Coffee is the most popular beverage in the world and for many, it is a daily necessity. A day is just not right until you have had your perfect cup of coffee.
For many, this often meant a visit to your local coffee shop. But this gets expensive over a full year. Add to this the fact more and more people are now working from home regularly.
It is no wonder then that a lot of people are searching for how to make decent coffee. Drawn by the cost savings and convenience of being able to have a latte whenever the thought grabs you.
You need to consider many factors, and missing one or more of these will result in you having to endure bad tasting coffee. But worry not, I have you covered and today.
How To Make Barista Quality Coffee At Home
The Coffee Beans
So let’s start at the very beginning, with your coffee beans. There is so much choice available now; you can easily get fresh, locally roasted beans online.
And this is probably the most important thing to consider. If you want a great coffee, you simply have to have fresh beans.
Any beans that were roasted within a few weeks of the sale and print a roasted date on the pack will be perfect.
Storing the beans
Coffee beans are perishable goods in that they will spoil over time. Which is why I said you need to look for the roasted on date.
There are things you can do to keep them as fresh for as long as possible.
What you need to consider is air, moisture and light are the enemies of the beans. So when storing your beans, you need to keep them in a place where they are least affected by these three elements.
I recommend buying in small amounts, enough for a maximum of one month at a time. Having a dedicated special coffee container is also a great idea.
How and when you grind your beans is just as important.
Firstly unless you have an automatic machine, you will need a separate grinder. The best ones to get are called burr grinder.
Coarseness is also important here. I would go with a fine level for espresso, but for the French press, go more coarse.
Ground coffee is only at its best when you have just ground it, so make sure you only grind the exact amount of beans you need to brew your cup of coffee.
The amount will come down to personal choice and experience, but as a start stick to the golden ratio, which is 1 gram of ground coffee per 18 grams of water used. I have electric scales to make sure I have the exact amount of coffee each time.
The art of good coffee at home is freshness, as you have probably guessed by now. So it is important you only grind your coffee beans when you plan to start brewing coffee.
Most experts will agree that coffee grounds are at their best for 30 mins after being ground.
The Brewing Method
This is the fun part; how you brew coffee is where you can get creative, personalise your coffee, and make that perfect cup.
There are many different options and coffee machines available to choose from, below are the best coffee brewing options.
Bean To cup
A bean to cup coffee machine is a fully automatic option and one which will handle everything from grinding the beans to tamping the grounds and brewing the coffee.
The best thing about a bean to cup machine is unlike an espresso machine, it will grind the beans when you want to make an espresso shot. This means your coffee is always fresh but with minimal effort.
A Moka Pot is a hugely popular method of making coffee in Italian homes. Invented in the 1930’s in Italy, it quickly became a staple in homes across the country.
Its popularity is down to the fact it allows almost anyone to brew barista-quality coffee at home. No need for big fancy equipment. To learn more about its history, check out this article.
Freshly ground coffee is added along with water, you then place it on the stove and the steam from the boiling water will rise up through the coffee to produce your drink.
One of the most popular methods of making a decent coffee, the French press or Cafetiere, is a really simple brewing method.
Freshly ground coffee is added to the pot (remember the golden ratio); you then pour over hot water (not boiling) and allow the coffee to steep and brew. The longer you leave it, the stronger the coffee.
Of all the brewing methods, this has to be the most simple method. The genius is you steep and strains all in the same pot, allowing the full coffee’s flavour to remain.
Just a small note on the water, the bigger machines, such as the automatic espresso machines, will have inbuilt filters. But for other methods, I advise getting a decent water filter.
So far, all the methods and tips have produced either an espresso shot or a black coffee. Some of you and I included doing like a little milk in our coffees, whether that be a Latte, Flat White or just to lighten a black coffee.
If you want to make a specialty coffee as your favourite coffee shop does, then you will need a milk frother. Espresso machines will have a steam wand, some bean to cup machines will have an integrated frother.
Otherwise, you will need to get a separate milk frother, but these are not as good.
The Final Verdict
Highly trained baristas are worth their salt and really have the experience and know-how to make an exceptional brew. But you do not need years of special training to make a decent cup of joe at home.
Just follow some very simple steps and guidelines and you will be able to impress yourself and your mates with really good coffee.
Once you have it mastered, it will be 2nd nature; then, you can save that daily trip to the coffee shop and save this when you fancy a real treat.