How to create the perfect cup of coffee

Here's everything you need to know to create the ultimate cup of coffee. 

Choosing your coffee

Coffee beans

The best coffees are made purely from the beans of the Arabica strain. The shrubs that produce Arabica beans are slow to grow and mature, producing a fine flavour.

Some blends, particularly espresso, are made with a high portion of robusta beans. These have a bold, coarse flavour and a higher percentage of caffeine.

If you enjoy mellow coffee, try Colombian, which is sweet and smooth, or Mysore, which has a light body. Mild coffees include Costa Rican, which has a sweet and tangy acidity, and elegant Brazilian.

Kenyan coffee has high acidity and full flavour while Java is rich, heavy and spicy.

 

Ground rules

Making coffee

Coffee should be stored in an air-tight container in the freezer. Any contact with air causes loss of flavour.

Experiment until you find a blend you like then buy the whole beans and delay grinding until the last moment. The finer the beans are ground, the more rapidly the flavour becomes stale and bitter.

Heat water to just under boiling point, about 95˚C (200˚F), and allow it to cool for two to three minutes before pouring it over the coffee. The coffee should be in contact with the water for about two minutes only.

Strong coffee is not achieved by allowing coffee to brew longer, but by using more ground coffee per cup.

To make medium-strong coffee, allow two heaped tablespoons of ground coffee per 175ml of water. If you want weaker coffee, use the same measurement but more hot water.

Enjoy!