The pour-over surely takes place when choosing the brewing method for your favorite coffee beans. For most, the pour-over coffee is significantly better than the drip method because the flavors tend to be more vibrant, and you have more control over the brewing process. However, to truly experience all the flavors of a pour-over, you must try it hot and iced to get the full essence of the coffee. To clarify, cold-brewed coffee is served with ice, and then you can take a hot brewed coffee and cool it down by serving it over ice. This post will refer to a hot brewed coffee cooled down and served over ice.
When you use the iced coffee method, you should notice a difference because, technically, they are chemically different. Colder coffee drinks tend to have less acidity than hotter ones, which may account for them being smoother, and you may notice the flavors are more assertive, or you might discover new ones. On the surface, this may not seem like a big deal in the winter months, yet when the summer sun is nearing its peak in the middle of the day, you might want an iced coffee, and it is good to know what to expect.
Pour over coffee is a classic favorite that has gained popularity among many in the last decade. Pour overs uncover different flavors, and they can contain more caffeine than a shot of espresso. Pour overs are simple to make overall, and there are various techniques depending on which style of pour over you choose. Yet besides making sure the water temperature is correct, the coffee is ground right when you are ready to brew your coffee and selecting your preferred filter, there are three simple yet essential mistakes that most people make when brewing a pour over coffee, and we want to share them with you.
First, make sure everything that you need is around you and within arms reach. Preparation is key, and the little things can make a difference. Remember, time is not your friend here. Not having all you need right when you need it can damage the quality of your pour over, so make sure everything is ready.
Next, measuring everything ensures consistency, allowing you to figure out quickly where you made a mistake if you made one. Was there an error in the amount of water, how much coffee you used, or was the grind too fine or coarse? For the most part, you will worry if your pour over is too sour or bitter, which is easier to fix if everything else is consistent.
Lastly, make sure your grinds are even before pouring. This seems simple and is often overlooked. Grinds that are not level can result in an inconsistent brew, not allowing the water to extract all the flavors. One tip, is to complete your bloom pour and taste the coffee in the pitcher or cup. This is a good indication if you are on the right track. A quick note that for some, disregarding the bloom pour is preferred because it can be sour and influence the rest of your cup of coffee.
Remember that the roast you use can and will determine the water temperature. Darker roasted beans tend to work better with hotter water when brewing. Compared with medium and lighter roasted beans, which are more fragile, may not fair with hotter water, yet do wonderfully at lower temperatures
The caffe latte is the most customizable espresso drink of all time. They come in so many flavors and seasonal options that the choices seem endless. Well known favorites are lavender, pumpkin spice, caramel, vanilla, and you see what I mean. What makes a great flavored latte is the process and quality ingredients.
Most coffee shops use commercially made syrups and powders in their lattes. I get it, it's hard to mass-produce the same drink in multiple locations and most people care about the espresso. Beans aside, using the right ingredients is important. Between syrup and powders, matcha excluded, homemade organic syrups are the preferred way to add flavor to your latte. When made this way, the flavor comes through beautifully and tends not to have a sugary or artificial taste. Lavender and turmeric are great examples of when added correctly, they accent your latte instead of taking over with a sugary tsunami of flavor.
The process of making a flavored latte is fairly standard. Most cafe's place the syrup at the bottom of the cup, add warm milk and espresso, and there you go. I prefer two alternative ways. The first is to place the flavor in the milk and warm them up together. The advantage of this is that while the milk is warming up, the flavor is being mixed throughout the pitcher and is heating at the same time, making your milk truly flavored milk. This isn't and economical if you have a massive line of clients, yet the flavor is amazing.
The other method is to mix your flavor in with the espresso shot. This is much less popular yet I recommend you try this at least once, especially with powdered drinks if you sift the powder into smaller pieces. Place the powder in the small espresso pitcher and pull your espresso shot. Then whisk them together. This does two things: First, the sifted powder mixes well with the hot espresso because it's finer and the whisking aerates the espresso creating a more smooth and round shot with less bitterness and more of a creamy taste. If you want your espresso to bite you, then don't use a whisk.
Note: You should be using powder when making a matcha latte.
The road to a perfect latte starts with milk and not the espresso. Now before you think to yourself, I don't know what I am talking about, hear me out. If the milk is the wrong temperature, type, made the wrong way, or comes from a bad source, it changes the quality of a latte dramatically. When we think about espresso, it is well known that the process of preparing the shot is extremely important. The correct grind setting, making sure it's fresh, the weight, and the extraction time are all important factors. The one variable factor is where you get your beans from. This is a matter of preference on the roaster and the bean. Milk however has limited options.
Let's talk about the 3 of the most popular options, Whole milk, Oat, and Almond. Sorry Ripple, soy, and coconut, I'll get you next time. Where you get your milk from determines the quality. There is a clear difference between really good, high-quality milk and the average option. The texture, flavor, and nutrients are all different and quality milk enhances the flavor. Using organic milk and that is as fresh possible is important and on its own, you can taste the difference. When the milk is heated up, each type needs to be heated to a different temperature, and if done so incorrectly, will scold or diminish the flavor of the milk. Add flavor to some bad milk and you have a latte mess. Take these tips and the next time you are in a cafe, ask them a bit about the milk they use and which brand or farm it's from. If you find something that you like, then you can search for more cafe's that use it.
Now that we are in the middle of the iced coffee season, I felt its time to help give you a few tips on how to make your iced coffee taste better.
First, start with placing the ice cubes inside your cup or glass using cold milk or water before adding the espresso. Doing this for at least 30 seconds helps cool it down, preventing the ice from melting, causing your drink to be watery. Home espresso machines can take longer from start to finish, allowing more time for your milk or water to cool down. After you pull your espresso shot, swirling cools it down.
Another creative way to solve this is to use a shaker. Take the shot and pour it in the shaker with some ice, close it up and "shake shake shake" for about 10 seconds to cool the shot down enough, then add it to your iced beverage. I have also seen others add the ice, milk (or water), and the espresso all together in the shaker. This method is a matter of personal preference, just note that the iced drink will come out frothy.
If your espresso feels like they have running shoes on, then we have to make some adjustments. It can surely be frustrating trying to figure where to start. The first thing you want to consider is the machine you are using. If you have something that is steam powered, it will be more difficult to get a lot of crema because of the water temperature. If your machine is a manual lever, the speed may not be consistent, so pay attention to that. Now that we got that out of the way, there are 4 things you should look when your espresso shots are running marathons: The grind, the tamping pressure, the amount of coffee and is your machine clean.
The Grind. Each espresso machine is unique. As you use yours more, you begin to understand which grind setting you need to use to get the right extraction. If your shot is pulling to fast, that means that your grind is too coarse, and the water doesn’t have enough time to extract goodness of the beans. Thus look at using a finer grind (refer to your grinder) and then pull another shot and adjust until the flow is much more smooth.
Tamping? When tamping down your espresso shot, the general rule is to apply 30 lbs of pressure to the grinds in the porta-filter (this is that nice silver thing where the grinds go). Let’s be honest, who knows what exactly 30 lbs is? You are going to have to feel around a bit to see what that feels like, and this specifically is practice, practice and you know what else, practice. My issue when I started out tamping was that I was tamping to hard, thus a slower pouring shot. Here are a few things to help you out. First take tamping arm and make it approx. 90 degrees, rest the porta-filter on the counter and press down. Some also have tried tamping lightly, about 5 lbs, to make things event and then another tamp of about 27-30 lbs. This should help. All else fails, you can buy a calibrated coffee tamper.
How much coffee is in there? The amount of espresso grinds you put in will change how the shot pours. Too little and it’s off to the races, too much and paint may dry faster. General rule is 14-18 grams depending on the grind and the coffee. Now don’t go running off to get a scale just yet. Your porta filter should be filled to at least a little more than ½ of the capacity tamped to start. Then add or remove the amount of grinds as you figure out what is the right amount.
Is your machine clean? One of the basic things to always check is to see if your machine is clean. A dirty machine can chance how much or how consistent the water pressure is along with many other issues. Check your manufacture’s instructions on how to and how often should you clean your machine.
Your beloved coffee wants to taste its best. Open the bag and smell the aroma of coffee is like no other, yet your coffee has an enemy. This enemy takes the freshness out of your delightful treat and the flavors start tasting flat and unrecognizable. So lets talk about the 5 different things that reduce the freshness of your coffee: Air, moisture, heat, light and grinding (yes grinding. Give us some latitude here and hear us out).
To preserve the flavor of your freshly roasted beans store them in an air tight, opaque container at room temperature. Be careful and avoid your beans being close to appliances that may heat up your beans or storage containers that that allow a lot of light. Like wine, coffee likes a cool place where the temperature is consistent and not humid. Avoid clearcanisters that make your coffee look great and will compromise the flavor and make sure the canister is air tight. Grind when you plan on using the beans and grind only what you plan on using. As soon as the beans are ground, they start loosing their flavor immediately and you will taste the difference within hours if not sooner.
Have you ever had a cup of coffee that is just off? It’s more common than you think. Sour or soapy (yes soapy) flavored coffee has something to do with how you are extracting your coffee. Let's address the problem of soapy or sour tasting coffee and give you some ideas of how to to these unwelcome flavors happen and ways to resolve it. Soapy
Sour coffee normally happens when you are under-extracting when brewing the coffee. This can be due to the incorrect grind. The coffee may be to coarse and make a finer grind will help reduce that. Next I would look at the water temperature. Rising the temperature will increase how much is extracted from the beans. Too hot will make it bitter or a burnt taste. Too cool will result in soapy or sour coffee. You can control this by adding a thermometer to your kettle or getting a water boiler/warmer. Rule of thumb is to set the water aside for about 30 seconds before pouring . The third way to can adjust is brewing time. If you brew the coffee longer, you will have a longer extraction time. If your grounds are finer, the extraction time is longer. If this is off and you have a less time brewing, you can get soapy or sour taste. Last but not least is the ratio of coffee to water. If you are adding to much or too little water, it can come out sour in the end.
With practicing these minor adjustments on brewing your coffee correctly, you'll be brewing your coffee on the daily in no time. Enjoying the pleasant flavors of the blend you purchased.
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