So you want to make better coffee at home. In this article we will look at 5 easy ways you can begin making a much better cup of coffee at home without getting too involved or breaking the bank.
Store Your Beans Properly
Once you have invested in some high quality coffee beans, you want to make sure you are storing them correctly. Not only will this preserve the flavour of the beans, but it will also extend their life.
Exposure to oxygen makes a significant contribution to degradation of the flavour of the beans. It takes as little as 70 cubic centimetres of ambient air to make a pound of coffee go stale.
To preserve your beans’ freshly roasted flavour for as long as possible, we recommend storing them in an opaque, airtight container at room temperature.
While it is tempting to display your beans in a clear container (such as a mason jar) too much light can also compromise the taste of your coffee. If you prefer to keep your beans in a more visually pleasing container, try dividing your coffee supply into smaller portions, with the remainder of the beans stored safely in an airtight container in a cool, dark location.
There are different views on whether coffee beans should be chilled, or even frozen, to preserve the flavours. However, as coffee is hygroscopic (meaning it absorbs moisture, odours and tastes from the air around it), if you are storing your coffee near other foods, be sure to use a truly airtight container.
Grind Your Own Beans
While grinding your beans each time you want to enjoy a coffee at home may add a few minutes to your routine, it is well worth it.
While the convenience of pre-ground coffee may be tempting, from the moment the coffee is ground it is exposed to far more air and moisture, meaning that the coffee loses its flavour and complexity at a rapid rate.
The hard exterior of the coffee bean acts as a protective casing to seal in the oils and aromas. Once ground, the oils begin to evaporate, and the moisture in the air can cause the water soluble parts of the coffee bean to dissolve.
Grinding your own beans at home will also allow you to ‘calibrate’ the grind depending on your preferred brewing method and type of coffee.
For an affordable and effective at home grinder, we would recommend the Krups Expert Burr Grinder.
Try Roasting At Home
Coffee beans are at their best when freshly roasted. If you want to get the best from your beans, have a go at roasting your coffee at home. Several coffee retailers allow you to purchase the unroasted green coffee beans so that you can experiment and fill your home with the warm scent of freshly roasted coffee.
Fun, and also affords you the freedom to roast the beans to your own tastes, giving you control over the boldness of flavour.
While professional coffee roasters would certainly surpass the budget of an at home coffee fanatic, it is possible to find a very affordable manual roaster such as this mini one, available via Amazon.
Preheat Your Cup
For many people, dragging themselves out of bed in the morning is made marginally easier by the thought of that first cup of coffee that warms the hands and gets the day started. Preheating your cup is such a simple yet effective way to ‘level up’ your morning coffee. Instead of making the coffee do all the hard work heating the cup, and losing its own heat in the process, try adding hot water to your mug while you brew the coffee.
Not only does this allow the coffee to cool at a steadier rate, preserving the flavour, but it will keep your drink warmer for longer, an added bonus as you rush to get ready for work.
Use A Scale
Spoons, coffee scoops and guesswork are all suitable measurements for an acceptable cup of coffee, but for a reliable and repeatable recipe, knowing the precise weight of your coffee is the best way forward.
As coffee can vary in density depending on the bean size, grind and origin, one scoop of one type of coffee may vary substantially from another. Therefore, a scale is the best way to ensure a consistent flavour every time.
Use of a scale also allows you to experiment with the brew ratio and note down your favourite recipes for future enjoyment.