How to Brew Better Coffee at Home
While many people love going to their favorite coffee shops to get a fresh cup of Joe, a lot of coffee drinkers still prefer brewing their coffee at home for the convenience. I mean, what's better than waking up, making some coffee, and drinking it in your pajamas in the comfort of your own home? However, one downside of brewing coffee at home is it sometimes doesn't have the same quality of taste as a coffee shop's would. The $50 instant coffee machine will never compare to the $200 drip coffee maker at a coffee shop. Luckily, you don't need to invest in a commercial style coffee maker (unless you want to!) to brew the best coffee you can brew. Here are a few tips and tricks to use to make the best coffee at home.
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Use an air tight container to store your beans.
The best way to keep your beans as fresh as possible is by keeping them in an air tight container. When your beans are exposed to oxygen, they begin to deteriorate faster. So if you keep them in a half closed bag, your beans aren't going to last for long. Keep them in an air tight container to avoid oxidation. The fresher the beans, the better the flavor and aroma. Luckily it's not hard to find air tight containers. We personally recommend the Planetary Design Airscape Stainless Steel Coffee Storage Container because these containers force the air out of the canister, extending the life of your coffee. Most other containers lock air in with your beans, so these keep your beans twice as fresh.
Use high quality, fresh, whole bean coffee.
Specialty coffee is luckily becoming more and more popular. Instead of buying the cheap, ground coffee at the supermarket, buy some specialty coffee. We're of course going to recommend J.L. Hufford Coffee (we have a huge variety!), but you can always stop in at a local coffee shop and see if they sell any specialty coffee. Not only that, but use whole beans. Grinding your own beans might be another step, but it's completely worth it. All of the coffee's natural flavors are locked in the bean's essential oils, and once the coffee is ground, the oils evaporate pretty quickly. You definitely want to be able to taste those flavors in your coffee!
Invest in a quality grinder.
Since you have embarked on the better brewing at home journey, you've decided to use whole bean coffee, which will require a grinder. There are some good grinders under $100 out there, but if we're being real - you'll want to invest in a great grinder. Spending the money on a high quality grinder is actually a great investment. If you go to Starbucks everyday, you're already spending over $1000 per year. If you buy a good grinder, and really make a good batch of coffee at home, you'll understand. It's just worth it. The best grinder you can invest in is the Baratza Encore Grinder. While the price is over $100, this is a conical burr grinder. Burr grinders are better than blade grinders because a blade grinder just isn't as precise. If you want a medium coarse grind to your beans, a blade grinder won't be as consistent. Plus, this grinder has replaceable parts. So if something breaks, you don't have to throw out the whole machine. Trust us, a burr grinder is so worth the investment. If you really want to commit to brewing the best coffee at home, you'll need a good grinder.
Invest in a pour over setup.
Automatic coffee makers are convenient, but they limit what control you have in the brewing process. When you invest in a pour over system, suddenly you have all control in how your brew. Our go-to pour over is the notNeutral GINO Pour Over Carafe and Dripper. This pour-over setup gives you the ability to experiment with water temperature, grind particle size, and water-to-coffee ratios. Brewing your morning cup by hand also ensures a more even extraction of oils than an automatic brewer. Basically, the taste is better when you use a pour over system, which is the whole point of brewing at home, right?
Only use the highest quality of water.
Coffee wouldn't exist without water. It's often the most overlooked component of coffee, but is the secret ingredient to delicious taste. Water extracts flavors and oils out of coffee grounds and is what makes it taste so good. While these flavors and oils are crucial, they only account for 1.25% of what's in your morning cup. Essentially, a properly extracted cup of coffee is 98.75% water, so if the water you're brewing with isn't any good, your coffee won't be either.
You'll want to use purified water, or as close to purified as you can get it. If you don't have purified water, and you only have distilled or reverse osmosis water, then we highly, highly recommend Third Wave Water Mineral Supplement. These supplements, as seen on Shark Tank, are specifically made for brewing coffee. The minerals in water are the important factor in your coffee, so if you use distilled water with no minerals, then it will taste bland. That's why these supplements come in handy because they provide the minerals to make your water taste great.
For more advice on the technicalities of coffee, stay up to date on our blog. You can also follow us on Instagram @jlhuffordcoffee.