Coffee; some people can’t live without it, some people can’t stand it, but you are most likely one of the people who regularly buy it. We often crave a well-brewed, full-flavored, beautifully presented coffee from the local café. However, with a bit of time and effort, you could get even better results in your kitchen. Some say that making a cup of coffee is an art, consider this an art class. Read on to learn 6 secrets to make tasty coffee every day at home.
Depending on how you like your coffee, how much time you have, and how much coffee you need to make, you could choose between a French press, a drip system, or a pour-over method. Different methods require coffee in different forms and separate machinery as well. However, if you are a real coffee fan, you could invest in all three setups and have the freedom to do what you want. If you are looking for taste then be sure to invest in a good quality machine that will do justice to your coffee.
2. The Beans
Without a doubt, the best quality coffee is made from quality whole beans. Instant coffee or crushed beans can be a good option if you can find good quality versions, but whole beans are the best. Even if you have to grind them to make your coffee, nothing beats freshly ground coffee or coffee made from whole beans. Most coffee fans will argue that Arabica beans are the way to go, but if you like a strong caffeine rush and a zesty coffee taste then Robusto might be for you.
3. Bean Care
If you are investing your money in quality coffee beans, you need to be able to take care of your investment. Having the right storage solution is critical if you want your coffee beans to retain their flavor profile and extend their shelf life. You will get a lot of different opinions about how you should store your coffee, whether you should freeze it or not, whether you should store it whole or not. However, just like the taste of coffee, these opinions are subjective. The goal is to keep the coffee beans airtight, at a good temperature, and to use them soon.
4. Clean Equipment
Coffee residue and oil will quickly build up on brewing machines and reusable filters. Moreover, if you are using a press, the tricky-to-reach areas around the springs are a magnet for residue. Dirty equipment will infuse a nasty taste to even the finest coffee. If you get a coffee subscription where you receive prepackaged and ready-to-use pods, this significantly reduces the amount of cleaning required. Moreover, it’s also a great solution for storage since you can store them as they are and then take them out to use whenever you need them. Keep everything you use for coffee-making super clean for optimum flavor.
An underrated component of coffee-making for sure. Some high-end coffee shops use bottled mineral water to make their coffee, one of the main reasons why it doesn’t taste the same when you make it at home with tap water. However this doesn’t mean you should use soft water for your coffee, in fact, the minerals and chemicals in hard water are a critical component in developing flavor. Stay away from plain tap water in any case. A great solution is to have an active charcoal filter on your tap water at home for coffee. This will eliminate most of the odor and filtration chemicals from the tap water while retaining minerals.
If you look at professional coffee baristas and high-quality coffee machines, they brew the coffee very precisely at a specific temperature. That secret temperature is 200F. Anything below this will not activate the coffee and flavor won’t be released. Anything above this and you will burn the coffee, leading to a bitter taste and bad color in the end product. More importantly, once you have brewed the coffee with this hot water don’t let it wait too long; over time, the taste will deteriorate and turn bitter. Reheating the coffee is even worse for the taste so always enjoy it fresh.
The thing with coffee, as is the case with any art, is that it takes time to perfect. Even with the best coffee, the best equipment, and the best cup to serve it in, you will need to make quite a few cups of practice before you get it right. Baristas are very picky about their equipment because it takes a lot of time to familiarize yourself with the machinery and to be able to do something so precise like clockwork. So, don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get it to the gold standard right out of the gate; with time you will get there.