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How to make the perfect cup of coffee...

It is to no one's surprise that the perfect cup of coffee, in our opinion, uses the French Press. (Shock, awe, Wheel of Fortune audience noises, etc.) But even with a French Press, the flavor can be blown. I know that myself.because I blew it many times as I tweaked my formula and consulted with many local experts. After doing some independent research first, I consulted with a few more experts and found that I was pretty close to what they preferred. However, my formula was just a wee bit different. And that's OK coffee is a personal choice. And that is the beauty of the French Press you can customize to your heart's content. But even when I had whittled it down to a few numbers, I stumped myself. How could I create an easy to remember mnemonic device; something to help everyone remember the true art of a perfect cup of coffee? And then it hit me. The message must be sticky.

One of my favorite books, Made to Stick, discusses how great messaging needs to stick in the consumer's mind. If you think about it, there are so many items we need to remember and that is a real challenge for remembering the important things like making a perfect cup of coffee! Whether it was last week's commercials or perhaps the month before, there are many logos and phrases you can repeat (or you can hear your kids repeat) and you likely owe it to the efforts of the Heath Brothers, who authored Made to Stick. So with the many nuances towards the Perfect Cup of Coffee, could it be whittled down to a few easy to remember phrases? Obviously you've read this far, so the answer is YES.

The Combination to the Perfect Cup of Coffee

If you remember your middle years of education, most of us had combinations to get into our hallway lockers. The first few times we had our our lockers assigned, we had to carry the combination around in our pockets. After a few weeks, the combination just stuck. So when I was pondering what was the combination for the perfect cup of coffee, the answer became quite obvious. A combination it would be.

While there are many facets to a perfect cup of coffee, including the quality of the beans and water, there still exist three absolutes. Those absolutes are the temperature of the water, how much coffee you use, and the brew time. From there you can work out the other pieces on your own. We'll feature our "other pieces" in a follow-up post.

So, with no further ado, let's describe the combination to the perfect cup of coffee. It's a rather simple formula which makes it that much easier to remember. Ready? For a 34 oz. French Press (or 8 cups as they say), the combination is 200-50-4 .

  • Most experts say your water mustbe around 195 205, so we'll call it 200
  • The amount of coarse coffee grounds, in our opinion, is 50 grams . That's a little over 7 scoops of coffee (depending on the scoop you use) or if you have a kitchen scale as we recommend, that's perfect
  • Total brewing time is 4 minutes (again, we'll talk about why we say TOTAL time in a follow-up post)

Now, when you go to make your next batch of coffee, or many batches of coffee, ask yourself if that combination is really that hard to remember? I think you'd agree it's very easy. And if you play with numbers in your head, like we do, then remember that 200 divided by 50 equals 4. (Yeah, more stupid ways to remember again, just like in high school).

Posted in Other Home Post Date 06/14/2016


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