We all know we should be ordering less coffee shop coffee and brewing at home. With over 1.3 million tons of waste from paper plates and cups generated annually, getting your daily cup of joe from the local barista could be harming the planet more than you’d like to think… Plus, it’s a costly way to get your caffeine fix!
But whether you’re looking to save the planet, want to reduce the impact on your wallet, or are working from home and can’t get out to your local coffee shop, there are some handy tips and tricks we’ve learned to help you brew the perfect cup of barista-level coffee from the comfort of your home.
Just like anything else, the best cup of coffee starts with the best beans. Forget about those pre-prepared packets of coffee beans that have been sitting in the supermarket for who-knows-how-long. Instead, look for high-quality beans that have been roasted as recently as possible to ensure you’re getting more flavor and quality for your buck.
If you’re not sure what coffee beans you like, it could be worth giving a monthly subscription service a go. These businesses will send you out a pack of fresh, whole coffee beans each month so you can try a variety and discover new favorites.
Always buy whole beans and grind yourself to ensure maximum flavor (see below).
As soon as coffee beans are roasted, they start depreciating, and this process is only sped up once they’ve been ground. For this reason, it’s best to only grind the coffee beans you need for your cup immediately before brewing.
It’s worth learning what grind coarseness is best for your preferred brewing method to ensure you don’t over/under extract the beans. We also recommend investing in a bur coffee grinder over a blade grinder to ensure your beans are nicely ground, not roughly chopped.
Getting your water temperature right can make or break a good cup of coffee, yet it’s so frequently overlooked by home brewers and baristas alike! Generally, a water temperature of around 88-93’C will brew a tasty coffee, regardless of your preferred brewing method. If you don’t have a thermometer, a top tip is to bring the water to boiling, then wait a few seconds until it settles.
If you really want to take your home-brewed coffee to the next level, brew with filtered water.
The next question in your coffee brewing journey is which method to use? There are so many options for brewing coffee, it’s easy to see why non-baristas stick to instant or k-cup coffee, but choosing one of these options does your mug a disservice!
There are many ways to create the perfect coffee at home, but we recommend the pour-over brewing method for high-quality coffee.
The pour-over method is used to create delicious coffee by slowly hand-pouring hot water over your coffee beans. It’s similar to filter coffee or drip coffee methods but allows you to be more precise with your measurements and get just the right infusion every time.
Obviously, the equipment you need for your tasty home-brewed barista-level coffee will vary depending on what method you choose. But whichever option you go for, it’s vital to invest in quality equipment.
If you’re going for the pour-over method of coffee brewing, you’ll need the following:
- Brewer: A cone-shaped dripper that you’ll place your coffee and filter in, the brewer sits atop your mug or other container and drips the coffee down.
- Filters: It’s a good idea to go for non-bleached filters for your pour-over coffee, and be sure to rinse them before use to get rid of the paper taste.
- Server: You could brew pour-over coffee directly above your favorite mug, but getting a server is ideal if you’re brewing coffee for more than 1 person and adds a touch of sophistication to your coffee preparation.
- Grinder: We’ve mentioned coffee grinds already, so you know to go for a bur grinder rather than a bladed option. Hand grinders are inexpensive and more eco-friendly, but if you want to speed up the process (and save yourself some effort), you could invest in an electric grinder.
- Digital scale: The experts tell us it’s good to measure our coffee by weight, not volume, so a digital scale can be a lifeline to fussy brewers looking for the perfect cup.
- Gooseneck kettle: A gooseneck kettle is essential for the pour-over method. It allows you to distribute hot water evenly and accurately over every last spec of coffee for a quality brew.
If you really want to exceed coffee brewing expectations, try warming your brewer and mug before using it, and give your coffee a chance to “bloom.” Take your time when it comes to brewing and aim for precision in every step.
Although brewing barista-style coffee from home can sound tricky, once you’ve tried a few cups, you’ll never want to go back to instant or store-bought again!