Brazil is know for its coffee, but for a long time Brazil's best coffee never made it to Brazilian's coffee pots. We met up with Café owner and connoisseur Marcos Modiano for some of the history of coffee culture. For the coffee lovers among you, here are Marcos' top coffee making tips:
1. Keep it fresh
Use recently roasted and ground coffee. Air is coffee's worst enemy, robbing it of its taste and aroma. If you intent to keep coffee for longer than 2 weeks pass it to a tightly sealed jar and leave it in the freezer. But once it comes out of the freezer consume it straight away as condensation inside the jar will moisten the powder and it will start to lose its taste.
Real coffee lovers keep their coffee in grain form - mother nature's own flavour saving packaging.
2. Don't over or under grind the coffee grains
If you have a home coffee grinder (well, some people do), follow your manufacturer's interactions closely. Grinding the grains too finely releases bitter notes in the taste of the coffee. Grinding it too coarsely makes it bland.
3. Good water makes good coffee
Water is 90% of your cup of coffee, so why not use the best stuff you can? The temperature is also essential. Never pour boiling water into your coffee. The ideal temperature is just before boiling point, around 90c - 95c. Any hotter than that and your coffee will end up too bitter.
4. Don't over brew it
Don't leave the coffee powder brewing for too long as too many of the bitter notes of the coffee will be extracted from the powder. Too little brewing will make it too bland. Trial and error and tasting is the only way to achieve the perfect combination for your equipment. But once you perfect it, stick to it. And keep your coffee pot clean, so you always get a pure coffee taste.
If you're in Rio and want to put all of Marcos' expertise to the proof, check out his website for the address of his many cafés.