Since the Coronavirus-19 pandemic hit and forced our favorite coffee shops to close for months at a time, more and more people have had to turn to home brewed coffee to get their caffeine fix, and they have experienced the highs and lows that can come with this.
“How hard can it be?” I hear you ask. It’s just coffee.
But the truth is, there are a few tips of the trade that can make a simple cup of coffee taste great in ways you didn’t know it could.
This article will walk you through 7 of the best top tips for great tasting coffee, so that you can skip the coffee queues at your local cafe and make your morning coffee at home.
- The Fresher the Bean, the Better
Coffee comes from beans which are best bought whole, so switching out your usual pre-ground blend of instant coffee for whole roasted, in-date beans will dramatically improve the taste of your coffee. Even whole beans still need to be at their freshest, however.
The reason you won’t see many roasting dates on bags of coffee beans at your local store is because some of them will have been sitting on those shelves for months, despite being best consumed within a month of the initial roast date. This is why you should scout around at local coffee shops or roasters for coffee beans if you want your coffee to taste the best.
- Store Your Coffee Beans Correctly
There’s no point buying fresh beans if you’re going to store them improperly, as this can cause them to lose their fresh-tasting flavor even sooner.
In order to prevent this, you should store your beans in some type of vacuum sealed container with a one-way valve, although any airtight container such as a mason jar will do. Another tip is to downsize the jar as you make your way through the beans.
- A Great Machine Will Make Great Coffee
The Nespresso vs Keurig taste debate is one that has been going on for years, with each side having their own hold over the coffee machines market. Both are highly regarded options, but it’s important to choose the one which is better suited for you and your needs, or more accurately, your taste buds.
You’ll also need to make sure you’re using your coffee machine correctly in order to get the best results and the best tasting coffee possible.
- Measure The Right Amount of Coffee
Instead of measuring your coffee out by eye (*gasps from all baristas everywhere*) you should always measure the beans based on their weight, as this eliminates any variables that could alter the way one coffee tastes to the next one you make.
A digital scale is a great tool for measuring out your coffee beans, and if you’re a real coffee connoisseur, you can even keep notes of the ratios you use until you brew the perfect cup.
- Rise and Grind at the Right Time
That’s right, how and when you grind your coffee beans also impacts the resulting flavor of your coffee. According to most experts, you have as little as 30 minutes to enjoy your coffee from the beans you’ve ground before they begin to lose some of the quality of their taste.
There’s also consistency to consider – coffee that is ground too coarsely will be quite weak, whereas fine coffee can be too bitter if you overdo it.
- Brew Coffee at the Correct Temperature
Coffee is supposed to be hot, right? So how much can the temperature affect its taste? A lot, is the answer. For drip coffee, the ideal temperature should be between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit, which you can manually adjust on some coffee making machines.
Exceeding the upper limit of this temperature recommendation can cause your coffee to “burn” which will result in a unpleasantly bitter taste. If it’s not hot enough, the extraction process will be less effective.
- Water Quality – Yes, It’s a Thing
It’s not just the quality of the beans that you’ll need to look out for when you’re attempting to make the perfect cup of coffee, as the water quality will also influence the final taste.
Hard water, for example, will result in coffee that isn’t as tasty as the higher mineral content prevents it from fully absorbing the flavor from the coffee particles.
This means it will have a weaker taste compared to coffee prepared with soft water, although filtered or distilled water can also be problematic as this can wear down your machine.