Make a Tastier Cup of Coffee

Seek Out Better Beans

Delicious coffee starts with beans that suit your taste buds. Keep these guidelines in mind when you shop: African beans yield a cup with fruity and floral flavors and less bitterness. On the other hand, beans grown in South and Central American countries brew richer, fuller-bodied coffee.

Do the Daily Grind

For a more flavorful mug, buy whole beans and grind right before you brew: Grinding releases the beans’ oils, but they degrade quickly. Choose a conical burr grinder (such as the Capresso Infinitely Conical Burr Grinder, $100; Amazon.com), which doesn’t heat up grounds, preserving the delicate oils.

Strike the Right Balance

Two level tablespoons per cup of cold water is the standard ratio for drip coffee, but you can experiment to get a taste you like. If your pot tastes acidic, add an extra scoop of grounds (or use less water). Beans from lower altitudes–Mexico, Hawaii and the Caribbean–also tend to taste less bitter.

Store Smartly

Stale beans make for a batch that taste like day-old dregs. To keep your beans fresh, transfer them from their bag to an opaque, airtight container and stash in a cupboard away from heat and light up to three weeks. Whole beans also hold well in the freezer for up to about six weeks in a resealable bag (but not the paper bag you buy), which helps keep moisture out and prevents other flavors from seeping in.heartcoffee

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