PastryWiz Recipies & more PastryWiz Recipes: Home - Cake Decorating - Recipe Categories - Recipe Magazines  
 

 

Recipe Category:
Almonds
Apple
Bagels
Banana
Beef
Beverages
Blueberry
Bread
Cake
Casserole
Cheesecake
Chocolate
Christmas
Cookies
Copycat
Easter
Halloween
Ice-cream
Lemon
Lowfat
Muffin
Pasta
Peach
Pets
Pies
Pineapple
Pudding
Pumpkin
Seafood
Strawberry
Sugar-free
Valentine
Venison
Wedding
MORE ...







Measurements

Brewing the Perfect Cup
Part 1
by Timothy James Castle

If ever a case can be made for the virtues of simplicity it is in the act of brewing a good cup of coffee. In fact, it takes more effort, time, and, in the case of most home brewing machines, expense to make a bad cup of coffee. Good coffee is made by mixing freshly ground coffee with freshly boiled water which has just cooled to 195 degrees F. for no more than four  minutes (o.k., five or maybe six minutes for very coarsely ground coffee); at this point the liquid (now coffee) and the coffee grounds must be separated. Issues of grind setting and the amount of coffee used are important out are chiefly matters of personal taste and the separation method used when brewing is completed. The things that can go wrong with brewing are basic and easy to avoid.

The simplest brewing methods are the best and they all start with boiling a freshly drawn kettle of water immediately before brewing. Then the pitfalls start and the following list covers the big ones:

1.TOO LITTLE COFFEE.
Four ounces of coffee per sixty-four ounces of water was once the food service standard in the U.S. before lower quality, stronger tasting, robust beans came into use (circa 1960). Currently, some office coffee suppliers put as little as 3/4 of one ounce of coffee in the portion packs they claim can be used to brew 64 ounces of coffee. It is perhaps one of the great injustices of life that the better and more expensive a coffee is, the stronger it should be brewed to be fully enjoyed.

2.THE WRONG (USUALLY TOO FINE) GRIND
Grind plays a role in concert with the amount of coffee used, and a simple one at that. Finer grinds extract more quickly than coarser grinds but they almost always increase brewing time by clogging whatever filtering system is in use. In espresso, a grind of perfectly calibrated fineness allows the brewing espresso to escape from the machine at just the right speed. In regular brewing systems, however, a fine grind raises a barrier to expeditious brewing and filtering, and it's usually not a challenge which betters the coffee. Again, rather than accepting the recommendations of anyone, the strength at which coffee is brewed is first and foremost a personal preference.

3.OVEREXTRACTION
Most home drip coffeemakers produce a full pot of coffee in ten or more minutes. It takes them this long because they start with cold water in their reservoirs and the amount of electricity coming out of a standard wall socket can't heat a pot full of water any faster. The problem is that by the time the brewing process is over, the grounds are grossly over-extracted, producing a bitter, woody tasting brew. An inelegant solution to this problem is to turn off your coffee maker after four or five minutes, remove the filter cone, dump the coffee and the filter, rinse the cone of any loose grounds, replace it in the brewer and turn the machine back on, allowing it to finish spurting the water through its heating element. This extra effort will produce noticeably better coffee. (Commercial drip or pour-over coffee makers do this automatically with a bypass or a shunt which directs the water around the grounds after a specified amount of time.) More, read part two..


Print recipe, search recipes, browse recipes, or see today's recipe

PastryWiz - Cooking Magazine - Cake Decorating - Jobs

Send mail to PastryWiz with comments about this web site.
Recipe Disclaimer - Measurements Help - Sugar Substitution Chart

Dessert Professional