With the summer holidays approaching it’s a great time to catch up with family and friends. So we have asked Excelso Coffee to provide some tips to help you make a great tasting cup of coffee, from buying to brewing and storing.
At Excelso’s factory, they roast to order for maximum freshness and all roasted coffees are dispensed or sold within a week. For flavourful, aromatic coffee it is important to know how long the coffee has been roasted. Coffee beans will keep their freshness longer than ground coffee so if you don’t have a grinder, buy only what you will use in approximately one week. When buying ground coffee, make sure it is the right grind. See the tip for grinding below.
Keep your coffee in an airtight container (canister, jar with rubber ring, Tupperware, etc) in a cupboard or pantry, not in the fridge. Freshly roasted coffee will lose its flavour and aroma with time but storing it correctly can prolong this. Factors that greatly increase this loss are light, air/oxygen, heat and humidity. Remember that ground coffee loses freshness more quickly than beans so buy only what you will use in a week.
If you grind your own coffee, grind only what you need immediately. If you are buying ground, purchase small quantities, enough to last a week to 10 days. Each method of making coffee requires a different consistency of grind (hence a different grinder can be used) with the coarsest for a plunger (or French press), slightly finer that this for a filter machine (drip), much finer for an espresso machine and stove top espresso maker. Each of these methods can require a different grinder.
When using a drip filter, the coffee should be ground to the consistency of granulated sugar and take about 6 minutes to complete the cycle. If it is finishing much quicker, the grind needs to be finer. The grind should be coarser than this for a plunger (or French press) making sure that you wait approximately 3-4 minutes after adding the water before you ‘plunge’. Espresso coffee requires a much finer grind, powder-like with a slight grittiness. Once packed into the portafilter, the pour should take approximately 25 seconds for 30mls (single shot). This grind is also used for a stove top espresso maker.
Water quality can greatly affect the flavour of your coffee. Chlorinated water in some areas can alter the taste considerably. So, whilst you have taken care to buy fresh roasted coffee and stored it properly you can still end up with a ‘bad’ tasting cup of coffee. Filtered water is ideal and you will notice the difference immediately.
In the Garden – Recycling Coffee Grounds
Worms love coffee! Worms produce excellent compost when coffee grounds are introduced. Coffee chaff (a byproduct of roasting green beans) is also ideal for the compost and breaks down faster.
Both coffee grounds and chaff are acidic and make good compost for many of the acid loving plants such as rhododendrons, asaleas, camellias, blueberries, etc.
Fresh ground coffee acts like baking soda to absorb unwanted odours in the refrigerator. Put some on a saucer and leave in the fridge overnight. Remember to throw it away when you have finished.
If you want to cut back on your caffeine consumption, try mixing 50/50 (regular/decaf). Excelso’s ‘Swiss Water’ Decaffeinated coffee is Colombian so try a blend of Colombian and decaffeinated Colombian.
Excelso stocks a comprehensive range of fresh roasted coffee beans, so if you need a coffee hit and want the best coffee on the market, check out what they’ve got. https://www.excelso.co.nz/shop/Coffee.html