You have used the same type of coffee beans and followed the same steps to brew coffee, but the coffee still tastes a bit different from the one of coffee shops, less smooth and not that flavorful. Then you might ponder upon what is going wrong. Is there any secret of brewing a perfect coffee in the coffee shop? Continue to read and we will find it out together.
98% of Coffee is Water
Since water makes up 98 percent of coffee, it is significant to choose the best type of water for your coffee. However, a homemade coffee is often brewed with tap water, which contains numerous impurities that undermine the taste of coffee, for example, chlorine, a chemical treatment residue from water plants, sediments from water pipes, and more. Also, if you live in a hard water area, the minerals and salts dissolved in the water can affect the flavor of your coffee.
Down below is the data compiled by the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) for the recommended water standards.
The primary indicators which require our attention are the calcium hardness and the pH value.
The unit ppm indicates the ratio of solute CaCO3 to total solution mass. Usually, the lower the ppm is, the easier to extract the flavor from coffee; the higher it goes, the more difficult to lure the flavor out. The sheet has shown that the ideal water with proper calcium hardness should contain CaCO3 ranging from 50 to 175 ppm.
The ideal pH value of water is 7, which stands at a neutral point between acidity and alkalinity. But when the pH is lower than 7, water shows stronger acidity; when it is higher than 7, water features stronger alkalinity. And the acceptable range is suggested to be between 6 to 8.
A moderate amount of minerals can help accentuate the creamy and fruity taste, but too much can lead to the discount of the extraction performance and furtherly damage the coffee’s flavor.
Therefore, if you are expecting a better DIY coffee in the morning, use filtered water rather than faucet water. Filtered water has most of the impurities filtered out and yet keeps useful minerals at a beneficial level. Since harmful contaminants are removed, filtered water is preferred for healthy purposes.
If you are getting started to look for a high-quality water filtration system, Clatterans water filters offer an easy way to get clean and healthy water. They can remove 99% of contaminants and help improve the pH value of water. With NSF certification, they are reliable in quality and filtration capacity. More and more water filtration systems are available at Clatterans.com now. Choose one that perfectly matches your needs.
Other Considerations You Should Know
The perfect water temperature for brewing coffee is 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit (91-96 Celsius degrees). The higher the temperature is, the quicker the extraction process is. When the water is cooling, it will take a longer time to extract the flavor, which explains why cold coffee needs more time to prepare but enjoys a stronger flavor than the hot coffee using the same coffee beans.
Grind Size of Coffee Beans
The grind size of coffee beans affects the extraction significantly, mainly involving three factors: contact time, extraction rate and flow rate. The relationship between the factors can be simply explained by these precise conclusions:
- Ground coffee with larger contact surfaces features a higher extraction rate.
- Grind the coffee finer to increase the surface area.
- The higher the extraction rate, the shorter the contact time is required.
- A finer grind can reduce the flow rate of water, to increase the contact time.
A fine grind is more likely to release a bitter flavor because besides the flavorful compounds, the unwanted compounds can be extracted, too.
Coffee and Water Ratio
The most common and serious problem is not using the right proportion of coffee to water, almost always not using enough coffee. To get a better sense of how much water and coffee you should use for a preferred flavor, you can follow the portion recommended at the following table.
The second most frequent problem is the contact time between water and coffee is not long enough to extract all the flavor. In a drip brewer, the contact time should be around 4 to 5 minutes. In another word, the time from you press the “Start” button to when the last drop of the coffee runs out of the basket should be 4 to 5 minutes. One primary reason that causes this problem is the depth of the brew basket being too shallow, which causes the water to run through too fast. Then the insufficient amount of coffee just exacerbates it. To solve this situation is to use a narrower brew basket.
In the End
Now that you’ve known all the essential secrets, it’s your time to make yourself a perfect cup of coffee. While you have set the right water temperature, chosen your preferred grind size of coffee beans and figured out the optimum coffee and water ratio, don’t forget the key step to use filtered water for a better-tasting coffee.