Are you wanting the best cup of coffee from the comfort of your kitchen but don't really know where to start? It's okay. That's exactly where I started too. I want to help you make moves to enhance your at-home coffee experience! Read more to hear how I do this!
You certainly don’t need to be a newlywed to desire (need) good coffee from home. But if you are a newlywed, or an "oldly-wed", the need for good coffee from home is essential.
Have kids in the mix? The need is even greater!
In the midst of a pandemic with a stay-in-home order? The need is at an all time high.
Thankfully I was prepared for the pandemic as far as coffee from home went. I have what I think is one of the perfect set-ups and it helped me survive when other coffee shops had to close their doors.
This is what led me to want to share three tips for making the best coffee from home. So, here are my three tips for making the best coffee from home, in order of importance.
This should come as no surprise. Believe it or not, this tip falls to the background of the minds of many people. Their focus is often bent on the right brewing method, which we’ll get to. When trying to determine the right coffee, I think there are three key factors to consider.
The Varietal: the varietal is a fancy way of saying where the coffee came from—its region. Coffee comes from all over the world: Columbia, East Africa, parts of Asia. This doesn’t make it any easier to choose the right varietal, does it?
My personal favorites comes from Ethiopia and Kenya, in that order. I find that such coffees tend to be bright, balanced (which means not too acid-forward), and flavorful.
The Process: a second key factor to consider is the way the coffee has been processed. There are many different methods here, but the two most common are naturally processed coffees and washed coffees.
The best way to describe the difference is that naturally processed coffees will taste like you’re drinking a cup of blueberry juice—very fruit forward which some folks enjoy—while washed coffees will be more neutral and balanced in their flavor.
Naturally processed coffees are how many people start to enjoy black coffee. “Hey! I can actually taste the fruit listed on the bag under coffee notes!” It’s where I started. My preference now is for washed coffees.
The Roast: a lot of factors just within this one, but the main two are when the coffee was roasted and how the coffee was roasted. Always buy coffee roasted within two weeks of purchasing it. As for the how, I always prefer lighter roasted coffees.
Coffee is technically a fruit. Over roasting or producing “dark roasts” is tantamount to serving burnt fruits. Over roasted coffee that’s been sitting on the shelf a while is like selling rotting burnt fruit.
Not a great image, I know.
Let’s assume you’ve got the perfect coffee in your hands. If you need suggestions on where to go, I could recommend Mad Cap Coffee enough. Easily the best coffee roasters I’ve purchased coffee from. Remember, washed Ethiopian coffees if they’re available.
What’s next? I think the next step is making sure you have the right grinder.
There are hundreds of options here, and the price range is quite wide. I’ll narrow your search down by offering three suggestions: the beginner, the intermediate, and the advanced.
This beginner grinder is called the Capresso Infinity Conical Grinder. I had for roughly five years and it served me well. In fact, the only reason I got rid of it was because I received a new grinder off my wedding registry—woo! All of these are burr grinders which means that the coffee mechanism responsible for the grinding allows you shift the grind consistency.
The intermediate grinder, the Baratza Encore Coffee Grinder, isn’t too different from the beginner grinder. Its main difference is that you can now get even more specific with your grind consistency. Grind consistency matters. The slightest change will completely alter the flavor profile of the coffee.
This is why espresso is always the finest of grinds, and the drip coffee is much more coarse. I have the intermediate grinder and think its incredible. My friend recommended it to me after a year of using it himself and I couldn’t be more happy with it.
The advanced grinder is incredible. It's called the Baratza Vario-W Coffee Grinder.
Its key feature is the electronic weight distribution mechanism. If you didn’t know, a good cup of coffee requires that you have your coffee to water ratio just right. This means you’ll need a scale to weigh out these items.
With this grinder, you’ll no longer need to weigh your coffee. With incredible precision, you can now simply enter in the weight you need and you’ll get it.
You’ll still need a scale for the water. This one is fantastic. No need to break the bank here.
There is so much to say here. In the spirit of giving you just the need-to-knows, the most common brew methods are pour-overs, the aeropress, and the Chemex. Each are great. Each require a kettle with a goose neck spout for precise pouring.
I’ve done each before. To be honest, it didn’t take long before I was over waiting for my water to heat up to the right temperature and then standing by for 3-5 minutes to actually brew the coffee.
Some people love this, but it wasn’t for me. So, I invested in automatic brew machine. The one I LOVE is no longer available. Sad day, I know.
But here’s one that’s actually better and worth every penny: the Technivorm Moccamaster KBT Coffee Brewer.
Besides making the perfect cup of coffee (provided you have your water to coffee ratio right; I like 17 grams of water to 1 gram of coffee), this machine allows you to set it and forget it, and brew multiple cups of coffee at a time! The thermos allows your coffee to remain heated for hours.
Have you ever tried to make pour-overs or a Chemex for your guests? You’ll be in the kitchen for at least 30 minutes. If you can, go for the automatic brew machine. Don’t just get anyone though; you’ll want to make sure that manufactures of the machine also care about good coffee.
Now you’re all set to make the best cup of coffee from your kitchen. Have some friends who are still on the Folgers kick? Share this with them to help their transformation now.
Change is possible. I started with Folgers too.
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