Making coffee at home can be an easy way to get that boost of caffeine. Coffee shops offer variety and flavor but can be costly. That leaves average “joes” settling for a cup of coffee at home.
Choosing between a ten-dollar mocha or the mundane coffee you prepare at home doesn’t have to be hard. You don’t need to be a barista, either. All it takes to make the ultimate homebrewed coffee is a little knowledge and some tips.
In this post, we’ll discuss the best methods to make coffee at home, as well as how to pick the best beans.
First Method: Using an Espresso Machine
In this method, the machine forces out boiling water through packed ground coffee. The final result is a rich and dark brew known as a ‘shot” of espresso. Usually served with thick cream, espresso comes in various drinks, all made with one or more shots as the base.
Different Drinks Made With An Espresso Machine:
- Espresso – A single or double shot, usually drank with sugar.
- Cappuccino and Latte – Cappuccino is one-third each of espresso, foam, and hot milk. Cafe Latte uses three times more foamed milk than a cappuccino and has a milky taste.
- Mocha – One-third each of espresso, steamed milk, and hot chocolate.
- Macchiato – A standard macchiato has a small amount of milk with a shot of espresso. A Latte Macchiato is one-half hot foamed milk, one-half espresso.
Steps To Making Great Espresso at Home:
- Grind and Measure the Beans – U.S. Barista champ David Castillo suggests using a scale to get the correct dose. Set your grinder to a fine setting and measure in 15 grams into your portafilter.
- Tamp Down – Level the grounds and tamp down.
- Pulling and Dialing Your Shot – Let it rip and start brewing! If your machine has a gauge, take note of the time and pressure to reach your preferred espresso strength.
- Frothing the Milk – You can use a steam wand if your espresso machine comes with one or steam by hand. In either case, you’ll want good heat and practice to achieve the frothiness you like.
Second Method: French Press
French press coffee is an easy and fast way to get a rich, delicious cup of coffee. The French ‘press’ brews coffee by pressing and straining the ground beans. If you’re a do-it-yourself kind of person, this method might be the most enjoyable.
No electric power, simplicity, and good coffee are all things french presses do well. It’s also a speedy method as it has a short brewing time and requires little skill to operate.
Steps to Make the Best French Press Coffee at Home:
- Pick The Right Coffee Beans – Use whole beans whenever possible. Ground beans go stale fast, so don’t grind until right before you’re ready to brew.
- Grinding – Don’t grind too much. Fine grounds can get through the filter and wind up in your coffee. A medium to coarse grind works best.
- Measure – Use three tablespoons of coffee for an eight-ounce serving.
- Water Temperature – Bring water to a boil and let it rest for forty seconds before brewing.
- How Long to Brew – Optimal time is five minutes after mixing in the water and grounds.
- Extraction – After five minutes, push the plunger to the bottom and serve.
Third Method: Drip Coffee Maker
Drip coffee is by far the most popular form of coffee drunk. Coffee makers that ‘drip’ out coffee are a hands-off method of making coffee. Simple technology allows these machines to release hot water over coffee grounds.
Drip makers are convenient, especially for busy people, and provide a consistent cup. There are a few things to know besides pressing a button. To start with, you’ll need an auto-drip maker, filters, water, and roasted coffee.
Steps to Make Terrific Drip Coffee:
- Start With A Clean Maker – Calcium can build up and give the coffee a bitter flavor. Once a month, clean your machine with water and vinegar. Allow the mixture to run through and follow up with a rinse.
- Use Medium Ground Coffee – Don’t skimp on the quality of coffee beans! Use whole beans and grind right before brewing.
- Measuring and Water – Use one tablespoon of coffee per cup. Make sure only to use filtered water.
- Heat – Turn your machine off when done brewing. Coffee that sits on the burner will affect the taste.
- Clean Filters – After brewing, rinse all paper filters out with water to get rid of any grime.
Coffee lovers can be pretty serious when it comes to buying the best equipment for homebrew. Milk frothers and burr coffee grinders top the list of essential coffee accessories.
Importance of Milk Frother for Lattes and Cappuccinos
One of the most important elements of a great latte and cappuccino is the milk froth. Both drinks give equal billing to the milk and the coffee. That’s why it’s so important to get the milk frothy and creamy.
Most coffee shops can infuse milk into the coffee with a professional steamer. Milk Frothers for the home user come as a wand and infuse air bubbles into the milk. This gives the drink its signature creamy texture.
There are three types of frothers to choose from. Automatic electric steamers are the easiest to use as you’ll adjust settings and pour in the milk. A motorized whisk is like an immersion blender, as you can position the whisk for the best texture. Hand pumps work like a french press.
Importance of Burr Coffee Grinder
Burr coffee grinders’ big advantage is that it grounds down the bean to a uniform size. This avoids clogging and allows you to adjust the fineness of your ground for a better cup of coffee.
Important to note that electric burr grinders might be costly, but you can always start off with a manual coffee grinder to get the same results with some minor effort on your part.
Unlike blade grinders, burr grinders grind beans versus chopping. This makes for the ultimate ‘fresh” coffee, unlike pre-ground or blade ground coffee. The best part is you can use a burr grinder with any brewer machine.
Quality of Coffee Beans
One of the most crucial steps to making good home coffee is selecting quality coffee beans. Coffee bean quality ratings are on a 100 point scale, with a score of 80 considered a specialty coffee. Look for “gourmet” roasts and high-grown arabica products to ensure the best quality.
It’s also important to check the date of packaged coffee. Whole bean coffee starts to go bad within four weeks of packaging. Look for coffee packaged in valve-seal bags. The best coffee beans will have a strong coffee aroma and a full body.
Final Word On the Best Brewed Coffee
Now is the time you should be thinking, “so that’s why it always smells better at Starbucks than at my coffee counter.” Great coffee depends on many things, but one thing is for sure. You don’t have to have a barista degree to make a great home-based coffee. Follow a few of these tips, invest in some equipment, and you’ll be on your way to enjoying premium home coffee.