Are you stuck at home during the pandemic and craving the coffee from your favourite coffee shop? This article has got you covered. It may sound intimidating to brew coffee at home, especially when you lack experience. However, brewing coffee is all about timing and technique, which can be perfected with practice!
If you have made coffee at home, you have most likely used pre-ground coffee that has lost most of its goodness. These are oxidized when you buy them, and likely already stale. We recommend starting from scratch by purchasing whole coffee beans.
- Pleasant acidity.
- A sweet and mild taste of caramel.
- Light chocolate and nutty tones.
- Fruity, berry-like flavour profile.
- Bold taste.
- Peanut-like aftertaste.
- More caffeine than Arabica beans.
Typically, you can purchase blends of arabica and robusta from your local roasters. Apart from the type of coffee beans, the roast also affects their taste. Usually, darker roasts lead to a bold flavour, while light roasts have more aromatic and fruity profiles. Now that you are familiar with the beans, let’s understand how to work with them.
Brew with the right equipment
In the wide range of coffee machines, choosing an ideal one may confuse you. Pour-over/ filter coffee devices will give you a clear beverage and a great body, for example, the French press. On the other hand, an espresso machine will deliver a bold drink perfect for lazy mornings.
Buy high-quality coffee grinders to ensure that you get uniform particles throughout the blend. A handheld burr grinder is ideal for beginners as it can offer good quality at affordable prices. Also, keep a gooseneck coffee kettle in your cupboard for the perfect pour-over coffee.
As a beginner, it is better not to approach complex, traditional brewing techniques. You must take different types of filters into account depending on your preferences. Regardless of what you pick, it’s essential to keep your equipment clean before use.
Other complementary equipment - scale, thermometer and timer.
Channel your inner Breaking Bad and invest in a scale. Coffee is all about proportions and timings, and using a scale will allow you to get the perfect proportions. For beginners, use a basic scale that measures 0.1g and more.
Be mindful of your water temperature too. The ideal range is between 90.5–96°C, you will get the hang of it after some brews, but investing in a water kettle which allows temperature settings can be helpful. Don’t forget to use a timer to ensure that you don't brew for too long!
Your grind size depends on your brewing device, beans and your preferences. Generally, fine grinds result in more extraction and vice versa. Here are a few tips to get the perfect coffee grounds.
- Grind only the amount you need at the time.
- Always clean your grinder after every use.
There you have it, an all-encompassing guide to brewing coffee. Once you are familiar with the basics, start experimenting with grind size, brew time and other factors to create a signature recipe of your own.