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6 Common Mistakes of At-Home Brewing


If you have already bought your single origin coffee beans, you are one step towards coffee perfection. Creating and enjoying the perfect cup is an indulgence and a source of pride. Using quality coffee beans is a great place to start, but there are other aspects of the brewing process that can dramatically alter the flavor. Here are some mistakes keeping you from that impeccable cup of coffee you deserve, and ways to perfect your technique.

1. Not Using Fresh Beans

Roasted coffee beans are filled with delicate flavor compounds that can deteriorate with prolonged exposure to oxygen. To start, make sure you are keeping your single origin coffee beans in an opaque, airtight container away from the sun. Since oxidation is inevitable after a certain period of time, even in an airtight container, only buy as many beans as you can use in a week.

It's best to keep the beans whole and only grind them only before brewing. It seems efficient to grind them all at once, but doing so increases the surface area of the beans exposed to oxygen. One simple solution to keeping your coffee fresh is to sign up for a coffee subscription, delivering fresh coffee right to your door weekly, bi-monthly or monthly.

2. Grinding Your Coffee Beans to the Wrong Size

The grind size you choose affects the surface area of the coffee and determines how many and which types of flavor compounds that will ultimately be extracted. If the beans are ground too finely, the water will extract bitter flavors and your brew can be too sharp. If the ground beans are too coarse, the coffee will be watery and weak.

Every brewing method requires a unique grind size in order to extract the perfect balance of flavors. You will use a fine grind for espresso and Turkish coffee, a medium grind for pour-overs, and a coarse grind for a French press.

3. Using Poor Quality or Dirty Water

Water quality seems trivial during the brewing process, but the average cup of coffee is composed of ninety-eight percent water. For starters, make sure you are using water you would actually want to drink by itself.

If possible, use spring water or filtered drinking water for at-home brewing. Depending on where you live, you may be able to get away with using tap water, but it's best not to as it contains chlorine and various minerals that can undermine flavors. Conversely, distilled water should also be avoided -- its natural acidity and lack of beneficial minerals can leave you with a bitter brew.

4. Using the Wrong Brewing Temperature

Wrong water temperature is one of the most common mistakes when brewing at home. Even the most enthusiastic of coffee lovers wait until the water reaches boiling point (212 degrees Fahrenheit), scalding and souring their coffee in the process. To achieve optimal extraction, use water at 200 degrees Fahrenheit and you will never look back.

5. Not Sticking to the Right Coffee to Water Ratio

Using the right proportions of coffee to water is going to leave you with a full-bodied, aromatic, and richly flavored cup. Timid use of coffee can leave you with a weak coffee-flavored tea-like drink instead. The optimum measurement is two tablespoons of freshly ground coffee for every six ounces of water. Doing so can revolutionize your routine.

6. Using Dirty Brewing Equipment

Coffee will leave behind oils in your brewing equipment than can later leave you with a stale taste in your coffee. Make a habit of thoroughly washing and rinsing your equipment.

Just because you may not have the fancy machinery and equipment of your favorite local coffeehouse at your disposal doesn’t mean you can’t make a great tasting cup of joe in your own home. Start on your way towards the perfect at-home brew by choosing your single origin coffee beans and gourmet coffee blends from Fortunes Gourmet Coffee. With a commitment to quality in ever cup, the roasters at Fortunes Gourmet Coffee put each roast through endless taste and quality testing to ensure their customers the best tasting gourmet coffee blends around. Order your preferred blend or single origin coffee beans today and discover why so many customers remain loyal to Fortunes Gourmet Coffee.

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