Coffee is a serious business – just ask any barista. It all comes down to a thousand tiny minute details: roasting, ground size, even the shape of the spout on your kettle. All of those variables are enough to make anyone swear off of caffeine forever. Of course, it doesn’t have to be like that. Here are just a few simple steps to follow to create the perfect cup o’ joe.
However, you should bear in mind that it’s a precise science and the perfect cup of coffee might not get made while you’re groggily trying to find your keys of a morning. For those of us who need it easy, a good coffee machine is the answer. The Tassimo coffee machine collection is pretty hard to beat. It’s quick and easy, relying on little T discs, but still manages to give you a perfectly brewed cup, no matter if you’re an espresso black or latte macchiato.
As with most foods, the fresher it is, the better it’s going to taste. Champion barista Katie Cargulio recommends buying a coffee that comes with the roasting date to ensure the best taste. Also if you buy it fresh, try to keep it that way. Storing coffee in the freezer or fridge is not, contrary to popular opinion, a good thing. The beans soak up moisture and flavour, so unless you want your coffee to taste like last night’s pizza, a good airtight jar is your answer.
Get everything ready
Notice how we only mentioned coffee beans above? That’s because another essential point to perfect coffee is grinding it in-house. Coffee loses flavour the longer it waits, so ideally you should grind your beans just before use. A good machine is also a must. If the coffee grounds aren’t the same size, your coffee can become bitter and dark – fine sand is the consistency you’re looking for.
You are also going to want to get that coffee to the perfect temperature – around 200 degrees. Luckily, that’s about the temperature just off the boil. Some coffee aficionados even insist on spring water rather than tap, and washing your filters and mug in warm water just before, but it is all a matter of preference.
Use a measure and take your time
A standard measure is about two teaspoons per 6 ounce cup, or 1 ounce of coffee for every 16 ounces of water. If these measures seem over-specific, it is because it’s essential for getting the most out of your coffee and to really bring out its flavour.
Also, don’t rush it. The ideal way to make coffee is using a filter over a warm mug, so don’t think you can chuck some water in and jump in the shower. Pouring water a little bit at a time allows for the flavour to be extracted and create a flavoursome cup.
Keep it clean
Finally, after you’ve enjoyed your cup of coffee, keep the instruments clean. Coffee oils can build up and create a foul taste so it is important to give everything a good scrub. There are speciality coffee cleaners out there on the market, but a good soak and scrub once a month should do the trick.
Finally, the most important step, we think, is to take a sip and enjoy your coffee. After all, you’ve worked for it.