Making the kind of amazing coffee that makes mornings magic is as simple as the pie you’ll want to eat with it! If you are new to the world of coffee, relax – in no time, the simple tips in this beginners guide to coffee will have you making a home brew so good it will coax anyone out of bed.
Top Tips for Great Coffee
1. Fresh ground coffee beans and good water make the best coffee. Break the pre-ground habit – invest in an inexpensive home grinder- then treat yourself to a pound of fresh beans. The aroma of freshly ground coffee will make you believe in Heaven. Imagine that aroma in your cup and you won’t mind the extra step of grinding!
2. Know your roast. Coffee beans are roasted and as a general rule, the length of time spent heating determines the strength of coffee beans produce. Light roasts make a gentle, bright coffee often labeled as a "breakfast blend," while dark roasts tend to make more robust coffee with greater flavor complexities. Regular and decaffeinated can be found at all roast levels.
3. Is choosing a great bean confusing? Ask your local barista which beans make the best brew. As the sommeliers of the coffee world, most consider it a duty to help you avoid making bad coffee!
4. Mind your grind! Traditional coffee is made from medium to coarse ground beans, but a superfine ground is needed to make the rich, strong brew known as espresso that is the basis for many popular coffee drinks.
5. Store it right! Buy it in small batches and keep any left-overs fresh in airtight containers.
6. Live in a coffee desert? Try a subscription service. Receiving a box full of fresh small-batch craft beans to audition is a great way to get to know new flavors!
Choosing the Best Way to Brew
Fresh ground coffee and water are…well, just coffee and water until they are brewed. Don’t be overwhelmed with talk about percolators, vacuum pots, Chemexes, and cones. One of these basic methods will get you off to a great start:
1. Press Method – "French," presses are glass carafes equipped with plungers. Coffee grounds and hot water are added to the carafe, and then plunged down to separate the grounds from the water, leaving clear coffee to pour from the top. French presses make only a cup or two at a time, but the end result is especially rich and robust.
2. Drip Method – Practically speaking, this is the classic electric coffee pot in every employee break room. Just add fresh grounds to the filter basket, add cold water to the reservoir, press the "Start," button and get your cup ready. The machine heats the water which drips through the filter basket into a carafe, producing up to twelve cups at a time, but the results can be lackluster.
3. Coffee Pod Brewers – The easiest and most versatile coffeemaker by far, coffee pod brewers have revolutionized the way coffee is made. Just pop in a pod of your favorite brand and flavor and get a freshly brewed cup in less time than it takes to make instant coffee!
Popular Types Of Coffee
Once you’ve mastered the ultimate basic black brew, you’ll be ready to gather a few more ingredients and tackle these popular specialty coffees:
1. Espresso – thick, strong coffee made by forcing steam through superfine ground coffee grounds. Often used as the basis for other coffee drinks, it is best made with an espresso maker.
2. Cappuccino – made with equal parts of espresso or strong coffee, steamed milk, and foamed milk. A special cappuccino machine will both brew the coffee and prepare the milk for you!
3. Latte – a strong coffee drink made with more than half steamed milk
4. Mocha – coffee, milk, sugar, and who can resist this…chocolate!
The delicious world of coffee brought to you in this beginners guide to coffee is now open and ready to explore.
Experiment with a variety of brands; try the full gamut of roasts, then have a ball creating drinks that will make your inner barista proud – you won’t be disappointed!