Brew better coffee by: Using better water
Water makes up about 90-98% of your cup of coffee (depending on the brew method), so the quality of your water is really going to affect the taste. Using filtered water will give you a much better and enjoyable taste.
Note though that using filters like pitchers or ones you attach to your faucet are much better than using bottled water. Not all bottled water is created equal, and some are not that different from tap water.
If you really want to get fancy, buy a gallon of distilled water and a pack of Third Wave Water supplements. This will leave you with the PERFECT brewing water!
Brew better coffee by: Purchasing whole bean
There are two reasons why we believe buying whole bean results in a much better cup of coffee.
One, coffee that is pre-ground loses its freshness, taste, and aroma at a much faster pace than whole bean coffee does.
It only takes 20-30 minutes for pre-ground coffee to lose most of its natural flavor (eek), and will keep its freshness for about one to two weeks. It is still safe to drink, but it loses its magic. Whole bean on the another hand can last for one to two months if stored correctly.
Two, buying whole bean gives you more flexibility in your brewing.
When you buy pre-ground coffee you don't have much control over how the roaster grinds it, and you can only grind it to one specific brewing type. For example, getting a bag of coarse ground coffee that can only be used for French Press or cold brew.
However, when purchasing whole bean, not only can you try your coffee with different brewing methods to figure out your favorite, but you can also adjust your grind size (coarser or finer) as needed until it's perfect for you!
So, invest in a decent burr coffee grinder and try out purchasing whole bean. If you really want to geek out on grinders, check out this great video by James Hoffman where he compares various burr grinders at different price points.
Brew better coffee by: Purchasing better coffee
This might seem intuitive, but still worth noting. The truth is, coffee sitting on grocery shelves is already stale by the time you buy it. Coffee has so much complexity, and varies in taste depending on region, processing method, and roast, and most of that is lost once it loses its freshness. Additionally, most larger brand roasting facilities are churning out so much coffee that they are usually using higher heats and overdeveloping or burning the beans, which results in those burnt tastes most associate with coffee.
To step up your coffee game, try shopping from local roasters or coffee shops, either in your neighborhood or online. At Sueños Coffee Co., you can choose from a number of different roasters, and sign-up to receive a new coffee each month.
If you want to really have fun, purchase a coffee from the grocery store, and then purchase a bag of freshly roasted coffee and compare the difference!