When someone like John Moore, vice president of sales and marketing for Dallis Bros. Coffee, tells you, "A great cup of coffee is no small miracle," you believe it.
There are, after all, so very many things that could go wrong — or rather, have to go right — in the production process. On the farm, the quality of the soil has to be correct, berries need to be picked quickly and efficiently (sometimes by hand), and then must be delivered to the mill's reception bin within mere hours. Once through the mill, the beans need to air dry on a concrete patio, where they are exposed to the elements and require being agitated and raked on a regular basis. Then there's the mechanized drying, storing, sorting, and bagging — each step with its own set of crucial details and risks to be managed. That goes for the work that's done at the roasting plant, too.
But beyond the coffee farm and the roasting plant, in the end, some of the responsibility of making a good cup falls on you. Are you using the right grind of coffee for your chosen brewing method? Is the quality of the water you're using good, and have you heated it to the right temperature? Are the beans fresh? Have you been storing them correctly?
All of this and more can affect the quality of the coffee you make for yourself at home. So to that end, we've culled together some expert advice and general rules of thumb for you to use as a guideline for brewing better-tasting coffee.