We all appreciate the amazing feeling of drinking a quality cup of coffee, from its floral aroma to the smoky cocoa tastes, everything about it just seems to resonate.
For the majority of us though, we only get to enjoy this feeling when we visit the local coffee shop, which in these changing times is not as often as we would like.
Coffee at home usually consists of a cup of decent instant at best, but let’s be honest most of the time it’s just a supermarket jar.
But what if I was to tell you enjoying quality coffee at home was not that difficult, and compared to visiting the coffee shop each day, is actually not that expensive.
Read on and I will tell you how to make barista quality coffee with ease..
5 Simple Steps to Barista Quality Coffee At Home
You read the title correctly, yes there are just 5 simple steps to please even the most ardent coffee drinkers.
Time to turn your kitchen into your new favourite coffee shop
1 – Invest In The Right Machine For You
Above I said it actually wasn’t that expensive, and choosing the correct coffee machine is the most expensive part.
There are many different types of coffee makers available, and all offer slightly different things. But as we are talking about “barista” style coffee, then you will want to buy either an espresso machine or a bean to cup machine. If you can’t choose between the two I would suggest a hybrid between espresso and bean to cup, read this Sage barista express review, and you can see how it ticks all the boxes.
Having a good coffee machine is essential if you want a decent cup of joe. The correct brewing method, water temperature and brew time all contribute to a good coffee.
2 – Always Use The Best Coffee Beans
You hear chefs say it all the time, if you want a good meal then you need the best ingredients, and guess what?
Coffee is NO different, if you want a decent cup then you need to use the best coffee beans.
Fresh whole beans are not expensive at all, and on average it will work out at less than 20p a cup, yes its more than instant coffee, but it’s so much better.
The exact type of bean and from what region will depend on your preferred tastes, and there is such a choice available, you really can have some fun finding your favourite.
The one thing you need to look for is fresh beans, coffee is perishable and will deteriorate over time. Look for a good roaster, and one that will print the roast on date on the bag. Go for beans that were roasted no more than 2 months ago.
And try not to buy ground coffee, if you want the freshest tastes then you need to grind on demand when you want a cup. Ground coffee starts top deteriorate as soon as you have ground it, it’s at its best for 30mins or so.
Some coffee machines will have an inbuilt burr grinder, but if not then you will need a hand grinder.
3 – Measure Up
This is one thing that is constantly overlooked by aspiring baristas. Measuring the right amount of coffee beans is actually vitally important.
You need to think of making coffee as more of a science than an art, not being exact with your measurements could be the reason you have a weak watery cup or a bitter undrinkable syrup.
Consistency is a key factor in developing your skills as a barista, only with consistency can you make a slight tweak and judge how it affects the outcome.
Let’s say for example you alter the temperature of the water slightly and this results in a weak coffee. If all other things remain the same, you can be almost certain the temperature caused the change in taste. But if the amount of beans you used varied by 10/15% how do you know if it was the water temperature or the amount of beans or both that is responsible for the outcome?
4 – Take Care of Your Equipment
No one loves chores so the idea of giving yourself extra ones to do is really to fathom, unless your one of those clean freaks who enjoys it. But another of my big tips for making great coffee at home is to keep all your equipment clean and in good working order.
Coffee contains oils and these will build up inside your machine each time you use it, so if you don’t want old remnants of last week’s coffee tainting todays brew, then you need to keep your coffee machine clean.
Different brewing methods will need a different cleaning schedule, so if you’re new to owning a coffee machine then follow the manufactures guidelines. But as a rule of thumb clean the brew parts after each use, and descale and flush through regularly.
Regular maintenance is an essential part of owning a coffee machine
5 – Experiment
Of all the expert tips, this is the one you can have some fun with and really start to enjoy owning your own espresso or bean to cup machine.
This where you take you skills from average coffee maker to world class baristas.
I would start with the obvious things, try changing the coffee bean you use, the water temperature, grind size or the brew time.
One important note you need to consider, is try to perform single variable testing. This is where you change one thing at a time, so that you can pinpoint the exact reason for each result observed.
But over all have some fun, you can’t really do anything wrong other than brew a bad cup of coffee.
The Final Word
So as you can see, there really is nothing to stop you creating great coffee in your own home. Apart from maybe the initial expense of the machine itself. But this is quickly offset by the savings achieved by not popping out to buy a Latte or espresso each day.
With just a little practice and some experimenting you could be producing coffees that taste as good as any bought on the high street.
So what are you waiting for, time to make your own flat white and create some stunning Latte art.