It’s no secret that America is crazy about coffee. It’s estimated that Americans consume 400 million cups of coffee every day and that the average American spends about $1,100 every year on coffee alone. Coffee is an extremely simple drink, however, and you could easily save money by making some delicious coffee at home. With just a few simple tips and understanding some facts about coffee, you should be able to enjoy coffee that is as delicious as the cup from your local coffee shop for a fraction of the price. Here are a few tips for making better coffee at home.
Use Fresh Whole Beans
The first secret is to make your coffee from freshly roasted beans. You want to use beans that have just been roasted because they undergo a process called degassing when many of the flavorful compounds contained in them will start escaping. This process starts immediately after the bean is roasted and about 70% of the compounds will have escaped after eight days. It’s even worse if the beans are ground as more surface area will be exposed. If you can, get your coffee fresh from a local roastery.
Get High-Quality Pods
We do understand, however, that not everyone has the means to spend on high-quality freshly roasted coffee beans or have a good roastery near them. Grinding, then brewing your coffee can also be very time-consuming. If you’re pressed for time in the morning, you can get great results with pods. These are perfect for students who tend to rush around in the mornings, but you need to go with top-quality coffee.
Get a Scale
Any time you make coffee, you should get in the habit of weighing it. Many of us have heard the rule that you should use two tablespoons of ground coffee for every 6oz of water. The issue here is that some coffees will be denser than others, so going with tablespoons is a bad idea. By weighing your coffee, you’ll know exactly how much is going into every cup. From then on, you can start adjusting your coffee to water ratio until you find your sweet spot.
Get Yourself a Great Grinder
If you’re going to take the whole bean route, you better invest in a good grinder. We suggest you go for a burr grinder. These will allow you to get a very precise grind size every time, which is very important when it comes to making consistently good coffee.
You want your grind particles to be as even as possible so they can brew at the same rate. The grind will also affect the intensity of the coffee. Smaller grind size means that more of the bean is exposed, and the flavor is released more quickly and completely. The flavors on bigger particles will be more muted and the brewing process will take longer.
Find the Perfect Grind
There is also a science in picking the right grind. If you go too fine, your coffee may end up tasting bitter. If you go for too coarse of a grind, the coffee might come out sour or acidic. This is something you will need to test on your own until you find something that fits your taste.
Use Good Water
Last, but not least, you have to make sure that you use good water for your coffee. Coffee is 98.5% water, and the taste of the water will have a huge influence on how the coffee tastes. There are a few places that have good enough tap water to make good coffee, but, in most cases, it’s better to go for bottled water or water that has gone through a home filtration system. If you’re going to use bottled water, however, don’t go for distilled water as coffee needs its minerals to brew properly.
Making great coffee at home is extremely easy when you understand the basics. Follow our few tips and continue learning about the science of coffee until you become an expert.