Good Coffee is a Wonderful Thing

How complicated can it be to heat water, combine it in some fashion with coffee grounds and produce a beverage?

Brewing a good cup of coffee is not as simple as it sounds. Anyone who has had an appallingly bad cup of coffee knows that there are many possible pitfalls between the raw ingredients and the finished cup. So, what does it actually take to produce a great cup of coffee?

Water

While a lot of attention gets paid to the coffee, it is all for nothing if the water quality isn’t good. There are many places where the tap water is not the best choice for producing a perfect cup of coffee. If there is any chlorination or heavy metal content in the water that is available, it is often a good idea to opt for bottled water. If the water has any taste at all it is best to opt for bottled water. If however, you have wonderful well or spring water in your home then you have a great base for producing a good cup of coffee.

Brewer

There are many different coffee brewers on the market. All of them are capable of producing a good cup of coffee. When making a decision about which one to use, it is purely a matter of personal choice. A French press  is a simple and inexpensive option that is a favorite in Europe. It can be a one cup press or multi-cup.  The concept is quite simple; the coffee is placed in the bottom of the pot and covered with boiling water. The filter is placed in the top of the pot and after several minutes is pressed down to keep the coffee grounds confined and the coffee can then be poured in a cup or cups.

In the United States, the drip coffee pot has been a favorite for more than a generation. Brewers such as Mr. Coffee hit the market and were instantly popular. It is so simple, all you need is a paper filter. You scoop the coffee into the filter according to machine directions, place cold water in the reservoir. Put the pot on the machine hot spot and turn the machine on. It heats the water and drips it through the coffee. Soon you have a full pot of fresh, hot coffee. This was the standard to beat until the Keurig came along and placed the coffee in a K-cup and let you have one fresh cup any time.

There are other types of brewers such as electric percolators and coffee pots that sit on the top of the stove and make that iconic Maxwell House Coffee sound of percolating coffee. 

Coffee

First, the grind.  Be sure to choose a grind that is correct for the type of brewer you are using. With a Keurig or other brewing system, you just need to by the K-cups or pods but otherwise, choose a drip grind for a drip pot, etc.

Finding a coffee that you love can be a painstaking process but it really is worth the effort. Many stores sell beans that you can grind yourself and you can buy a small amount which allows you to try a variety of coffees. It may be that you will prefer Kona, Kenya, Colombian or even a flavored coffee.   There is no right or wrong and strength of the brew is also a personal preference. While you may adore a dark roast with a robust flavor someone else may prefer a lighter roast with a mellow flavor. When it comes to coffee, there is a good cup to be had for every taste.

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