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Coffee preparation is the process of turning coffee beans into a beverage. While the particular steps vary with the type of coffee and with the raw materials, the process includes four basic steps: raw coffee beans must be roasted, the roasted coffee beans must then be ground, the ground coffee must then be mixed with hot water for a certain time (brewed), and finally the liquid coffee must be separated from the used grounds.
In a pour-over, the water passes through the coffee grounds, gaining soluble compounds to form coffee. Insoluble compounds remain within the coffee filter. Coffee can be brewed in several different ways, but these methods fall into four main groups depending on how the water is introduced to the coffee grounds: decoction (through boiling), infusion (through steeping), gravitational feed (used with percolators and in drip brewing), or pressurised percolation (as with espresso).
Brewed coffee, if kept hot, will deteriorate rapidly in flavor, and reheating such coffee tends to give it a “muddy” flavour, as some compounds that impart flavor to coffee are destroyed if this is done. Even at room temperature, deterioration will occur; however, if kept in an oxygen-free environment it can last almost indefinitely at room temperature, and sealed containers of brewed coffee are sometimes commercially available in food stores in America or Europe, with refrigerated bottled coffee drinks being commonly available at convenience stores and grocery stores in the United States. Canned coffee is particularly popular in Japan and South Korea.
Electronic coffee makers boil the water and brew the infusion with little human assistance and sometimes according to a timer. Some such devices also grind the beans automatically before brewing.
The French press is considered one of the oldest and simplest methods to brew coffee. Despite its simplicity, it can be a little tricky. The most important part of the process is to not leave the coffee in the French press for too long after pressing.