Make perfect coffee
You don't need a fancy espresso machine to make good coffee. A simple plunger (aka cafetiere or French press), used properly, will make an excellent cuppa. Here's how:
Always use fresh coffee. Coffee will lose it's flavour two weeks after being opened. If you have the equipment, buy beans and grind only when needed. Store bags of coffee in the fridge.
Place about two heaped dessert spoons of coffee per person into a dry cafetiere.
Use freshly boiled water, not stuff that has been left in the kettle for too long. Let it cool for 30 seconds (if it's too hot the coffee will taste sour) before pouring in just enough to cover the grounds and allow them to absorb the moisture before filling the cafetiere and then give it a good stir and put the plunger on top.
Leave for 3-4 minutes then gently depress the plunger. Serve in warmed mugs.
Some believe coffee made in a plunger is more aromatic as the coffee oils end up in your cup rather than in a drip machine's filter. But that may be a matter of taste. If you do use a filter coffee machine, buy the best you can afford. We do like the Krups models.
TIP: This process can also be used to make better tasting instant coffee, too. Use about half to a third as much coffee.
Lighter roasted coffees will have more aroma and flavour. The darker the roast, the more bitter it is.
Ethiopian coffee is rich and robust, said to be the best in the world
Indonesian beans have a slightly smoky, chocolatey taste
Kenyan beans are lighter with a blackcurrant undertone
Colombian beans produce a slightly fruity coffee
For a lighter coffee with a good level of caffeine that you can drink during the day, choose a blend that contains Brazilian beans
As a guide, you need 1 T of grounds for every cup of coffee
Stovetop coffee makers require coffee to be ground as fine as flour; a cafetiere/plunger requires coffee grounds as coarse as breadcrumbs while halfway inbetween is ideal for filter coffee.
As for your cup, thick white porcelain keeps your coffee warm and don't fill it right to the top - leave room for the aromas to be set free from the liquid and gather around your nose.
Never reheat coffee. Once brewed, organic materials start to break down and the coffee develops a bitter taste.
If a recipe calls for an ingredient that you've never
heard of or simply cannot find,