Beth Dreiling / Styling Buffy Hargett / Food Styling Mary Allen Perry, Vanessa McNeil Rocchio
Grind for Goodness
A superb cup of coffee is the perfect accompaniment to warm, buttery rolls or a rich dessert. For the very best taste, that means freshly ground beans and boiling water. Ground coffee loses flavor quickly, especially once it’s exposed to air, so even the tastiest brands go stale shortly after opening. Grinding right before brewing is absolutely the best method. But when this isn’t possible, grind a two- or three-day supply, and keep it in a tightly sealed container.
For short-term storage (two weeks or less), place coffee beans in an airtight bag or container in the pantry or other dry place. If you have extra you want to keep longer, you can freeze coffee beans for up to two months by storing them in two layers of plastic freezer bags to keep stray flavors from getting in.
Burr grinders offer the most even texture but are more expensive and require more maintenance than a simple blade grinder. I find that shaking a blade grinder several times during processing helps produce an even grind.
Whether you prefer a drip pot or a French press, The All-New Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook offers these basic guidelines for producing the most flavorful cup.
- Grind only as much coffee as you plan to brew
- Use 2 Tbsp. coffee for 6 oz. (3/4 cup) of water.
- After brewing, serve coffee immediately or transfer to a thermal carafe for up to 15 minutes. Don't leave in coffeemaker where it can develop a scorched taste.
- Don't boil coffee, boiling destroys flavor and makes it bitter.