If you drink coffee at home, you may be interested in picking up a few tips to make your brews tastier and more consistent.
There are a few simple ways that you can ensure your coffee tastes great time and time again and even improve over time as you try new things and refine your brewing techniques.
How do you do coffee?
For some people, coffee may be a necessary morning chore to wake up and start the day, with little time having been invested into the fine art of a superb morning coffee. These unfortunate souls are the ones most likely to fall into the instant coffee or Pod coffee trap. Yes, it's a trap! A trap of convenience and ignorant bliss. These forms of coffee are very easy, not very tasty, and in most cases, not good for the coffee industry as a whole. This may be a dramatic view, but hear me out.
I’m not going to lie, pods are the epitome of lazy convenience. However, if you are going to make this your preferred brewing method, I strongly suggest you use reusable pods. You may be surprised to know that most used pods will almost certainly end up in landfill, as they aren't recyclable and if they are, you have to find the right place to have them disposed of correctly. Let's face it, most people that use them don't recycle them properly. In terms of reusable metal pods, you can get some fairly good results, but they are annoyingly fidgety to reload and wash. You also only get about 6-8 grams of coffee in each pod, which in my opinion, is nowhere near enough to caffeinate an average human. In summary – don’t bother! I think you’re better than that.
Instant coffee is mostly made from ‘slave coffee’. I call it slave coffee, but it's basically low quality coffee, grown in mass quantities and bought for a very low price by big corporations from coffee producers around the world. They are freeze dried and made into a soluble crusty powder, sold to you as a premium product. Sure, it can be tasty if you add sugar, but I figure if you're reading this post you’re looking to improve your game and instant coffee has no game. Two scoops plus two sugars is usually the best way of consuming this stuff no matter how exotic and sexy the people on the TV commercials may seem to be.
If you’re looking to improve on your coffee game, read on!
Step 1 – Find yourself a brewing device.
Surely you’ve got a French press or a stove top percolator? I dare say every household has one of these somewhere in the kitchen. They're simple to use and you can get surprisingly good results.
Step 2 – Get some good coffee beans.
Buying coffee from a supermarket is probably not the best place to find good coffee beans. Buy coffee from your local coffee roaster or online here at BB. Good quality beans roasted with care will give you good results and don't think that you have to be buying fancy brewing gear to use high quality coffee. Good coffee beans plus French press or Stovetop percolator equals very tasty coffee.
Make sure you get the right grind for the brewing device you’re using. For example, with a French press you’re looking for a fairly coarse grind and for a stove top percolator, medium grind. If you’ve got a grinder at home, there may be some trial and error involved until you hit the right setting. If you’re buying coffee from BB or you’re getting your beans from a roastery, we/they can grind them for you to your specifications.
Step 3 - Time to brew.
I don't want to get too technical on you just yet, but if you keep a couple of these things in mind, you’ll be on your way to brewing a very tasty coffee.
Measure how much coffee you use each time you brew – it pays to weigh your coffee or use a measuring scoop, that way you can adjust your dose based on how it's tasting.
Time your brews – as soon as water comes into contact with coffee, it begins to brew. In other words, the soluble particles in your ground coffee will begin to react with the hot water, which is what ends up being your cup of coffee. For each brewing method there's an optimum time to have your water in contact with your coffee. In amongst us coffee nerds, ‘brew time’ is the term we use to describe this.
Step 4 - Time to enjoy your coffee!
The best part of going to the effort of preparing a good cup of coffee is enjoying it. There’s nothing more enjoyable than being rewarded by your efforts in finding the right beans, making sure the grind is right, measuring your dry coffee and making sure it’s brewed for the right amount of time.
I’ll continue to delve into making good coffee at home and gradually introduce you to more technical aspects. If you’re here to continually grow your knowledge, I'd love to coach you through it as once you’ve got a few of these terms and concepts down pat a new world of enjoyment begins to unravel.