I have come to notice that one of the biggest factors in getting great tasting gourmet coffee is the water to coffee ratio. Previously, I was satisfied people were simply brewing with Utopian Coffee regardless of the ratios they were using, but now I am more focused on proper water to coffee ratios. I hope this doesn’t come off as snobby, but I have started to see that people enjoy their coffee so much more when brewing with the correct proportions.
The most common mistake in brewing is over-extraction, mainly caused by using way too little coffee compared to water. This produces a very bitter cup, which most of the world has come to recognize as the normal taste for coffee. That’s also why cream and sugar are so popular! We describe coffee in terms of “strong” or “weak” as opposed to the natural flavor of coffee because we came into the coffee world only knowing those two options. I believe all this stems from using incorrect brewing ratios, so together we can start to solve the world’s specialty coffee quality problems!
You may have heard or read about people tasting anything from blueberries to cedar in their coffee without having added any flavored cream. For the most part, those of us who taste these seemingly odd flavors in our coffee are not crazy…we just use proper brewing ratios so that all the potential flavor of that coffee is in our cup. The way I explain it is that coffee only has so much “good” flavor it can give, and it takes so much water to extract all the “good” flavor. Altering the coffee and/or water ratio means that potentially the coffee can produce “bad” flavors.
I urge you to try it for yourself: Brew gourmet coffee using 10 g (2 tbsp) for every 6 oz of water. If you have a small scale, you are awesome! Brewing by weight is much more accurate than volume, but that is another topic for another time. For most of us who don’t have a scale, I will just give you a quick ratio; use 4 cups of water and 10 tablespoons of coffee. The resulting brew may taste “stronger” than what you are used to, but it should also be much more flavorful!
Carefully measuring out your fresh roasted coffee and water may seem like more work than you are used to, but the results are worth it! Drink deeply…and enjoy!