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www.goodeatsfanpage.com • View topic - How come I can never make a consitant cup of coffee?

How come I can never make a consitant cup of coffee?

Open forum to be used for all liquid comestibles/drinks. Bring us your favorite cocktails, beers, cokes (whatever), waters, or even broths.

For Making Coffee, who uses:

Coffee maker with tap water
6
60%
Coffee maker with bottled water
1
10%
French press with tap water
2
20%
French press with bottled water
0
No votes
Other method with tap water
1
10%
Other method with bottled water
0
No votes
 
Total votes : 10

How come I can never make a consitant cup of coffee?

Postby Rashomon » Wed May 20, 2009 5:05 pm

Hi, first time posting to these forums but I'm on the site everyday looking up recipes from past episodes. I wrote the webmaster and thanked him for this site and encouraged him to keep it going! I'm so glad he is. Regarding my question, I searched the forums and was very surprised to have not found anything. Please let me know if this has been discussed.

I LOVE *good* coffee. So I was very excited when the coffee episode came out so long ago. I never knew to avoid over-extracting bitterness you should use a full 2-Tablespoons of beans (preground) per 6oz. I always thought it was 1 every cup (which was confusing enough since I never knew if a cup was 6oz like coffee makers suggest or 8oz (as in 8oz = 1cup). Before I ground my own coffee I went ahead and used 2 full Tablespoons of grounds, now I use fresh beans and still only a heaping 2 Tablespoons-- ie. I understand once the whole beans are ground it will be less then I measured so I make it heaping.

I live in NYC and my beans are fresh. Regardless though because one day it may come out bad and the next perfect--using the same beans-- so I don't think it's the beans.

I use a french press and brew for 4min as suggested. I take the water off the stove just before it starts to whistle (if it's boiling I let it cool 10 sec as suggested).

The only variable I can think of is that I use tap water. --Now before you jump on that, please know here in NYC the tap water is excellent, known as being some of the best tasting and cleaning water in America. Even better than Colorado where my parents live.

I only use a little cream with my coffee. I love the smooth rich taste (not burnt like Starbucks). But sometimes it tastes funny. The funny taste is almost as consistent as the perfect tasting one--meaning it's the same general nastyness. To describe it: maybe a little bitter, but watery(?), lacking the yummy creme (maybe?)... I dunno, it's hard to describe. It just isn't the great cup of coffee I want to impress my friends with.

Any ideas?
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Postby carla » Wed May 20, 2009 10:20 pm

No help here; I'm too pedestriain about coffee.

CoffeeGeek hasn't posted since 12/13/08. :(
Many posts have been purged but you can search for "coffee" and "CofeeGeek" as author & see what you come up with.

Welcome!
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Re: How come I can never make a consitant cup of coffee?

Postby Kamidanshir » Wed May 27, 2009 11:28 am

I'm not a coffee freak by any means, but I do like a good cuppa. If you're having consistency problems it's probably due to some combination of the grind and the method. If you always use the same beans and the same water, then there are some other variations that you're missing. As far as tap water is concerned, there shouldn't be a problem with consistency. Tap water may impart a funny taste, but if you've made batches that you liked using tap water, then I wouldn't worry about changing that.

What kind of grinder do you use? If it's a blade grinder, it's hacking the beans into all sorts of shapes, which will vary from batch to batch; your first step should be to upgrade to a conical burr grinder. Burr grinders will definitely produce a more consistent grind, but even then not all of them are equal. The Capresso Infinity has been recommended here before; I use it and love it, and I believe several other folks do as well. First make sure you're grinding the beans to a consistent texture every time, then look at the brewing method you're using.

Regarding method, french presses, because they are not automated at all, are subject to more inherent variability. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it means you will want to standardize your technique. Is the water always the same temperature when it's added? Do you stir the coffee at all while it's brewing? If so, how many times? Is your press insulated? If not, you're losing heat the whole time it's brewing, although that would probably only affect consistency if the ambient air temps vary considerably. You might want to play with the brewing time as well; four minutes is a good average, but you can up or down by as much as a minute to find the extraction level you like best.
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Re: How come I can never make a consitant cup of coffee?

Postby Parintachin » Fri Sep 25, 2009 12:28 am

Do This.
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