What is the best temperature to brew coffee? 

According to the SCAA, the optimal water temperature for coffee is 92 – 96C (197.6 – 204.8F) for 90% of the contact time.

In manual brewing method such as french presses and pour-overs, this can be achieved by bringing the water to a boil and letting sit for 3-5 minutes before adding it to the ground coffee. 


How to do I keep my coffee at its best quality? 

    The quality of a brew depends on the following factors (in no particular order):

    1. Time since coffee roasting.
    2. Time since grinding the beans.
    3. Cleanliness with brewing equipment.
    4. Coffee Bean quality.
    5. Water quality.



    With proper packaging, whole bean coffee can be stored up to 4 weeks in valve-seal bags and still be full flavored, though aiming for drinking within 2 weeks is ideal.


    For freshness, at home it is better to buy popular blends that move fast, while in a supermarket vacuum packaged containers with expiration date are your best bet although all canned coffee will be stale to some extent. It should be noted that in order to vacuum pack coffee industrial coffee producers actually let the coffee sit before it is packed. As soon as coffee is roasted it starts to release CO2 in a process called outgassing. This actually helps to protect the bean from staling. Unfortunately for the people vacuum packing coffee or putting coffee in tins this also will inflate the bags. This outgassing is the reason that you will see one way valves on some coffee bags. These valves allow the CO2 to escape while keeping oxygen out of the bag.

    Chances are you will not get truly fresh coffee in a supermarket. This is an absolute fact if it is pre-ground. In a coffee house look for a shop that roasts in-house and ask what was roasted that day. If the person behind the counter does not know, ask to talk to someone who cares about coffee. If no one knows, go somewhere else. As a side note, it should be mentioned that coffee is at its best after a rest of a few hours. This is one of those places that a knowledgeable roastmaster can help you. As a general rule most coffees are improved with a rest time of 12 to 24 hours. Some coffees, particularly musty or earth coffees actually mellow for the first two to three days making a longer rest better. This means that buying fresh roasted coffee online (say, Guatemalan coffee for example) and having it shipped to you provides just enough time for the coffee to develop before it arrives at your door.


    Fact: If you are buying “good” coffee, bean quality is the least important of these factors. The best bean will taste bad if any one of these other characteristics is out of place. Not all coffee beans are equal but the other 4 keys to quality will even the field. I will take a lesser coffee that has been freshly roasted and ground any day over coffee that was roasted and ground then left to get stale no matter how good it was when it was fresh.

    Fact: A coffee can in the supermarket often contains large amounts of robusta, low quality Arabica coffee beans and past crop (old) coffee beans. To make things worse there is no way for the major coffee companies that roast and ship all over the country to get you truly fresh coffee.

    NOTE: A coffee can in the supermarket often contains a blend of Arabica and robusta coffee beans while most coffee houses sell only Arabica beans. Arabica beans are usually flavor rich, while robusta beans have more caffeine, less flavor and are cheaper to produce. The exception to this rule is that some very good espresso coffees will have small amounts of the highest quality robusta beans on the market. This is not a guarantee that a coffee house will have any better coffee than the diner down the street. If any of the previously discussed items, such as cleanliness or freshness, are not in order then the best coffee can be made to taste bad.

    When you buy coffee beans, whether in a coffee house or in a supermarket, you want to get 100% arabica, except for espresso blends, which may be a combination of both. Whether good quality robusta improves the flavor of espresso is up for debate but in all likelihood this is a debate that will linger for quite some time. The robusta does contribute heavily to the crema and caffeine content of an espresso however, and is considered vital to a proper blend.


    Fact: Once you have freshly roasted and ground coffee, good water and equipment free of oil residues from the last brew, the quality of coffee beans makes a huge difference.


    A final point is for best results grind your own coffee beans. Buying fresh and then having it ground defeats the purpose. Ground coffee only lasts a few hours or one day at the most if not properly protected in a valve-seal bag.

    How much caffeine is in decaf coffee beans? 

    In the United States federal regulations require that in order to label coffee beans as “decaffeinated” that coffee must have had its caffeine level reduced by no less than 97.5 percent. So how much caffeine is in decaf coffee? Anywhere from 0.1% to 2.5% depending on the decaffeinating method

    Example: Panamanian coffee beans are about 1.36% caffeine by weight normally. This and many other Arabica coffees are about 98.64% caffeine free even before anything is done to lower the caffeine content. This is because the other components that make up the coffee bean (cellulose, sugars, moisture, chlorogenic acids) are primarily what give coffee its flavor.
    When 97% of the caffeine has been removed only (1.36% / 97% =) 0.0408% of the coffee caffeine by weight. About 4/100ths of 1%. At this level it is labeled “decaffeinated”.

    How roasters label their products is another matter. Suppose two roasters roast Panama coffee that originally came from the same lot, and were decaffeinated together in the same vat. One roaster labels his decaf. “97.5% Caffeine Removed.” The other says his is “99+% Caffeine Free.” Which roaster is not telling the truth?

    The answer is: They are both right, depending on what measure you’re talking about. One is talking about the removal of caffeine as a percentage and the other is talking about the amount of caffeine compared to the weight of the coffee. They are both essentially saying the same thing, albeit using vague and confusing terminology.

    Taking a 10 gram serving of coffee (10,000 mg) and dividing it by 0.0408% gives you just over 4 mg. Decaf should range somewhere in the 2-4 milligrams of caffeine per cup range.

    Note that a “cup” here is referred to 6-oz of brewed coffee, far less than what is typically consumed.

    How much caffeine is in tea? 

    The average amount of caffeine in a cup of tea varies greatly, depending on the plant cultivar, type of tea, season of plucking, and the duration of infusion.
    Following is the approximate caffeine content in various beverages:

    Following is the approximate caffeine content in various beverages:

    Beverage approximate caffeine content (in milligrams)

    Black Tea: 40–100
    Oolong Tea: 9-50
    Green Tea: 8–30
    White Tea: 6–20
    Masala Chai: 20–50
    Coffee: 40– 170

    *Assuming 5 oz or 100 ml of water is used per brew.