I've worked for Starbucks for over 5 years and the most common complaint I hear from customers who buy our coffee bags and try to brew them at home is," Why can't I get your coffee to taste the same at home?" Well I want to share with you the 4 fundamentals of brewing coffee.
1. Freshness - At Starbucks we only use coffee up to 7 days after the air tight seal on a pound of coffee is broken. After 7 days the freshness of the coffee has been affected by the oxygen in the air and is no longer considered fresh. Your coffee at home may not be tasting the same as ours because some people don't go through a pound of coffee in a week(even though now a days that's very hard to believe!) Be sure to store your unused beans in an air tight container until ready to use. (Freezing your opened bag of coffee to enhance the lifespan of your beans is a myth, it doesn't work because there is still oxygen in your freezer!)
2. Grind - There are about 10 different grind settings we use to grind our beans depending on the machine that will be brewing the coffee. The 2 most common is a flat filter and a cone filter setting. Most household coffee makers use one of these two settings. It's all about the shape of your filter, but in many cases people like their coffee a bit finer or courser than the recomended grind for their machine. Experiment with the grind until you find the one that best matches your preference for taste.
3. Proportion - The customer ratio for making a pot of coffee is 2 tablespoons of coffee for every 6 oz of water. Starbucks did not invent this ratio, in fact it's been around for several decades if not close to a century. Be sure you are not using too much coffee or your cup will be strong and bitter, too little and your cup will be watery and weak.
4. Water - This is probably the most important in my opinion. About 90% of a cup of coffee is made up of water. So it makes perfect sense that if your water is dirty, then your coffee might not taste so good. Starbucks uses a triple filtered reverse osmosis system. Our water is very clean. I know filtration systems for our homes can be expensive, but if you are a serious coffee drinker it is something to invest in( need I also mention that clean water is better for you in every way!)
Well, I hope this info was helpful in some way. I hope you get your coffee to taste perfect and if not that's ok...we always love to see you at your local Starbucks! Take care and please let me know if this was helpful to you.