Why you should care
Because you’re probably enjoying your morning cup right about now, and the key to making it taste even better? Right here.
You’ve got this coffee thing down. You nod knowingly when a friend tells you about a new cold-brewing method he’s figured out, and you take all your friends to your favorite hole-in-the-wall coffee shop in Brooklyn Heights.
The trouble is, as good as you are at strutting your stuff in genteel society, you had to covertly use your iPhone to search for “how to brew coffee” when your boss asked you to make a fresh pot. You’ve had coffee you liked, you’ve had coffee you hated, but you have no idea why one was ethereal and the other undrinkable.
We’ve got you covered. Coffeechemistry.com’s founder, Joseph Rivera, a food scientist, tells us how to make coffee just the way we like it.
Use a French press. More of the coffee beans’ compounds (molecules that create different flavors) and oils wind up in the mug.
Use an electric drip coffeemaker. The filter catches a lot of the compounds, filtering out the flavor. Which might be what you want if you’re just waking up in the morning and don’t want a brew that’s too heavy. Or if you’ve become an emotional zombie in an office as gray as your soul.
More caffeine for cheap:
Brew with robusta coffee beans. This is the stuff that’s used in most instant coffee, and it has twice as much caffeine as most beans. However, most people agree that robusta tastes worse than arabica, which is the stuff cheaper coffee shops normally use.
Brew with Brazilian coffee beans.
Brew with Kenyan coffee beans.
Brew with South American coffee beans.
Brew with Turkish coffee beans. These beans are boiled, not typically considered a good thing in the West since it makes coffee sour, but they’re pretty into it in the Mediterranean.
Better no matter how you make it:
Grind your beans right before you brew your cuppa joe. If you buy preground stuff, or grind and leave it in the fridge, much of the coffee’s natural gasses escape into the ether.
Ilana Strauss is a writer living in New York City.