I want to share with you a list of easy things you can do to upgrade your at-home coffee experience without overwhelming you with boring details!
Follow these basic principles and you will undoubtedly feel the difference. This list will have a BIG impact on how you taste and enjoy your coffee.
Here are 5 things you need to maximize your at-home coffee experience.
1. Buy Good Coffee
The journey starts by ordering good quality coffee. You should always try to buy freshly roasted beans. Old coffee becomes stale and bitter and there is nothing you can do to fix it.
Second, you must buy whole bean coffee. Whole beans are in essence a tiny balloon full of aroma and flavor waiting to burst! Ground coffee has already popped the bean “balloon” and all the wonderful aromas and flavors have been lost in the environment.
2. Store It in an Airtight Container
Now that you are putting so much emphasis on the freshness of coffee, you would like to maintain it fresh for as long as you can. Depending on how long you take to drink your coffee, investing in a good coffee canister might be a good idea.
The role of the container is to avoid oxidation. The container must be airtight to keep the beans fresh and dry. You also want your canister to block light, a dark container is ideal, and some go a little further with a one-way valve to allow for CO2 release from the coffee beans.
Check out this list of containers to give you an idea of what to look for.
3. Use Filtered Water
The water you use to brew your coffee is extremely important!
Avoid using tap water! Well, if you are in a place where the water tastes good on its own, go ahead and use it, but if you are not part of the lucky ones, avoid tap water!
Remember, it is the water that is extracting the flavor from the coffee, so it is a big deal.
I would recommend buying a water filter, you probably already have one, and use that water to brew your coffee. What you should look for is for your water to be clean and free of odors, colors, and off-flavors. You will taste the difference in your coffee immediately!
By the way, baristas go crazy over the subject and they can go very deep into the chemistry of the water and how to make it perfect. If you want to go deep, check this article by Q grader Asser Christensen.
4. Get a Grinder
You need a coffee grinder to grind your whole beans.
There are three options to choose from, you have the blade grinder, the burr grinder, and the manual grinder.
Blade grinders are the cheapest option, but they don’t do the best job because they aren’t grinding the coffee, instead, the blades spin fast and they smash the beans into small pieces. The problem is that you will get zero consistency usually leaving different size pieces.
Burr Grinders are more expensive but undeniably better. Burrs grind the coffee with pressure between two burred plates. Burr grinders will give you much better results than a blade grinder, and more importantly, uniformity. You can dive deep into the world of burr grinders in this detailed Perfect Daily Grind article.
Finally, you have the manual grinders. Manual grinders are, in fact, burr grinders, but they can be in their category given that it is a unique experience.
Manual grinders are very popular with people that enjoy the whole brewing coffee experience; it feels artisanal. They are quiet and cool, but not the best option to grind large amounts (unless you want to have a good bicep workout).
5. Find the Right Coffee Maker
We finally reached the point of brewing coffee! There are many ways to brew coffee and we have a few awesome home recipes to share with you.
Even though all the brewing methods do the same thing of mixing hot water with coffee grounds, the outcomes from each one will vary quite noticeably.
Some of the options available are the newly popular single-cup brewers, the drip brewers (classic coffee pot), the French press, pour-over, and the AeroPress. I am leaving a few out, but you get the idea.
Look at our brew guides if you are looking for instructions on how to make them, but for this article, I’ll separate the styles into two categories: convenience and pleasure.
Single-cup and drip brewers would fall under the convenience category. They are used by people who want a quick cup of coffee for their caffeine boost. I would still argue that a drip brewer makes a much better cup of coffee than a single-cup brewer.
French press, pour-over, and AeroPress fall under pleasure. Surprisingly, these options can turn out to be cheaper, and make you a much better cup of coffee. Regardless, these brewing methods might take just a tiny bit longer to make. I’d have to say, it is worth the time.
My personal favorite is the French press.
6. Get a Cool Mug
This one sneaked in the list because it is not essential, but I find that having a nice looking mug will improve the experience (it does to me). I recommend you find a mug you like to complete the cycle.