Coffee  How To Buy Store And Grind It For The Perfect CupCoffee 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.

by Marilyn Schwader
References and Bibliography

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

Rated:NR/0 Votes
Add To My Article Reading List
Add To My Article Reading List
Print Article
More Article By Marilyn Schwader
More Article by Marilyn Schwader
More Articles From Food and Drinks
More Articles From Food and Drinks
Related Articles and Readings
Espresso Makers Depending on Your Need Theres an Espresso Maker for You By: Allen Shaw
Since Starbucks first went International in the early 1990s, espresso has been the number-one item on the minds of those who need a quick pick-me-up to get their day started. It started out as a fad, but with the onslaught of Friends on NBC in 1994 and Starbucks reproducing like ...
Espresso Makers From A to Z Foam By: Anne Clarke
There are actually quite a few different types of espresso makers, and which sort is best for you is? well, totally up to you! Check out these different types of espresso makers:? Stovetop Espresso Maker ? A stovetop espresso maker is just about as simple as they can get, and ...
Steaming in With Espresso Machine Tips By: Eric Comforth
So what exactly is espresso coffee? An espresso coffee is sold at the caf? in a small cup and is an extremely strong cup of coffee. Espresso is used in making caf? latte, cappuccino and caf? mocha. Espresso is made in the espresso machine by forcing about ...
View from the Stage Time By: Gary Wesselhoff
TimeThey say that there really is enough time in the day, and that all the time you have is all you really need. I dunno about that. I keep spinning like a compass that can't find North between the four musical bearings: writing, recording, rehearsal, and road. I just learned ...
Handy Tips in Finding the Perfect Automatic Espresso Machine By: Jana Salford
Coffee has evolved from a simple early morning perk-up drink to a highly sought-after beverage that comes in various forms, blends and flavors Businessmen seal important deals over a cup of brewed coffee, friends bond together for an after dinner ...
The information provided in this article and/or the comments is the sole responsibility of their respective authors and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of  does not endorse any article and/or comments published by our web users unless otherwise noted. 

Member Panel

login to submit articles and more


  • » Active Categories: 419
  • » Active Articles:252470
  • » Active Authors:32056
  • » Active Members: 38202
  • » Statistics Updated:
    - Wed Jan 15th, 2020 03:31PM EST