Imagine with me: it’s a foggy Saturday morning. Soft light is streaming through your windows, and you’re wrapped up in your coziest blanket. A made-just-for-you cup of coffee appears on your nightstand. You reach for the warm mug and take your first sip of heaven. Can you taste it?
Okay, so, admittedly, unless you’re living with the nicest barista ever, this dream probably isn’t realistic. But it’s not far off! Imagine the same thing, just add slippers and a quick walk to the kitchen. I’m talking saving a few bucks, staying in your pajamas, and brewing your own coffee right at home using your basic coffee maker. No trip to your local coffeeshop required.
I recently chatted with Michelle Hopper, a barista at Switchbox Coffee Roasters in South Florida, to get the lowdown on at-home coffee. Michelle’s philosophy is basic: brewing the best coffee is about keeping it clean and simple, less is more. Can I get an amen? Here’s what she had to say.
Buy Fresh, Whole Bean Coffee
It all starts with the beans. Yep, beans. Nothing already-ground should make its way into your kitchen. For a good cup, you want to get fresh, whole bean coffee, as close to the roast date as possible. Coffee is a food product, after all. Like bread, it goes bad.
For the best cup, avoid buying coffee that doesn’t have a roast date on the package. Drink your coffee within two weeks of the roast date, and never go past three weeks. If the package of coffee doesn’t include a roast date, be sure to drink it before the expiration date, which the package should most definitely have.
Store It Properly
Store your coffee in an air-tight container (or original packaging) in a cool, dry, and dark place — the kitchen cupboard or pantry, right alongside your spices is the way to go. Don’t even think about freezing your coffee: there’s moisture in there, and you want to keep your coffee as dry as possible until it’s time to brew.
Grind To Brew, Not Before
Measure and grind your beans to brew, and not a moment before. A general guideline to follow is 1-2 tablespoons of whole coffee beans per 1 cup of water. Think of the beans as cocoons of coffee awesomeness, keeping all the flavor and freshness inside until it’s time to release it. Be patient and your coffee will taste better. (You can even buy a grind and brew coffee maker that does both steps in just one machine.)
Brew With Pure Water
Use purified water to get the most flavor in your cup. Pure water lets the delicate flavors of the coffee shine. If you have really good tap water, it’s fine to use. Not sure? Taste it. If your water has a flavor, that flavor will make its way into your cup and compete with the coffee.
Let Your Coffee Rest
Now this might be a challenge if your coffee withdrawals have already kicked in. After you pour your cup of freshly brewed coffee, let it rest for 2–3 minutes before taking your first sip. This gives the coffee a chance to open up, becoming more flavorful and complex as it cools.
Use this downtime to put your whole beans pack in the pantry and clean your equipment. Speaking of…
Keep Your Equipment Clean
Rinse your coffee maker parts with warm water immediately after using it. Any residue left behind could make your next brew taste a little funky. Deep clean your equipment about once a week to keep everything fresh and ready-to-use.
Now it’s time for you to break out of the coffee shop grind! (See what I did there?) Be sure to share your delicious home-brewed cup of Joe with #confettikitchen on Instagram!
This post includes affiliate links to help you find products we love. In exchange, we may earn a small commission. We take this seriously and only pick goods we think are great!