1. WATCH THE WATER
This tip actually applies to all coffee, not just our coffee bags, but isn’t that commonly known.
Straight boiling water is a big no-no for coffee bags or ground coffee in general. If your kettle has just boiled resist the urge to pour it straight onto your coffee bag. The reason for this is that boiling water actually scorches the freshly ground coffee. This means you lose a lot of flavour, especially those on the finer and more delicate ends of the flavour spectrum. The beans end up holding a more bitter and burnt flavour (which nobody wants).
Technically, the ideal water temperature for making coffee is 96ºC (so just 4ºC degrees cooler than boiling). Although some baristas may disagree, we don’t think this needs to be an exact science so there is no need to break out your household thermometer or invest in a temperature-controlled kettle. You have a couple of options instead. Firstly, you could swap steps one and two in our guide to making our coffee. This means adding the water to the mug before the coffee bag. Doing so may feel completely unnatural, but the process of simply adding the boiling water to a cold coffee mug will mean it cools slightly and protects the freshly ground coffee beans.
Your second option is to just leave the kettle for 30 seconds or so after it has finished boiling to allow the water some time to cool. Simple but effective! Lastly, you could just add water. No, really! If you are a stickler for tradition and want to put your coffee bag in the mug before the boiling water, just wet your coffee bag under the tap beforehand. The cold water will protect the freshly ground coffee from a scorching.
2. OPEN WIDE
A quick way to improve your brewing process is to use a wider mug. How this works is very simple; a wider mug will increase the surface area of the brewing space. This will allow the coffee bag to diffuse out over a greater surface area and enhance the subtler flavours.
3. GIVE IT A SEC
We hope you don’t mind if we get a little bit science-y here. When hot water meets the freshly ground coffee in our coffee bags, all of the CO2 which is trapped inside will be released (technically known as the bloom). This is what causes it to inflate and float to the top of your mug. Don’t worry when this happens, it’s actually a sign that the coffee is truly fresh.
It’s by no means essential, but a top tip is to wait 10-15 seconds before giving the coffee bag a stir as recommended in step two. If you wait between pouring you water into your mug and stirring the coffee bag, as much CO2 as possible will be allowed to escape from the coffee bag. We therefore get the most flavoursome cup of coffee possible. It really does make a difference to the final result, but if you’d prefer to get your coffee down you as soon as possible that is okay too. The great thing about coffee bags is that they can be made to 100% work for you, there is no way to get them wrong.
4. EASY PEASY COFFEE SQUEEZY
We’ve already gone over this in the instructions for making a cup of New Kings Coffee, but it is such a good tip that it’s worth going over again. In step 4 we suggest stirring and squeezing the coffee bag before removing it from the mug. This is very important and will make or break your cup of coffee.
With coffee bags, the brewing occurs largely inside the bag (this is part of why they’re so great). While a small amount will be diffused naturally through the mug, a lot of flavour will stay inside the bag. By stirring and squeezing the bag you release this into the mug.
This also ensures a more even flavour throughout the mug and full taste in every sip. You can squeeze the coffee bag with your fingers if you’re feeling brave (and want to avoid the extra washing up). Alternatively, you can do it the traditional way by pressing the coffee bag against the side of your mug with the back of a teaspoon.
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