Five Key Coffee Questions

According to the British Coffee Association, coffee is the world’s most popular drink, with a staggering two billion cups consumed every day.

With a range of potential health benefits including improved cognitive performance; energy levels; and improved mental outlook, it is no wonder so many entrepreneurs rely on at least one cup of the black to fire up those creative business juices.

Coffee helps keep the engines of industry cranking over, today we decided to help you get more from your caffeine fix.

1. Which type of coffee should I buy?

With coffee such a massive industry, it is no surprise there are a plethora of options available in the shops.

Choice is great, but too much choice can end up causing confusion.

The bottom line is that it depends how you prefer your coffee. Milky coffee such as lattee, white Americano, or flat white are better made using dark roasted beans. They’ve been roasted longer and have a deeper, fuller flavor which works well with milk.

If you take your coffee black, you’ll be able to appreciate the subtle nuances and more delicate flavor of lighter roasted beans

2. How important is the water?

Coffee is mostly water. Issues surrounding the water will depend on the water in your area. ‘Hard’ water is water with a high mineral content when the water has percolated through limestone or chalk.

If you have hard water, it may be wise to invest in a filter that can remove the impurities. Not only will this improve the quality of your coffee it will also help prevent scale deposits forming in your kettle or coffee machine, prolonging their lifespan.

If you are using instant coffee, remember that water which has literally just boiled is capable of burning the coffee granules. Let the kettle stand for a minute after boiling to prevent this.

Coffee Questions Answered

3. How do I steam milk?

When you are in Starbucks your barista will steam your milk to a delicate froth. Perfect. How do you achieve the same effect at home though?

Most coffee machines have a milk steamer attachment. Yes … they are a pain to clean, but the noise they make sure is satisfying. As is the end result when you pour it in your coffee.

If you don’t have a coffee machine and you are using a cafetière, you can put hot or cold milk into the empty cafetière and pump the plunger for a minute, drawing air in and out. It will have the effect of creating the same froth. You can put it in the microwave for thirty seconds to help stabilize the foam and hey presto – Starbucks grade foamed milk.

4. Should I keep my coffee in the fridge?

No is the short answer to this question. It is a common misconception that you should keep ground coffee refrigerated to keep it fresh. It’s a bad idea because of the moisture in the fridge.

The slightly longer version of the answer is this – it should be kept in an airtight container, somewhere cool and out of direct sunlight. In other words: a cupboard.

Some coffee aficionados are so dedicated to the purity of their stored ground beans that they store them in a pressurized container with a one-way valve to allow carbon dioxide to escape but prevent oxygen entering.

5. Should I grind my own beans?

Those aficionados mentioned in the previous question would of course say yes.

Let’s answer this question by talking about how you grind those beans (should you decide it’s essential to your daily living).

You can use either a burr or a blade grinder. The burr gives more control over the size you grind to.

The size you’ll want depends on how you make your coffee.

  • Espresso : finest size
  • Filter : medium size
  • Cafetière : coarsest size

We hope these answers will enhance your caffeine experience!

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