The perfect cup – How to find and brew your perfect cup of coffee.
We all have different palates, so it’s no surprise that every coffee lover has a different idea of a perfect cup. Some are in the pursuit of the delicate fruity flavours (acidity) some enjoys the heavy body and smoothness of the coffee.
Here are a few tips to help you find and brew your perfect coffee.
All Arabica coffee beans have a certain level of acidity. It can be reduced or highlighted by the way the green coffee beans are processed, the level of roasting and the way the coffee is brewed.
Coffee with zero acidity is quite flat and boring. Even heavy bodied, syrupy coffees taste better with a touch of sour notes. The sourness acts like a taste enhancing agent, it wakes up the taste buds, enabling you to taste more of your coffee.
Process of the coffee beans
Processing methods reducing the natural acidity of the coffee:
- Monsooned or aged – the coffees are exposed to the humid monsoon air which drastically reducing the natural acidity of the coffee bean. For example, our Indian Monsoon Malabar
- Semi washed or GiIling basah – this is the way most Indonesian coffees are prepared, the result is a heavy bodied, smooth, syrupy coffee.
Processing methods with vibrant acidity:
- Washed – clean, vibrant acidity, for example Colombia Narino
- Natural or sun dried – packed with lots of fruity flavours from berries to citrus flavours. For example Ethiopia Yirgacheffe, Rwanda
Every roaster has its own style. Generally, we all have a sweet spot, the perfect balance of acidity and body. And of course it’s slightly different for everyone.
The darker the roast, the less acidity is left in the beans and heavier its body. Have a look at the colour of your coffee beans, and you’ll have a good idea:
- Cinnamon like colour – very strong acidity
- Dark brown – no acidity (careful, this one might be burnt…)
The water used for brewing has a massive effect on the acidity and bitterness too.
In general use water at 92oC. As little as 1 or 2 oC degree can alter the taste of your coffee:
- Hotter water will burn your coffee, reducing acidity and introducing a bit of bitterness
- Cooler water will increase the acidity and lower its body, smoothness of the coffee
Use filtered water. High mineral content can introduce a bitter flavour.
Espresso method highlights the acidity in your coffee. If you are not a fan of the sour taste in your coffee, choose coffee beans – blends designed for espresso.
Some machines have an option of setting the brewing temperature of the water. The cooler the water the higher the acidity.
You can increase the acidity with using more coffee in the portafilter. Even half a gram makes a big difference.
We designed our Lounge blend to create a balanced, smooth, low acidity espresso, perfect with milk – cappuccinos, lattes etc. Our Fusion, and Temptation blend has a bit higher acidity but still with a smooth, heavy body.
Moka pot or stove pot heats up the water to near boiling point, therefore it brews coffee with less acidity.
Syphon using hot water (much lower than boiling point), as a result, the coffee has higher acidity.
With other brewing methods, like cafetiere, filter, Aeropress the user has all control over the water temperature. It’s worth experimenting, even a little cooler water can produce a very different cup.
Just remember, the cooler water, the higher acidity.