Becoming You Own Barista / Making The Perfect Cup Of Coffee At Home

By Tuesday, January 26, 2021 , , , ,

One thing 2020 thought me was that I didn't need to be spending time and money on going out for fancy coffee. When I was off work from March through May I didn't have the expendable income, I wasn't at work where it was easy to pop out for a $7 latte and I frankly didn't want to venture out to find one.

Now that I am off again I still don't feel the urge to go get a coffee, I am quite content just making one at home. Today I am going to talk about how to get yourself all set up to make your perfect cup of coffee at home.

First off lets assess what type of coffee it is that you like? Is what you crave is an espresso based? Brewed coffee? Pour over? French Press? What is the type that you like best? There is no wrong answer here. My dad used to love a cup of black brewed coffee, I personally love a nice latte.

Now I am going to look at some options for your ideal coffee.

The Method:

Espresso Based:

Espresso based is pretty much anything that has a shot of espresso in it. Espresso, Latte, Cappuccino, Americano. So you have to figure out how much you are willing to invest to get it. Do you want a full espresso machine which is a pricey option, a stove top espresso maker that is small on space and economical or something automated like a Nespresso?

I personally have a Nespresso and previous to that I had a Tassimo (which has sadly been discontinued in Canada). I have the Original version. I adore it so much. Mine came with a frother making lattes something quick and easy.

Brewed Coffee:

Brewed coffee is something I do love but often seems a bit off for others when made at home. I think the key thing when making a good cup of brewed coffee at home you have to consider how many people are going to be drinking it. There is no point in making a massive pot for just one person and there is no point in using single pods when 4 people are going to be drinking it. Once you sort that out you can find the right type of brewer for you. I personally like a single cup model of traditional brewed coffee since It is usually just me having a cup. The next part is about the actual coffee, which I will talk about below. You can also get a pod type machine like a Keurig.

Pour Over and French Press:

Pour Over coffee is very similar to brewed coffee, except it doesn't sit on an element once it is done. There are quite a bit of different levels of expertise people will take this to, but it is basically a filter and funnel over a cup. French presses let the coffee grounds and water mingle until the coffee grounds get pressed down. Both these options generally are not expensive and take up little space.

Cold Brew:

If cold brew is your thing, then you can easily make it in a mason jar and then filter it out, of use a French press to do it. You put your coffee and water together and let it sit for 8 hours to 24 hours.

Coffee:

On to the coffee part. I find when I have the wrong coffee my cup is total trash. So you can all the right tools but without the right coffee there is no point.

Beans:

Find out what type of coffee you like. Do you like a dark, medium or light roast? Complex, flavoured, decaffeinated? What are you looking for? Is there a coffee shop that you really like? Why not buy some of their beans? Explore this and figure out what it is you do and do not like about coffee and buy from there.

Grind:

The grind of the bean and how it is being made has a big role in if it is going to taste good or not. Coarse ground coffee is best for French Presses and Cold Brews. The larger pieces of coffee provide more surface area as it is immersed in the water. Medium is the most common grind and works best in drip and pour over situations. Fine is best for espresso.

Add-ins:

Add-ins can add an extra touch to your coffee. Coffee syrups can make your latte into a Vanilla Latte, or a Pumpkin Spiced latte. They can also add a ton of flavour to you brewed coffee too. Whipped cream can top your coffee off like a store bought one. Thicker syrups can top the foam or whipped cream off. Chocolate, white chocolate, caramel, you name it. You can go the route of specialty brands or just pick some up at your grocery store in the ice cream cone section.

Other add-ins I like, but are simple are maple syrup, honey or brown sugar. I love to add a splash of maple syrup to my milk before foaming it up.

Milk and Cream:

I love foamed milk because I love lattes, so I have a frother. My Frother came with my Nespresso, but you can get one for about $50 that will do the trick as well or invest in a mini hand held one (but you will have to warm up your milk).

You can choose something like plain cow milk in whatever % of fat you like, or you can choose a dairy free option. I have been trying to reduce my consumption of animal fats so I have been using Oat Milk. One of the great things about oat milk is that it uses 6 times less water to produce than almond milk and the one I buy is Canadian made.

The same can be said about cream. Buy whatever cream you like if you like cream in your coffee, but there are also a lot of dairy free options out there now too that taste amazing.

Finally we have...

The Cup:

My big meh moment with home made coffee is often the cup. For a long time I wanted a take out cup. Starbucks sells a reusable cup for $2 that you can use forever that is a great substitute and satisfies my want for take out. Sometimes I wish my coffee stayed warm longer, then I like using an insulating cup or travel mug. My one friend has a cup that charges and stays warm for hours (and I really want that). At the end of the day find the mug that speaks to you to make you a happy sipper.

OK I really hope this helps some of you sort out how to make your at home coffee better. I personally have been alternating between my Nespresso and my French Press when I want a cup of coffee.

What is your favourite way to enjoy coffee?
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