Getting Serious About Your Coffee Break at Work
Work really isn’t work without the coffee. The two things have gone hand-in-hand for so long, that it seems impossible for many of us to imagine one without the other. After all, they call your breaks “coffee breaks” for a reason. But as any victim of bad break room coffee can tell you, the quality of your coffee break depends on many things, and chief among them, of course, is the quality of your coffee.
So if you’re not one of the lucky few who has a professional barista working a coffee cart in your building’s lobby, and you’re ready to graduate from the burner and glass pot of sludge that most denizens of the break room seem to be able to content themselves with, we have a few suggestions for how to up your at-work coffee game. Read on for details and make your work life a whole lot sweeter!
Ditch the Keurig?
First of all, the habit can be needlessly expensive. Remember: you’re paying premium bean prices for non-premium beans. Yes, it’s convenient and the little kid in all of us loves loading the pod and working the handle, but the damage k-cups are doing to the environment is hardly worth a marginally better cup of coffee, right?
Keep Your Gear Clean and Use Clean Water
No matter what coffee brewing method you prefer, you must keep your coffee brewing equipment clean. Oxidation is one thing that easily ruins coffee flavor. Accumulated coffee in your coffee machine, pot, etc. is oxidizing and throwing off the flavor of your brew, so be sure to keep your equipment clean for the best flavor. Also, if you live in a city, use filtered water; bad-tasting water makes horrible tasting coffee.
Buy the Best Beans You Can Afford and Grind Per Use
Throwing money at the problem is one way to approach it, and you should definitely invest in the best beans you can afford. But quality beans are only one part of a great cup of coffee. In fact, you can get a much better cup of coffee by grinding decent coffee beans per each use than you can using a stale grind of the world’s best.
Each coffee bean has flavor locked away inside of it. When you grind that bean, it releases that flavor. Wouldn’t you rather have that coffee flavor released into your brew than the air inside your storage container?
Store Your Supplies Right and Use the Right Amounts, Right Temperature, and Right Times
Coffee beans are best kept in an airtight container that doesn’t let light in, and at room temperature. Forget whatever else you may have heard, and know that coffee does not keep better in the fridge or freezer. In fact, the drying environment of the fridge or freezer actually harms the flavor of your beans.
Also, no matter what method you use to brew, take the time to research the ideal amount of beans to use, how coarse or fine to grind them, what temperature to brew them at, and for how long. Once you have the benchmark of how it’s supposed to be done, you can experiment with the method and amounts of coffee that suit your taste buds best.
Consider Investing in an Electric Kettle and a French Press or Pour-Over Rig, or Cold Brew at Home
An electric kettle allows you to get precise with your water temperature. A French press or a pour over setup allows you to make coffee in small batches for optimum flavor. And, in the summer months, consider brewing toddy (cold brew) at home and bringing it to work in a jar or thermos.
Much More Coffee Game
Employing one of these suggestions will up your work coffee game in no time at all. Employ them all and become master of the break room, earning kudos from all your workmates. Good coffee at work is possible, it just requires a little more effort. The rewards you reap will speak for themselves.