The Four Fundamentals of Brewing Great Coffee

We’ll let you in on a little secret about the key to brewing Starbucks® coffee. Every cup we make in our stores begins with one simple formula: proper proportion, accurate grind, quality water and fresh coffee. This combination can be used at home, no matter how you brew coffee. Learn more about the Four Fundamentals here, and you can always count on that consistent quality Starbucks is known for.

Four Fundamentals - Proportion

The recipe for great coffee is 2 Tbsp (10 g) of freshly ground coffee for every 6 fl oz (180 mL) of water. Keep this proportion consistent no matter how much you’re brewing. If the results are too strong for your taste, add hot water to your cup. Using less coffee will create a bitter cup.

Four Fundamentals - Grind

If you’re not sure what coffee grind to use, just think about your chosen brewing method. The coffee grind size directly affects how much time the grounds are in contact with water. Espresso machines, for example, require very finely ground coffee. A rule of thumb: the finer the grind, the shorter the brew time. If you’re not sure what your grind should look like, not to worry. Your barista can always grind your whole bean coffee for you.

Four Fundamentals - Water

Water makes up 98% of every cup of coffee. So it’s important that it tastes clean, fresh and free of impurities. Filtered or bottled water is best, but if you’re using tap water, make sure it’s cold. Heat the water to almost boiling at 195˚ to 205˚F in order to extract the coffee’s full range of flavors.

Four Fundamentals - Freshness

An opened bag of coffee is highly perishable, just like fresh produce. Store your beans in an airtight container at room temperature for no longer than a week. The trick is to keep it away from oxygen, light, heat and moisture as much as possible. We recommend grinding your beans just before brewing to make sure the end result is fresh flavor.