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How to Brew Coffee Perfectly Every Time

February 18, 2024

Struggling to brew the perfect cup of coffee? Looking for some tips and tricks? If so, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading for everything you need to know about how to brew coffee.

Selecting Your Coffee Beans

selecting your coffee beansThe beans you select lay the foundation for your cup of joe, and with the right knowledge, you can elevate your everyday coffee experience.

There are three things to consider when it comes to choosing the right beans: roast levels, origin, and freshness.

Roast Levels

The roasting process plays a pivotal role in shaping the beans’ flavor. Light, medium, or dark – each roast level has its own unique characteristics that can drastically alter your coffee’s taste.


From the high-altitude plantations of Ethiopia to the tropical climate of Columbia, each region gives its beans a unique flavor profile.

Even the coffee grounds left behind after brewing can carry these distinct characteristics, which is why using ground beans from specific regions can enhance your coffee experience.

In fact, organizations like the Specialty Coffee Association work to promote and celebrate these regional differences in beans and ground coffee.


Coffee beans are at their prime shortly after roasting and degrade over time. Understanding how to spot fresh beans and how to store them properly can make a world of difference to your morning brew.

Grinding Your Coffee Beans

grinding your coffee beansFreshly grinding your coffee beans before brewing can completely transform your coffee experience; it’s like buying fresh bread instead of the pre-packaged variety.

But not all grinders are created equal, and the size of your grind matters too. For instance, using coarse ground coffee can make a significant difference in taste and aroma.

Burr or Mill Grinder

The debate between burr grinders and blade grinders is a bit like the one between manual and automatic cars.
Both can get you where you want to go, but one offers more control and a better experience.

Burr grinders are bigger and more powerful, which allows you to extract more oils from the beans while blade grinders are quicker and cheaper.

Grind Sizes

Whether you’re a French press fan or an espresso enthusiast, the size of your grind can make or break your brew. For example, a grind that’s too fine can cause bitter and astringent flavors.

Brewing Methods

Selecting a brewing method is akin to picking out a car. You want one that suits your lifestyle and taste preferences.

Whether you’re after convenience, control, or a bit of both, there’s a brewing method out there for you, and understanding the brewing process can help you make the right choice.

Drip Coffee Maker

The trusty drip coffee maker is a staple in many homes.

These machines work by heating water and pouring it over a filter basket of ground coffee beans. While convenient, however, they offer less control in terms of your brew.

French Press

The French Press offers a simple, manual way of brewing coffee. The device consists of three parts – a mesh filter, a cylindrical carafe, and a built-in plunger.

It allows you to steep the grounds and hot water in the carafe, after which a filter is pressed to separate the grounds from the liquid coffee.


Pour-over coffee involves pouring hot water over a filter basket with coffee grounds. The coffee then drips into a cup or pitcher through the filter.

Espresso Machine

espresso machineEspresso machines work by forcing pressurized water through a bed of coffee grounds. Unlike manual coffee makers, they are designed to produce the same quality of coffee each time.

Cold Brew

Cold brew is made by steeping the beans in cold water for 12 to 24 hours. Given the amount of time it takes, it tastes very different from regular hot brews.

Perfecting Your Coffee-to-Water Ratio

Nailing the right coffee-to-water ratio is key for an excellent brew. It may seem like a small detail, but it’s the secret to a balanced cup of coffee.

Standard Ratios

The Golden Ratio, a common term among coffee enthusiasts, is the typical starting point for most brewing methods. It refers to the 1:18 ratio, meaning you should use one gram of coffee for every 18 grams of water.

But just like driving, the conditions can affect the outcome, and you might need to adjust your ratio accordingly when measuring coffee.

Adjusting Ratios

While the Golden Ratio provides a good starting point, the perfect coffee cup is a personal journey. Some like their cup of coffee strong, with more grams of coffee, while others prefer it mild. So, how much coffee should you use? It all depends on your personal preference.

Water Quality and Temperature

Using the appropriate type of water and heating it to the right water temperature is key to brewing a superb cup of coffee.

Filtered Water

Just like you wouldn’t put dirty fuel in your car, you shouldn’t brew coffee with low-quality water. Using filtered water can enhance the taste of your coffee by removing any impurities that could interfere with the coffee flavor.

Purified water is another great option. You won’t have to worry about there being excess minerals and it won’t leave residues in your equipment.

Keeping your coffee machine clean is also essential because no matter how clean your water is, it won’t matter if your machine is dirty inside!

Ideal Temperature

When it comes to brewing coffee, temperature is key. Just like you wouldn’t drive your car without warming it up, you shouldn’t brew coffee with water that’s too hot or too cold.

As a general rule, you want to use water between 195F to 205F – that will give you the best extraction. Using water that’s too hot will cause it to taste stringent and bitter while using too-cold water will cause it to become under-extracted.

Mastering Brewing Time

Just as the duration of your drive can affect your journey, brewing time can greatly impact your coffee. Perfecting the brewing time for your selected method is vital for extracting the most flavor from your coffee.

Drip Coffee

Drip coffee is all about slow and steady. Just as you wouldn’t rush a long road trip, you don’t want to rush your drip coffee. Timing is key to achieving the perfect flavor.

French Press

how to brew coffeeUsing this coffee brewing device takes a little longer, but the rich, full-bodied brewed coffee it produces from the ground coffee is well worth the wait.


The pour-over method is all about precision and speed, with the whole process typically taking just 3-4 minutes. But don’t be fooled – getting the timing right is crucial.


Making espresso is like driving a high-performance race car – it’s all about speed and precision. The whole process takes just 25-30 seconds, but getting it right requires skill and practice.

Making the Perfect Coffee – Overview

By now, you should have all the knowledge you need to brew the perfect cup of coffee. Whether you’re a drip coffee devotee or an espresso enthusiast, you should be able to elevate your coffee brewing game to the next level.

Key Takeaways

  • Choosing the right beans is crucial: pay attention to roast levels, origin, and freshness to tailor your coffee to your taste preferences
  • Size and type of coffee grinds matter: use a burr grinder for consistency and adjust the grind size according to your brewing method to unlock the full flavor of your beans
  • Brewing is an art: experiment with different methods, perfect your coffee-to-water ratio, and pay attention to water quality and temperature to make the perfect cup

How to Make Coffee: Frequently Asked Questions

What is the ratio of coffee to water?

The ratio of coffee to water is generally one to two tablespoons of ground coffee for every six ounces of water, but you can adjust it to your taste. You can experiment with the ratio to find your perfect brew.

How much ground coffee per cup?

Measure coffee grounds – approximately one to two tablespoons per 6 ounces of water for a standard cup of coffee. Adjust the amount based on how strong you prefer your coffee.

How many scoops of coffee for 8 cups?

You’ll need 8 scoops of coffee for 8 cups. Enjoy your brew!

What grind size should I use for different brewing methods?

Use a medium grind for drip coffee, a coarse grind for French press, and a fine grind for espresso. Adjust the grind size based on your brewing method.

Which brewing method is best?

Different brewing methods have their own pros and cons. For example, pour-over coffee is quick and easy to make, while using an espresso machine gives you more consistent results.

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Lucas Bennett

Meet Lucas Bennett, a former coffee shop owner and current espresso aficionado. With years of hands-on experience in the coffee industry, Lucas now pours his expertise into writing comprehensive guides. His passion for coffee shines through in his meticulous tips on brewing the perfect cup and maintaining high-performing equipment. He takes pride in helping enthusiasts and novices alike elevate their coffee and espresso experiences.

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