No matter what your brewing method is, there are a few important basic rules to follow that will make a dramatic difference in the outcome of your brew.

Excellent Quality Coffee Beans

PT’s buys only the top 1% of coffee in the world.  Imagine the coffees of the world as one large mountain, and ours comes from the very top of the mountain.  An artisan coffee farmer who grows an award-winning coffee should be given all of the credit.  Recognition develops dedication to the craftmanship, skill for production, and passion for the harvest quality.

Fresh Roasted Coffee

You should always start with fresh roasted whole bean coffee.  It is important to use coffee that is roasted within two weeks of the brew time.  Coffee begins to lose its flavor after about 12 days of storage, and this process is accelerated when the coffee is ground.  Store your coffee in a cool, dry place in an airtight container.  When possible, buy only one week’s supply of beans at a time and grind just prior to brewing.

Using a Proper Grind

The proper grind is extremely important to the extraction of the brew.  As a general rule, the longer the brew cycle, the coarser the grind.  Espresso is a very fine grind because of its quick 20-30 second extraction, whereas a French Press is a coarse grind as the coffee is immersed for about 4 minutes.  If possible, invest in a burr grinder.  Burr grinders deliver even and consistent grinds every time you use them.  Blade grinders use a rotating blade to chop the coffee, which can result in uneven, and inconsistent results from one cup to another.  Consistency is extremely important for a quality cup.

Grind Coffee Just Before You Brew

Once coffee is in a ground form, it will stale very quickly.  It is important to grind your coffee just prior to brewing.  Grinding coffee at night before you go to bed will expose the coffee to air for a prolonged period of time and cause a flat tasting cup in the morning.  Freshness is key to a quality cup.

Proper Dosing

Use approximately 6 1/2 grams of coffee (about one rounded tablespoon) for every 4 ounces of water.  After you have made a few pots of coffee, adjust the dose to taste.  One note to remember, using less coffee will lead to an over extracted and bitter cup.  Using the proper dose, will result in ideal extraction, and a sweet cup of coffee, free of bitterness.

Clean Equipment is Essential

Before brewing, it is essential to make sure that your equipment is clean and free of both old grounds and stale coffee oils from previous brews.  For the best results, always clean your equipment with water and a little bit of elbow grease immediately following the brew cycle.  It only takes a few minutes, but in the long run, you will be able to taste the difference.  Avoid using store bought detergents on certain equipment.  Store bought soap will leave a film residue and foul the flavor of your coffee.

Use Pure Water

Coffee is 98% water, using water from the tap will cause your great coffee to take on a tainted flavor.  To get the best results out of your beans, use fresh, pure (not distilled) water.