premium coffee & tea since1963
carefully nurtured from seed to cup
home > Coffee Master
Ask the Master

Jay Isais is The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® mastermind of coffee, and he's got you covered.

As our Director of Coffee, Roasting and Manufacturing, Jay combs the world's finest coffee growing regions, from Latin America and East Africa to South Asia and the Pacific, sampling and selecting the regions' best harvests, then overseeing our blending and roasting process.

Our specialty grade coffees have been loved and praised the world over (but we won't brag) due, in no small part, to the passion and dedication Jay brings to perfecting what is one of the world's most beloved drinks.

What's best way to store coffee?

To ensure rich, fresh tasting coffee, buy whole beans in small quantities, not in bulk. Grind only as much as you need for each cup or pot of coffee. We recommend transferring your whole beans to an airtight container and storing in a cool, dry, dark location to protect the flavor and aroma. Do not freeze or refrigerate your coffee.

What's the best way to grind coffee?

The first rule to follow is to grind only as much as you need for one cup or one pot of coffee. Also, be sure to choose the correct grind. Each brewing method requires its own type of grind. To find out what type of grind is best, consult the instructions for the coffee maker you plan to use. You want to be careful because too fine a grind will result in bitter tasting coffee, and too course will produce a weaker brew.

What're your suggestions for brewing the best cup of coffee?

After grinding your coffee to the right texture, measure out the correct proportion of coffee to water. What I suggest, in general, is to start with two level tablespoons of ground coffee per 6oz of cold filtered or bottled water. Make sure you're brewing your coffee at the ideal temperature too - the water should be between 195F to 200F.

Why do you recommend filtered or bottled water?

Coffee is 97% water, so any impurities in the water can easily affect its flavor. So, rather than tap water, we always recommend filtered or bottled water when brewing coffee to ensure the best tasting results.

Can you explain how the degree of roasting and the origin of my coffee affect its flavor?

Sure. Light to medium roasted coffees have a crisp, more moderate flavor, and tend to retain many of the origin characteristics. A medium dark to dark roasted coffee is very intense, and, while it's lost much of the origin characteristics, it's fuller bodied and more intense in flavor.

Do you have any tips for pairing coffee with food?

While everybody has their own personal preferences, the general rule of thumb is to pair darker roast coffees with sweeter, richer desserts or food. Lighter bodied, brighter, more complex coffees tend to pair up better with neutral foods. For example, our French Roast and Viennese Blend would both pair well with chocolates and cakes.