We finally know the secret to the perfect cup of coffee

Have you ever made a pot o’ joe that you thought would be amazing, but ended up being pretty nasty? Well, Reactions Everyday Chemistry just gave us the blueprint for the perfect cup of coffee in an ultra informative video. It turns out the secret is all dependent on three things: The bean, the roast, and the brew.


First, we’ll concentrate on the bean, which grows on trees inside of  “coffee cherries” (the more ya know!). The first step of making the perfect cup of coffee is using the right kind of bean for your taste/caffeine needs. Arabica beans are recommended, because they have a “higher taste quality and a wider variety of flavors and aromas,” according to the video. If you’re looking for a caffeine boost, however, you’ll want to go with Robusta beans.


In order to enjoy your drink the freshest, buy your coffee beans in one-way valved bags that let gases out but don’t let oxygen in. Also purchase beans — which are best three to seven days after roasting — which have not been ground yet and once they are ground, use them as soon as possible.

The roasting of the bean is also extremely important because s it’s what gives coffee different flavors and notes, such as floral, chocolate, and caramel, for example. (Of course, this isn’t talking about the shot of caramel flavoring you get at Starbucks — it’s more nuanced than that, folks.)


You’ll want to make sure to choose the roast that suits your preferences best, such as light-roast (which has a lighter body and allows you to taste the origins of the bean best — Arabica beans would be good here!), medium roast (which is most popular and has a balance between body and origin tastes), and dark roast (which is most often used in espressos and has a heavy body).


Once you find that amazing bean with a great origin and your preferred roast, you still have got work to do. Just grinding ‘em up and adding hot water will certainly not be enough if you don’t take care while brewing your perfect cup of coffee. First, there’s the coffee to water ratio. Instead of using tablespoons, get yourself a scale to measure out the precise amount of coffee so you can nail that ratio! 


One more thing: Water can “dramatically affect” the flavor of your coffee, so perhaps invest in a water filter to ensure you’re not getting funky stuff all up in your brew. You also want to make sure your water is at the perfect temperature — between 92 and 96 degrees Celsius, or 198 to 204 degrees Fahrenheit. Any hotter and you’ll get nasty, burnt coffee. . . and no one wants that!

Check out the video for more information on the pros and cons of using your coffee maker verses splurging on a Chemex or a French press — and be prepared to get a *major* craving for a fresh pot.