The Ultimate Guide to Brewing Perfect Coffee at Home
What’s better than a perfectly-brewed cup of coffee to start your day? If you answered “nothing,” you’re right–but this doesn’t always apply if you don’t have the perfect brew. While brewing your coffee might seem as simple as putting your grounds into a machine and waiting for the coffee to come out. However, achieving the perfect brew isn’t a one-step process, and numerous factors contribute to the quality of your cup.
Brewing perfect coffee at home shouldn’t be a hassle, and with the correct methods, tips, and techniques, you can make your morning brew exactly how you like it. To help you brew your coffee like a pro, we’ve compiled the ultimate guide to brewing perfect coffee at home, including a breakdown of the many components of a tasty cup. Let’s dive in!
Use Fresh Coffee Beans
Coffee beans might not be the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of food that goes stale, but just like anything else, coffee beans lose their usability after a while. Using fresh coffee beans is essential to loving your at-home brew.
Along with using fresh beans from the get-go, you need to know how to store your beans so they don’t go stale too fast. Luckily, you have many options to increase the lifespan of your coffee beans. Consider the following coffee bean storage solutions:
- Airtight canisters
- Mason jars
- Stainless steel canisters
- Vacuum-sealed containers
- Freezing your beans in an airtight container
Grind Your Coffee Beans Right Before You Brew
The fresher the coffee grind, the better the flavour. Brewing perfect coffee at home is best done when you store your coffee as whole beans and use an at-home coffee bean grinder to prepare the beans right before you make your coffee.
There are many reasons why storing your coffee as whole beans is a better option than storing ground coffee, including the following:
- Grinding beans releases oils and exposes the coffee to oxidation and degradation.
- Grinding coffee beans increases the beans’ surface area, meaning that the bean’s oils and sugars are exposed to oxygen.
- Ground beans are more vulnerable to moisture which could damage the coffee’s quality.
Know Your Coffee-to-Water Ratio
Your coffee-to-water ratio will differ from others depending on how strong you like your brew. Determining how much coffee to use concerning the water you use will influence the overall flavour and can make or break your cup of coffee.
As a rule of thumb, most brews fall around a coffee-to-water ratio of 1:14 to 1:16. These ratios are based on the average cup of coffee, which is 12 ounces or 336 grams. Therefore, a cup of coffee using the 1:16 ratio would use 25 grams of coffee to 400 grams of water to account for any water absorption.
Experiment with your ratios if you’re not sure what kind of flavour you prefer and to achieve the perfect brew.
Explore Coffee Bean Varieties
Different types of coffee will offer unique flavour profiles that will appeal to different people. The two main types of coffee beans are Arabica and Robusta, and Arabica is often considered the highest-quality coffee bean. Below is a closer look at each option to see which is most suited to your coffee preferences.
Arabica Coffee Beans
Experts usually consider these coffee beans the highest quality in the world and can be found in many countries. Arabica coffee beans are native to Ethiopia and Yemen and account for an estimated 60% of global coffee production. These beans are usually more expensive than Robusta beans.
Arabica coffee beans are divided into three distinct varieties:
Robusta Coffee Beans
Robusta beans have a much stronger flavour than Arabica beans and contain two times the caffeine content. These beans have an intense aroma and are popular among coffee lovers that prefer a big energy boost from their brew.
Because Robusta coffee beans aren’t used as often as Arabica varieties, it’s all the more reason to try Robusta coffee beans at home like you aren’t able to at a coffee shop that only has one or the other.
Pay Attention to the Temperature
The temperature of your water will influence how well your brew turns out. Brewing perfect coffee at home requires a careful eye and attention to detail. Accessing your favourite coffee’s full, rich flavours requires water to hit a specific temperature range to extract flavours quickly. By not brewing your coffee at the proper temperature, you might not see all its flavours extracted, leaving you with a weak cup that doesn’t meet your expectations.
Ideally, brew temperatures will reach 92 to 96 degrees Celsius. This range is ideal to access all the flavours you want from your coffee without causing it to taste too bitter.
Choose the Right Brewing Method
Different brewing methods will yield different results in your coffee’s flavour profile, and choosing the right brewing method for your tastes will help ensure that you can master the process of brewing perfect coffee at home. Among the numerous brewing methods are drip, pour-over, French press, and moka pot brewing, explained in greater detail below.
Drip coffee is possibly the most common and traditional coffee-brewing method. This process involves water heated until below boiling temperature and poured over ground coffee beans in a coffee filter, and water is slowly dripped through the coffee grounds and filtered into a pot or carafe.
Drip coffee is what you might expect from a standard at-home coffee machine. One of the primary benefits of this brewing method is that it saves time and won’t take too much energy on your behalf, making it a viable option if your mornings are hectic.
Pour-over coffee brewing involves the process of pouring hot water over coffee grounds. While similar to drip coffee brewing, pour-over coffee is more hands-on, as the coffee is placed in a cone-shaped filter while hot water is poured by hand in a circular motion. The resulting brew is flavorful, clean, and smooth, making for a perfect cup.
French Press Coffee
This brewing method involves coffee grounds steeped in hot water for several minutes before being strained through a mesh filter. French press coffee is best with coarsely ground coffee, giving the water more surface area to create a richer, fuller-bodied coffee flavour.
Moka Pot Coffee
Moka pots are increasingly popular among coffee lovers for numerous reasons. Moka pots are percolating devices typically used as electric or stove-top coffee makers. A moka pot works by having hot water pressurised by steam pass upwards to move through coffee grounds to create the final brew.
Moka pots have three components: the bottom chamber, basket, and top chamber. When brewing coffee, the device is heated, and pressure increases in the bottom chamber, forcing the water through a funnel with the coffee grinds held within the basket. Once the coffee has been poured into the upper collection chamber, it is ready to drink. This method is excellent for coffee lovers that want a memorable brewing experience.
Bloom Your Coffee
Blooming coffee is an essential step in the brewing process that involves pouring a small amount of hot water over the freshly ground coffee to allow it to release trapped carbon dioxide gas. Once you pour the water, wait about 30 seconds to continue with your brew. Use double the amount of water compared to the amount of coffee you use.
This process is essential to achieving the perfect cup of coffee at home for several reasons:
- Improved Flavour: Blooming your coffee helps to release the trapped gases and compounds from the coffee beans, which enhances the flavour and aroma of your brew.
- Even Extraction: Blooming coffee allows for a more even extraction of the grounds, which helps achieve a well-balanced cup of coffee.
- Consistency: Blooming your coffee ensures that each cup of coffee you brew is consistent in flavour and quality.
Don’t Rush the Process
Brewing a perfect cup of coffee at home requires patience, practice, and attention to detail. You risk making a subpar cup of coffee by rushing the brewing process. Brewing perfect coffee at home is easier when you accept that you might not get things right the first time.
Be willing to experiment and figure out what appeals to you. Additionally, consider some reasons why you should avoid rushing the brewing process when learning how to brew the perfect coffee at home:
- Precision is crucial: Brewing coffee is a science as much as an art. Every step requires precision, from measuring the coffee beans to the water temperature and brew time. Rushing through any step can lead to imprecise measurements and inconsistent results.
- Flavour development takes time: The flavour of coffee develops over time as the water extracts the compounds from the coffee beans. Rushing the brewing process can result in under-extracted or over-extracted coffee, which can be bitter, sour, or weak.
- Practice makes perfect: Brewing the perfect cup of coffee is a skill that takes practice. Rushing the process can prevent you from learning from mistakes and refining your technique.
- Enjoy the process: Brewing coffee can be a meditative and enjoyable process. Rushing through it can rob you of the opportunity to savour the aroma and flavours of freshly brewed coffee and enjoy a quiet morning.
Prepare for Brewing Perfect Coffee at Home With Grounds Cafe
Brewing perfect coffee at home is possible with the right techniques and the best quality coffee beans and equipment to make a tasty brew. Check out our offerings today to discover the perfect formula for a delicious morning cup.