In the modern age, people aren’t content with average coffee. Many of us have tasted how delicious coffee can be when bought from an independent coffee shop or made to perfection. That means that people are tweaking and paying close attention to those little details that go into making a cup of joe.
Water temperature is something that often gets ignored, but it is actually crucial to brewing a coffee at the right strength and to extract the caffeine and flavors perfectly.
In this guide, we explore the importance of water temperature in brewing coffee. There are certain systems you can put in place to ensure that your coffee is brewed at the right temperature. For instance, some of the best fully automatic coffee machines and even coffee drippers are designed to extract at the perfect temperature.
What is The Ideal Water Temperature?
So, what is the “right” temperature for brewing coffee anyway? It’s all about keeping control over your coffee while managing to extract.
Of course, in this guide we’re talking about the ideal range, but there are so many variations which is one of the things people tend to love about coffee. For example, you can actually brew in cold water. Cold brew coffee has become very popular in recent years and has high caffeine content as well as a delicious taste without much bitterness.
If you’re brewing hot, though, the temperature to aim for is 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit.
This temperature means the coffee will extract properly and quickly to access all the flavors within, but also that you will be able to avoid excessively bitter coffee.
If you brew at higher temperatures, it tends to over-extract from the coffee grounds, taking more of the bitter flavors and imparting them on your drink. If you don’t hit the 195 degree mark then it is likely that the coffee taste won’t extract properly so you will end up with a sour tasting coffee.
Most bean to cup coffee machines will brew between these temperatures to ensure the best results. Of course, once you start to experiment, you might find you have your own preferences. There have been award-winning coffees brewed at different temperatures, so it is all about settling on a delicious process and even experimenting based on the type of water you have and even the other variables such as the type of coffee itself.
Check Your Altitude
A lot of people don’t even realise that altitude plays a big part in water boiling, so knowing the temperature at which your water boils will help you to understand whether it is at the right temperature for brewing. Check out this guide to altitude and brewing and you’ll be able to see what the temperature is where you live by checking the altitude of your home.
Some areas will allow you to boil between 195 and 205 degrees fahrenheit which means that your water will be ready to use as soon as it boils.
Put simply, if you live at sea level you will have to let your water cool for some time before it cools down. You can use a thermometer to check the temperature and when it drops to the ideal range you will be ready to start the brewing process.
People living at high elevation above sea level may find that the water isn’t warm enough. You can preheat the brewing method if you want, as this can prevent the temperature from dropping quickly when you add water.
A fine coffee grind can also help with extraction. It’s all a balancing act to ensure that you get the ideal level of extraction, and so many different aspects play a part in this. That’s why we love coffee so much, right?
A Kettle to Boil to Temperature?
Just like a bean to cup coffee machine, getting a kettle that is specifically set to boil to a certain temperature can be a solution to get within the ideal range.
Temperature control kettles do tend to cost a little more, especially if you want a model that you know you can rely on. Some aren’t the most accurate and this means they won’t be too much help with your brewing.
If you don’t want to shell out for one of these then you can potentially just use a temperature. You can even use a stopwatch to measure how long it takes so you can just let it cool based on time in the future. This isn’t a scientific method, but a little bit of thought can help you to get the right temperature.
There are so many variables at play when it comes to brewing coffee. Fortunately, some of the best bean to cup coffee machines on the market are very good at keeping a stable temperature. If you don’t like tweaking to get the perfect results, you can just go with a simpler preparation method.
This is a collaborative post