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How to Make the Perfect Cup of Coffee (8 Expert Tips)

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Making a cup of coffee is not a difficult task but making the perfect cup of coffee is a whole different ballgame. There are a lot of factors to consider, from coffee bean type to brewing methods. No two coffee brands are the same, especially when it comes to specialty coffee and premium blends. If you’re looking to make the perfect cup of coffee, we’re here to help you achieve it. With a few items and some way to brew coffee, you’ll be sipping on some high-quality java in no time. Here’s how to make the perfect cup of coffee:

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8 Expert Tips for Making the Perfect Cup of Coffee

1. Select High-Quality Whole Coffee Beans

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Coffee is only as good as its quality, so making the perfect cup of coffee means you’ll need to find high-quality, premium coffee. Some of the best coffee in the world will have certifications that mean it’s grown at elevation (Strictly High Grown), single-origin, or organic. However, the most important part is to buy whole bean coffee, so you’ll be able to have fresh-ground coffee.


2. Pick Your Favorite Roast

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When making the perfect cup of coffee for yourself, choose the roast you’re most familiar with so you know what to expect in terms of flavor, acidity, and body. If you do try new roasts, select a roast that’s close to the one you prefer. For instance, if you prefer medium-roast coffee, find a medium-light or medium-dark roast coffee. Since most people use drip-brew coffee, we recommend finding a medium roast in whole bean form.


3. Choose a Brewing Method

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While bean quality is important, the brewing method is arguably the most important part of making a perfect cup of coffee. Each brewing method changes the taste of coffee, so it’s crucial to choose a method that enhances the natural qualities and flavor.

Here’s a quick guide to coffee bean roast and brewing method:
  • Light roast coffee: Pour-over, drip-brew
  • Medium roast coffee: Pour-over, drip-brew, French press
  • Dark roast coffee: Drip-brew, French press, cold brew
  • French/Italian roast coffee: French press, cold brew

4. Descale and Clean your Coffee Maker

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Credit: ponsulak, Shutterstock

(Skip this step if you’re using a French press or pour over)

If you’re using a drip-brew coffee maker or a Keurig machine, it’s crucial to descale it to get rid of any mineral buildup. The buildup forms from using tap water, which is why many coffee recipes call for filtered water. If your coffee maker is new, simply wash the carafe and filter basket or coffee pod container. We recommend reading the manual to learn how to descale your specific machine.


5. Use 195-200°F Hot Filtered Water

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Water quality is crucial to making the best cup of coffee since the flavor of tap water changes from location to location. Some tap water can be tasteless, whereas other tap water may taste almost “sour” or “crispy.” To prevent this problem, we recommend using filtered water. If you’re using a French press or a pour-over maker, heat the water to 195 degrees and no hotter than 200°F. This range is the ideal coffee water temperature range, which is neither too hot nor cold and brews coffee just right.


6. Grind the Coffee Beans Right Before Brewing

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To get the freshest and best flavors from your coffee beans, grind your beans right before brewing or within 24 hours of brewing. Grinding up coffee beans fresh is important because it holds the most flavor, whereas pre-ground coffee simply isn’t as flavorful. If you don’t have a coffee grinder at home, a food processor or chopper will work fine. Make sure that your food processor is completely clean and doesn’t have a smell from previous use, which will make your coffee taste weird.

Note: Before grinding your beans, check to see how they should be ground up for your brewing method.


7. Follow the Instructions for your Brewing Method of Choice

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Credit: Microgen, Shutterstock

The final step is to follow the instructions for your brewing method of choice, whether you’re using a drip-filter coffee maker, French Press, or other brewing methods. Carefully following the steps will ensure your coffee comes out perfect, though it may take a few attempts if you’re new to methods like pour-over or the French press.


8. Add Creamer or Sweetener (Optional) and Enjoy

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The last step in creating the perfect cup of coffee is to add any cream or non-dairy creamer and sweetener, but both are optional if you prefer black coffee. Pour your coffee as soon as it’s done steeping to prevent a bitter flavor or burnt taste, especially if it’s in a French press. Serve and enjoy!

SEE ALSO: What Is Laurina Coffee?


Featured image credit: Rawpixel.com, Shutterstock

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Jaimie Wisniowski

Jaimie is a freelance writer fueled by coffee, whether it’s hot, iced, or made from a local coffee shop. She enjoys writing all things coffee, especially if it means trying the latest coffee shop trends (hello cold foam!). After spending years writing poems, college essays, and short stories, it only a matter of time to turn writing into a career. Writing about coffee simply combined two of her favorite things! When she’s not drinking coffee by the minute and writing at her laptop, Jaimie spends time hiking, exercising, and living an active life. She also loves to snuggle up with a good book and her dog, Margo. If you catch her without a cup of coffee, she’s probably on her way to the coffee maker now.

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