A good cup of coffee is life changing and a crucial part of my morning routine. While lattes (yes, I know lattes are technically espresso) will always hold a special place in my heart, I just don’t have the time—or money—to grab one from a coffee shop every morning. That’s why well-brewed drip coffee is a staple in my household; and when it comes to coffee, I’ve tried it all! So, here are some tips I’ve learned through trial-and-error and coffee shop talk, that will let help you craft an excellent cup of coffee, at home:
1. Grind coffee immediately before brewing.
If you’re buying bags of pre-ground coffee, you’re doing it wrong. Instead, start with fresh, whole beans so you can grind them yourself right before brewing. This step may seem like waste of time, but it only adds a minute to your morning routine and your taste buds will thank you for it!
2. Properly store your coffee beans.
Now that you’ve bought fresh, whole beans—don’t let them get stale by keeping them in the bag. Instead, pick up a mason jar to store them in: they come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. So, you can add a cute accent piece to your kitchen while keeping your coffee fresher, longer.
3. Pre-infuse your grounds.
If you use a coffee maker, chances are it skips this crucial step. Coffee experts state it is important to let your coffee “bloom” before brewing. To do so, simply bring a quarter cup of water to 200 degrees Fahrenheit (almost boiling) and pour it over your coffee grinds, and let it sit for about a minute, before starting your coffee maker. This allows the grinds to expel any leftover carbon dioxide from the roasting process, and will result in a stronger brew for you to enjoy.
4. Brew at the right temperature.
Most drip coffee is meant to be brewed between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit: too cold and you’ll end up with a weak cup of coffee; too hot and you’ll burn the grinds. So monitoring your water temp with a thermometer is one of the easiest ways to make a better tasking cup o’ joe!
5. Use the right water.
Believe it or not, the type of water you use to make coffee matters! Using hard water that’s full of minerals will result in weak coffee, while using heavily distilled water will cause your coffee maker to break down much faster than it should. You should aim to use lightly filtered water (like that from the fridge door) to create that perfect cup of coffee.
**Pro-Tip: After years of trying different coffee makers, I switched to a French Press because it allows me to easily follow these tricks and creates a stronger cup of coffee—which is a life-saver some mornings!