Brewing Coffee Manually

Better coffee. One cup at a time.

Category: Coffee Hacks (page 1 of 4)

Storing Coffee in the Freezer, is it Okay?

There was a time (before I started this blog) when my ideal coffee was something like this. I would get a big ol’ bag, store my coffee in the freezer, remove it every morning and brew a pot of coffee with it.

One of the first things I “learned” when I stepped into the craft coffee wormhole, was it is never okay to store coffee in the freezer.

More recently, I’ve read several things that heartily support storing coffee beans in the freezer and some things that stick with the old no freezer rule of thumb.

Well. Which is it? Can I store my coffee in the freezer or is it a bad idea to store coffee in the freezer?

Here is what the experts say and of course (it’s my blog after all) my opinion on the matter.

Why You Should Not Store Your Coffee in the Freezer

According to a leading coffee freshness expert, Chahan Yeretzian (who boasts a PhD in chemistry and a pretty impressive resume), you should not be storing your coffee in the freezer.

Why?

Yeretzian reports that the coffee aging process is considerably slowed as you cool down the temperature. He also emphasizes that the small benefits you get from impeding the aging process are more than offset by the risk of structural damage to the coffee as well as the possibility of odor contamination and staling by condensation (warm air condenses on cold coffee beans creating moisture, the sworn enemy of coffee freshness).

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Troubleshooting and Fixing a Bad Cup of Coffee (Your Manual Coffee Brewing Toolbox)

Chances are that all of you have been disappointed in a cup of coffee you have brewed. You may have even been in a coffee brewing “slump” where countless cups of coffee in a row don’t have that “darn good” factor.

Brewing a bad cup of coffee can be frustrating, especially if things were going well previously.  Don’t worry; there is hope. Whether you are suffering from a coffee slump or simply looking to improve the overall quality of the coffee you are brewing at home, here are some basic things you can explore in am attempt to troubleshoot your brewing woes.

Before I Begin a Few Points of Emphasis (Author’s Note)

At some levels fixing a bad cup of coffee is easy. Below are the basic issues most people run into when trying to improve their coffee. Be forewarned. Pursuing brewing better coffee at home is a winding path the goes deeper and deeper into the abyss of coffee science. Somewhere early on in the journey, you will be passing me up and will need to find a new sherpa to guide you in your pursuit for manual brewing greatness.

I also want to emphasize that this article is meant to be helpful, not to scare you off. If you are brand new to manual brewing, don’t let this barrage of information overwhelm you. At it’s core brewing coffee manually is easy.

“Help me, I’m making bad coffee!”

Your first stop on the road of improving your coffee brewing skills is one of introspection. Take a minute to think about your current coffee brewing situation. Why do you think there is a problem with your coffee? Why do you dislike the coffee and what would you change about it?

It is helpful to answer these questions so you have a direction to head.

It is also important to mention that for the home coffee brewer, your reasons for improving coffee quality should be mostly intrinsically motivated. If you love the coffee you are making at home right now, don’t change because someone else said you make bad coffee. Make coffee that you enjoy.

So how about it, what don’t you like about your coffee that makes you want to make a change?

If you don’t know anything about your coffee except you are unimpressed with it, it is okay to go to the next step. You can still improve your coffee even in you aren’t exactly sure what you don’t like about it. Sometimes you don’t know what was wrong until you taste something better.

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Don’t Stress About the Coffee this Christmas

With all the Christmas festivities and holiday gatherings at hand, the traffic to my post about the best grocery store coffee has skyrocketed. I can almost feel the angst behind this relatively marginal, yet ever-present issue. “Will the coffee I have be good enough for {insert “coffee snob” name here}?”

The funny thing about this question is that there is a lot of angst on both sides of the coin. The host wants their guests to enjoy the fare that is provided. The guest wants to be gracious and not put up a fuss about a simple cup of coffee.

Thinking about that forlorn host searching google for the perfect coffee inspired this post, but I also couldn’t help thinking about the coffee lover, bemoaning a silly cup of coffee.

Here are a few thoughts on how the coffee question can go from an awkward situation to a non-issue or even something that brings community and enhances the festivities.

For the Host- Don’t Stress about It, It’s Just Coffee

If you are hosting a gathering, realize that there is really no reason to stress about the “coffee snob” (I prefer coffee enthusiast) that is coming to your party.

Most coffee lovers wouldn’t want someone to go out of their way or make excuses all day for “bad coffee”. Trust me, if coffee is that important to them, they will probably just bring some.

Please do not be offended if someone brings coffee to your gathering. This is not a slam on you as a host but merely an assertion of preference. Most coffee enthusiasts have a hard time keeping their love of coffee to themselves and thus will probably want to share a coffee they have been enjoying.

Some Simple Action Steps for the Host

If you don’t know much about coffee but want to accommodate your coffee loving guest, ask them about it. Don’t waste your time guessing what coffee they would like and fretting about it. Get them on the phone and ask them if there is a particular coffee that they enjoy and where it can be found.

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