It is a simple reality of life that we all want better coffee. It is why we all have favourite coffee shops, it is why we are willing to invest money into coffee equipment, and it is why we are willing to spend time reading an article like this.
Chances are that if you brew coffee at home then your coffee situation is okay. It is almost definitely better than instant coffee, but sometimes not by much. And even if your coffee situation is pretty good it can always be better.
In this article, we will give four simple tips for better coffee.
Quality Coffee Beans
The first simple tip is that you need to be using high-quality coffee beans. What that means is that the local grocers simply won’t cut it as your local coffee supplier. If you build a house of cheap wood and rusty nails, it won’t be great. The same applies to coffee brewing.
The flavour of your coffee will never exceed the quality of the beans you use. In fact, the most expensive coffee machine and perfect technique can only give clarity to the quality or lack thereof of the beans used.
The basic rule of thumb here is to avoid mass-produced and go for specialty coffee roasters. If this sounds complicated it is not as hard as it sounds. If you don’t know what your local coffee roastery is simply type into google ‘best specialty coffee roasters near me’ and give one a try.
Specialty coffee roasters will have beans that are high quality, carefully processed, well roasted, and fresh. Aka they will taste better than anything your local grocers can provide. Alternatively, you could try Lifeboost coffee this American based company ships all over the world, and uses organic and ethically sourced beans from Nicaragua.
Right Grind Size
The second tip is to make sure you get the grind size right. Different methods of coffee brewing use different grind sizes for optimal flavour. Obviously, if you don’t own a coffee grinder this becomes a little more difficult, but it is not impossible.
For those who usually buy pre-ground coffee, the best way to do this is to find a local specialty roaster, give them a call and ask them to grind your beans for your given brewing method, ie French Press, Moka Pot, Aeropress etc. They will be more than happy to do this and it will ensure that your grind size is correct.
If you do own a grinder then hopefully it is a burr grinder rather than blade. And it will be a case of experimenting. The basic principle is that the longer the coffee sits in the water, the coarser the grind size will need to be. So for espresso which pushes hot water through the grinds in 25-30 seconds you use a very fine grind. Alternatively, for french press which allows the water to sit with the coffee grinds for 4-10 minutes you use a far coarser grind setting.
Use Good Quality Water
An often overlooked aspect of coffee brewing is the water you use. Remember black coffee is usually 95-98% water and so the quality of the water used actually has a large impact on the flavour of the coffee. Basically, if you use poor tasting water, you can expect to produce poor tasting coffee.
This is the reason that cafes use filtered water for all of their coffee. Bad water equals bad coffee. So what this looks like in your context will largely depend on where you live. In some places the tap water quality is at least tolerable, in other places it is completely unacceptable. The easiest solutions are either to invest in a high quality water filter or else to use bottled water. You will be surprised about what a difference this little tip can make.
Experiment And Try New Things
The final tip is experiment. You can read all the articles you like and watch hours on Youtube, but unless you play around a bit chances are your coffee quality won’t change. So don’t be afraid to experiment. Remember the goal of coffee brewing is not so much the perfect brew as it is a brew that you enjoy.
So play around. Try a new type of coffee brewing. If you have only ever used the french press then invest in an Aeropress and see what you think. Try using different flavoured coffee beans. Try using more water or less water. Try a longer brew or a shorter brew. Just change things up and find a coffee that suits you. That you enjoy brewing and hits the spot for your palate.
Happy Coffee Brewing!