Coffee. It’s the morning drop that most of us like to wake up to. But there’s more to the beloved beverage than just beans and hot water, as there’s a science and art to making good drip coffee, and once you’ve mastered the proper brewing technique for the perfect cup, you’ll never be able to put up with a bad one again.
There are three factors that affect the taste and quality of coffee.
If your next cup tastes weak or bitter, the problem probably lies in one of the following areas:
1. The freshness of the ground coffee beans
2. The ratio of the quantity of hot water to the amount of coffee
3. The temperature of the hot water
While it goes without saying that the coffee beans should be fresh, the optimal hot water temperature for coffee should be above 80 degrees Celsius, ideally between 85 and 90 degrees (so not boiling).
When using the drip coffee method, pouring the hot water in all at once will cause it to react with the tannin, giving it a strong bitter taste. So as the name implies, drip coffee requires careful dripping of the hot water over the ground coffee.
And if you’ve ever had a bad coffee that borders on undrinkable, it’s probably because the lye and the coffee liquid has mixed together, giving the coffee a rough astringent and soapy taste. It’s important to make the lye float rather than let it get mixed in with the coffee.
The secret to brewing the perfect drip coffee lies in this video:
To make a 2-cup serving of coffee, follow these all-important steps:
1. Measure out two cups of good quality ground coffee into a coffee filter pot.
2. Shake the filter side to side to flatten and even out the coffee.
3. Pour the hot water in gradually, in small drips – this is key. Drop by drop the coffee liquid will drain into the glass pot. As you pour, it will probably steam up for about 30 seconds. And yes, this step is going to require some patience.
Continue to allow the hot water drip in rather than pouring it in. You should pour the hot water gradually in a circle about the size of a one yen coin in the centre of the coffee. The ground coffee will start to rise and billow, reacting to the heat, and the coffee liquid will start to collect into the pot as the ground coffee becomes frothy and foamy.
For reference, here is the size of a one-yen coin (left) and 10-yen coin compared to an SD memory card:
You’ll start to notice that it will get frothier (the froth is sign that it should be good-tasting coffee, so if you don’t see froth, be worried), at which point you can start to pour the hot water in at a faster rate. All the while, pour the hot water gradually in a circular motion.
It’s important to keep the froth at centre of the drip circle floating as this is where the acridity of the coffee comes from. You will want to avoid letting that mix in with the coffee liquid extracted into the pot.
Meanwhile, keep pouring in that hot water at a gradual measured pace. The drip circle will gradually get bigger, to the size of a 10 yen coin.
The filter paper used in this example is the kind where the upper portion of the filter isn’t ribbed, allowing the coffee extract to completely drain through. This particular kind of filter, where the grooves don’t extend to the top, is one of the advantages of using the KONO-brand coffee filter.
Once you’ve poured the water in the filter to about three-quarters full, you can then go ahead and fill it right up to the top edge of the filter (still pouring in a circular motion). Once you have the desired amount of drip coffee, you can remove the coffee filter immediately.
It’s as easy as that. Right?! A perfect cup of brewed drip coffee. You’ve certainly earned it, and it definitely brings new meaning to the expression “daily grind”.
The thought of going through this labour-intensive and time consuming process every day for your morning coffee may seem a like a bit too much effort for some, though, so it’s no wonder so many of us prefer to order it from our local coffee shop.