The Science Behind Making the Perfect Cup of Coffee

TIME

The Right Equipment
Carguilo likes the clean, robust taste that comes from a manual dripper, since it filters out oil and sediment. And she’s not alone. As basic as it is, the pour-over has become the latest thing at gourmet coffee shops. Cone-shaped drippers work fine, but Carguilo prefers the flat base of the Kalita Wave (shown at right, $38; filters, $13 for 100). “The grounds lie evenly, so the water saturates them equally,” says Carguilo.

The Right Water
If you don’t like the flavor of your tap water, use filtered or bottled.

Read more: 8 Buzz-Worthy Coffee and Espresso Dessert Recipes

Fresh Grounds
Grind beans within a half hour of brewing. A burr grinder is ideal but pricey ($50 or more). It creates uniform grounds and prevents the coffee from ending up too weak or too bitter. For a manual dripper, medium size (similar to raw sugar granules)…

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