If you’re wondering why your home-brewed coffee never tastes quite like what’s served in artisanal cafes, you are not alone. When you’re brewing coffee at home, it’s easy to end up with a cup that’s too bitter, too watery, or just not delicious enough. Barista-approved coffee doesn’t have to be difficult, and you’ll want to check out these easy-to-execute hacks to update your coffee game.
Let’s go back to the basics: if you want a good cup of coffee, you need good beans.
Find a local roaster and buy whole bean coffee and grind the beans yourself. This lends a better flavour profile to your cup. The rule of thumb is that roasted coffee can go stale 21 days after roasting, so buy small quantities regularly. Experiment with different brands to find something you like!
Lets talk equipment
A good place to start your at-home coffee bar would be with a French Press and a South Indian Filter. A decoction can be brewed in a Moka Pot or South Indian Filter, as you froth hot milk in a French Press. Voila! Your homemade cappuccino is ready.
Give it a good home
Once opened, coffee should be stored in a jar that protects it from sunlight and keeps the air out. Think of oxygen as the roasted beans sworn enemy, which can contribute to a fair bit of flavour degradation. If your coffee is in the fridge or freezer, you might want to get it out. There’s a chance it will absorb moisture when you do this, which will affect the taste.
The secret ingredient
If you’re not liking the flavour at home, it might have little to do with your barista skills but a lot more to do with the water you’re using. This is especially important considering that over 97% of brewed coffee is just water! Make sure it’s not hard, filtered but not distilled: coffee does need some minerals to brew well and taste delicious!
Keep it clean
Coffee beans have oil, which means that keeping your machine and coffee pots extra clean is extremely important. The oil is going to affect the flavour if you don’t clean your coffeemaker often, which might be the reason for a burnt, bitter tasting cup of Joe.
This handy trick rose to popularity during the Great Depression, when bad coffee was the only coffee available. So if you end up with a cup to bitter, try adding a pinch of salt to it. It helps improve the taste by masking some bitter components, resulting in a milder flavour.
It’s best part of playing at-home Barista is experimenting with different coffees and brewing methods! You may love the taste of your trusty Chemex, but have you tried brewing with an AeroPress or a French Press? Try a different bean or sweetener. There are so many different ways to experiment with coffee, and each of them will give you me insight into how you enjoy your cup and how you can make it better.