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A good cup of coffee in the morning can make the difference between a good morning and a lousy morning. You’re likely to go to your local coffee shop to start off your day, but you don’t have to rely on a barista to create the perfect cup of Joe.
Making coffee at home is easier than you think, and it goes farther than instant coffee or a machine that uses those cup pods. You can make a decent cup of coffee at home using a few choice instruments. Follow these basic rules, and you can start creating delicious and satisfying cups of coffee – every single time.
How to Create the Perfect Coffee at Home
Buy Fresh Beans
Buying pre-ground coffee is the first change you’ll need to make. It tastes better when you grind your beans fresh (more on that later). You could buy coffee from the grocery store, but buying from a local roaster, or roasting your own will guarantee you’ll get the freshest beans. Oxygen and bright lights murder the flavor in roasted beans, so make sure to store them in storage tubes coated with coffee oil. Look for roasters that seal their coffee in vacuum-sealed bags – that’s the good stuff.
Grind Your Coffee
Coffee loses its quality almost immediately after its ground. The best-tasting brews come out of a coffee grinder, hands down. If you’re really fancy, you can grind bulk beans in expensive burr mills, but affordable alternatives exist. Electric whirly blade grinders will do a great job. Just pulse the grinder a few times until the beans are small, but not completely ground.
Choose Between Pour Over, Fresh Press or Drip
This is a matter of preference, but pour over is arguably the best method to make coffee. Pour over requires filters, so make sure you invest in a gold-plated filter or ones that are dioxin-free and oxygen-bleached. Fresh Presses are very European, and personally, my favorite way to drink java. Drip coffee is used for anyone in a rush, as these machines can make 12 cups at a time! Perfect to wake up from a long night.
Use Filtered Water
The wrong kind of water can throw off the taste of the coffee. Using tap water isn’t recommend as it’s usually laced with a trace amount of fluoride or chlorine that can make the brew seem off. Spring water or activated-charcoal/carbon filters can be put on your tap though they can be a little pricey. Just a tip: Distilled or softened water make the worst tasting coffee.
Pay Attention to the Heat
Making your coffee too hot will extract compounds that will make the coffee taste bitter. The proper brewing temperature is 200°F or 45 seconds off a full boil. Don’t keep the coffee boiling for too long, or let it sit on a warmer as it will make the coffee taste foul.
Keep Equipment Clean
Cleaning the containers you keep your coffee in, your equipment and your grinder every few weeks will remove excess oil buildup. Run a vinegar solution through your coffee maker monthly to dissolve any mineral deposits. Rinse with water before reuse.