Cup of Coffee
Ours looks nicer, but why does theirs taste so much better? Photo by Sanja Gjenero | SXC.





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KAREN HOCHMAN is Editorial Director of THE NIBBLE.



October 2006
Updated June 2009

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Beverages


How To Make Good Coffee

Page 2: Eight Steps To Good Coffee ~ Steps 3 & 4



This is Page 2 of a four-page article. Click on the black links below to visit other pages.


Eight Steps To Professional-Tasting Coffee, Continued


3. Well-Stored Beans. Coffee flavors start to deteriorate the minute the bean is roasted and/or ground. People with good palates can clearly taste the difference between coffee ground at the beginning of the day, and how the same ground coffee tastes at the end of the day. So keep it fresh: Don’t buy more coffee than you’ll use in a week.

  • Keep coffee in an airtight container. Protect it from kitchen and refrigerator aromas, and keeps in the good coffee aromas.
  • Store coffee in a cool, dark place. Direct light and heat will begin to “cook” the coffee oils, and will affect the flavor and aroma properties. A canister next the stove is not a good location!
  • Do not refrigerate the coffee; it will acquire moisture. A cool, dry place in an airtight container is the best place. Air-locked bags have a six-month shelf life.
  • Only freeze airtight beans. If you end up with too much coffee on your hands that you won’t use in six months, you can freeze whole beans for up to a year in airtight containers; however, the results when you unfreeze them won’t be as glorious. Freezing coagulates the natural oils in the beans and crystallize the moisture inside them, which adversely affects the flavor and aroma qualities. Don’t be tempted by Costco bargains in coffee, unless you’re going to use it up quickly.

4. The Best Coffee Maker. There are volumes written on this topic, with many coffee lovers claiming the best coffee is brewed from a press pot. Others claim equally good coffee can be brewed from a standard coffee machine, but only with a gold filter basket (photo at right), which doesn’t impart a paper flavor or absorb the aromatic oils from the coffee beans.

Some coffee producers recommend using a thermal brewer, which drips the coffee into an insulated carafe to keep it hot instead of using a glass carafe unit that sits on a hot plate.

Sometimes we brew, using a gold coffee filter and dripping into a thermal brewer. Sometimes we use a French press. For espresso—read our article on how to make espresso—it is a different proposition entirely.

Gold Filter Cone
SwissGold Coffee Filter, KF-2 Universal Cone. Dishwasher-safe, this permanent, 23-
carat gold-plated coffee filter means you
never have to buy paper filters again. Paper
filters also filter out coffee’s essences and
even add a slight paper flavor of their own.
This is the way to go. Click here for
more information or to purchase.

If you’d prefer a French press pot, see Page 4.

Continue To Step 3: The Right Proportions

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