How to improve your coffee at home without going full Barista on it!
I have spent years making coffee at home, trying to make the best coffee I can. I will share with you all I have learnt. And tips to help along the way.
Below you will find the 4 crucial steps needed to make the best coffee.
If you want to find out more about each step, continue reading.
4 steps to making the best coffee!
1: Buy good quality and fresh beans
2: Grind your own beans
3: Use good quality water and the right temperature
4: Brewing method
Read the rest of the article to learn more!
1: Coffee beans
The two most important factors of coffee beans are that they are of good quality and that they are fresh.
How to select good coffee beans?
This is dependent on your preference.
If you like a smoother coffee, try a lighter roasted coffee.
If you like strong flavoured coffee, go for the darker roast.
If you are in between, try a medium roast!
Usually best to try a few varieties to find which you like better!
And then hone in on the type of coffee you like.
How fresh does the coffee need to be?
The fresher, the better, but if you can get it roasted within the last 3 weeks is good. The best option is to buy a five to seven day supply of coffee at a time. That way it will be as fresh as possible for you.
If there is only an expiry date on the packet that means it may have been roasted weeks before it was even bagged and sitting on a shelf for an extended time.
Always check the date on the bag for when it was roasted, not the expiry date.
How do you store the coffee beans?
Coffee beans need to be in a sealed bag/container and kept out of sunlight. As leaving them out in the air or in direct sunlight can make them go bad. The best option is to keep the beans or grinds stored in a glass container and kept in the press at room temperature.
2: Grind your own beans
To make the best coffee you need to grind the beans fresh every time to get the best flavours.
There are two options a hand grinder or an electric grinder.
The hand grinder is usually a birr grinder that grinds the beans evenly to give a constant size of the grind. Which is preferred you may get an electric birr grinder but usually more costly.
The electric grinder is usually a blade type that can grind the coffee good, but sometimes it is not consistent.
If you are a busy person, this is not always possible to hand grind the coffee beans!
The electric grinder may be an option for you then.
But if that isn’t viable, then preground coffee is for you!
I know that is not always possible. When I am trying to get the kids ready for school in the morning and get to work, too, there is no time to hand grind, so it is preground coffee for me :). But in the evening or at the weekend when there is time. I will follow the steps to make a great coffee!
I will note that it is best to clean out the grinder every time as best as possible. For good measure, grind a few beans beforehand to clear out any missed bits of coffee grinds from the last time.
Also, do not keep coffee in the fridge or freeze as the beans are porous and can absorb moisture and odours.
How much coffee grinds for a cup of coffee?
The standard measure varies from 1 to 2 3/4 tablespoons of coffee grinds per 8 ounce cup of coffee.
If you like it stronger go for the higher amount and if you like it weaker go for the lesser amount.
This may vary depending on how you like your coffee but it is a range to start with and perfect for your tastes!
3: Good water
Bottles of spring water or filtered water is the best options to make the coffee taste good and keep your machines lasting longer.
It is better not to use tap water for many reasons. There can be chlorine or other flavors in the water that can make the coffee taste bad. If it is hard water it can cause a build-up of scale on your coffee machine.
Note: don’t use softened or distilled water either as it can have the same effect as tap water.
Water temperature is an important factor in making your coffee if it is too hot or too cold this can cause the coffee to taste bad. The best temperature for coffee is between 195 to 205°F.
To achieve this temperature using a kettle fill with water and let it boil. Allow it to cool for approx 30 to 45 seconds to get the right temperature for your coffee.
4: Brewing method
The final part of making the best coffee is the brewing method. There are several options available for this as listed below. Each has its own characteristics to them but all can yield a good cup of coffee and sometimes it’s nice to try different ones. I frequently change brewing methods at home depending on what I fancy at the time. Once I have the top 3 steps covered I know it will be a good coffee!
Protip: Always heat the machine or equipment up and rinse the new filter with some hot water in its place. And leave for about 30 seconds when it’s all set up and then pour out the water. This will warm up the pot or cup and clean the filter of any flavors or scents and leave it ready to make your best coffee!
Then you are good to start.
With all the brewing methods you have to grind the beans or have preground coffee already.
The beauty of the drip coffee machine is it is automatic. You put in the water, filter and coffee and it will brew your coffee for you! Some drip coffee machines can brew from 4 to 12 cups of coffee at a time. Great if you have a lot of coffee drinkers:)
Also, known as a manual drip coffee maker. This is more manual than the drip coffee machine. You have to set it all up and then pour in water in stages and stir the coffee grounds gently after the first water is put in to ensure fully mixed. And continue pouring hot water in until you reach the desired amount required for that serving. But don’t fill water past the top of the filter.
They come in different sizes.
With the french press, you place the coffee grinds into the french press. Then pour in hot water stir the grinds and water and then let it steep for 4 minutes. Press the plunger down slowly and then pour the coffee into a cup or mug and add milk or sweeteners if you like and enjoy!
This is another good option but requires a bit more work. The only major difference is you have to put the grinds into the brew head and tamp down the coffee grinds but not too hard. Place it into the machine, put a cup underneath and press the brew button if it is automatic. This will produce an espresso which you can use to make an americano by adding hot water to the cup!
If you want foamed milk, you can buy a milk frother to make the foamed milk. Or on some espresso machines, they have a frother or foam lance to make frothed coffee.
You can use the frother to make lattes, cappuccinos or mochas. This can be a nice change or good for making for your friends especially if they are not mad about coffee.
If you want to find out more about what’s good for beginner coffee drinkers.
Clean your storage containers and grinders every few weeks to keep them fresh.
If you have a coffee machine I would recommend cleaning it every month to remove any build up on the machine. Use either a strong vinegar solution or a special coffee machine cleaner to run through the machine.
Make sure to flush out the machine fully with clean water after, I recommend flushing it twice.
What to do next?
Now it is your turn to make the best coffee at home!
Check out our other pages to learn more while you grab a coffee and enjoy!
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