Buy fresh coffee.....(more)
Hopefully you're already there with your coffee in hand. Ideally, you have your coffee 1-3 days after roasting, and will use it within 1-2 weeks time. Only buy what you need for 1-2 weeks. If you buy old coffee, you can't expect it to knock your socks off no matter where it comes from.
Store at room temperature in airtight, opaque container.....(more)
Yes, right on your counter top! Light, air, and moisture are coffee's enemies. Never store your daily supplies in the refrigerator or freezer. If you're off to a tropical vacation, and will be unable to use the coffee you have purchased in 2 weeks, immediately place the fresh portion that is unusable in an airtight container in the freezer. Once you're ready to consume it, remove the entire amount from freezer and store at room temperature as above. Never leave coffee frozen for more than one month. And yes, you can absolutely store fresh coffee in the bag! Just be sure to roll and tape the top down to keep away the coffee enemies.
Grind right before brewing.....(more)
Only grind what you need. The minute you grind your coffee, it loses flavor. Purchasing pre-ground coffee, whether in a bag, can or pod, is not recommended, but sometimes the convenience outweighs the loss of flavor. You get to decide what works best for you! Adjust your grind for the type of coffee: Fine ground for short brew cycles (like espresso machines), medium ground for longer brew cycles (like drip machines), and more coarse for press pots (like a French press). The best type of grinder to use is a burr grinder, as it produces the most consistent and exact grind.
Brew using fresh, clean water.....(more)
If the water you use tastes like old tires, so will your coffee. You can adjust the amount of your coffee to affect the brewed strength in your cup. The grind degree will also change taste, so experiment a little if the coffee isn't tasting how you like. Try a little more fine, or a little more coarse.
Drip: 5-6 minutes, water at 195-203, medium grind, 1-2 T coffee per 6 oz
Press: 4 minutes, water at 195-203, coarser grind (adjust the brewing time to your taste), 1-2 T coffee per 6 oz
Espresso: 20-30 seconds, water at 197-203, fine grind, 130 PSI produced by your machine, 1 T per 1 oz shot
Drink while it's still hot.....(more)
Ideally, you'll pour your coffee into a warmed coffee cup so that it will maintain its temperature as long as possible (now that's some coffee love!). Brewed coffee begins to lose its optimal taste moments after brewing, so only brew as much coffee as you'll be drinking. The flavors of each coffee origin change during the cooling process, so you'll notice your coffee's characteristics evolving as it becomes cooler in the cup. If you want to brew more to have that "extra" cup on a Saturday morning, the best option is to pour the extra coffee into a warmed, insulated thermos and use within the next 45 minutes.