I had to educate Cat on the proper use of coffee beans, so I bought him a coffee grinder for Christmas. He’s enjoying it in real life, but in the comic strip he’s having a few issues with it. I’m glad I have moved him away from using pre-ground coffee. There are better things in life.

A few things in mind for a fresh cup of coffee:

- The coffee beans MUST be fresh and within a month from roast date. A “Best Before” date isn’t good enough. For espresso, the beans must be no more than 15 days from the roast date.

- The coffee beans should be ground up and used no more than 15 days once the bag is opened. Ideally, a hopperful of beans should be used up within two weeks.

- When storing coffee beans, they should be stored in a sealed bag with a one way valve or ideally, a tightly sealed mason jar, in the freezer.

- Grind the beans ONLY as you need them. Don’t “Grind in advance”. Grounds will go stale within 15 minutes. (Think of what happens when you cut an apple in half. The same thing happens with coffee.)

- Don’t grind too coarse for drip coffee. If you do, the coffee will be weak. If you grind too fine, the coffee may become overly bitter and will leave lots of fines in the carafe. Grind to taste.

- For good coffee, it should stay at a temperature of approximately 180 F and it should be consumed no more than 2 hours from the time it was brewed. Some coffeemakers “Bake” the coffee in the carafe after it has been brewed, this destroys the taste of the coffee, so this is why that is important.

- Don’t “Pull the pot” early. Drip coffee depends on having the entire pot brewed to provide for the best blend of flavors. Brew the entire pot first before you consider taking your first cup!

- Pick beans which you will like drinking. Avoid overly dark roasts. Stay away from oily beans, they’ll gum the grinder up. Oily beans are also over roasted beans. Lighter roasts contain more caffeine and taste better, which is what you want anyway.