Brew your own gourmet cup of coffee

"Except for espresso most people can make any coffee at home with probably as good a result if not better than a lot of the coffee houses," said John Gozbekian, Director of Coffee for LA MILL in Silverlake.

Gozbekian says there are four main ingredients needed for fabulous java: quality beans, good tasting water, a clean yet effective coffee maker, but most importantly a good grinder. He says buy beans not ground coffee. Like bread, ground coffee loses flavor fast.

"In about one or two days you lose about half the freshness and flavor of coffee," said Gozbekian.

By day four the coffee will have lost 3/4 of it's freshness and flavor. Gozbekian urges the use of a reputable grinder. Not the small blade kind, but a heartier version that costs about $150, yet will last a decade or more. He suggests a grinder by Virtuoso or Maestro.

When it comes to buying beans, buy a half a pound or enough for a week and store in air tight containers, in a cool place. No fridge, no freezer.

Rather than an electric coffee maker which often doesn't get the brew hot enough, he prefers so-called 'pour overs' or a French press as they help to control the time and temperature of brewing.

"So they grind it, they smell it, they taste it and they're pouring the water and they really understand what they're creating," said Gozbekian.

Why bother buying good beans when your coffee maker lacks love and care? Gozbekian reminds us we wash our dishes and pans after each use, the same should hold true for coffee makers.

Vinegar and water works for regular coffee makers, but not for espresso makers. They need a different cleaning solution and espresso machines don't have a "run through" system like a standard coffee maker. Gozbekian says make sure you rinse everything out extremely well.

If milk is involved don't heat milk too high or it will burn its natural sugars. Syrup may be added after coffee is brewed or can be steamed in with the milk.

As far as which type of beans to buy. Gozbekian says it really is a matter of taste.

"Trust your palate," said Gozbekian. "If it tastes good to you, it is good. If you have to put a lot of things in to it to make it taste better, it's not the right coffee for you."

For more information about coffee grinders and beans:
1636 Silver Lake Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA
Greg Torres (818) 359-4224


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