Doing it Right!
Use the top 2% of specialty Arabica beans. These coffees are grown only in ideal climates and possess a richer and more balanced flavor than mass produced coffee.
Coffee is approximately 98% water, meaning water is a critical part of brewing great coffee. Use fresh, cold, bottled or filtered water.
For drip coffee makers, start with 2 tablespoons of ground coffee per 6-oz of cold water. You can then vary the amount of coffee used to suit your taste.
A coffee maker should supply water at a temperature of 195-205 F during the brewing cycle.
Ideally, you should place freshly brewed coffee in an insulated decanter. The coffee will taste fresh longer...approximately 2 hours. If you brew into a decanter that is placed on a warmer, the coffee will taste fresh for about 20 minutes.
Never store coffee, whole bean or ground, in the refrigerator or freezer as it will absorb food odors and condensation resulting in unwanted tastes. Store unused coffee in an airtight container in a dry, cool, dark place.
Clean your brewing equipment regularly. Soak your decanter in baking soda and water to remove stale coffee flavors.
Coffee tasting bitter?
We'll assume you aren't letting your coffee sit on a hot plate for hours, and that you are using specialty grade coffee that was freshly ground, and was properly stored. The bitter taste is most likely the result of over extraction! This can be caused by not using enough grounds, using a grind that is too fine, or using water that is too hot. Up to 30% of coffee solids will go into solution during the brewing process. Unfortunatley, the first 23% is the good tasting stuff, the rest is bitter. Try a coarser grind, then try adding more grounds. That should fix the problem.