Whether you have the hustle life or the laid-back “writing-in-the-café” writer aesthetic, coffee is everyone’s favorite fuel. It’s a wake-up call, a lifestyle essential. But a lot of us live away without knowing the true potential of this bittersweet potion.
It might sound like a myth, but the “perfect cup of coffee” exists. The mind-blowing part is you can make it at home. You don’t need fancy equipment or magic beans, just a few tricks up your sleeve.
Over the years, I have somewhat managed to get the art of coffee brewing right. There were many hits and misses during this journey, but I finally know what goes and what doesn’t when you have to make the perfect cup of coffee.
I was just like you once, surfing the internet, searching for the perfect practice and ethic for coffee brewing. It took some research and practice, but I got there. You can too with the tips that I’ll tell you.
Coffee making is not rocket science. But there’s still some science you need to know about. First, you need to know what kind of coffee you prefer. Then, you can proceed towards achieving it.
The perfect cup of coffee means a freshly brewed aromatic coffee with the perfect balance of bitterness and the caramel-like taste. Before we proceed with tips, let me first tell you some common ways to make coffee at home.
Common Ways To Make Coffee At Home
There are many ways you can make the perfect coffee at home. The obvious one would be using a coffee machine. But there are also a few simpler ways to make great coffee at home. The common one is using the classic drip-style coffee machine.
Many people even have espresso makers at home. I have just the information you need if you have an espresso maker. Here are some tips for making the perfect espresso.
After that comes the pour-over coffee. This is the method where you place the filter over a brewer. Add some ground coffee beans and over water over them. Then, let it all brew. Lastly, you’ll have some deliciously brewed pour-over coffee.
Last among the common coffee-making practices is the beautiful French press. The French press helps you make a flavorful and aromatic cup of coffee as it preserves the essential natural oils of the coffee.
Want to know what kind of French press you should buy. Here’s the ultimate guide for buying a French press suitable for you.
Now that you know the common ways of making coffee at home; let’s just move to the tips to make the perfect cup of coffee.
Tips To Make The Perfect Cup of Coffee
Coffee is more than just brewing. You need to be careful about the beans, the filters, and even the kind of water you use. Some people don’t even realize how big of a difference that makes. So, let’s see the tips that’ll transform your ‘meh‘ cup of coffee into a perfect one.
1. Use Fresh, and Quality Beans
I feel like this one’s a no-brainer. Of course, the quality of the beans matter. But it also matters if your coffee beans are fresh or not. So, along with beans of superior quality, make sure you use fresh coffee beans to make your coffee.
One of the best quality beans is Arabica. Arabica coffee may vary in taste depending on its type and is best when pure. Another option is Robusta coffee. It is cheaper but can be more bitter. Recently roasted beans have topped the list and are said to be the best.
One way to keep your coffee beans fresh is by storing them properly. Coffee should be stored in airtight containers and kept out of the light. Never keep it in the fridge or freeze it. This will deprecate the taste of your precious coffee beans.
2. Grind The Beans Yourself
Another thing that you should do for that perfect coffee cup is ground the beans yourself. Yes, you will get ground coffee beans and instant coffee powder at stores. But that’s not what you need, especially when we are using the word perfect.
The reason why you should grind the beans on the spot is that grinding coffee beans makes them lose their taste and quality. So, the fresher the grind, the better.
Grind whole coffee beans and use them within fifteen minutes. This is a limited time frame as it begins to lose flavor after this time. Burr grinders are a great tool here. Also, consider the grinding consistency. If the coffee is ground too fine, its taste will be more bitter.
3. Use Quality Water
Now this one might jerk you a little, but yes, the quality of water matters a lot in the matters of coffee. Quality water is like the underrated cast member of a successful series. Its presence might be overlooked, but its absence will surely impact everything (Yes, I am talking about Ross Geller!)
Just remember that nothing ruins your coffee like tap water with chlorine. It just offs the whole taste. If the water is not filtered, consider using a jug with a built-in filter. Fill it up and keep it in the fridge, replacing it when necessary.
Springwater would be acceptable for coffee and still a better option than tap water. Tap water also contains minerals that will not merge well with the coffee.
1g of coffee should suffice 18g of water. A digital scale may be a luxury item, but it would help get the ratio right! If an 8oz cup is used, a tablespoon of ground coffee should be sufficient.
4. Use Quality Filters
This will be relevant for pour-over coffee, where pods or capsules are not used. Quality filters reduce bitterness and potentially unpleasant flavors. Some of the best ones are dioxin-free or oxygen bleached.
If a pour-over coffee maker is being used, it’s best to wash the paper filter first. There may be some paper residue that needs to be removed.
If hot water is used, this will help keep the coffee warm. The ideal water temperature for coffee is 200oF. Anything hotter will risk the coffee turning bitter.
You can gold-plated filter as it has a longer life than the usual ones. But make sure that you don’t ground the coffee too fine, or it’ll leave a residue.
5. Make Sure The Water Is The Right Temperature
You might think that adding ‘hot hot’ water is the key to coffee brewing. But that’s actually not true. There’s an extent to water temperature as well when it comes to making the perfect coffee. I am not kidding.
Coffee connoisseurs say that the optimum water temperature for the perfect cup of coffee is 200°F. If you don’t have a thermometer, don’t worry. Have a watch? Just use the water that’s 45 seconds off the boil. Easy, right?
So, next time when you’re considering the quality of water, also take in the temperature of it.
6. Don’t Leave It Too Long
Obviously, we need to be practical here: a jug of heated coffee that is available on-demand may be the easiest option. But let this dream be a dream because the longer you leave it, the more you can’t drink it.
If a cafetière has been filled, the coffee will become bitter if left as it is for too long. It would be better to move it to a carafe to preserve the flavor.
7. Clean The Equipment Regularly
This is particularly important as this preserves not only hygiene but also the function of your machine and the taste of your coffee. This is especially important when you are using a coffee machine. Coffee oils or minerals from tap water can build up and risk both hygiene and coffee flavor.
Perhaps there should be a routine. It’s best to clean your machine once a month. Over time storage containers and grinders will accumulate unwanted residue, which should be removed. Make sure any containers are dry before adding more coffee.
Clean up your machine nicely with water and vinegar. I know I don’t need to say this but also clean your coffee brewers and French presses.
So, these are some of the tips that you should keep in mind to make the perfect coffee. See, so much goes into the perfect cup. Tell me in the comments, did you make the perfect cup of coffee?
This was all from me. I’ll see you next time with some more tips and interesting things. Until then, you take care. Happy brewing!