How to Be a Home Barista

Every morning you get up, out of your warm bed, and turn on your coffee maker. You wait until it’s done then suck down whatever black, stale, liquid is in there. At work you drink the cheap stuff in a little styrofoam cup and don’t see the good kind unless you have the time to stop off at a coffee shop. Who has time for that in the morning? Getting good coffee doesn’t have to be a chore. It should be that cheerful, aromatic, pick-me-up that you enjoy drinking in the morning. All it takes is a little creativity and the right steps.


You can start by buying fresh beans. Local roasters are your best bet for the freshest stuff, but any beans that have been roasted in the past few days will brew you a more flavorful cup of joe. Fresh beans need to be stored in a place where air can’t get to them if you want them to retain their flavor so simply putting them in a ziplock bag or folding over the top isn’t going to cut it. If you grind your beans yourself, grind them as close to the time you are going to drink it as possible. Your will get the best flavor out of freshly ground beans and don’t rush the grinding process. If you grind them too finally you will get bitter coffee but if you don’t grind them enough it will give you coffee an flat and uninspired taste.


The way you grind your coffee is as important as the water you put in it. Tap water imparts all sorts of odd flavors and odors to your brew and using filtered water (or at least the kind that comes in a bottle) will help get rid of those unwanted unpleasantries. You also doesn’t want to oversaturate your coffee. Use between 1 and 2 tbs for ever 6 ozs or so of water (or 2 3/4 tbs per 8 ozs). Anything more and you will have pungent coffee and anything less will make it very diluted. Your water shouldn’t go above 205 degrees or below 200. About 45 seconds at that temperature will brew the perfect pot. Cold water results in less flavor. Using activated charcoal filters on your tap can not only make a better cup of coffee but help filter out harmful substances in your drinking water. It probably doesn’t need to be said, but reheating coffee is a big no-no and will kill any flavor.


A lot of times your coffee’s flavor comes down to the machine you use. You can go overboard with a fancy SwissGold gold plated machine or if you don’t want to break the bank you can do a Nespresso pod coffee machine if you are craving an amazing espresso. At the center of it all is how well you maintain it however. For the best coffee, you need to clean your equipment with hot water after each use. This can be a bit time consuming but if you take care of your coffee machine, it will take care of your taste buds! Don’t use harsh detergents or soaps as it can get into your coffee and ruin the flavor. Every month or so you should a coffee cleaner like Urnex or you can substitute it for something like a weak vinegar solution.

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