With more and more people deciding to brew their coffee at home instead of picking up the daily latte from the local cafe, some people are left clueless on how to do it.
Why does your coffee not taste like the coffee that you get from your favorite shop? Is there a best way to brew coffee that’s kept secret amongst baristas worldwide?
You’re probably not doing it right, but we’re here to help. Whether you don’t know how to make coffee at home at all and you’re completely lost, or you’re just looking for new methods to improve your daily brew, we’ve got you covered.
There’s no need to hit up Starbucks every morning. Keep reading to learn how to make the best coffee from the comfort of your home.
1. The Basics: A Coffee Pot
Nearly everyone has owned a coffee put in their lives. Whether it was a thrifted Mr. Coffee that could only handle one cup at a time or a snazzy new one that you got as a housewarming present, you know the basic formula.
You throw an appropriately sized filter in the top of the pot, pour some water into the base, and get some coffee grounds in the filter. Then you simply press a button and let the coffee maker do all of the work for you. You throw it in your favorite mug, like those from The Improper Mug, and call it a day.
Is this really the best way to do it?
It’s certainly one of the quickest and if you’re someone who needs to wake up early and get the day started, coffee in hand, this might be the best choice for you. Coffee brewed this way can be lackluster, often slightly burnt, and too weak or strong depending on how careful you were with your measurements.
To make this just a bit nicer, make sure that you choose your filter carefully. You can use the supermarket disposable ones, but a nicer filter may make for a nicer brew. Some are even reusable for a bit of extra kindness towards the environment.
2. A Different Solution: The Keurig
This is another quick coffee option for people who have almost no time to get ready in the morning. If you’re a one-cup-a-day coffee drinker, this may be the right choice.
Keurigs offer coffee in all different varieties, some of which may mimic your favorite cafe drinks. This makes them an appealing choice for people who need something “extra” aside from the plain black coffee but only have a black coffee time limit.
You simply pop your little coffee capsule into the machine, place your mug underneath, and go about your day for a few minutes as the cup fills.
Some people complain of a plasticky taste after too much brewing. This can be fixed by running a clear cup and doing a good cleaning, but it may return.
3. For the Highly-Caffeinated: An Espresso Machine
Often misspoken as “expresso”, an espresso machine makes a concentrated little caffeine bomb. It requires finely ground coffee beans and works quickly to make your tiny cup of bitter and bold coffee.
You can do a shot of this alone if you’re in a hurry, but espresso is also the base for many coffee drinks. You can pour it over ice and add your milk of choice to make an iced latte. You can also froth some milk (either buy a frother or put some warm milk in a pan and whisk rapidly) for a hot latte-style drink.
There are plenty of options when you’re using espresso, and this doesn’t take much longer than a traditional coffee maker.
4. For the Subtly Fancy: the French Press
The French press is the traditional way to brew “good coffee”. The pot looks similar to a normal coffee pot, but you’re given a plunger lid that can press down the beans when it’s time to drink your coffee.
This keeps the grounds where they’re supposed to be: not in your drink.
A French press is easy to use. You grind up some whole bean coffee until it’s somewhat of a chunky sand texture. You put an appropriate amount into your press and add enough almost-boiling (but not boiling, you don’t want to burn it) water into the put.
Let it sit for several minutes (5 is a safe bet, but it may vary based on your coffee), push the plunger down, and get your cup.
Use good coffee beans for this method. It’s worth it to opt for a more expensive blend, especially if you’re used to the big tins like Folgers.
The coffee will turn out bold with a different taste than you’re used to. There are more oils in it due to the lack of a traditional filter. For some, this is an appealing taste. Not everyone agrees.
Tip: Leave leftover coffee with some milk of your choice in the refrigerator for a refreshing iced coffee later.
5. For the Fancy and Scientific: The AeroPress
This is a similar concept to the French press, but it’s one of the hottest new trends in coffee brewing.
The grind of your coffee doesn’t matter, but it may impact the type of brew that you end up with. This is a fun place to experiment. The coffee should end up with a more clear and sharp taste than the French press.
When using the AeroPress, you’ll be using paper filters. Similar to the French press, you’re going to heat up water on the stove or in a kettle, but you’re then going to use a small amount to dampen the filter.
You’re going to add one part coffee grounds and one part water for the first 30 seconds, and then you’re going to fill the rest of the chamber. after a minute has passed, stir your concoction, put the lid on, flip it over on top of your mug, and start pressing downward.
It’s a quick process, lasting all of about 5 minutes from start to finish depending on how long your water takes to heat up.
6. For the Mindful: Pour-Over Coffee
There are a dozen fancy machines and coffee supplies for pour-over coffee. You don’t need any of them, but they might help.
Here are the basics. You’re going to heat up your water to nearly boiling. While you do this, put a paper filter above your coffee-catching device. If you’re doing this DIY-style, you can use a filter over a strainer and then the strainer over a coffee pot, large mug, or bowl. You’ll need some extra space.
Dampen the filter with hot water before putting in your grounds. Once your grounds are in, you’re going to slowly (and we mean slowly) pour the water over the grounds in a circular motion, stopping whenever the water is pooling and re-starting when it has gone into the coffee catcher.
Every pour should clear the grounds from the rim as if you’re making a whirlpool down to the center.
You’re done when all of the water has gone through the filter.
This method is time-consuming, but the coffee is bold and tasty. This is also a great mindful exercise if you make it part of your morning routine. Those in a hurry, though, won’t like this method.
7. For the Hot: The Cold Brew
Hot coffee on a hot day? No thanks.
Cold brewing coffee at home isn’t complicated. Cold-brew coffee isn’t just hot coffee that’s been made cold after the fact. It’s a whole different beast.
Heating coffee gives it a bitter taste. Some people enjoy it and some don’t, but if you want to cut the bitterness from your coffee, try this out instead.
Put your appropriate amount of coarsely-ground coffee beans in a container, like a mason jar (you can also use a french press for easier extraction later, but leave the plunger up).
Add your room-temperature water and place it in the fridge to steep. Steeping times vary and there are recommendations anywhere between 12 and 22 hours, so experiment to see what’s right for you.
During this time, the coffee is going to steep slowly, making a smooth cup without the heat.
When you’re ready to drink your coffee, simply filter it (or press down on the french press) and you’re done. If it’s too strong, consider it a coffee concentrate and add water or your milk of choice to soften the taste.
If you like the cold brew taste but want hot coffee, you’re free to heat it up afterward. It should still be free of the standard bitterness.
What’s the Best Way to Brew Coffee for You?
there are so many coffee brewing methods; you just need to find the one that works for you. The best way to brew coffee is the one that you can sustain. Having a special treat once in a while for the longer methods doesn’t hurt, though.
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