Myth 1 – you need to use boiling water to make the perfect cup of coffee.
In fact, using water that’s too hot will scorch the coffee, causing it to release bitter-tasting
compounds and spoil the taste. The correct temperature to use for the perfect cup is around
93 degrees centigrade – good commercial coffee machines will regulate this automatically.
Myth 2 – the best place to store coffee is in the freezer or refrigerator.
Actually, roasted coffee beans are porous, and quickly absorb liquids, moisture and food
smells, making the freezer or fridge one of the worst places to store coffee. Keep any
leftover coffee beans at room temperature in an airtight container, and make sure they’re
well away from strong light or heat which can quickly cause the flavour to deteriorate.
Myth 3 – buying ready-ground coffee is just as good as grinding your own
In reality, the flavour of coffee beans starts to deteriorate as soon as they’re ground, and
despite modern manufacturing and packaging methods, ready-ground coffee will never be
as fresh as coffee that you grind yourself. Ideally, coffee should be freshly ground each time
you use it.
Myth 4 – if you buy good-quality coffee, it’s fine to use cheap paper filters
Cheap paper coffee filters can produce inferior results, as they’re treated with chemicals
that can affect the flavour. If you’re using paper filters, check for brands that say ‘oxygen
bleached’ or ‘dioxin free’.
Myth 5 – a strong cup of coffee needs to brew for a long time
As a rough guide, coffee should brew for between four and five minutes. Leaving it any
longer than this may result in stronger coffee, but the resulting drink will also have a bitter,
unpleasant taste. Brewing for less time may give you a weaker drink, but it will be insipid
and flavourless. For the perfect cup, you’ll need a good coffee machine to take care of the
brewing time, and you’ll also need to choose the right blend. Robusta blends are stronger
than Arabica, and dark roasts are more intense than lighter roasts.