In years passed, coffee drinkers didn't know how coffee was produced or brewed. Coffee was cheap, tasted bitter, and was purposed for medicine or fuel. But over the decades, coffee has been elevated to craft level.
Filter or drip coffee can taste smooth and sweet like chocolate or taste fruity. The expansion of flavours is partly due to new roasting techniques. Roasting at relatively low temperatures for a shorter time tends to bring out the flavours of the bean itself and where it was grown.
High-quality coffee is more expensive, and spending a bit more means your coffee is more likely to be ethically produced.
Coffee producers have historically been exploited, and even fair trade prices are not always enough. Where possible, buy your coffee from roasters who purchase their beans ethically.
Freshly boiled water acts as a solvent to the coffee molecules. The molecules that contribute to the acidity and sweetness tend to extract more quickly than those that contribute to bitterness.
An under-extracted cup that wasn't brewed long enough makes the coffee taste too sour. An over-extracted cup makes the coffee taste overly astringent. The correct timing depends on your device and coffee you're using. The size of your grounds also influences the timing. For beginners, the classic French press is recommended, using very course grounds and brewing for eight minutes. Medium to medium-fine grounds works best for pour-over devices.
Milk and sugar are often added to coffee to balance the bitterness of flavours. With the right high-quality coffee, you may not need these extras.
The more coffee you use, the stronger your cup will be. A ratio of between 1:15 (1 gramme of coffee to 15 grammes of water) and 1:17 is good to start with. Then experiment to discover what you like best.
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