Tips For Preparing A Perfect Coffee

By | May 14, 2021

After all the productive process, the coffee goes through the preparation stage for consumption.

The correct preparation is fundamental because it is at this stage that every effort to produce a quality coffee culminates. The preparation, which consists of extracting the flavor and aroma of roasted and ground coffee through hot water, has cultural variations that determine different preparation processes, but must follow some basic rules for obtaining a good coffee.

Types of preparation

The addition of hot water to roasted and ground coffee, then producing the coffee beverage, is a process called infusion, and may occur by filtration, percolation, pressing or pressure, each of which produces different types of beverages


The powder is packed in a filter, paper or cloth, with the addition of hot non-boiling water on top. 

This method is widely used in the Brazilian culture of preparation, through homemade strainers and electric coffee makers, giving rise to the traditional coffee.


Method where the coffee powder is placed in the center of a moka equipment, which is positioned on a stove causes the water to boil and press liquid coffee into a container. 

It is the most widely used form of coffee consumption in Europe.


in a glass container the coffee powder is mixed with hot, non-boiling water and then a filter is inserted which is pressed by a plunger which separates the powder from the coffee already ready for consumption. 

The method, which has become fashionable among Americans, is known as the French Press.


known as espresso coffee, in this preparation the coffee is milled at the time and conditioned in a filter that undergoes a water pressure at 90oC and 9Kg of pressure for 30 seconds on average, generating a creamy and aromatic drink. Created by the French, espresso coffee is considered the most appropriate method to appreciate all the nuances of this drink.

Fundamental rules of good preparation

The better the coffee, the greater the extraction and the better the taste of the drink. See the date of manufacture of the coffee. Freshly roasted coffee has more flavor. Ground coffee deteriorates easily due to air, humidity, heat, weather and contact with foreign odors. Therefore, it must always be kept away from these risks. Store unused coffee in a well-sealed container in the refrigerator.

The water used must be pure and clean. Always use filtered or mineral water in the coffee preparation.

Prepare only the amount of drink that will be consumed immediately or at most for the next hour.

The contact time between water and coffee should be: 

For fine grinding – up to 4 minutes 

For medium grinding – 4 to 6 minutes 

For coarse grinding – 6 to 9 minutes

This time will vary depending on equipment and personal preference.

Use the correct measurement. Use 80 to 100 grams of powder (about 5 to 6 tablespoons) for 1 liter of water. If the beverage is tasteless, increase the amount of coffee. If it becomes bitter, rough or unpleasant, decrease the contact time of the water with the coffee, decreasing the amount of powder.

The water used should only be heated – it can not boil because the loss of oxygen changes the acidity of the coffee. The ideal preparation temperature is around 90oC. 

For the coffee powder you should only use hot water, never drink. The recirculation makes the drink very bitter, rough and unpleasant.

Used coffee (exhausted coffee, dregs) is the worst enemy of taste, aroma, coffee maker and your health. Throw it away. Never reuse it, even by mixing it with fresh coffee. To ensure optimal quality, the coffee already in use and the prepared beverage should always be separated.

Enjoy a cool drink, freshly brewed coffee, or the latest possible. The characteristics of the coffee drink is that it is slowly decaying, so a longer brewed coffee does not have the same pleasant taste as a fresh coffee.

Drink the coffee in porcelain cups. The taste is highlighted and the temperature constant.

When using thermos bottles, they should be very clean and for coffee use only. Never prepare or store the already sweetened beverage as a bad tasting caramel crust will form on the container walls.

Cloth Strainer Preparation

Use medium or fine ground coffees.

Use a standard measure for dust quality. Use the correct measurement. Use 80 to 100 grams of powder (about 5 to 6 tablespoons) for 1 liter of water. The right measure should be tried until you find the one that best suits your palate.

The water used must be pure and clean. Always use filtered or mineral water in the coffee preparation.

Place the coffee powder in hot water before boiling (about 90 ° C). Stir with a wooden spoon until you make a cream on the surface of the container. A wooden spoon should be used exclusively for coffee. Do not use the same spoon in seasoning, sautéed or other foods.

You can also place the coffee powder in the colander, moistening all the powder and pouring the water into the yarn. 

If you want a very hot coffee, scrape the container, teapot or thermos, before making the coffee.

When new, the strains of cloth should be boiled in coffee water to remove the gum or other residues and to give them the aroma of coffee.

After use, the cloth percolators should be washed only with water and never with detergents, bleach or even with leftover coffee.

Paper Strainer Preparation

Use medium or fine ground coffees.

Use a standard measure for the amount of dust. 80g to 100g of powder is recommended for one liter of drink (5 to 6 tablespoons). The right measure should be tried until you find the one that best suits your taste.

The paper filter should be the same size and shape as the filter holder.

Put the powder on the filter, spreading it evenly. Do not crush or squeeze coffee grounds. 

The water used must be pure and clean. Always use filtered or mineral water in the coffee preparation.

Just before boiling (90 ° C), pour the water over the powder, moistening it all. Start by wetting the coffee grounds from the edges to the center of the strainer / filter. Then pour the water slowly (into a wire) right into the center of the filter without mixing with the spoon.

The slower the water, the darker the coffee. However, do not exceed 4 to 6 minutes, so that excessive extraction does not make the coffee bitter.

For a hot coffee, scald the teapot or thermos just before making the coffee. 

Throw away the old filter and coffee. Do not pass the drink again through the used coffee because it will become bitter and unpleasant.

The preparation in electric coffee makers uses the same type of coffee and the same measurements. To make large amounts (more than 12 small cups), the long brewing time can result in bitter taste. If this occurs, make fewer cups at a time.

Espresso Coffee Preparation

Espresso is the exclusive coffee, prepared under pressure, in individual doses to be savored at the exact moment of extraction. It is a coffee resulting from the combination of the most intense aromas and flavors.

To prepare it, it is best to use fresh, high quality grains with intense aroma and flavor, properly milled and compressed properly where the water passes under pressure.

The machines must allow operation with a pressure of 9 atmospheres (atm) and a temperature of 90º C, in a time that varies from 25 to 30 seconds. These are ideal conditions for obtaining an excellent espresso coffee.

Espresso coffee is concentrated – 7 grams of powder for up to 50ml of water – of intense aroma and flavor with a good body and persistence in the palate, covered by a dense hazelnut cream (light brown) on any surface of the cup, whose thickness must be between 3mm and 4mm.

The Coffee Cream

Espresso The thick, rich layer of cream serves to maintain the temperature and preserve the aroma of espresso before it is consumed. Under these conditions, the espresso retains a portion of sugar for a few seconds.

The cream (not the rapidly crumbling foam) stays in the cup for a long time. It marks and adheres to the wall of the cup.

The thick and long lasting cream is the most important sign that the espresso has been well taken. The preparer must always be attentive. If the cream has not formed it is because the grinding is thick, the extraction time was short and the coffee was not well taken (it will be very weak).

The well-drawn espresso has a thick, homogeneous cream and retains a portion of sugar (sugar test) for a few seconds.

Preparation Tips

Espresso coffee should preferably be prepared with freshly roasted beans. Grind the coffee just before preparation.

The espresso roast is lighter (medium to light). Thus the aromatic oils are preserved. Heavily roasted beans become oily, losing aroma and flavor and making the espresso more bitter.

The first step to perfect espresso is to find the ideal powder grind. The recommended grinding is the average. If it is too thick, the water passes through the filter faster and the drink becomes weak without the formation of cream. If it is too thin, the water will take longer to leave, leaving the drink bitter and white spots on the cream. In addition the powder must be compressed properly.

Numbers for the correct preparation of an espresso coffee:

50 ml of water (normal espresso); 30 ml of water (short) 

7 grams of coffee 

90oC of temperature for water 

9 bar of pressure for espresso machine 

30 seconds of time for infusion of beverage

The cream should be consistent – when consuming the cream sticks to the wall of the cup. Its color should be dark beige.

The cream serves to maintain the temperature of the drink and preserve its aroma. Even if the person does not add sugar or sweetener, the coffee must be stirred so that its aromas can be felt.