Brewing the perfect cup of tea

The first step to any tea, hot or cold, is to use good water. No matter how high quality your tea is; bad water equals bad tea. The best recommendation is filtered water.

Hot Tea: Use 1 Tbsp (approx. 1 rounded cereal spoon) for each 8 to 10 ounce mug.

  •  Green or White Tea: use hot but not boiling water, pour over tea and steep 2-3 minutes.
  •  Black Tea: bring water to boil, pour over tea and steep 3-5 minutes.
  •  Oolong Tea: use hot but not boiling water, pour over tea and steep 2-4 minutes.
  •  Red Bush Tea (Rooibos): bring water to boil, pour over tea and steep 3-5 minutes.
  •  Herbal Teas, Fruit Teas, and Tisanes: bring water to boil, pour over tea and steep 5 minutes or longer to your desired flavor level.          
  •  Note:  Good quality green and oolong teas can be brewed several times; try it.

Iced Tea:

For ½ gallon of iced tea use 3 Tbsp of tea, bring 1 quart of water, to a boil remove from heat, and add tea leaves, steep 5-6 minutes. Strain tea, Add ice to make ½ gallon finished tea. Use 4 Tbsp tea leaves in your home iced tea maker.

Sun Tea is not recommended as it provides an environment for harmful microbes to flourish. Water for iced tea should be boiled to destroy these microbes.

The Roasting Process

There are always several grades of coffee from each country of origin; we specify only the best, based of cupping notes, and the experience of our brokers. We always start with the freshest new crop green coffee beans that our broker/importer has to offer.

In August of 2017 we upgraded to a new Loring S15 Falcon roaster from Loring located in Santa Rosa, California. All of their products are designed, developed, and made by hand. This new dream machine features a patented single-burner design which is energy efficient and delivers a smokeless roasting process. What would have been wasted heat is recycled back into the roaster to reduce the amount of natural gas needed to roast the coffee. The advanced programming features allow for consistent, precise control so that each specific roasting profile gives the same excellent results every time. No guess work, just great coffee. From installation during the third week in August to December 31, 2017 we have roasted over 60,000 pounds of flawless coffee.

We set a target finish temperature for each type or style of coffee. All of our countries of origin coffees are roasted to the same temperature so that the individual aromas and flavors can be savored. I feel that this levels the playing field so that you can easily detect the differences between a mild Colombia and the more aromatic Kenya. Because of our roasting style our coffee always has bright mocha aroma.

If you like a full flavored, true to type coffee, I know you will love coffee from The Spice Merchant & Company.

How to Brew the Perfect Cup

Quick Tips:
If you do nothing else always follow these 3 simple rules!
1. Keep your coffee pot clean!
2. Use good quality, filtered water.
3. Use fresh, high quality coffee.

Important Steps:

  • Always use fresh, quality coffee.
    Need we say more?
  • Use pure water. Bottled or filtered water is a good choice.
    If you can taste elements in your tap water, you will taste it in your coffee.
  • Use the correct grind for your coffee maker.
    Too fine of a grind can clog your coffee maker and/or filter. And will be bitter. Too coarse of a grind will dilute too much and will become weak. This will also waste the oils and flavor of the coffee and your coffee bean investment. ‘Nuf said?
  • Keep you coffee maker clean.
    A clean pot is vital! Coffee oils and soap residue reside in your coffee maker when it is not properly maintained, and will make your coffee taste bad.
  • Brew with the correct amount of coffee to water ratio.
    1-2 level tablespoons of coffee per 6 ounces of water is typically recommended. Adjust according to your taste. And spread the grounds evenly in the filter for the best brew.
  • Serve coffee immediately after brewing, don’t let it sit on continuous heat.
    Freshly brewed coffee will always have the best flavor!
  • Store your coffee properly to preserve freshness and flavor.
    Heat and oxygen will deteriorate quality. Always store in an air tight container away from heat in a cool, dry location. We recommend that you keep your beans or grind in the original, vapor barrier bags as purchased from The Spice Merchant and then place in your freezer. Freezing will always prolong your investment!

Tidbits & Tips:

Fresh ground coffee from freshly roasted beans is always the best choice! Grinding your own beans just prior to brewing will reward you with the best brew. Invest in a coffee grinder, it’s worth it!

Convenience has it’s rewards too. When you need to use pre-ground make sure you use a good, drip grind coffee.

Coffee begins to loose it’s flavor shortly after brewing. Coffee pot heating elements speed the process of evaporation of the aromatic oils. For prolonged flavor, transfer to a vacuum insulated carafe which has been preheated with hot water.

The same residual oils can buildup in your coffee maker. Remove coffee grounds when brewing is done! The longer those grounds sit, the more oil residue they leave in the basket, the coffee pot and your coffee maker in general.

Household dish soap can also effect coffee flavor. A little baking soda and hot water can do wonders! Put 2 teaspoons baking soda in the water reservoir then “brew” a pot with fresh, cool water. Then rinse all coffee maker parts thoroughly! Next “brew” a pot of water before making your next pot of coffee.

Reheating coffee will only bring out the bitterness. But if you do choose to reheat in the microwave be cautious not to overheat as that will cause excessive loss of flavor. Rather than reheat coffee freeze it in an ice tray. This will keep your summer iced coffee from losing it’s flavor as the temperature rises.

Do you have good China cups? Always use a spoon in the cup as a diffuser when pouring hot coffee. This will dissipate the heat and prevent breakage. A paste of salt and vinegar is quite good at cleaning stains from China cups.

When buying fresh roasted coffee only buy what you will use in a few weeks. A trip to The Spice Merchant will reward you with great coffee every day of the week!

Bad tasting coffee is caused by:

Poor quality coffee, poorly stored coffee and poorly brewed coffee.

And a poorly maintained brewing system. Quite typical of the average household coffee pot. Especially one that is substandard or has not be cleaned regularly. The brewing process leaves a buildup of residual oils. After time this buildup can spoil a wonderful cup of coffee, no matter how good the quality of the bean!