Buy fresh coffee
Buying fresh coffee is one of the most important (and obvious) ways to make your coffee taste better. At Jackie’s Java, we roast everything to order, so you’re coffee is always only a day or two old when you buy directly from us. When you buy from one of our wholesalers, your coffee is super fresh as well. We do free delivery once a week for all our wholesale customers to make sure they have a fresh supply. We always roast a little extra from what our wholesalers order to stock our Roastery store, so the bags in there are also only a few days old, if that.
To put it in perspective, Starbucks puts a 15 month expiration date on their coffee sold in grocery stores. So even if you buy the last bag of Jackie’s Java on the shelf that was roasted a week ago, you’re still getting some of the freshest coffee available.
Keep it fresh
Keeping your coffee fresh is all about proper storage. Put your coffee in an airtight container, or as airtight as you can manage. Store it in a dark and cool space, like a pantry or cupboard. DO NOT store your coffee in the fridge or freezer. Coffee acts like baking soda, absorbing all the odors in your fridge and changing the way your coffee tastes. In the freezer, the oil in the beans dries out giving the coffee freezer burn. It hurts the flavor more than it preserves it.
Grind it fresh
Grinding your coffee fresh is important because the less time you can expose your ground coffee to air, the better your coffee will taste. You might consider grinding your coffee fresh every morning before you brew it.
Jackie grinds her coffee once a week and said she doesn’t really notice the difference between grinding it every morning or grinding it at the beginning of the week. But that’s also because Jackie gets really fresh coffee once a week directly from the Roastery!
If you aren’t drinking fresh coffee, like old or improperly stored coffee, grinding fresh becomes even more important. When you grind coffee, all the particles become exposed to air rather than just the outside of the bean. The less time you keep the beans ground before you brew it, the better it will taste.
Some people will argue that grinding every morning is important, so if you have the time you can try it out. If you’re like Jackie and can’t spend the time to to grind your coffee every morning, try grinding it once a week and you’ll notice a big difference in taste and flavor compared to grinding the whole bag when you purchase it.
Grind it right
Investing in a high quality grinder or having the roaster grind your coffee for you (if you’re going to brew it all within a week or two) is one of the most important things to make sure your coffee tastes good.
Cheap grinders, or whirly grinders, don’t chop the bean in all the same size pieces. When you brew coffee ground into different sized pieces, the water has too much contact with the small pieces and not enough contact with the bigger pieces. This makes your coffee taste bitter.
Burr grinders are higher quality, grinding coffee between two plates with teeth that push the coffee beans together, which grinds them into the same size pieces.
Properly grinding your coffee for either a French Press or drip machine is also important, because the amount of time water is in contact with the coffee is very different. For a drip machine, the water is only in contact with the coffee for about 30 seconds, so the grind needs to be very fine and small. For a French Press, the water is in contact with the coffee for much longer, so the grind needs to be a bit bigger so that the grounds do not get overly extracted.
But, if you’re going to drink all of your coffee in a week or two, buying it ground from the roaster works just fine. We sell our coffee in whole bean (if you want to grind it yourself), Ground for drip machines, or ground for French Press.
Water makes up 99% of your coffee drink, so making sure you use good quality water is important in making your coffee taste better. Always use fresh water that smells, looks, and tastes clean. Cold water is more likely to taste cleaner, so avoid warm or hot water when brewing. It’s also not best to use old water or water that has been heated up and cooled down. During the cooling process, water loses some of its oxygen, which changes the way the coffee reacts with the water and causes the flavor to be a bit flat.
If your noticing your coffee tasting bitter or flat, try using filtered water rather than just plain tap water. It’s always good to never use water in your coffee you wouldn’t be comfortable drinking by itself. You can buy a cheap filter that attaches to your faucet that will really improve your water quality and taste.
Chlorine in your water can be very bad for your coffee. Even a small amount can change the flavor and even smell of your coffee. Chlorine changes the pH balance in your water, making your coffee more acidic. It can also corrode parts of your machine, forcing you to buy new ones much more often than you’d like. A carbon filter can help you avoid this problem.