11 Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Coffee
According to The International Coffee Organization, the level of coffee consumption is increasing by 10% every year. Making a really delicious cup of coffee is pure art, and you can learn how to do it if you follow some basic rules.
When you buy coffee beans, pay attention to their smell. If you can smell a burnt, moldy, or foreign odor or the coffee barely has any smell at all, that means the quality of the beans is unsatisfactory.
We, at Bright Side, want to share with you the 11 most common coffee-making mistakes that we’ve all made at least once.
11. You save on coffee.
The price matters. If you want to buy high quality coffee beans, saving money isn’t an opition. It’s worth remembering that the price of a coffee drink is directly connected with its taste, so really good coffee can’t be super cheap.
Tip: it’s better to choose moderately-priced coffee in specialty stores. Plus, a shop assistant can help you choose a good product.
10. You don’t use a coffee grinder.
Many people prefer to save their time and buy ground coffee. But that’s wrong! Ground grains can spend weeks lying on supermarket shelves and it completely distorts their flavor and changes their taste.
Regardless of whether you buy ground coffee or decide to grind the beans yourself, pay attention to the degree of grinding. There are 5 degrees of coffee grinding: coarse, medium, thin, for espresso, and powdery. A coarse grind is perfect for a French press, the medium is suitable for a standard coffee maker, thin and powdery options are good for a European coffeepot.
9. You don’t pay enough attention to the coffee beans.
The two main coffee varieties are Arabica and Robusta. Arabica has a more delicate taste while Robusta is more bitter and contains more caffeine. And the difference in price is pretty noticeable: Arabica coffee is 2 times more expensive than Robusta. As a rule, the Arabica beans are larger and have an oval shape. Robusta beans are more round. So, if the beans are round and small, but the manufacturer says that the product is “100% Arabica,” then they’re probably trying trick you. In addition, there should be no chips or stains on the coffee beans.
8. We store coffee beans wrong.
Coffee beans have 3 mortal enemies: air, light, and heat. Pay attention to the packaging. It should be airtight and consist of 3-layers of foil with a valve to allow air to leave the package, but prevent it from getting inside.
Coffee beans can be stored in a glass or tin can. In the latter case, it’s important to check that there’s no rust, otherwise the coffee will have a metallic taste. You should not buy or store coffee in plastic packaging — this indicates a low quality product. If you buy coffee in paper packaging, it’s better to store coffee beans in a lightproof and airtight container, since air and odors can easily ruin the coffee in a paper bag.
7. We don’t follow the 1:10 rule.
Experts recommend remembering the following ratio of ingredients: 1 g of freshly ground coffee per 10 ml of water. Do not neglect this rule: too much water will make even the best coffee into a mediocre drink.
6. We use the wrong cups.
You should use the right type of cup to fully enjoy the taste of your coffee. The best option is a 200 ml cup with thick sides. If the cup is oblong inside, it’s even better, because this shape in combination with thick sides can keep the coffee warm for a long time.
Tip: warm up the cup before pouring the drink in it. This will give the coffee a richer taste!
5. We put coffee beans in the fridge.
There’s a list of products that shouldn’t be stored in the fridge because of their ability to absorb smells, and coffee is one of them. Imagine, what would happen if sausages were stored near a coffee tin! So, don’t put coffee beans in the fridge, or freezer, even if you’re sure that the packaging is airtight because the taste and flavor will change for the worse.
By the way, this is exactly the reason why we don’t recommend buying coffee in the supermarket.
4. You drink cool coffee.
We’ve all been in this situation: you made some delicious coffee, poured it in the cup and... completely forgot about it! You should drink it immediately when it’s freshly made because stale and cooled coffee becomes very bitter and loses all it’s flavor.
3. You add too many ingredients.
Coffee is a great source of antioxidants. Recent research proved that we can get the same amount of antioxidants from coffee with or without milk. Hence, both options are good for our health. The idea to put milk in coffee first appeared in France. Undoubtedly, it gives the drink a special taste and cools it a little, decreasing the risk of esophagus cancer. But an excessive amount of milk or sugar can ruin the taste of even the freshest coffee.
2. You buy too much coffee at once.
Coffee lovers recommend using coffee beans in first 3 weeks after they’ve been roasted. But if you buy too much coffee at once it’s likely you’ll break this rule. So it’s better to buy less and enjoy fresh, strong coffee.
And don’t forget to pay attention to the labels! They should contain as much information as possible including the roasting date.
1. You don’t clean your coffee machine often enough.
Like any other equipment, the coffee machine needs regular cleaning. This will not only help to save the genuine coffee aroma, but will also prevent bacteria from getting into your coffee.
Bonus: what is this thing?
The right coffee packaging has a degassing valve. Its main purpose is to ensure that carbon dioxide leaves the package, and that oxygen can’t get in.
The first couple of days after roasting, coffee emits carbon dioxide. If a manufacturer uses packaging without a valve, it will be necessary for you to degas the beans: just leave the coffee in the open air for several days, but be mindful that some essential oils can evaporate during this time too.
What variety of coffee do you like? Share with us in the comments!