Brewing Coffee

Steven H. McGarthwaite - July 18, 2011

Charles Kuralt's "On the Road", a major feature of the CBS Evening News in the 1960's, in his book by the same title said…

"In the USA, the further west I travel, the weaker the coffee becomes!"

Charles Kuralt, really appreciated a properly brewed cup of coffee, and so do I. 

Most folks do not know how to properly brew a good cup of coffee! Many folks have never experienced the satisfaction of a properly brewed cup of coffee.

There are multiple aspects in what makes a good cup of coffee:; the quality of the coffee beans, the skill of the person that roasts the coffee beans, the grind of the roasted coffee bean, the temperature of the water for the brewing, and the method of brewing.

For you mere mortals the most important thing you need to know to enjoy a good cup of coffee, is proportion of water, versus amount of ground coffee

The ground coffee is comprised of two major elements, percentage of sweets vs. bitters. The ratio of ground coffee and the amount of water used in the brewing process is what determines a great cup of coffee. Ground coffee is approximately 66% sweet solids, and 33% bitter solids.  Too much water and not enough ground coffee, will cause the resulting brewed coffee to be bitter, resulting in the consumer to adding sugar, cream, and flavorings to the cup of coffee. Properly brewed coffee, can be served hot or at room temperature, it also can be poured into a tall glass filled with ice cubes giving you "Ice Coffee" (as refreshing as Ice Tea)!

A cup of coffee is 6 ounces of off boiled water versus 2 level tablespoons of water.  Off boiled water is 200 degrees F. Most coffee makers do not heat the water hot enough to reach this temperature. The best brewing method is drip, pouring the 200 degree water through the ground coffee. I boil my water on the stove top, until it boils. I remove the vessel from the burner, allowing the boiled water to stop the boiling process (off boil), and then pour the correct amount of off boiled water into my drip coffee maker, to brew my coffee.

Ratio-ground coffee: off boiled water

1/8 cup of ground coffee: 12 ounces of off boiled water = 2 cups of coffee
1/4 cup of ground coffee: 24 ounces of off boiled water = 4 cups of coffee
3/8 cup of ground coffee: 36 ounces of off boiled water = 6 cups of coffee
1/2 cup of ground coffee: 48 ounces of off boiled water = 8 cups of coffee
5/8 cup of ground coffee: 60 ounces of off boiled water = 10 cups of coffee
3/4 cup of ground coffee: 72 ounces of off boiled water = 12 cups of coffee

I use Folgers 100% Columbian Ground Coffee. I am a "Frugal Minnesotan" who knows how to brew a proper (full-strength cup of coffee, not wasting my money of fancy ground coffee that does not give the consumer a good bang for the buck! Or as Charles Kuralt stated in another book he wrote….

"When a Minnesotan goes of vacation, he pulls on clean bibbed overalls, puts $10 in his back pocket, and does not change either one the whole time he is gone!"

All I can say is…. "Guilty as Charged!  ~Parnelli


Comment on this article

Archive of What's Cooking?

[ HOME ]

[ Search ] [ Contact FAOL ] [ Media Kit ] © Notice