Does your coffee addiction have you leaving early to hit the drive-thru line every morning before work? Is it making a major dent in your weekly budget?
Between the time you spend buying drinks at your local coffee shop and the wasted money, you could be making your own delicious java at home. Yes, it’s possible to get barista-quality brew in your kitchen!
All you need to do is follow these nine tips. You’ll be brewing better coffee at home any time you want, and saving time and money, too!
Table of Contents
1. Get the Right Beans
Coffee connoisseurs know it all starts with the beans.
Everyone has a different opinion about the best flavors, but one thing the right beans have in common is their appearance.
In order to roast a strong, even cup of coffee, make sure your beans are as close to the same size and shape as possible. This allows them to break down at the same rate, which results in a brew you can control the taste of.
2. Use Fresh Beans
There’s a trick to knowing when your beans are past their “best by” date. Fresh beans are still releasing carbon dioxide after they are roasted.
If you store them in a vacuum-sealed baggie, you’ll see that the bag is full of air. Most specialty coffee manufacturers use a one-way air valve to let the carbon dioxide out and avoid a bag blow-up.
Beans that are in a flat bag aren’t releasing any compounds and are probably not fresh. But you can use these tips by Taylor Lane to learn how to store your coffee so it stays fresh longer.
3. Roast Your Beans and Use Them Fast
The reason for the amazing aroma and taste of a high-quality brew is that the coffee beans are roasted fresh.
After a bean is roasted, the compounds that make up the smell and flavor begin to degas. The faster you brew your coffee after roasting the beans, the more flavor you have.
4. Measure the Ingredients
As you’re experimenting with different recipes, you’re eventually going to hit the Holy Grail of brews. If you didn’t measure each ingredient as you used it, it’s going to be hard to make the same drink again.
Every brand of coffee varies in size and density. The amount you use for one blend might not be the same that you’d use for another. Use a scale and measure the weight, not the volume, of coffee in your recipe.
5. Grind Your Beans Evenly
You know that the reason for the incredible flavors and smells of our favorite coffee is the degassing process. But did you know that grinding your beans can speed this up?
By using a grinder that gives you precision control of your beans, like a burr grinder, you can choose the particle size you get.
A basic coffee grinder doesn’t always grind everything at the same rate. The particles don’t brew consistently, leaving you with a drink that’s unevenly flavored. But a burr grinder lets you choose a specific grind size.
6. Use Filtered Water
Among water drinkers, there’s a debate: Some say all water tastes the same, while others swear that it has nuanced flavors.
When it comes to making your coffee, the fact is, water matters. Purified or filtered water has no flavor or smells of its own. It has enough minerals to add to the brewing process, but not so much that it takes away the coffee’s own properties.
7. Check Your Water Temperature
During the degassing process, the temperature of the water you use plays a role in how quickly the compounds are extracted. The hotter the water, the faster the breakdown of your beans.
For a smooth, even finished product, your water shouldn’t be too hot or too cold. You’re looking for the Goldilocks level of just right, which occurs somewhere between the 195 – 205 degree F range.
8. Learn How to Bloom
The term “bloom” is commonly seen in professional coffee discussions. If you’re new to the field, though, you’re probably wondering what it means.
A “bloom” refers to the bubbling effect that you see when you first add water to your grounds. As the water hits the coffee, the gases release, expelling the carbon dioxide.
This bloom is important because if you don’t get rid of that gas, it will keep the flavors from extracting out of the beans. Controlling the blooming process improves the quality and strength of the taste and aroma.
To bloom your coffee, add a little water before you start brewing. Wait 30 seconds, then add more. Then, start the brewing process.
9. Control the Water/Bean Contact
The extraction of the flavors starts as soon as water hits a bean. In order to produce the most evenly-flavored coffee, you must control the saturation process.
As you add water to your beans, make sure you get all the little air pockets, too. After you bloom your beans, pour the water in gradually. Stir the beans lightly to get liquid into any open air pockets.
With these nine tips to improve your at-home coffee experience, you don’t need to hit the expensive shops. You can have professional, high-quality hot beverages at your fingertips whenever you want them. You’ll save time and money, and enjoy the atmosphere of a coffee shop in your own home!