Many people spend significant time and money getting that daily gourmet coffee fix. However, what if you could enjoy a beautifully-crafted brew in your own home?
If you want to make your own top-quality coffee at home, you can. Here are our best tips curated by experts to help you enjoy the finest brew possible without leaving your front door.
Buy whole bean coffee
The fresher the roast, the better the coffee. Once coffee beans are ground, they lose flavor quickly. By buying whole beans, you can already up the quality of your coffee.
You can grind the beans yourself, of course, or at least take the whole beans to a coffee roaster. Freshly ground coffee lasts up to two weeks once you open the bag.
Grind the beans yourself
For maximum flavor, grind the beans yourself. Once you have ground your coffee beans, you’ll want to brew them within 20 minutes for the very freshest flavor.
You can grind just what you need for that morning, or at least for that day. Experiment to see if you can detect a different taste.
Use a scale
Using a scale to weigh your beans before grinding will ensure that you get the same consistency of richness every time. If you measure with a spoon, your measurement won’t be as accurate.
Some baristas tell you to measure 180 grams of coffee per carafe (making twelve 8-ounce cups). If you’re using an automatic drip coffee maker, try 90 grams of whole beans for a 6-cup brew.
Store your coffee properly
Once you’ve opened your coffee, you’ll want to store it to shield it from direct sunlight. Dark-colored glass or ceramic containers are perfect for keeping your coffee fresher.
Avoid freezing your coffee. Coffee in the freezer can absorb additional moisture, which can impact the taste.
Ideally, you should keep freshly ground coffee at room temperature.
Choose the correct brewing method for you
How you brew your coffee matters. If you prefer a milder taste, use an automatic drip coffee maker. If you want a bold flavor with an even brew, use a method that gives you more control. Uno Casa’s pour-over coffee maker is an example of the pour-over method. Pour-over coffee brewing allows you to control the brew of your coffee since you can make sure that all of the ground coffee receives the same amount of water. You can also control the speed, pausing halfway to extract maximum flavor from your ground coffee.
If you do use a pour-over method, prepare your filter beforehand. Wet it with hot water and let it drain. By preparing your filter, you are bringing it to the right temperature and washing away any residue of paper flavor that you don’t want in your coffee.
Choose the correct type of coffee bean for you
The origin of your coffee beans is another factor that impacts taste. African blends tend to be dark and more acidic, whereas South America’s beans are more medium and less acidic.
If you don’t know what you prefer, start with a medium roast such as Guatemalan coffee.
Use steamed milk and spices
Steaming your milk makes all the difference to your lattes and cappuccinos. It’s simple to steam milk at home with an electric steam frother, and they’re easy to use.
Adding a bit of spice is another excellent way to upscale your homebrew. There is no need for sugary syrups – stir in pieces of chocolate or top your drink with ground cinnamon or nutmeg.
Clean your coffee maker regularly
If you don’t wash your coffee maker regularly, the coffee oils that remain behind will affect the flavor of your brew. If your coffee starts to taste burned, leftover coffee oil could be the explanation.
Professional coffee houses clean their coffee makers daily. You may not want to do this at home, but it’s worth knowing that the more you keep your equipment clean, the better.
Consider using a burr grinder
The particle size of your ground coffee is another factor that affects its flavor. With a burr grinder, you can play around with different textures to see what you like best.
Another advantage of a burr grinder is that you’ll know that the particles of your coffee will all come out the same size. This means that they will all brew at the same rate and yield the same amount of flavor.
If your coffee tastes a bit acidic or sour, your grind is probably too coarse, so use a finer setting. If it tastes too bitter, your grind is probably too fine, and it brewed too quickly.
Generally speaking, the French Press method requires a coarse grind, pour-overs need a medium grind, and espresso needs a fine grind.
Use filtered water at the right temperature
Most of your cup of coffee – about 98.5% – is pure water. Therefore, the quality of the water that you use will play a huge part in how your coffee will taste.
Use purified or filtered water, whether you get it from a home filtration system or a bottle.
Note: Don’t use distilled water, as the lack of minerals doesn’t allow coffee to brew properly.
The other factor to consider with your water is the temperature. The best water temperature for extracting maximum flavor from your ground coffee beans is between 195 to 205 degrees F.
The higher the temperature, the faster the extraction (think of overnight cold brews). And water at high temperatures extracts the substances from coffee that give us the correct acidity level and the flavors that we all appreciate in our morning cup.
If the water is too hot, however, your coffee will be very bitter.
You can use a thermometer to check water temperatures if you wish, though there’s an easy way to get the optimum temperature for your brew. Freshly boiled water that has sat for about 30 seconds to 1 minute is usually within the perfect range for brewing your coffee.
Coffee Brewing Tips: Final Thoughts
There is nothing like a freshly brewed cup of coffee, and you shouldn’t have to leave your house to get one. These tips will help you brew the perfect coffee every time, and save you the time and cost of going to a coffee shop.