In our last post, we shared the 5 most popular ways of making coffee at home! Today, we will give you 4 golden tips on the steps before the brewing itself! Well, as one of the most popular coffee shops in Yorkville, Toronto, we know what we are talking about!

We all agree that a good cup of coffee can set our mood and give that much needed extra energy boost. If you are looking to make a heavenly cup yourself, we got you covered!

From how to store the beans properly to understanding the correct coffee-to-water ratio, following these 4 simple rules, you will be able to brew a delicious cup of coffee every single time, no matter which brewing method you choose! It is easier than you think!

4 barista-approved tips for making high-quality coffee at home

1. Go for organic freshly roasted beans

Let’s be honest. If you want a good cup of coffee you need good coffee beans! It doesn’t matter if you like your coffee floral and fruity or a little nuttier with chocolate notes. The key factor here is to buy freshly roasted beans. Knowing that coffee reaches its peak flavor just days after the roast, you will want to have a flavorful cup of coffee by using fresh beans.

You must be asking yourself: what about the organic thing? Are organic coffee beans better? Well, we can say that in the case of organic coffee, there are no synthetic fertilizers or chemicals used in growing or production, which means cleaner beans, air, land, and water. If you ask us, we do think organic freshly roasted beans make a whole difference in your cup of coffee.

Barista master tip 1: store your coffee beans in a clean, opaque, and airtight container. Place it in a cool and out of direct sunlight area.

Barista master tip 2: never, ever put coffee beans in the fridge! They will absorb the aromas of all the other food in there, and you don’t want that.

2. Grind right

The size matters! So, get the right grind. And what is the best grind for coffee? It is related to which method of brewing you choose and your tastes. There is some common understanding, though. If you are using a French press to make your coffee, you would like an extra coarse grind, for example. If you choose pour over as your brewing method, the best grind to use is a medium-coarse.

So, how does the size of the coffee grounds affect the taste of my coffee? The basic is: the flavour will be extracted once it comes into contact with water. The different grinds of coffee will influence how fast the water will pass through them, determining the strength of your coffee.

The finer the grind size, the more extraction will happen due to the greater surface area. The coarser the grind, the less extraction there will be. Under extraction leads to sour tastes, while over-extraction will create more of a bitter flavour profile. So if your coffee is too sour or watery, grind finer. In case it is too bitter and extra acidic, you need to grind coarser.

Barista master tip 1: most drip coffee makers call for a medium to medium-fine grind.

Barista master tip 2: unless you want to invest in an automatic burr grinder, a manual hand mill is the most affordable way to achieve a consistent grind. They do require a small amount of manual labour, but it is also part of the coffee-making experience!

Barista master tip 3: about the blade grinders, they also do the job. But be aware that they produce inconsistent particle size, which can lead to over-extraction.

3. Watch for the coffee-to-water ratio

If you strive to make a perfect cup of coffee, you want to be accurate and consistent. And definitely, you need to watch for the coffee-to-water ratio. So, what is the right way to measure your coffee? It seems to be a complicated task. But it isn’t!

By measuring coffee by weight instead of volume, you are already eliminating one variable that will help to avoid a bad tasting coffee! A digital scale is a perfect tool to make your life easier when it comes to measuring the amount of coffee needed per unit of water each time you brew.

As with every other choice you have to make when you want to brew your perfect cup of coffee, the coffee-to-water ratio varies depending on your taste. Ideally, a ratio of 1:20 (meaning to every one part coffee, you add 20 parts water or around 7.5g of coffee to 150ml of water) makes a reasonably bodied cup of coffee. If you are into a bold cup of coffee, you may want to experiment with a 1:14 ratio. On the other hand, if you prefer not so strong coffee, you can try a 1:30 ratio.

Barista master tip 1: pay double care to the water temperature when brewing your coffee. It isn’t about perfectionism. The right temperature will give you a sublime cup of coffee! Again it comes to taste and your preferences, but the suggested range is 90.5–96°C/195–205°F.

4. Use good filters

Using poor quality filters will directly affect the taste of your coffee. It doesn’t matter if you are using filter/pour over brew devices or the immersion brewing methods, a cheap bleached filter may add just as much of a papery taste to your coffee as a high-quality unbleached filter.

Briefly, there is an unfinished debate about bleached versus unbleached paper coffee filters. Once more it comes to you: taste or environmental impact. If you are concerned about your footprints and want to be more eco-friendly, high-quality unbleached filters will be your choice. If you are worried that your coffee might end up with a papery taste, you might go for bleached filters.

Barista master tip 1: rinse paper filters before use. Hot water helps to remove the papery taste so you can have a cleaner cup of coffee.

Barista master tip 2: keep your equipment clean. Make sure to wash off all the coffee oils after brewing. Otherwise, you may taste them in your next cup of coffee.

All that said, we believe these 4 precious tips will change the way you brew coffee at home, preventing unwanted bitterness or off-flavors. Brewing coffee is a delicate process in which you will balance all these different variables.

So there you have it! Making your own cup of coffee is an adventure. Play around! Experiment with brew ratios, water temperature, and different brewing methods to find your just-right cup of coffee. What could be more fun than brewing a home-made perfect cup of coffee?

You can get everything you need to start brewing at home in our online shop!