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How to Make Good Coffee: Water Temperature

Written by Bacha Coffee | 22 October 2020
|3 mins | Coffee Preparation
Your water temperature can improve the coffee you make at home.

When brewing a good cup of coffee at home, we very often overlook the water temperature. When you have the right beans and they have been ground correctly, water temperature is crucial to flavour extraction. It determines whether your coffee reaches its full flavour potential.

How Water Temperature Affects Flavour Extraction
There is a correlation between brew water temperature and the extraction of coffee flavours. The hotter the brew water, the faster the flavours are extracted from the coffee grounds.

If the brew water is too hot, over extraction may occur. This results in a bitter and unpleasant cup. But if the brew water is too cool, there is a risk of under extraction. This leads to a coffee that tastes flat, underdeveloped, and even sour.

The Best Water Temperature for Good Coffee
For optimal extraction, hot coffee should be brewed at 95°C or 203°F. This temperature is slightly lower than water’s boiling point 100°C (212°F). This, however, does not apply to preparing cold brew coffee.

Tip: Estimating Temperature without a Thermometer

Apply the 30 second rule. Bring water to a full boil and let it sit for 30 seconds before you pour it over your coffee grounds. This brings the water temperature to approximately 95°C.

Note: Even if you have a thermometer, take note that elevation affects boiling point.

At sea level, water boils at 100°C (212°F). The boiling temperature of water drops as elevation increases. Understanding your location allows you to find your water’s exact boiling point.

While you do not need to overly worry about getting the exact water temperature right, it’s important to understand its impact on coffee flavour. This helps you to get the most out of every cup of coffee you brew.

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