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Posted at 01:44 PM ET, 09/29/2011

National Coffee Day: How to get the best cup

It’s national coffee day, the time when coffee/caffeine addicts unite in their obsession for a perfectly roasted, precisely brewed cup of joe — and can unabashedly drink multiple cups throughout the day in the name of celebration.

For this glorious, and overstimulated holiday, the Post Food section wanted to take a moment to reflect on the preparation of the beverage that is so much more than a morning pick-me-up.

Barista Liz Padilla steams milk for a latte at Chinatown COffee Company. (Evy Mages - FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)
Selecting a bean can be a crucial first step. On top of deciding which region - Africa, Central America, Hawaii etc. etc. - picking a roast can be challenging. For particularly meticulous consumers, roasting beans can provide an unparalleled level of control, as our fearless editor, Joe Yonan, discovered.

Joe’s foray into DIY coffee roasting led him to a one of the freshest cups he’s ever tasted, as well as “a world of possibilities, not to mention complications, if I continued.”

On top of infinite roasting opportunities, brewing methods come with their own array of possibilities. Just when Joe thought he had settled on a dripper by the Japanese company Beehouse, Mary Troy of Sweet Maria’s Coffee in Oakland threw him a curveball: A better dripper, which allows the grinds to steep until the gadget is placed on top of an individual mug.

It all circles back to the perennial question, how do you get the best cup of coffee? Cast your vote after the jump.

And see how Jay Caragay, fellow coffee geek and owner of Spro in Baltimore, arrives on the best cup for his customers.


GALLERY: Click the image above to view more images from London Fashion Week.

See the Recipe Finder for a list of recipes that incorporate coffee.

More on national coffee day:

BlogPost: National Coffee Day: Celebrate with a free cup of joe

The Buzz: Celebrate National Coffee Day with free cups of joe

The Buzz: Another D.C. superlative: America’s 6th most caffeinated city

By Cara Kelly  |  01:44 PM ET, 09/29/2011

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