We can’t all be coffee protégés so we all have to start by making a few mistakes here and there. It takes learning from those mistakes to really understand the science and art behind coffee, just like life right? Practice makes perfect, so ridding yourself of these 7 mistakes will put you a whole lot closer to making a perfect cup of coffee every day. Shall we dive in?
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1. Using Old Coffee Beans
Just like how food goes bad, so does coffee. Over time, coffee beans get oily and eventually grow mold. It takes a long time for this to happen, but it is better to steer clear of beans getting even close to that situation. Pre-ground coffee loses its freshness quite quickly due to its surface area, so you have to act fast.
You’ll almost never find coffee that was roasted yesterday, but using beans roasted within the last couple of weeks is ideal. Bags of coffee have a “roasted on” date to help you keep track! It’s very useful, we @coffeesesh always check our bags for this.
2. Not Using a Scale When You Should
Now, we know some brewing techniques are little more lax when it comes to the need to use a scale, like an AeroPress for example, but it’s always something to keep in mind. As coffee gets older (see number one) it is going to sit differently. Its volume will change ever so slightly, so it’s only through weighing down to the grams that someone can get a completely accurate reading.
Also, all coffee beans are different sizes. One cup to another may vary with its exact amount because of how the beans fill the measuring device. Serious Eats did a little experiment to show how much coffee can differ when you measure it out rather than weigh it, so be sure to give that a look! Weighing ensures that consistency is a necessity in coffee brewing.
To help you get started on deciding which coffee scale is best for you, read on with our article “Best Coffee Scales in 2019”, and you’ll see awesome products like this one from Brewista! We have two of these in the office actually, there’s some really heavy coffee connoisseurs in the office measuring their beans.
3. Using Bad Water
If you’re someone who would not drink tap water, then you shouldn’t use it in your coffee. It may seem like the coffee’s flavor may overtake that of the water, but it actually just combines with the water in order to make less quality coffee.
If you’re not already aware, water has a variety of mineral contents and pHs that will affect the coffee taste and even the texture. Don’t take the shortcut by making coffee with tap water, but instead consider filtered or spring water to improve your coffee. We do not condone using a plastic water bottle for every cup of coffee you make (it’s really expensive anyways), but rather looking at other options to get tastier water.
In addition to the type of water that you use, be sure to make sure that it is hot enough! Temperature of the water when you brew your own coffee is really important. Different temperatures will help extract the certain qualities and tastes of coffee that you desire most.
This can get really in depth, maybe we should write an article about it for you?
4. Storing Coffee Beans Incorrectly
The National Coffee Association suggests that you keep beans airtight and cool. This goes hand-in-hand with using beans that are not too old, because even the freshest beans won’t do the trick if that are not stored correctly.
Coffee bags are not ideal because folding them over to store still allows air to get in, so a sealable tin or jar is ideal, like this one from Coffee Gator! It comes it 8 different colors, so there’s bound to be one to match your kitchen!
5. Not Cleaning Your Coffee Machine
An artist wouldn’t use dirty brushes, right? A bit of an exaggeration, but coffee is only as artful if you make it as! If you’re using a drip coffee machine, this will be a bit more complicated but also all the more worth while. Take a look at these steps when you’re ready to clean it out.
Take 30 minutes out of your day every couple of months and your coffee will thank you, maybe your taste buds too! Cleaning your AeroPress, Moka Pot, or any other type of coffee maker is going to be even easier. Take a look at the packaging in order to make sure that you can use soap or not, but otherwise some parts are even dishwasher friendly.
6. Using the Wrong Type of Grind
Grinding is done in order to “increase the surface area coming into contact with water”, which is an essential detail in the coffee extraction process. You can buy pre-ground coffee, but doing it yourself means you are the real deal.
Too coarse or too fine of a grind may not seem like a huge deal, but it could make the difference between an overly bitter (not coarse enough) or sour (too coarse) cup of coffee. A Moka pot is going to require a pretty fine grind, while a French press will want the coffee to be more coarse.
7. Not Preheating Your Favorite Coffee Cup
This is an easy one to mess up or get lazy with, because overall it is not too common to do. Still, not doing this will turn your potentially amazing coffee in to just a decent one.
The hot, fresh coffee is going to hit the cold mug and instantly cool down—probably more than you want it to. A cold mug will absorb the heat from the coffee, making for a deceiving feel when you go to grab it. Simply popping your mug in to the microwave for 10-15 seconds before pouring in your coffee is going to make a world’s difference!
We even recommend switching to an insulated coffee mug that will ensure the perfect temperature, right as the coffee hits you mug! These stainless steel mugs are awesome! Or, if you’d like one with a little more color, Simple Modern offers mugs that have an assortment of colors to choose from— over 2 dozen color options! Each option includes vacuum-sealed lids that are perfect for traveling.
Even a seasoned coffee brewed may make these mistakes occasionally, but the more you make coffee with these in mind, the less you’ll make them. Soon enough you’ll be making the best coffee around!
To continue the conversation… We mentioned earlier about the use of coffee scales to weigh out your coffee beans. You may believe they’re not vital (and we thought the same too) but they’ll make a world of a difference in ensuring you brew a consistent, delicious cup of coffee every time. Read on, here!
Thanks for reading our newest article on beginner mistakes when brewing coffee. Be sure to share and join our coffee community on Instagram by following @coffeesesh.
Want to learn more about making coffee from people just like you? Be sure to join our private Facebook group here at Daily Coffee Talk. You’ll be able to learn how to brew, how to roast and most importantly how to enjoy the perfect cup of coffee!
Brew ya later! ☕️