Experts brew up advice on perfect cup of coffee

Photo by Bobby Soriano, EBC New York Bureau.

By Bobby Soriano
New York Bureau

NEW YORK (Eagle News) — Cup of joe. Morning brew. Kape. No matter what you call it chances are that either you or someone you know is an avid coffee drinker. But what goes into making a great cup of coffee? What can you do to improve the coffee you make at home? You will probably get a different answer from each person you ask. Industry experts were on hand at this year’s CoffeeCon in Brooklyn, New York to share their insights on what makes their coffee great to the last sip.

“What makes a quality cup of coffee is a good ratio between the beans and the water,” says Damian Scott, founder of Scotty D’s Jamaican Coffee.

Photo by Bobby Soriano, EBC New York Bureau.

Scott also believes in the importance of choosing the right method of making your coffee.

“The best way, in my opinion, is the pour over method. For convenience of the consumer, I think of French press because basically you just have to grind the beans, put them inside the French press, let it sit for a little bit in the water, and [then] you plunge it, so you get all the oils and the fats and everything that’s in the coffee and you taste exactly what the coffee is [about],” said Scott.

Nikki Altura of Joe Coffee shares the same sentiments in her love of the pour over method.

Photo by Bobby Soriano, EBC New York Bureau.

“I think a good quality cup of coffee is all about pulling the best you can out of whatever you’re brewing,” Altura said. “Getting some clear flavor notes, whether you’re going for a heartier cup or something more delicate like our Geisha [blend], it’s just about getting exactly what the roasters and pickers intended for you to get out of the cup. For me, personally I love a good pour over. There so many different kinds of pour overs you can do … [but] I love the Chemex because it yields a really really clean cup.”

“Good ingredients. Roasted right. Serve it fresh,” Dave Kozuha, founder and owner of Greenwood Lake Roasters, said about what makes a quality cup of coffee. Kozuha also provides more in-depth advice on what consumers can do at home to craft their own delicious brew.

Convenience is King

Photo by Bobby Soriano, EBC New York Bureau.

“There are so many different methods [to make coffee] and arguably every one of them is better than the other. So I tell people convenience is king,” Kozuha said. “Convenience is key to everything we do. Find something that is convenient to your lifestyle to start with … find something manual that you have some control over – a French Press, a pour over – those are two great ones to start with. They’re very cheap. And you have the control.

Your Equipment Matters

Photo by Bobby Soriano, EBC New York Bureau.

“The next best thing to do if you go with one of those [methods] is to get yourself one of these nice little electric kettles, specifically an electric kettle that you can dial in your temperature … you want to brew your coffee between 196°F – 205°F. That’s the zone. When you’re doing a pour over you want to actually go a little bit higher in temperature because you’re cooling down more rapidly. When you’re doing a French press you could actually bring it closer to that 196° mark and just pre-heat your French press beforehand. So either one of these ways is a great way to start. Research and read up on how to do the brewing method, and then buy whole bean coffee,” Kozuha said.




Beans Over Grinds

“Whole bean coffee, especially if you keep it in an air tight container, can last for weeks. Months. That’s the greatest thing about whole beans – you grind it, as soon as you grind it, you can brew it,” Kozuha said. “If you do a pour over system which you’ll see as it’s pouring over, you get this nice foam that comes up on top. It’s called the bloom of the coffee. The bigger the bloom the fresher the coffee. That’s the CO2 being released from the coffee grounds. That’s very important. If you don’t get a bloom, your coffee is already stale.”

Photo by Bobby Soriano, EBC New York Bureau.

As Kozuha states when it comes to coffee, convenience is king, and it’s the reason why so many people have their daily routine of grabbing a quick, quality cup of coffee from their favorite coffee shop before going to work. But as we’ve heard from the industry professionals at CoffeeCon, with the right equipment and know-how, everyone can make a quality cup of coffee from the comfort of their own home.

(Eagle News Service)