7 hacks for making the perfect cup of coffee at home


Forget trekking to your local cafe – these expert tips will see you make barista-quality coffee at home.

1. Invest in quality beans

Start with high-quality coffee beans and always use ones that are freshly roasted. Look for beans with a roast date within the past few weeks to ensure freshness and optimal flavour.

It’s better to buy coffee as you need it rather than buy a lot in bulk as the fresher the coffee is, the better it will taste.

2. Store it right

The best way to keep coffee is in an opaque, airtight container in a dark, cool and dry place – like a pantry. Try and keep it away from moisture – especially wet spoons!

Don’t refrigerate or freeze your coffee beans because it will affect the coffee’s oils and absorb flavours from other foods.

3. Grind your own beans

Purchase a grinder (ideally a burr grinder over a blade grinder) and grind your coffee beans just before brewing. This ensures maximum freshness and allows you to adjust the grind size to match your brewing method.

Only put the amount of beans you plan to use into the top of the grinder and don’t grind them until just before you’re about to extract the coffee. It’s best to use your new coffee grinds within 10 minutes of grinding them.

4. Control water temperature

Use water that is between 90°C to 96°C for brewing coffee. Avoid using boiling water, as it can scorch the coffee grounds and result in a bitter taste.

5. Master brewing techniques

Whether you’re using a drip coffee maker, pour-over, French press or espresso machine, learn proper brewing techniques for each method. Pay attention to factors such as water flow, brewing time and agitation for optimal extraction.

For instance, plunger coffee should brew for 3 – 4 minutes – leaving it longer will only make it bitter. If you prefer it strong, try adding an extra tablespoon of coffee instead.

6. Practise milk frothing

If you enjoy milk-based drinks like lattes and cappuccinos, invest in a milk frother or steam wand for frothing milk at home. Practise steaming milk to achieve the perfect texture and temperature for your desired drink.

7. Keep your equipment clean

Regularly clean and maintain your coffee brewing equipment to ensure optimal performance and flavour. Clean your coffee grinder, brewer and espresso machine regularly to prevent buildup of oils and residue.

READ MORE: Is coffee good or bad for us?


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