Q: How should I store my coffee once I've opened the bag?
A: The 3 elements that will ruin coffee and rob it of its freshness are light, moisture, and air. Find any container that is nonporous (to keep out moisture), will block out light, and is air-tight or vacuum resealable. Once opened, keep the coffee in this container at all times, except when being used. Keep the container in a cool dry area. Note: Some advise that keeping it in the fridge or freezer is acceptable, however moisture is present in both environments and can leave a taste behind if not perfectly stored.
Q: What is generally the best way to prepare coffee?
A: Unquestionably, coffee ground on demand versus pre-ground coffee is superior, whether doing a drip brew, French Press, or espresso extraction. We recommend that you dose out the whole beans first, then grind then fresh on demand right when you are ready to brew. There are various prescriptions for dosing and brew time, but at the end of the day, these are just guidelines and each user will adjust according to their own taste.
- Grind level should be coarser than an espresso grind, but finer than a French Press grind.
- For a gold cup, we suggest to use 3-4 ounces of coffee per 1/2 gallon of water (standard 64 fluid ounce carafe)
- Generally, French Press method is best suited to be used with a French Roast Coffee
- The grind should be very coarse, as the brew water will have constant contact with the grinds while steeping
and a too fine grind will result in over-extraction, bitterness, and uncharacteristic amounts of sludge in the cup.
- 1/2 ounce of coffee per every 4 fluid ounces of water should be used
- Steep time is 4 minutes with water temperature around 208 degree Farenheit
- Desired extraction time is between 20-30 seconds (depending on your tastes) to dispense 1 fluid ounce of espresso
- Between 7 & 9 grams of coffee are used per shot of espresso generally
Q: What is more important, my grinder or my brewer (applies to drip coffee & espresso)?
A: Both are equally as important. A great brewer will still produce a less than optimal cup of coffee if the grinder used in conjunction can't produce a consistent particle size. Similarly, if a grinder could make every particle the same precise dimension, but the brewer being used had poor heat retention qualities, poor flow rate, etc., the grinder doesn't make a difference. Buying a great brewer warrants the investment in a grinder of similar quality.
Q: Is my water quality going to effect the taste of my coffee?
A: Absolutely. Water makes over 90% of the brew, so as the main consumed ingredient, it better be good. Use either bottled water, or filtered water, and be sure to check the hardness level. In addition to affecting the taste, hard water will leave calcium and lime deposits in your brewer over time causing malfunction.
Q: What is considered hard water?
A: In our book, anything over 3 grains of hardness or 51 PPM (Parts Per Million) is too hard. You can convert your waterhardness level reading on this website if you are reading it in any type of different units:http://www.cactus2000.de/uk/unit/masswas.shtml
Q: What does P.I.D. mean and what does it do for my espresso machine?
A: P.I.D. stands for Proportional, Integral, Derivative. What a P.I.D. is used in several different applications and are used to control a variable (in the case of an espresso machine, the variable is boiler temperature) by setting a target value (the desired boiler temperature) and using a proportional input of the device that affects the variable (the activation of the heating element). A good example is cruise control in a car: The set point is the speed you want to maintain. The P.I.D. then determines how much throttle to engage when velocity is lost to regain the desired velocity, without exceeding the set point, and without engaging 100% throttle to achieve the set point. So a P.I.D. in an espresso machine is set to gradually activate the heat element to reach the set point, resulting in a much more stable heat sin pattern.