Are you a coffee fan? It might surprise you to learn that even the most seasoned coffee drinkers regularly make mistakes with their coffee on issues ranging from storage to waste. Here are six mistakes that coffee drinkers are probably making, and what you can do instead to ensure that you get the most possible enjoyment from your cup.
- You’re not storing it correctly
It is amazing how many coffee aficionados will spend serious amounts of time and money sourcing high quality coffee beans, only to leave them in a scrunched up package in the fridge. If you don’t store your coffee correctly it will go stale, and then all of those delicious flavours will be blunted. Speaking to coffee packaging specialists The Bag Broker, I learned a few tricks for good coffee storage.
Firstly, the real enemy of coffee freshness is air. It is vital that you should keep your coffee stored in a container that is as airtight as possible. Additionally, some people believe that coffee should be kept in the fridge, but doing so crates too much moisture in the packaging. Instead, coffee should be keep in a cool, dry cupboard, away from direct sunlight or heat sources like the oven.
- You’re drinking it at the wrong time
It is probably the case that you are drinking your coffee at completely the wrong time of day. The majority of people drink their coffee between 8am and 9am just before work – the plan being to wake them up for the start of the day. But research into cortisol (the hormone associated with alertness, stress and metabolism) has found that it is naturally higher early in the morning, especially between those hours of 8am and 9am.
This means that you are likely drinking your coffee at the exact time of day that your cortisol is already very high. It’s a much better idea to wait until a little later for your hit of coffee so that it can be more effective.
- You’re buying pre-ground beans
Pre-ground coffee beans have become the staple for many coffee drinkers, but unfortunately they really don’t provide optimal flavour. Grinding the coffee beans means that they are more exposed to air which only makes them stale and reduces the flavour. If it all possible, it is a much better idea to buy whole coffee beans and grind them yourself when you need them. Doing so will ensure that you get a coffee that is a fresh and flavoursome as possible.
- You reheat your coffee
You’ve forgotten to drink your coffee and it has gone cold. What do you do? If your answer is to quickly put the mug in the microwave and reheat it, sadly this is the wrong one. Reheating coffee not only compromises the flavour but it also makes the drink more acidic, which can lead to problems with heartburn and acid reflux.
- You’re drinking from the wrong cup
And the truth is that there are plenty of cups that will count as the wrong cup. Firstly, unlike the thin porcelain mugs that are favoured by tea drinkers, it is important for a good coffee mug to be thick in order to hold in the heat. Additionally, it is important that you should pour your coffee into a pre-warmed mug. If the mug is cold, it is the case that it will cool down your coffee more quickly.
- You waste your leftovers
How often do you get to the end of a French press to find the dregs of your coffee and not particularly fancy it? This is a common occurrence for coffee drinkers, and the standard thing to do is simply to throw the remaining coffee down the sink and make a new pot. But the truth is that you can be wasting a lot of perfectly good coffee this way.
Instead, you can use a helpful trick. Get an ice cube tray and fill it with the remaining coffee. You can then freeze the tray, and these coffee ice cubes can then be used at a later date to create iced coffee. This is far better than letting good coffee go to waste.
Mike James is a UK-based independent writer, aspiring chef and a big fan of home made recipes. Published in numerous online and print publications, Mike specializes in business technologies for work… and tasty food for fun. Particularly, cheese. Loves the cheese.