Perfect Coffee

The perfect cup of coffee is the one that brings you the most joy. There are a lot of factors involved, including the setting and who you are surrounded by. Here's some guidance to help with the nuts-and-bolts aspects, though. 

If you want great coffee, you need great coffee beans (preferably from a local coffee roaster). Ideally roasted within the last month and ground fresh, or within a week if ground by a high-quality commercial grinder. Many times we have had remarkable coffee poured out of a cooking pot at a campfire, where grounds had been mixed into boiling water, left to steep, then poured off into cups. Literally just a pot, cups, and coffee. At home you could up your game by pouring it through a strainer bag to get rid of most of the grounds. With good coffee, you can wow yourself and your friends with this method.

 

If you want something more dedicated, I'd go with either a pour-over or a French press, either of which is much cheaper than a drip coffee maker and produces better coffee. Use a general ratio of  6 g. of coffee per 100 ml. of  just off-boil water, and a medium-fine grind. Start there then make adjustments.

 

If the coffee tastes sour, you haven't extracted enough joy from the grounds, so you need to grind finer, use hotter water, or have the water spend more time in contact with the grounds. A bitter coffee indicates over-extraction, so try less time in contact or a courser grind. Adjust coffee weight to get the desired strength.

 

If you keep feeling like something's a little off no matter what changes you make, try drinking in a different location or with better music or friends. Don't rest until you find joy!