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Discussions > Coffee > Q and A > Brewing coffee...  
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JustAcoffeeDrinker
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Joined: 11 Jul 2010
Posts: 35
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Sun May 27, 2012, 11:06am
Subject: Brewing coffee at the right temperature
 

So there's plenty of info on the ideal temperature at which to brew coffee:
http://hypertextbook.com/facts/2003/DianaGendler.shtml
Click Here (www.coffeedetective.com)

I don't ever expect to break out a thermometer to confirm that I have the right temperature when using my Melitta 1-cup coffee cone.  However, I was wondering if the following might be a good way to ball-park the right temperature.

First, I use a metal pot and bring the water to a boil.  Then put it on an unused (and hence cool) stove element.  I lift the lid to accelerate the cooling.  When I see very little residual steam rising from the surface of the water, I assume that it is at the right temperature (hopefully not too cool).  I then dampen the ground coffee with a ladle of the water and put the lid back on the pot to keep it warm for the half-minute or so while the ground coffee soaks.  Then I pour the water through the filter cone.

The coffee is not quite as piping hot as I prefer it, but I find that erring on the side of too cool is better than erring on the side of too hot when making the coffee.

Does the above sound reasonable?  Is there a better way without breaking out the scientific instruments?
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lifeandpeace
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lifeandpeace
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Posted Sun May 27, 2012, 11:17am
Subject: Re: Brewing coffee at the right temperature
 

JustAcoffeeDrinker Said:

I don't ever expect to break out a thermometer to confirm that I have the right temperature when using my Melitta 1-cup coffee cone.

Posted May 27, 2012 link

Some coffeegeek . . . pshchk . . .

On a more serious note: why not "break out a thermometer" once and find out how long it takes for the temp to fall to where you want it? All parameters staying the same, you'd have to do it only once for each quantity of water.

 
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JustAcoffeeDrinker
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Joined: 11 Jul 2010
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Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Sun May 27, 2012, 8:59pm
Subject: Re: Brewing coffee at the right temperature
 

Because I suspect it's highly variable depending on the ambient temperature, I own a great deal of kitchen gadgets that I don't use, and I'm trying to avoid time spent trying to track down a descent thermometer.  Trying to find an approximate way to get the right temperature using basic means.  I may rethink that, though, depending on how niggly I get about the coffee.
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BoldJava
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Posted Mon May 28, 2012, 4:49am
Subject: Re: Brewing coffee at the right temperature
 

Your system works for you so stay with it.

RE:  Temps - I boil in a stainless steel kettle on the stove top.  It holds 40 oz.  I pull once the kettle reaches boil.

In 45 seconds, the water is at 205*.
In 2:00 minutes, the coffee is at 200.*

 
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St Paul, MN
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JustAcoffeeDrinker
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Joined: 11 Jul 2010
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Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Tue May 29, 2012, 4:41am
Subject: Re: Brewing coffee at the right temperature
 

It does work, but not very well.  It's hit & miss.

Thanks for your data on the temperature.  The ideal water temperature is in the ballpark of 190 fahrenheit.  Based on your data, I'll take 2 minutes to be the ideal temperature between cool enough for good flavour and hot enough for a good hot piping cup of coffee.  Plus, it gives time for the initial ladle of hot water to wet the grinds.
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BoldJava
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BoldJava
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Posted Tue May 29, 2012, 5:08am
Subject: Re: Brewing coffee at the right temperature
 

JustAcoffeeDrinker Said:

... The ideal water temperature is in the ballpark of 190 fahrenheit. . .

Posted May 29, 2012 link

I use 195-205* as benchmarks, from the Nat'l Coffee Assoc.  Sweetmaria's advocates 198-204 for best extraction.  The SCAA uses 197.6 to 204.8.  Yours might be a little low for my use.

 
"On the trail for the goats' grail..."

Dave Borton
St Paul, MN
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jpender
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Posted Tue May 29, 2012, 12:27pm
Subject: Re: Brewing coffee at the right temperature
 

I'd suspect that eyeballing the steam would be very inaccurate, dependent on ambient temperature and humidity and what you decide for a cutoff amount.

You can get a thermometer at the hardware store for about $10. It will be accurate enough for this. Then just time it for yourself if you want a ballpark time estimate. I've done this with 1 quart of water in a partially covered saucepan and it took about 1 minute to drop to 205F. In small preheated plastic cup it took about half as long.

What IS the best temperature anyways?
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JustAcoffeeDrinker
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Joined: 11 Jul 2010
Posts: 35
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Sat Jun 2, 2012, 11:55am
Subject: Re: Brewing coffee at the right temperature
 

BoldJava Said:

I use 195-205* as benchmarks, from the Nat'l Coffee Assoc.  Sweetmaria's advocates 198-204 for best extraction.  The SCAA uses 197.6 to 204.8.  Yours might be a little low for my use.

Posted May 29, 2012 link

It certainly feels a little low.  Haven't a chance to look into a thermometer, but will.  Thanks.
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JustAcoffeeDrinker
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Joined: 11 Jul 2010
Posts: 35
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Sat Jun 2, 2012, 2:13pm
Subject: Re: Brewing coffee at the right temperature
 

jpender Said:

I'd suspect that eyeballing the steam would be very inaccurate, dependent on ambient temperature and humidity and what you decide for a cutoff amount.

You can get a thermometer at the hardware store for about $10. It will be accurate enough for this. Then just time it for yourself if you want a ballpark time estimate. I've done this with 1 quart of water in a partially covered saucepan and it took about 1 minute to drop to 205F. In small preheated plastic cup it took about half as long.

What IS the best temperature anyways?

Posted May 29, 2012 link

OK, so I thought I'd compile the data I found, since I need to get to know the vagaries of Excel for work.  I'll try to post it in this message. Here goes.

Oh well, it's attached as a PDF.  I can't seem to find a way to paste it directly into the message without losing all the sense-making formatting.  A whole 8.5x11 page for a tiny table.

...much time passes....

OK, I tried pdf, word.doc, picture.emf.  I can load the files from my HD OK, but when I upload it and try downloading, there are always errors of various types.  So here is a grainy gif.  Sorry for the quality.

JustAcoffeeDrinker: JavaMakingTempsFromWWW.gif
(Click for larger image)
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cmcconomy
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Joined: 3 Jun 2012
Posts: 14
Location: Toronto
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Jun 3, 2012, 7:43am
Subject: Re: Brewing coffee at the right temperature
 

One thing to keep in mind is the very act of pouring will cool the water by a degree or two. I generally try to get the water to 205 in the kettle before I pour it into my Clever Coffee Dripper or preheated presspot, and by the time it hits the grounds its already cooled a bit.. once I've poured and the immersion has begun its generally already below 200F.
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