to the correct fineness are critical for this method. A proper coffee measuring scoop holds two tablespoons or 1/8 cup of ground or whole beans.
Traditional coffee measurements are 1 standard scoop (2 tablespoons) to 6oz. of water.