coffee making tips Making a good cup of coffee is an art that is simple to achieve.  Here are some tips to help you make the perfect coffee:

   The Coffee

Pre-ground coffee can be used and should be stored in an air tight container, in a cool, dry area.
Pre-ground coffee should not be kept longer than 1 week as flavor will diminish.  Do not refrigerate or freeze.

Whole coffee beans, freshly ground just before use are recommended.  Coffee beans should be stored in an air-tight container, in a cool, dry area, but should not be kept for longer than 1 month as flavor will diminish.  Do not refrigerate of freeze.

   Water Flow

When brewing coffee, make sure the water flows through the coffee filter at the correct rate.
If the water flow is too slow the coffee will be over extracted and will be very dark and bitter, with a mottled and uneven crema on top.
If the water flow is too fast, the coffee will be under extracted – the optimal flavor will not develop, the coffee will be watery and lack the thick crema on the top.
The water flow can be adjusted by varying the pressure that the coffee is tamped (pressed down) in the filter or by changing the grind of coffee.

   The Grind

If using pre-ground coffee, ensure an espresso grind suitable for espresso machines is purchased.
If grinding coffee beans, the grind should be fine but not too fine or powdery.  The grind will affect the rate at which the water flows through the coffee in the filter and therefore the taste of the coffee.

If the grind is too fine (looks like powder and feels like flour when rubbed between fingers), the water will not flow through the coffee even when under pressure.  The resulting coffee will be over extracted, too dark and bitter, with a mottled or uneven crema on top.
If the grind is too course, the water will flow through the coffee too quickly.  This will result in an under extracted coffee lacking in flavor and without the thick crema on the top layer of the coffee.

 

  Tamping The Coffee

After measuring the ground coffee into the filter it must be tamped (pressed down).  The ground coffee should be tamped quite firmly.

If the coffee is not tamped firmly enough, the water will flow through the coffee too quickly and the coffee will be under extracted.  If the coffee is tamped too firmly however, the water will flow through coffee too slowly and the coffee will be over extracted.
The taste of your coffee will, of course, depend on personal p[reference and on many other factors such as type of coffee bean used, the coarseness or fineness of the grind and the tamping pressure.

By experimenting by varying these factors you will achieve the coffee taste of your preference.

     ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

Espresso 101 Intro to Espresso