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The Coffee Ritual
Six steps to Coffee Perfection
by Martin Diedrich
  1. Begin with premium fresh roasted coffee. I roast all our coffee daily in small batches as needed only. We keep no coffee on our shelves more than five days at most, because I recommend you use your coffee within two weeks of roast date indicated on the package.

    Roasting coffee brings about changes in the coffee that cause it to be highly unstable. It will lose as much or more than half of its original flavor within two weeks of roasting. Be a discerning buyer. Know when or where it was roasted. Roasting starts the highly perishable clock on coffee shelf life.

  2. Measure up. The coffee to water ratio determines strength and taste. The ideal is generally considered to be 2 tbsp (10 gr) per 6 fl. oz. (180 ml)of water. If this is too strong for your preference, then simply add more hot water after brewing, adjusting to taste.

  3. Grind. It is as important, or more so, to have a proper and correct grind as it is to have a fresh grind. It is important to grind according to your method of brewing. Fine grind for a quick extraction (20-25 seconds) to coarse grind for longer extractions (3-4 minutes, drip brewer or French press). The grinder should produce a uniform granule size without a large range of fine to coarse. If not, let us grind it for you. If so, then it is most preferable to grind just prior to brewing.

    I recommend a mill grinder with burr grinding disks. These produce a more uniform grind. The blade grinders are far too inconsistent, producing a grind with a wide-ranging granule size from super fine to coarse all in one. This will not give you the coffee's ultimate taste pleasure.

  4. Always use the purest, fresh, cold water. I recommend filtered or bottled. A cup of coffee is 98% water, therefore the quality and purity of the water is as important as the coffee itself.

  5. Brew temperature is 195 – 205 degrees. If less than 195 degrees, the full flavor will not properly extract. More than 205 degrees and the delicate aromatics will be scorched, destroying them and making the coffee harsh and bitter. The ideal is 205 degrees, just below a boil.

  6. Holding time and storage. Drink coffee within the first hour after brewing. Coffee flavor breaks down noticeably after one hour. I recommend using a thermal carafe to retain heat. Never leave coffee on a hotplate. The continual adding of heat will cause the coffee's chemistry to become astringent, bitter and tannic, highly undesirable.

    Store the rest of your beans in a dry, cool, dark, and generally airtight environment. I highly recommend using your coffee within two weeks of the roast date. The enemies of coffee flavor during storage are time, moisture, heat, and oxygen. I suggest against freezing. Refrigeration is fine so long as you keep it completely sealed.

    Fresh roasted coffee is perceived by some, who have never experienced it, to be strong. The fact is not that it's strong, but that it has so much more flavor. Most coffee is no longer fresh, having staled and lost its peak flavor long before the consumer drinks it. Stale coffee is then unfortunately the standard by which people know coffee.

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