Coffee Brewing Tips
Brewing Coffee the Right Way
Six Essentials for Brewing the Perfect Cup
To brew coffee properly, you need to uderstand and implement these
1. Water Quality
Water makes up 98% of the coffee in a cup, so clean water with a low
mineral content is key. If tap water in your establishment has a mineral
content over 300 ppm, consider installing a water filter on your coffee
maker supply line. Never use softened or distilled water.
Water temperature at the brewhead is critical to proper
flavor extraction and balanced taste (not too weak or too
bitter). 195°F - 205°F is ideal.
The time water is in direct contact with coffee grounds also
affects flavor extraction. The ideal time for most drip-style
commercial coffee makers is 5 minutes.
When hot water flows over coffee grounds, it creates turbulence which
causes the coffee particles to separate. This separation is critical to
achieving optimal flavor extraction.
The coffee filter must effectively strain particles while not removing
any flavor. Paper filters will provide the best-tasting coffee. Use only
one paper filter per brew, then discard immediately.
6. Equipment Cleanliness
Coffee deposits, oils, and rancid flavors build up in a coffee urn after
each use, so regular and proper cleaning is paramount.
(See Coffee Urn Cleaning)
Before Brewing – Coffee Storage and Handling
- Store packaged coffee in a cool, dry location.
- Coffee can pick up flavors from surroundings, so store in a
location free of odors.
- Coffee starts becoming stale as soon as it is exposed to air, so
keep packages sealed until ready to use.
- Never stack filters with coffee in them. This “pre-staging” will degrade coffee quality rapidly.
After Brewing – Agitation and Holding
- When coffee is first made in an urn, the heaviest concentration is at the bottom and weakest at the top. If your urn does not have automatic agitation, draw off a pot of coffee and pour it back into the urn.
- Remove filter and grounds immediately and discard. Rinse brew basket.
- After brewing, hold coffee at 180°F - 190°F. If the temperature is higher, coffee will rapidly break down.
- Coffee becomes bitter if kept too long in an urn or warming station.
- Never reheat coffee for service. This process will further break down the coffee, causing undesirable flavor.
- Never mix fresh-brewed coffee with leftover coffee.
Cleaning Coffee Urns
Automatic and manual urns should be cleaned consistently at three different times: after each brewing, at the end of each day, and twice a week.
After Each Brewing
- Fill urn with hot water and scrub sides with a brush until the spigot runs clean.
At the End of Each Day
- Faucet should be taken off, taken apart, and thoroughly cleaned.
- Gauge and faucet shank should also be removed and cleaned. All containers that hold the coffee must be cleaned, including the gridded riser and bowl.
- Seat cups should be cleaned, and the plug should be cleaned out and scrubbed in both directions.
- Entire urn should be flushed with boiling water two to three times after cleaning. Then, put some fresh water in the urn liner to keep the faucet washer moist.
- Turn off the gas or electricity for the urn overnight to prevent burn-out.
Twice a Week
- Mix an approved urn cleaning compound into the urn measure.
- Pour into the liner through the empty brew basket.
- Swirl the solution around with a brush inside the liner.
- Clean gauge glass with a brush.
- Clean faucet assembly in both directions.
- Rinse anything that came into contact with the urn cleaner three times.
- Rinse the urn measure and brushes.
Coffee Brewer Troubleshooting Tips
- Water temperature exiting brew basket is below 180°F
- Wrong coffee grind size for equipment
- Uneven bed of coffee grounds in filter basket, so not all coffee flavor is extracted
- Water sprayhead missing, or blockage of some holes with limescale buildup
- Water temperature entering brew basket is too hot (over 200°F at sprayhead)
- Coffee grind size too fine for equipment
- Fresh and old coffee was mixed, or coffee vessel is dirty
Slow brewing time
- Plugged water filter
Brewer slow in coming back to temperature after brewing
- Lime scale buildup on inner walls of urn and/or boiler, which reduces effectiveness of heating elements