Drinking coffee at cafes is fun, but it gets old with time. The atmosphere is usually so busy, and we don’t always have time to go to the coffee shop.
Buying coffee can also get expensive if you are a coffeeholic. When you consider an Americano costs $ 2.65 at Starbucks, you can see it adds up to a lot of money in a month if you drink several cups a day.
That’s when you start thinking of preparing coffee at home. “How hard can it be to brew your own coffee from coffee beans?” you wonder.
Well, it’s not complicated. And brewing coffee from home is the best way to appreciate coffee beans and experiment with different coffee-making methods.
It’s a great way to learn more about coffee in an environment where you can enjoy it peacefully.
If you are fed up buying coffee from the cafe and want to know how to brew it from home, here are a few tips that may help.
1. Pick The Right Coffee Roast
You can buy different types of roasts from coffee shops or roasters. Some examples are dark roast coffee beans, medium to light roasts, and light roasts.
Although you can use any roast to brew coffee, they each suit a different type of brew. For example, dark roasts are primarily used in Espressos, while light roasts make great Americano.
Medium to dark roasts are most popular as they are usually used to brew drip coffee, one of the most brewed coffee in cafes.
Once you decide the roast that most appeals to you, make sure you buy fresh coffee beans.
Taking time to choose the proper roast won’t matter if you buy stale coffee. You’ll end up with a horrible brew that may send you straight to the coffee shop.
Therefore, always buy coffee beans or grounds in small batches and store them in airtight containers to preserve their flavor and aroma.
2. Use The Correct Water Temperature
You may buy the best quality beans, but it’s a waste if you don’t know how to extract coffee from them.
The flavors and aromas you get from coffee beans depend on how you agitate them and the temperatures you expose them to.
The ideal temperatures to brew coffee are between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit.
Anything below that will under-extract coffee, giving you a flat, flavorless brew. Higher temperatures will over-extract flavors or burn the coffee grounds resulting in a bitter brew.
Water quality also matters; you may brew coffee at the correct temperatures but use tap water with a high mineral content.
These minerals will affect the taste of your coffee, preventing you from appreciating the authentic flavor of coffee beans.
Therefore, always brew coffee using water with a pH of 6.5 to 7, or use bottled water. A cost-effective solution would be to use a reverse osmosis water purifier to remove impurities and minerals from your tap water.
3. Always Brew Coffee Using Fresh Grounds
The best way to brew coffee is by grinding fresh grounds whenever you want to make a pot of coffee. There are affordable coffee grinders in the market, such as conical burr grinders, that you can try.
You should also note that the grind size of your coffee grounds matters. Coarse coffee grounds produce highly caffeinated coffee because water has a larger surface area to work on. Use them when brewing French Press coffee.
Medium coarse coffee grinds are an excellent option when preparing coffee using the pour-over method. However, when using an automatic coffee machine or siphon coffee maker, grind your coffee beans to a medium grind.
Fine coffee grounds allow coffee drinkers to appreciate more of the flavors in coffee beans and less of their caffeine content. They are often used to brew Espresso using an Espresso machine or a Moka pot.
Some people like to use extra-fine coffee grounds. These types of grounds are ideal for brewing Turkish coffee.
Now that you know the different coffee grind sizes you can use to prepare coffee, you may think brewing your own coffee is complicated. That’s not the case.
There is only one rule to remember when choosing a coffee grind. The less time you plan to spend on coffee brewing, the finer you should make your grind.
That’s why Espressos are prepared using fine grinds, while you can make a cold brew with coarse coffee grounds.
4. Pick the Right Coffee Brewing Method
You should invest in a coffee-making machine to ease your coffee brewing process at home. There are many affordable coffee machines in the market. And each of them produces a certain quality of coffee.
Pour-over coffee makers are simple coffee-making machines that can brew the best coffee using medium-coarse grounds. They are known for brewing full-bodied, smooth, acidic brews.
Drip coffee makers such as the Hario V60 are probably the most popular coffee machines. They brew coffee based on programmed settings and are easy to use. You can prepare a clean, light, flavourful brew using a drip coffee maker in about 3 – 5 minutes.
French Presses are ideal for highly caffeinated brews because they can extract most of the oils from coffee grounds through the steeping process. A portable version of them is the AeroPress.
Espresso coffee makers can prepare a bold-flavored brew that’s high in caffeine in 20 to 30 seconds. These brews are often used as the base for coffee beverages such as Americanos and cappuccinos.
An espresso maker is an ideal coffee machine to have at home because you can use it for different coffee brewing processes such as steaming milk and creating foam. A more affordable option for those who feel espresso makers are too expensive is a Moka pot.
It’s important to note that you don’t always require a coffee machine to brew coffee. For example, you can prepare a cold brew by soaking coarse coffee grounds in a mason jar for 10 – 12 hours.
But, once you get a coffee machine, you’ll appreciate how easy it makes coffee brewing. You’ll also notice a stark difference between the coffee you get through a manual coffee-making process and what you get using a coffee machine.
5. Use Coffee Making Tricks to brew excellent coffee
You may choose to drop coffee beans into a coffee maker, add some water and drink what you get, but that often results in a mediocre brew.
There are certain tricks you can master that will enable you to prepare excellent coffee. Many of them are used by baristas. Here are some you can try:
- When using a pour-over coffee maker, saturate or bloom the coffee grounds with a bit of water to loosen their flavor and oils before you pour all the hot water over them.
- Once you bloom coffee grounds, pour hot water over them slowly, ensuring all areas of the filter are covered for even extraction.
- Avoid focusing on one side of a coffee filter when running hot water over coffee grounds to prevent channeling. That will only create a path on the filter’s edges for water to pass through, leading to the under extraction of coffee.
- If you are using an immersion method to brew your coffee, such as with a French Press, let the grounds soak in hot water for about half a minute before pouring the coffee. That will ensure they open up, releasing most of their oils and aroma. The more you let the grounds soak, the stronger your brew will get.
- Always brew coffee with hot water that is between 195 and 205 degrees. Water that’s less hot than that will under extract your coffee. And hotter water will burn the grounds or over-extract coffee from them, giving you bitter coffee.
Once you start brewing your coffee at home using coffee beans, you’ll find that a cup of coffee is more than a caffeine source. Drinking coffee can also be a pleasure.
There are many types of coffee beans in roasters or cafes; you can try to identify what sets them apart.
Make a habit of sampling different coffee beans and brewing methods, and you will become a coffee connoisseur.
These tips and many more you learn along the way will make every cup of coffee you take an adventure.
Also read Various Uses of Coffee Beans