Be a Specialty Coffee Specialist
You've decided to switch to specialty coffee. You've made a bold move to enter the realm of the tastiest, freshest coffee around. Specialty coffee typically has gone from the roaster to your cup as fast as humanly possible. After all, coffee is a perishable and delicate commodity. Its peak taste has a very short life span. It will weaken with time, air exposure, and exposure to moisture. Speed in the entire coffee process, from when the beans were picked right up to when your machine brews your pot, is essential.

Because specialty coffee is an especially perishable item with a very limited shelf life, try to keep it as fresh as possible when you get it home. Store it in airtight containers or in a sealed coffee bag like the kind from the supermarket or gourmet store where you bought the coffee. Heat, light, air and moisture can all diminish your coffee's flavor. That's because all of these factors speed up the release of the coffee's aromatic gases over time. Refrigerating or freezing the coffee may slow this process, but only if the coffee has not yet been exposed to air. Opened coffee that is later frozen will build up condensation from the moisture in the air, and the coffee will end up tasting worse than if it had not been frozen at all.

Also, make certain to grind your specialty coffee immediately before brewing. Coffee beans are like little containers that store the coffee oils and aromatic compounds. The flavor is exposed to air and moisture once a bean is ground. If brewing doesn't occur right away, the precious flavor and aroma can be lost. In other words, grinding coffee at home is the second most important step to getting the most out of your coffee.

The third step is knowing exactly how long a time to allow your specialty coffee to brew. If you let water contact the grounds for too long, your coffee would end with an excessively bitter flavor. In contrast, if you let water contact the grounds for too short a time, your coffee may not reach its full flavor potential.

The final step in delicious specialty coffee brewing comes after your coffee is finished brewing. Don't allow your coffee to sit on a burner or hotplate too long afterward. Any longer than 20 minutes is too long because the coffee's taste would start to become bitter. Your taste buds, and your stomach, will appreciate it.