Only 20 years ago, drinking coffee was only for your parents and grandparents to help them wake up in the morning. But with the emergence of Starbucks and other coffee chains, drinking coffee has become a resource of life for all ages. It has become not just something to give us a jolt in the morning, but something to “do” or a social outing. You’ve probably said to your friends “hey, let’s go get coffee!” and that becomes your agenda for the morning.
But I must say, I am not a coffee snob. This article is not going to be about how all coffee is terrible except the coffee I am going to recommend. I am someone who simply really appreciates a good cup of coffee and have found a few simple things that anyone can do without much effort to make the coffee they make at home better. So here we go!
Buy freshly roasted beans – this used to be relatively impossible as almost every coffee shop would buy their beans pre-roasted from a distributor. But now a growing trend in the coffee business is for shops to roast their own beans. So unless you live in a cave, you probably live relatively near a coffee shop of some kind. Ask them if they roast their own beans and if they don’t, ask if they know of a shop that does. At my local coffee shop where I like to buy beans, I even know what days they roast and I’ll try and go on those days to buy the beans right after they are roasted. It truly is amazing how much difference this makes in the freshness of your coffee.
Use a burr grinder – when you buy whole beans it means you have to grind them at home. Yes, this is more labor-intensive but again, the payoff is huge. I never grind beans ahead of time and I believe it is always better to use a burr grinder over a blade grinder. The burr grinder simply grinds more evenly and uniformly, giving the coffee a more consistent grind which I think leads to a better flavor. With a blade grinder the coffee comes out of all different sizes, some too small to really contribute to the flavor and others too large. The burr grinders are usually a bit more expensive but well worth it for a great cup of coffee at home.
Use fresh, cold, filtered water – there have been many that have said it doesn’t matter what kind of water you use for your coffee, but I disagree. How I found this out for myself was that I made some coffee with tap water and then some with water from my Brita. And for my taste buds, I really could taste the difference between the two and preferred the water from my Brita. So maybe try it out for yourself as you may find a huge difference, or you may find it simply isn’t worth the hassle for you.
Hopefully, these few little tips will help you make some better-tasting coffee not only for yourself but also for coffee that your guests will actually want to drink!