Storing your Coffee
Storing coffee at room temperature is the most convenient method of storage. We package all our coffee in vacuum sealed bags, and recommend you use the coffee within 12 weeks of the roasting date. It still tastes fine after 12 weeks, but at that time it'll start to lose some of its carefully roasted flavour profile. Once you open your coffee bags, we recommend you use it within one to two weeks of purchase. When storing at room temperature the following environmental factors should be minimized and eliminated if possible: oxygen, water, excessive heat, and direct sunlight.
All of these factors will destroy the coffee's flavour. A great device for mitigating these factors is a ceramic canister that holds ½ lb. to 1lb. of coffee. The canister should have some sort of sealing mechanism that does not allow air to circulate. Additionally, a ceramic canister will protect the coffee from sunlight, water and flavour migration. Flavour migration happens when the container harbours flavours. Plastic containers are great examples of this concept. Plastics allow flavour molecules to penetrate and metallic canisters allow metallic flavours to migrate. Ceramic containers, on the other hand, are sealed and baked. Mason jars are a good option too - as long as they are stored in a dark cupboard. Consequently, they will not corrupt the flavour of the coffee. To avoid your coffee beans going stale, you should purchase smaller amount of coffee more often.
Often times, it would be suggested to store your coffee in the refrigerator or freezer. Contrary to this popular belief, storing your coffee in either one is not a good idea! The cold mist that's present in refrigerators will linger on the coffee - liquid water is coffee's worst enemy during storage. Storing your coffee in the freezer means that freezer water will contact the surface of the bean and ice will form. When the water melts, that water will find its way into the porous bean and will begin to deteriorate the quality of the coffee. Secondly, you should keep in mind that roasted coffee is porous to odours - the scents and flavour molecules that float around in your refrigerator and freezer will find its way into the porous coffee bean.
Brewing your Coffee
While there are many ways to brew a cup of coffee each method brings out different qualities in coffee. The following general rules apply to each coffee making process discussed. It is best to use 2 tablespoons of coffee per 6 ounces of water. The water should not be boiling but be between 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit. Filtered water and spring water are recommended as tap water imparts flavours to the coffee.
Some of the more common techniques of brewing coffee include:
This is the most popular way to brew in North America. Drip brewing is simply pouring hot water over grounds in a filter and letting the brew drip out the bottom. Drip brewing is a very good way to brew and can give an excellent cup if the correct equipment is used. A primary issue with autodrip machines is that they don't brew at the right temperature. A good gold-plated reusable filter is a great option for drip brewing as some paper filters will impart a flavour.
While it may be more labor-intensive than autodrip, the brewing variables can be easily and directly controlled. Coarsely ground coffee is placed in the glass carafe, then water at the desired temperature is poured over the grounds and the top is placed on. When brewing is complete, the plunger (a mesh filter on a stick) is pressed down, pressing the grounds to the bottom and leaving the coffee on top to be poured off. The mesh of the filter allows the coffee oils and all those delicious dissolved and undissolved solids through without a problem. A cup of French-pressed coffee with be noticeably fuller, with much more body, and often with more flavor, it will often also have the tell-tale sediment at the bottom of the cup.
The coffee in your daily cappuccino. The coffee is finely ground to almost a powdery consistency then almost boiling hot water is forced through the grounds under intense pressure. This brewing process is timed so that the flavourful and aromatic oils are extracted from the coffee and not the bitter components. The results are a full-flavoured, strong but not bitter, concentrated shot of coffee.
Percolating is the procedure that involves continuous brewing of coffee grounds using boiling water. This method, while practical, is not recommended as you are brewing with water that is too hot and the grounds are continuously being over-extracted. This leads to a watery, thin and biter cup of coffee.