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Half the problem with sub-par coffee comes down to temperature. Under heated or overheated, no bean can reach the full expression of its flavor.
Fortunately, there’s a single perfect temperature, no matter the method, no matter the bean. Tattoo this number on the inside of your mind- 205.
The Perfect Water Temperature for Brewing Coffee Is…
205 degrees (that’s Fahrenheit, or 96 degrees Celsius) is the ideal water temperature with which to brew any coffee. You can reach this exact temperature or you can approximate it, depending on your equipment.
Traditional thermometers can do the trick, but even easier (and more accurate) is a laser thermometer, available at any hardware store. This also allows you to measure the temperature from a distance, and amuse your cat afterwards.
Even better is an electric gooseneck kettle with an electronic base that lets you set and monitor the exact temperature of the water inside. Perfectly accurate, these kettles are the ultimate must-have for the discerning and/or dangerously obsessive coffee connoisseur.
Hipster TipHowever, if you’re working with a plain pot or kettle (never both, lest accusations of blackness fly unbidden through your kitchen), you can always use the time-tested method our forefathers used at Ye Olde Beane & Brew, or wherever colonial hipsters went: just boil it. Once it’s boiled, remove for 30 seconds, which will typically give you something in the 199-205 degree neighborhood.
And while we’re talking water, remember: depending on where you live, tap water may adversely affect your coffee. Always use filtered water to ensure the best possible brew.
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