It’s not often everyone gets the chance to go to coffee school to learn how to make a delicious cup of coffee. For that reason, we have here some for the best tips which can raise your game and help you make the very best cup you can at home.
If you follow this Beginners Guide to Brewing Coffee, you’ll see a vast improvement in your morning cuppa.
The Best Coffee Beans
The first step is to choose the best coffee beans you can afford. But, don’t head for the large tubs of pre-ground coffee in the grocery, you need actual unground beans. These might be found in specialty coffee shops or higher end groceries.
Freshness is critical, and you might spend that little bit extra, but the difference will be noticeable.
This is the reason why grocery stores or supermarket coffee isn’t suitable. The closer you can find beans to their roasting date, the better. Ground coffee is at its best within 2-weeks of the roasting date. If you find freshly roasted, try to drink it within the next week or so.
Grinding Your Coffee Beans
Coffee which has been ground begins losing its flavour. Once you have found the ideal source of freshly roasted beans, only grind them as you need them. One tip here is, grind them too fine and the water takes ages to drip through the coffee, and if they are ground too big, the coffee runs through too fast and doesn’t soak up the full flavour.
Heat and moisture are things which can ruin your coffee beans. It might seem logical, but never place your beans in the refrigerator or the freezer. Direct sunlight is also a killer. Keep them in the dark jar which is airtight and at room temperature.
This is one of the most crucial aspects of a good cuppa. Good water is half the battle, so ditch the tap water and use filtered spring water if you get the chance. Tap water has lots of trace elements and cleansing agents in it, and although subtle in taste, it does make that difference.
You might not be in the market for a full-on coffee machine, but this doesn’t matter. There are other methods you can use. Even if you have no equipment, and want to get into barista level coffee, then with a tiny investment, you can be well on your way to gourmet cups of coffee.
There are two types of brewing, immersion brewers and pour over brewing methods. Beginners are best sticking to an immersion brewer.
These are super-cheap and take around 4-minutes for you to make your coffee. Spoon in the required amount of ground coffee, fill with water, let it sit and then slide down the plunger to hold back the coffee grounds.
Pour Over Methods
This takes a little more involvement, but for connoisseurs, this is the ultimate aim. You basically have your coffee pot with a filter sat atop. This will hold your coffee grounds, and then when your water is just off the boil, you drizzle the first lot of water. After almost a minute of watching your coffee bloom, you can slowly pour the required amount of water in steps.
Blenders are quick and easy, but they produce uneven ground sizes. Aim for a burr grinder if possible because these give consistent grinding. The better your grinder, the better your taste.
One barista tip is to rinse your paper filters before you use them. This gets rid of any paper
taste which might have remained.
If you are going the pour-over route, try and find a gooseneck kettle. These are the best way to distribute your hot water. One with a thermometer built in is even better.
Timers and Kitchen Scales
For immersion brewers, a timer isn’t so crucial, but for the pour-over method, you need to follow the best timings. There are many brew guides around which show the optimum times for brewing.
Coffee weight and water weight are critical. This isn’t something you can do by eye. You need the exact amount of coffee grounds and water depending on the number of cups. Scales are not expensive, and you need one that will read in 0.1g increments.
Your water should be off the boil. Coffee will be extracted into the water when it is between 195 & 205F. Water boils at 216F.
If you don’t have a thermometer, boil your water, and then let it sit for 30-seconds before you start brewing.
Two final bits of information which go a long way is to pre-heat your brewing equipment and your coffee mug. Also, once you’re finished, clean it thoroughly because stale coffee can ruin your equipment.
Now, go forth and brew that barista quality coffee at home.