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A great cup of coffee isn’t just for when you venture to the coffee shop! All it takes is a little knowledge and some experimenting to learn how to make good coffee at home!
Coffee might just be my first love (shh, don’t tell my husband).
I’ve come a long way from my university days when coffee was really just sustenance. It gave me the ability to stay awake through studying for those mid-terms and writing those term papers.
Now, that I’m a fully functioning adult (mostly), and still am not a morning person, I still rely on coffee to get through my mornings. It is what gives me sanity in the morning to make it through my day.
But I actually enjoy the taste of coffee (cue gasp). But it’s got to be a smooth, great tasting coffee. Not bitter tasting hot water.
You should be able to drink a great cup of coffee without any sugar or milk. The flavoring and sweeteners should be an afterthought.
Over the years, after experimenting with different coffee shops in my are, and making too many cups of coffee at home, I’ve picked up lots of tips that will help you make a great cup of coffee right at home!
The Coffee Beans
So, of course, you need coffee beans to make coffee. But not all coffee is made equal.
Primarily coffee comes from two different types of beans: Arabica, and Robusta. Arabica is generally considered higher quality, tastes smoother, and actually has less caffeine. Robusta, on the other hand, is generally more bitter and has more caffeine – which could mean that it leaves you feeling jittery. If you want more information here is a great article from The Kitchn.
So how do you go about picking the best coffee?
Experiment with different coffee brands. I love going to local, independent coffee shops, and tasting different cofees. The more you taste, the more you’ll know what you enjou and what you dont!
There are a few things to pay attention to:
Origin of coffee beans: Over time you might develop a taste for certain coffee regions. A lot of the world’s coffee supply is grown in Brazil, Vietnam, Columbia, Indonesia, and Ethiopia.
Type of Roast: There are different types of roasts: light, medium roast, dark roast. Generally, the darker the roast, the more bitter the coffee will be. The lighter the roast, the more caffeine there will be in your coffee. But everyone has their own personal taste and caffeine tolerance. I generally prefer light to medium roasts.
Roast Date: When was the coffee roasted is important. Coffee, gnerally tastes best within 2-3 weeks of it’s roast. of course, every coffee is different and has it’s own optimal peak day.
How to make good coffee at home
Choose your Brewing Method
There are a lot of different ways to make coffee at home!
Some of the most popular methods are Drip Coffee, French Press, Pour Over, Aeropress, Espresso, Instant Coffee.
For each method of making your coffee, here are the pros, cons nad
This is probabaly the most familiar method. Many people who drink coffee regularly have a drip coffee machine to brew their coffee.
It is the simplest, and can be done when you’re half asleep. You pour water in the reservoir and ground coffee in the filter, and the machine takes care of the rest!
What you need to make Brewed Drip Coffee
Pros: Simple to brew, quick preparation and cleanup, multiple cups at one time,
Cons: No control over process, less control over quality and taste.
The French Press method is a way to steep coffee grounds in a container for a bolder and full-bodied cup of coffee. The french press itself is a simple contraption, with a glass container and a removable plunger top.
Honestly, I love french press coffee, as it often tastes better, since coffee is steeped in hot water. But the process is more time-intensive, and clean up can be a pain. So it is definitely reserved for slower weekend mornings!
What you need to make French Press Coffee:
Pros: Richer tasting coffee, more control over coffee – the temperature of the water, coffee grind, and time you steep can be changed to adjust to taste.
Cons: too many variables – so every cup of coffee tastes different, more clean up required, more time required (first need to heat up the water, then allow the coffee to steep).
Pour Over is basically a non-mechanical way to produce drip coffee. Coffee is placed in a filter over a glass container, and you pour hot water over the coffee as it drips into the container below.
This method gives you more control over your coffee. I personally haven’t tried to make my coffee this way,
What you need for Pour Over Coffee
Pros: More control than drip coffee, can adapt to your taste.
Cons: lots of variables, more effort than pressing a button
Espresso is basically concentrated coffee in a small cup, in my opinion.. It is the way coffee is drunk in much of Europe.
This is the way I make my coffee every morning. I love using my Delonghi semi-automatic espresso machine, that we got for a house warming present!
The best part about making espressos is that they are the base for so many coffee drinks like lattes, and cappuccinos that it allows us to experiemtn with lots of different combination and flavors! More coffee recipes are on their way for the blog!
What you need for Pour Over Coffee
Pros: richer tasting coffee, base for many fancy coffee drinks
Cons: expensive machine, takes up space on your kitchen counter, more upkeep for machine, learning curve for making good coffee
Instant coffee is often scoffed at, but sometimes I love instant coffee. It’s how I made my coffee during much of my university days, especially for those 3 am study sessions!
Instant coffee is basically coffee that has been ground, brewed, then dried. So all you do is pour hot water and mix it to make your coffee.
It became extremely popular this year thanks to the Dalgona coffee trend! I also love using instant coffee when baking or cooking, like in my mocha waffles or as a replacement for espresso powder in my espresso chocolate chip cookies!
What you need for Instant Coffee
Pros: Quickest method, no clean up required, simple to make
Cons: Not the best quality coffee, no control in brewing coffee.
Milk, Sugar & Other Flavors
I am a big believer that the coffee should taste good as is, before adding any milk, sugar, or other flavors! Once you get your preferred coffee method down, it’s time to start experimenting.
Steamed milk is a great way to add some luxury to your coffee. You can use a steam wand or milk frother to get the right consistency.
I also love adding with different flavors into my coffee, especially on the weekends. My favorites are Nutella, vanilla, and cinammon.
How to make a great cup of coffee at home?
There are a lot of ways to make good coffee at home!
Make sure to pick the way that tastes the best to you, and is the most convenient for you.
Taste is important, but also pay attention to what fits into your lifestyle: how long it takes to brew the coffee, how many dishes you need to wash, and which is the best for the number of cups of coffee you need!
I’d love to hear your favorite way to drink coffee in the comments below!