Buy your favorite Vienna Coffee in small packages. Freshness is vital to get the most out of any coffee. Even though we use high-tech barrier bags with a one-way freshness valve, buy just what you expect to use up in the next two weeks. We’ll make more so you won’t run out.
Coffee is 98% water. It’s only logical, then, that you must start with very good water. Some tap waters are better than others so it depends on where you live whether we recommend bottled or treated water. Too much mineral content including hardness OR too pure water will make your coffee less than it can be.
Perfect coffee water, the “Gold Cup” standard contains about 150 parts per million (ppm) total dissolved solids (TDS), including about 50 ppm of Calcium hardness; no residual chlorine and no objectionable tastes from iron or other minerals. Many spring waters are excellent for coffee but don’t expect a strongly mineral spring to yield very good coffee. Never buy distilled water for your coffee!
Brew your coffee at the right temperature. The best temperature for brewing coffee is 195 to 205. This is just below boiling. Water that is too hot results in bitter coffee and too cool will yield weak, flat tasting results.
For best results, grind your coffee fresh just before brewing. The flavor and aroma are far better that way. Even the best coffee will lose a lot of its “Specialness” within a few days of grinding. If you can’t grind it yourself, buy only what you’ll use in a week.
There is no all-purpose grind. Conventional drip makers use a fairly fine grind but too fine a grind will result in bitterness from over-extraction. Paper filter brewers take a finer grind than metal (permanent) filter brewers. Espresso is ground very fine and French Press pots (our favorite way to enjoy great coffee) use a much more coarse grind. Avoid a percolator, but if you must, use a very coarse grind to try to keep down over-extraction and bitterness.
We recommend using one (1) well-rounded (almost heaping) Tablespoon of ground coffee for each “cup” of water. This translates to just over ¾ measuring cup of ground coffee per “12 cup” pot-full. Note that the usual “12 cup pot” is only 64 fluid ounces (only about 5 1/3 ounces per “cup”). A standard coffee scoop is 2 tablespoons. Use 6 of those, heaping, for a 12 cup pot-full.
Start there and if it’s too strong, dilute the finished product with hot water. Don’t use less coffee! Even if you enjoy your coffee weaker, don’t use less coffee because that will cause the bitter components in the coffee grounds to be extracted too. Brew it strong and cut with hot water if you want the best tasting coffee!
Brewing a perfect pot of coffee, then letting it cook on the heat plate is almost criminal! If you don’t plan to serve it all within minutes of brewing, transfer your coffee to a pre-warmed thermal server. An airtight thermal server or airpot will keep coffee hot and preserve its flavor for hours.