An Introduction to Coffee

After 3 years of working as a barista, and longstanding love affair with coffee, it would be safe to say that I have an addiction. While I have been able to slightly curb my intake, there is nothing I love more than a cup of coffee first thing in the morning. What I noticed from working at the coffee shop was that many people did not really know how to make a great cup of coffee it is not as easy as throwing grounds into a filter and hitting “brew”. I wanted to share a few tips and suggestions to make sure that you are enjoying the best cup of coffee every morning. Coffee


How should I store coffee?

I remember growing up seeing my grandparents pull coffee grinds from the refrigerator or freezer to brew their coffee each morning. I always thought that this was the correct way to store coffee. Even in college, I would throw my grinds into the fridge with the understanding that they would last longer. SMAK PSA: Please do not refrigerate or freeze your daily supply of coffee. The refrigerator and freezer create condensation, which can penetrate the coffee and will affect the flavor of both whole bean and ground coffee. When coffee beans are roasted, the beans release their oils that give the coffee its distinct flavor - freezing beans can break down these oils and force the coffee to lose its flavor.

The only time you should ever freeze your coffee is if you have an unopened bag that you will not be using in the near future. Once you have removed the coffee from the freezer, do not freeze again! The change in temperatures will wreak havoc on your coffee. Instead, store coffee in an air-tight glass or ceramic container in a dark, cool location, such as your pantry.

My coffee doesn't take like it does at the coffee shop, why?

When I worked as a barista, I went through training to learn about coffee. I learned about the origins and growing regions of coffee, the washing and roasting processes, how to best brew the coffee, and different flavors to pair with different roasts.  What it ultimately boils down to in regards to flavor was 4 fundamental factors: proportion, grind, water, freshness. Below is an infographic from Starbucks outlining The Four Fundamentals:

The Four Fundamentals

These factors may seem like they would have little to no impact on the flavor of your coffee, but take it from me, they can make the world of difference. In the coming weeks, every Monday, we will take a deeper look at coffee - brewing methods, how to pick coffee beans, certifications, etc.

Are you a coffee addict like myself? What's your favorite drink? Any tricks to help curb the addiction?