5 tips to brew better coffee at homePublished Date:
Brewing coffee at home can be a pleasurable experience in itself and also the best way to drink the coffee that tastes just right for you. Surely you’ve tried delicious coffees before prepared by professional baristas, but high-quality coffee brewing isn’t something only available behind the counter of a fancy specialty coffee shop. You too can learn how to brew amazing coffee at home, and quite possibly at a fraction of the cost of what you spend at a cafe. We rounded up our top 6 tips to brew better coffee at home so let’s add them to your coffee repertoire.
1. Buy high-quality coffee beans
It all starts with your choice of coffee beans. Expensive coffee brewing equipment isn’t going to brew a great cup of coffee if you’re using stale, grocery store coffee beans that are low quality. A great start is looking for specialty coffee beans and local coffee roasters. Specialty is the industry term for high-quality coffee beans that are sourced from the best farms and cultivated using the highest standards. They also rate much higher in overall quality in comparison to volume or commodity coffee found in large chains or most grocery store coffee bags.
2. Use freshly roasted coffee
Nothing beats fresh roasted, high-quality coffee. That’s because coffee starts losing its nuanced flavours as soon as it is roasted. Most coffees are best enjoyed between 5 to 21 days after the roast date so it’s important you keep an eye on the roast date stamped on the coffee bag if you’re looking for peak freshness.
The best way to find high-quality, fresh roasted coffee is to buy coffee from local coffee roasters instead of grocery stores. You’ll benefit from better-sourced beans as well as fresh coffee that is sure to bring the best flavours and aromas to your home-brewed coffee cup.
3. Be mindful of coffee storage
Heat and moisture are enemies to the freshly roasted coffee bean so be mindful of how you’ll store your precious coffee. High-quality coffee is packed in bags with a one-way degassing valve. That valve allows the CO2 that is expelled by the roasted coffee beans to exit the bags but does not let the oxygen from the outside come in, helping preserve the delicious taste.
The best way to store your coffee is in their original coffee bag, away from direct sunlight. If you rather transfer them to a different container after opening the bag, be sure to look for an airtight and clear container if possible.
4. Level up your coffee grinding
A coffee grinder is a coffee maker's best friend because, without one, you would have to rely on pre-ground coffee without knowing if it's the right size for your brewing method. Reputable coffee roasters such as Portfolio Coffee offer you ground coffee that is perfect for your drip machine, pour-over, or French press, but grinding your own beans is not only fresher but unlocks a whole set of experimentation and allows you to find your perfect grind size.
Aim to grind your beans just before brewing and use them within 15 minutes. Burr grinders provide the most consistent grind, whereas blade grinders are notoriously inconsistent and can produce bitter-tasting results. If you’re new to coffee grinding, make sure to check the coffee grind size guide.
5. Water and coffee ground quantities
When brewing coffee at home it is important to pay attention to your coffee to water ratio. That is the amount of coffee grounds you’ll use for your desired final amount of brewed coffee.
The coffee flavour comes from how hot water mixes with coffee and absorbs its precious soluble compounds. Over-extracting will get you a bitter and flavourless cup while under-extracting will result in a flat, sour taste. You’d want to aim for the sweet spot, also known as the golden ratio to extract the perfect amount of taste from your coffee.
Portfolio coffees come with recommendations for coffee to water ratio according to your preferred brewing method. Check the coffee store or head over to our comprehensive guide on coffee to water ratio to learn more and improve your homebrewing skills.
So what is the best way to brew better coffee at home?
There are many methods of brewing coffee at home and each will produce a cup of coffee that tastes different, even if you’re using the same specialty coffee beans. The best way of brewing coffee at home is the one that you enjoy. Having to buy expensive coffee equipment to brew a great cup of coffee is a myth - but if you do want to invest in coffee gear there are many brands and ways of making your coffee experience more pleasurable.
Don’t feel intimidated or confined to strict coffee brewing rules. We like to think of the points above as recommendations. Ultimately, what works for one person might not be the best for another. And that’s part of the beauty of brewing coffee at home: finding the perfect recipe for you.
If you’re new to a particular brewing method or want to compare your go-to recipe to our recommendations, check our brewing guides: