I’m sipping on a cup of filter coffee from Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia. This is a favourite coffee growing region for many, and it’s always been one of my personal picks too. Clean, bright and fruity and floral. Wow. Coffee can be pretty delicious he? But there can be a true frustration when you try to recreate those perfect coffees from your local cafe in your own kitchen. In all my years working as a barista I would almost daily have conversations with customers about their home set up and why they didn’t get the results they wanted. Oftentimes it was the simplest of tweaks that helped to improve their brews. So I’m here to share five of those tips to instantly make better coffee at home.
Coffee comes in so many styles and flavours – and it’s all a matter of personal taste. You might like yours dark and strong, light and delicate or anywhere in between. The beauty of it is that there’s something for everyone out there. And whether you’re and avid coffee drinker or just enjoy the occasional cup (or even just brew some when you have visitors), it’s always nice to have some tricks up your sleeve to serve it the best you can!
If you’d like to know more about which tools we use in our own kitchen, check out this post about our current coffee set up with some of our most loved coffee tools.
These are all tips that help you make instantly better coffee at home. None of these involve buying new equipment or tools – they are just simple tweaks to improve your coffee game!
Five Tips To Instantly Make Better Coffee At Home
1. Always rinse the paper filter
If you’re using any brewing method that involves a paper filter – an aeropress, pourover like a chemex or a filter machine – make a habit of rinsing the filter before adding the coffee grounds. By doing so, you’ll remove most of the paper smell and taste that will otherwise end up in your coffee. It makes a big difference and is well worth the effort! To rinse, use hot water and pour it over the filter so it’s soaked and no paper smell remains. You can do this under a tap, but if you’re directly brewing over a cup or pot, it’s a great way to preheat your tools too!
2. Never use boiling hot water
Like with tea, never use boiling hot water to brew your coffee. This will cause a bitter & undesirable flavours to end up in your cup and that’s no good. The ideal brewing temperature is just off boiling, somewhere between 85-95°C, and will depend a little on the method you’re using. You could use a thermometer if you like, but if you like to keep things simple, just leave the kettle for a minute after it’s boiled before pouring it over your coffee. And if you use a coffee machine, check if there’s any options to adjust the brewing temperature.
3. Preheat your cup
There’s nothing worse than a lukewarm cup of coffee that’s gone cold in minutes. Pouring freshly brewed coffee into a cold cup is asking for trouble, unless you want to jug it down quickly! Preheating your cup fixes this issue easily, and keeps your coffee snuggly and warm. This is especially important in winter, when room temperatures might be low (especially early in the morning). To do so, simply pour some hot water in your cup and let it sit for a few little so the ceramic warms up.
4. Use your coffee quickly
Fresh is best! When you have some special coffee, don’t store it away to use for ‘special occasions’ – use it while it’s at its best! Coffee is best enjoyed about 5-7 days after roasting and will keep most of it’s flavours for about a month. After this, it will start going down in quality and eventually go stale. Most quality coffees will have a roasting date on the packaging, so check this before buying. Store in a oneway valve packaging or an airtight container in a dark spot (a cabinet or pantry is perfect). And if you own a grinder, always buy whole beans as ground coffee loses most of its aroma in matter of minutes.
5. Clean your equipment
Nothing can ruin your cup of coffee like using unclean machines or tools. If you don’t clean your coffee equipment regularly, then it’s time to get into the habit of doing so! For starters, simply rinse your machine or filter holder with water after every use. For deep cleaning, there’s many commercial cleaners available, but some simple household staples might be all you need. For filter machines, running a cycle with some white vinegar will clean it very well. Glass tools will benefit from a soak with baking soda. Discarding the coffee grounds straight after brewing also helps a ton!
Hope these tips help you – which of these will you try out? Any questions or things to add?