How to Make Better Tasting Coffee

Maryse ChevriereWhen someone like John Moore, vice president of sales and marketing for Dallis Bros. Coffee, tells you, "A great cup of coffee is no small miracle," you believe it.

But beyond the coffee farm and the roasting plant, in the end, some of the responsibility of making a good cup falls on you. Are you using the right grind of coffee for your chosen brewing method? Is the quality of the water you're using good, and have you heated it to the right temperature? Are the beans fresh? Have you been storing them correctly?

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All of this and more can affect the quality of the coffee you make for yourself at home. So to that end, we've culled together some expert advice and general rules of thumb for you to use as a guideline for brewing better-tasting coffee.

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How Much to Buy
Just as it is important to pay attention to the amount of coffee you brew at one time, it is also key that you not buy more coffee beans than you need. Moore advises that it is best to only buy as much coffee as you think you're going to drink within a week or so. This will help ensure that the coffee you have on hand is always fresh, which is essential to making a better-tasting cup.

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Pay Attention to the Roast Date
Especially among today's better-quality specialty brands, it is becoming increasingly more common to find detailed information about the coffee printed right on the bag. Case in point: The "roasted on" date, which in many ways acts as a "best by" date. The closer a coffee is to its roast date when you consume it, the more intense and aggressive the flavors will be.

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Tips for Storing
As coffee is quite the temperamental product, there are not many environments that coffee beans or grinds find "friendly," so to speak. "Coffee hates air, light, heat, and moisture," explains Moore. After you first open a bag of coffee, he recommends storing the rest in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. And don't make the mistake of storing coffee in your refrigerator or freezer, as it risks absorbing some of the flavors of surrounding ingredients.

Related: 7 Facts You Didn't Know About Coffee Production

Give Your Coffee Machine a Good Scrub (Just Not with Soap)
When you've gone to the effort to make a really good cup of coffee, the last thing you want is to end up with a cup that doesn't reflect that freshness because it's been a while since you last cleaned your machine. You don't want to taste the remnants from last month's batch in this morning's cup, after all. (Click here for some advice on how to clean your machine.)

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-Maryse Chevriere, The Daily Meal