How to Make Black Coffee

Two Methods:Making Pour-Over Black CoffeeMaking Black Coffee in a Machine

Brewing a perfect cup of black coffee is an art. Although drinking it without sugar, milk or cream can be an acquired taste; it allows the brewer to focus on the full-bodied flavor of freshly roasted coffee beans. Black coffee is generally made in a pot, although modern coffee connoisseurs may insist on mastering the pour-over method for the best possible flavor.

Method 1
Making Pour-Over Black Coffee

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    Purchase freshly roasted, whole bean coffee. If you can’t purchase it directly from the roaster within a week or so of it being roasted, opt for a vacuum-sealed bag from a reputable national coffee-bean roaster.
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    Purchase your own coffee grinder, or grind it in the store. If possible, choose a burr grinder in place of a normal blade grinder. For best results, grind the coffee fresh right before brewing each day.
    • Experiment with different ground size. Although finer grounds are generally preferred, they can result in a bitterer brew than coarse grounds.
    • Many people recommend that you aim for grounds the size of coarse sugar.
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    Use good water. If you like the water taste of the water that comes out of your tap, it’s likely to make good coffee. Softened or distilled water should never be used, but carbon-filtered water can reduce the chemical taste of some tap water.
    • Minerals in water are important for the brewing process.
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    Buy a kettle, a funnel and unbleached filters for your pour-over brew. Most coffee aficionados believe that the pour-over, single-cup method provides the best, richest black coffee.
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    Place the funnel on a cup that is big enough to hold your entire brew. Put approximately three tbsp. of ground coffee in the filter right before you’re ready to brew.
    • Serious coffee brewers focus on the weight of the beans, rather than the volume. If you prefer this method, aim for 60 to 70g (two to two and a half oz.) per liter (4.22 cups) of water. Adjust based on the size of your coffee cup.[1]
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    Boil your kettle. Wait for it to cool down for 30 seconds to one minute or stop it just before it reaches a boil. The ideal temperature for brewing coffee is 200 degrees Fahrenheit (93 degrees Celsius).
    • Generally, the darker the roast, the less hot your water should be. For light roasts, use a temperature up to 207 degrees Fahrenheit (97 degrees Celsius). For darker roasts, use a temperature closer to 195 degrees Fahrenheit (90.5 degrees Celsius).
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    Set your timer for four minutes. Wet the coffee with the first pour over, using a couple of oz. of water. Wait 30 seconds and pour again, repeating until the four minutes and the water are gone.[2]
    • Consider experimenting with a three-minute extraction time. Be careful not to overfill the filter. You may find you like the results better with a shorter brewing period.[3]
    • Use a longer brew time for lighter roasts and a shorter brew time for darker roasts.[4]

Method 2
Making Black Coffee in a Machine

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    Buy your freshly roasted whole coffee beans in small batches. Beans that are exposed to the air or sunlight will go rancid.
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    Purchase unbleached coffee filters that fit in your coffee maker. If you doubt whether your coffee maker has been cleaned in a while, take some time to clean it for the best possible taste. Run it on the cleaning mode (or a simple brewing mode) with a mixture of half distilled white vinegar and half water.[5]
    • Follow up with two additional brews with water to ensure that the vinegar residue has been completely removed.
    • For areas with very hard water, include a larger ratio of vinegar to water. Repeat the cleaning every month.
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    Grind your beans daily in a burr or blade grinder right before brewing. Burr mills provide the most even grinding; however, they are much more expensive than small blade grinders. If you use a blade grinder, rock it several times during grinding to produce more even grounds.
    • Try out different sized coffee grounds. The finer the grounds, the more flavor you will get from them; however, they can also result in a more bitter brew.
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    Use approximately two and three-fourths tbsp. of coffee per eight oz. cup. With time, you will see how many scoops of coffee beans will produce this amount of grounds. Adjust the amount to your taste.[6]
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    Opt to turn off the automatic warming feature on your pot. Most coffee makers are programmed to brew at a perfect 200 degrees Fahrenheit (93 degrees Celsius), but the warming feature can boil the brew, making it taste bitter. For best results, drink the freshly brewed black coffee right away.
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  • Purchase five to seven days worth of beans at a time. Store it at room temperature in an airtight container out of direct sunlight. Do not store it in the refrigerator or freezer.

Things You'll Need

  • Freshly roasted whole-bean coffee
  • Airtight storage container
  • Burr or blade grinder
  • Unbleached filters
  • Pour-over dripper/coffee machine
  • Scale (optional)
  • Measuring spoons
  • Tap or carbon-filtered water
  • Vinegar (for cleaning)
  • Timer

Article Info

Categories: Coffee