by Jeanette Kierstead
In this article, we would like to offer you, the beginner home brewer, just a few helpful coffee making tips that will hopefully help to make your homemade cup of coffee that much tastier!
If you've been making coffee at home for a while, many of these tips may likely seem pretty obvious, which is why this article is meant for beginners only. However, you can always take a read just in case you do find one of these basic tips helpful… 😀
It follows that if you want the freshest cup of coffee possible, you're going to have to use fresh beans to start with.
For those of us who are new to brewing coffee at home, its good for us to understand that the more control we have over the coffee preparation process, the better. There are several stages, including home roasting, home grinding, and home brewing. For any of these processes to be effective, fresh beans are #1.
Depending on if you grind the beans yourself or not, you'll either have some extra grinds or some extra beans after you've made a pot of coffee.
You'll want to be storing those extra grinds/beans somewhere which is airtight and vacuum-sealed, so that you can use them later and get just as good-tasting a cup of coffee as when you first bought them. Normally, these containers which are airtight are called coffee storage vaults.
The reason to use these coffee storage vaults is because they will save you money in the long run, since you'll never have to waste any coffee beans or grinds.
This is a quick little tip that ties in with the last point, but we feel like it deserves its own heading, which is to say: grind as you need it.
Just like storing any extra grinds, simply grinding as you need it will save you money.
Some coffee grinders are much better for having less waste than others, while others seem to lead to more wasted grinds, which we want to avoid, if possible. For instance, hand crank manual grinders force you to grind slower, because of the fact that they're manual, and so its very easy to grind as you need with them.
If you have a bigger budget and want to go with an electric grinder, you can always get one with a doser so it measure out exactly what you need for you. A good example of this is the Rancilio Rocky with doser, which we review here.
Different methods of coffee preparation demand different grind textures (coarseness/ fineness). For instance, espresso requires a fine grind, while drip coffee requires medium coarse. This is just referring to the size of the pieces of ground coffee, and every grinder has different capabilities when it comes to controlling and adjusting the grind size.
Burr grinders generally have the best control, while blade grinders are generally known for doing the job quickly but not as accurately. This is where you'll probably have to compare the prices of the different grinders to decide on which you'll want to use, based on its abilities.
If you're new to coffee, this is something you should learn because if you can adjust your grind size, as the baristas do, and then you will be set to make all sorts of different brews, from a simple cup of drip coffee, to all sorts of other fancy types of coffee like Turkish and some excellent espresso.
With pre-ground coffee, you don't have to worry about this so much, but there's nothing like a cup of freshly ground, freshly brewed coffee or espresso!
The type of glass you serve your coffee in can have a huge effect on both the coffee's aroma and flavor. For instance, DeLonghi makes a great little espresso glass (pictured right), which is available at a reasonable price on sites like Amazon that you may want to try out, particularly if you're into espresso.
Similar to wine, coffee or espresso is often judged by its aroma first. So, the best way to serve it is in cups with thick walls, strong enough to keep in the warmth of the coffee.
You may have noticed that in most coffee bars or restaurants, an espresso is served in a small cup with thick walls and gradual incline. This is because the thickness of the walls keeps the coffee temperature hot for longer, with a slower loss of heat, and a gradual incline which allows the beautiful coffee aroma to breath.
We do not recommend storing your coffee in the fridge. Many people do this, but it is just not a good idea. Why? Its because the coffee absorbs the odors from the food and other products in your fridge, and sometimes this can actually affect the flavor of the coffee, which we don't want. Also, the moisture in your fridge will deteriorate the coffee over time, which is another detriment to your coffee.
So where is the best place to store coffee? Somewhere cool and dry, according to the National Coffee Association.
Also, like we said earlier, you want to grind coffee only as needed and store it in a high quality airtight container.
The sooner you grind it and brew it, the better it'll taste when you drink it!
We feel that if you keep in mind these simple guidelines, you'll be well on your way to a cup of excellent home-brewed coffee…Thanks for reading!
About Jeanette Kierstead
Jeanette has been testing and reviewing kitchen appliances for over six years now, so she knows her stuff when it comes to finding the best ones. In her spare time, she loves nothing more than baking cakes and cookies – especially if she can do so with one of her favorite stand mixers! When she's not in the kitchen, Jeanette is usually looking after everything homes-related; from garden tools to smart home products.