Brewing a delicious and rich cup of coffee involves balancing several variables. Although the water temperature is one of the most important variables in coffee brewing, it is hardly given the attention it deserves. It is one of the easiest variables to set and control. So what is the best temperature to brew coffee? Can you brew coffee at 200 degrees Fahrenheit? Read on to learn more.
How Water Temperature Affects Coffee Extraction
Understanding the impact of water temperature on coffee brewing can help you brew tastier coffee. When you brew coffee above 205 degrees Fahrenheit, there will be over-extraction, thereby producing bitter coffee. On the other hand, if you brew coffee below 195 degrees Fahrenheit, there will be under extraction, which will lead to sour, underdeveloped coffee.
Can You Brew Coffee at 200?
It is recommended to brew coffee at a temperature range of between 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit. With that said, the ideal water temperature for brewing tasty coffee is 200 degrees Fahrenheit. However, you do not have to hit the exact temperature. As long as you are within the recommended range, you will stand better chances of brewing the best-tasting coffee.
Some coffee makers set the water temperature automatically. For instance, automatic drip brewers come with thermostats that set a specific water temperature. Some feature several brewing temperatures for those who prefer their coffee unique.
If you are using a manual coffee maker such as a French press to brew coffee, you can get the water temperature right with the help of a thermometer. Alternatively, heat water until it boils. Once boiled, allow it to rest for about a minute away from the heat before pouring it into your manual coffee maker. That way, it will reach the optimum brewing temperature.
Also, remember to preheat your coffee pot with some hot water before brewing. That way, it will not reduce the water temperature once you pour in hot water for brewing.
Using Varying Water Temperatures to Make Certain Coffees
You can alter the water temperature depending on the kind of coffee you are brewing. This is especially necessary when using manual coffee makers since they do not have a mechanism to control the water temperature. Here are the recommended temperatures for brewing different types of coffee:
1. Cowboy Coffee
Brewing cowboy coffee requires boiling the coffee. You simply mix water and coffee grounds. Then allow the mixture to boil. Once boiled, you turn down the heat and allow the brew to sit. Thus, there is no specific temperature for brewing coffee. You only need to get the water boiling at whichever temperature it will boil depending on the altitude in your area and the water quality.
2. French Press
Brewing coffee with a French press requires you to use water immediately off the boil. Alternatively, measure the water temperature to about 200 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit. The reason for using this water temperature is that the French press brews coffee by steeping. Thus, by the time you are done brewing, the coffee will be cooler than how it was when you started brewing. You can insulate your French press by wrapping it with a towel or tea cozy. Also, you can invest in an insulated French press.
3. Arabic and Turkish Coffees
Arabic coffee, also known as qahwa, and Turkish coffee both entail brewing coffee by boiling it severally before getting a ready brew. When the coffee boils and starts spilling over, you turn down the heat to a simmer. After that, you increase the heat to boil it all over again.
4. Pour Over Coffee
Pour over coffee should be brewed with hot water right off its boiling point. If your kettle has a temperature control mechanism, start pouring when the water temperature is between 200 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Aeropress is quite different from other hot coffee brewers. The Aeropress manufacturer recommends brewing at a temperature of between 176 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit (80 to 85 degrees Celsius). This temperature is lower than the standard temperature for most brewing methods.
Despite brewing at a lower temperature, the Aeropress coffee brews very tasty coffee. One of the reasons why it brews perfectly at a lower temperature is that it brews using high pressure. Thus, the high pressure extracts flavors like how hotter water does.
6. Cold Brewing
Cold brewing, unlike other coffee brewing methods, uses cold water or water at room temperature to brew cold brew concentrate. In this case, coarse coffee grounds are steeped in water for about 24 hours. The prolonged brewing time allows for sufficient extraction with cold water.