The Art of The Bean: 4 Tips For The Perfect Cup of Coffee

Coffee at the lake is always great!

If you’re a regular at Crew’s Quarters you understand that my husband and I are borderline coffee snobs (okay, maybe full blown, it’s a judgement call!).  We’ve lived in a lot of places across Canada and discovered that no single place does coffee the same way.  Coffee, like wine, is an art form: Each artisan-roaster has their own unique take on the beans they use and how long they roast them.  Some roasts are light, others more dark and intense, and every level in between!  That’s okay, because no matter how you like you’re coffee there is one out there for you.  There are literally hundreds of different bean styles and the combinations are limitless.

If you want to enjoy a perfect cup of Joe at home, what is the secret? How do you perfect your morning cup to be as delicious as the great cafes you love to visit?  Here are 4 things you can do to make sure you get the perfect cup of coffee every time:

Tip #1: Buy Great Beans

Crew’s Quarter’s very own “Kraken’s Fury”

The most important thing is to start with awesome beans!  So what exactly is “awesome”? First, make sure the coffee is an “Arabica” bean vs. “Robusta”.  Arabica beans are grown higher in the mountains and produce only 1 crop a year and Robusta beans, grown lower in the valley, produce 2, sometimes 3 crops a year.  The slower growing Arabica varieties produce a much richer and satisfying flavor.

Next, you want to make sure you pick beans that are fresh!  The longer beans sit on the shelf the more of their gorgeous character they lose.  At Crew’s Quarters we order our beans in small batches, every week or two, and have them roasted to order (they roast the beans specifically for us only after we order them!).

The other thing you’ll want to do is experiment!  Sure, we all have our favorites (our’s is our custom roasted “Kraken’s Fury”), but you need to mix it up.  When my husband and I travel we are coffee tourists, seeking out new artisan roasters.  As mentioned before, coffee is like wine, and there are so many great ones out there to discover!  Two of our favorite roasters are Mochaberry Coffee out of Orangeville Ontario and Fire Roasted Coffee out of London Ontario.  We carry many roast varieties from both of them.  They both kick butt and never fail to satisfy!

Tip #2: Grind beans one pot at a time

I LOVE the smell of beans fresh off the fire!

If you don’t own a coffee grinder we really do suggest that you invest in one.  If you are like us and start your day with coffee, why let stale grounds get you off to a bumpy start? Coffee should be ground as needed to ensure the full body of the coffee ends up in your cup.  Bonus: Fresh ground coffee smells AMAZING!!  I might like the smell of it as much as actually drinking it.  Grinders don’t have to be expensive and are available in most of the places you already shop.  Our choice (no, we’re not sponsored we just LOVE this grinder!)? The Bodum Bistro grinder!  It is a Burr-style grinder which crushes the beans perfectly every-time.

The other reason we have a grinder is that we like to mix up how we brew our coffee, and different brewing styles require different grinds.  Our favorite way to have coffee is in a french press which requires a course grind.  The other go to for us, especially for single cups, is the pour-over method, and that requires a finer grind.   A good grinder will ensure that you can grind the beans perfectly no matter your brewing preference.

Tip #3: Use distilled or bottled water

Do you want good to the last drop? Use the right water!

We learned this lesson the hard way.  The spot we live on lake Erie (Morgan’s Point!!!!) doesn’t have municipal water so we have a well.  The first pot of coffee we brewed after moving to the lake we thought the beans were off.  Nope: The sediments in the well water changed the coffee taste! Chlorine has a similarly negative effect on coffee flavor.  We simply buy 5 gallon jugs of reverse osmosis filtered water specifically for our coffee and the results are night and day.  If you’ve gone through Steps #1 and #2, why risk less than stellar results by using tap or well water? Trust me, the water you use makes a huge difference in helping you to perfect your cup of morning Joe!  If your lucky you might have your own filtration system under the sink or in your fridge.  No matter how you get your filtered water, just make sure you do!

Step #4: Repeat steps 1 through 3 often!

LOVE these beans from Asheville Coffee Roasters!

Once you start following the steps above you are in for a fantastic coffee experience, every day!  Make sure to experiment with your roasts, sometimes dark and stormy like “Kraken’s Fury” or on a lighter or more medium note like “Fire Roasted Medium”.  Don’t forget to seek out local roasters on your travels too like my husband does when ever he travels for business and we do together on family road trips.  Coffee is life, so live it to the fullest and try a lot of different kinds!  The coffee in the photo above is from a GREAT roaster in Asheville, North Carolina and we absolutely love it.

Bonus Tip: Live in the Niagara Region of Canada? Come visit us at Crew’s Quarters!

192 West Street, Port Colborne, Ontario.  Come visit!

Yes, we carry coffee at Crew’s Quarters and we only sell what we love.  We carry a few roasters on a regular basis and even have “limited run” batches that we buy from roasters we discover on our travels.  We’ve also got a bean club, so don’t forget to register for that and get your 11th bag of coffee free.  Oh, and we have a money back guarantee on the beans we sell: You don’t like them for whatever reason, bring them back and we’ll get you a different type, give you a store credit, or your money back, your choice!

We know that you’ll find the tips in this blog useful as you continue on your quest for coffee nirvana!  Do you have some tips of your own? We’d love to hear them so please leave your comments below and share your advice with our readers (and us!!).

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