Coffee is a staple in countless homes around the world. The drink is great to drink in the morning, after a good meal or to warm the heart on colder days. However, while making a pot of coffee sounds easy, there are several factors that can interfere with the quality of the drink. For coffee lovers, choosing the right beans is essential. The cleanliness and efficiency of the equipment also makes a big difference. The easiest way is to use a coffee maker to prepare a pot for several people. Then, just wash the equipment well to get it ready for the next cup of coffee.
Method 1 of 4: Making Coffee
Step 1. Decide how much coffee you want to make
A cup of common coffee holds around 180 ml. That's a lot less than the smallest cups from the big coffeehouse chains, but more than those little cups found in offices. If you need more coffee to start the day, increase the amount of ingredients. Also, estimate how many cups each person will drink to get an idea of how much coffee you should make.
- For a medium cup, you'll need 240 ml of coffee, the same amount served in the smallest cups at Starbucks and other chains of its kind.
- For a large cup, you will need 300 ml of coffee.
- If you are using a coffee maker, take a look at the recommended measurements in the instruction manual. Most machines have small marks on the pot indicating the volume of coffee.
Step 2. Put cold water in the coffeemaker's reservoir
The reservoir is a transparent plastic box on one side of the machine, covered by a cap. Lift the cap and fill the reservoir with water. In general, coffee makers hold around 1.5 l of water, but it is possible that your machine is different. Use a measuring jug or the coffee maker's own teapot, if it has markings, to measure the amount of water.
- Do not fill the coffeemaker's reservoir with hot water. You could end up damaging it.
- Ideally, the water temperature should be between 90 °C and 95 °C. The coffee maker itself will heat the water to the right temperature. If you don't have such a machine, you'll need to put water on the fire.
Step 3. Place a filter inside the machine, over the teapot
Insert the pot securely under the front compartment of the coffee maker. Then open the compartment lid, revealing an empty chamber with a spout protruding towards the teapot. Place a new paper filter in the compartment, with the open side facing up.
- The filter should fit snugly into the housing, covering the nozzle opening. Most coffee makers use 20 cm diameter round filters.
- Although it is not necessary, you can wash the filter with water to prepare it before brewing. Some people say that washing makes the coffee taste better, but technique doesn't make much difference when it comes to coffeemakers.
Step 4. Put the coffee powder in the filter and close the compartment
To make a standard cup of coffee, you will need two tablespoons (10g) of powder for every 180ml of water. If you have purchased coffee beans, grind them and pass the powder to the filter with the help of a spoon. The filter will hold the powder in place so you don't find bitter residue floating in your coffee cup.
- To make 1.5 l of coffee, for example, you will need 16 tablespoons (80 g) of powder. Use these measurements as a basis for preparing a drink to your liking.
- Increase the amount of beans to make the coffee stronger and reduce it if you prefer a weak drink. Try making a cup first and adjusting the amount of powder to make the coffee taste just right.
Step 5. Press the power button and wait up to 12 minutes
Go do something else while the coffeemaker works. The machines typically take five minutes or so to make a single cup. To prepare an entire teapot, they take a little longer. After the machine heats up the water, the coffee will start to drip into the pot. This is the least labor-intensive way to prepare a pot of coffee.
If you don't have a coffee maker, you'll need to pour hot water over the powder. The time needed to prepare a hot pot of coffee is between four and five minutes, but varies depending on the method used
Step 6. Serve the coffee hot and enjoy
The coffee tastes better right after it's ready. Take the pot out of the coffeemaker and pour the coffee in cups for you, your family and your guests. If you don't want to take it right away, transfer it to a thermos. It will stay warm for up to 45 minutes. Some coffee makers have a heater in the pot holder that keeps the coffee hot.
- Coffee loses its taste over time. So, although you can even drink an older coffee, it won't taste as good as if it were fresh.
- Even if your coffee maker has a built-in heater, the coffee will still lose quality and may even turn bitter from the heat.
- Make just the right amount of coffee so the drink doesn't run out. You can always prepare another pot later if you feel like it.
Method 2 of 4: Choosing the Right Coffee
Step 1. Buy Arabica beans to enjoy tastier coffee
There are two main types of coffee beans. Arabica are those that grow at high altitudes. They have a sweeter, sour taste and are less bitter than robusta, grown at low altitudes. Popular and difficult to grow, Arabica coffee is usually a little more expensive.
- The quality of a coffee pot does not only depend on the type of bean chosen. The growing conditions and the way the beans were harvested and transported also affect the taste of the coffee, so you may find robustas far tastier than arabics out there.
- A cup of coffee made with Robusta beans has twice as much caffeine as one made with Arabica coffee. The extra caffeine makes the drink more bitter.
Step 2. Choose a country of origin according to your taste buds
There are several coffee producing countries around the world, which means there are also many different flavors for you to try. The birthplace of the beans has nothing to do with the quality of the drink. The origin of the coffee is a matter of personal preference. Try different products to find which one you like best. Even grains produced in the same country can be different from each other.
- African coffees tend to have a strong, robust flavor, much compared to the taste of grapes and other fruits. Kenya and Ethiopia are the continent's largest coffee producers.
- South American beans are strong, but sweeter. The taste is often compared to chestnuts and chocolate. The main coffee producers in South America are Brazil and Colombia.
- Other coffee producers, such as Hawaii and some Asian countries, are known for their earthy beans, which yield smooth, impactful drinks with a taste close to that of flowers and other edible plants.
Step 3. Choose a light roast to taste better coffee
Don't be fooled by the labels: all coffee is roasted. A dark roast means that the beans have been roasted for so long that they have turned black, so the taste of the roast overpowers that of the beans. Give preference to a light or light roast if you prefer a sweeter coffee, stronger and with a lot of caffeine.
- In the parlance of coffee, dark means burnt. During roasting, the beans are charred and become oilier. Dark roast coffee tends to be more bitter and may even taste burnt.
- Medium roasts are very popular and tend to have a strong, balanced flavor.
Step 4. Use the coffee within a month of roasting
As soon as it finishes being processed, the coffee starts to lose flavor. The ideal is to use the beans or powder within a week after the roasting date, but this is not always possible. Take a look at the date before you buy or choose a coffee bag. Give preference to the freshest products.
- Despite appearances, coffee doesn't last forever. You can even use an old coffee bag, but the drink won't taste as good as if the powder were fresh.
- Avoid products that do not have the toast date printed on the package. After all, it's not possible to know how long they were processed.
Step 5. Store the beans in a closed container, away from sunlight
Heat, light, air and humidity affect the taste of coffee. So that the beans don't lose quality, keep them in the bag until it's time to use them. After opening the package, transfer the beans to an opaque container and store them in a closed place, such as inside a kitchen cupboard.
- As long as you're careful, you can also store the beans in the fridge or freezer. For this, put them in an airtight container so that they do not spoil with humidity and cold.
- Regardless of how well you store the beans, they won't last forever. To make your coffee taste good, use them as soon as possible.
Step 6. Choose a grind if you prefer ground coffee
If you have purchased fresh beans, you will need to grind them before using them. The size of the grind will depend on the equipment you have at your disposal. For common coffeemakers, the ideal is to bet on an average. Adjust your grinder to the intermediate size, if applicable.
- Fine grinds have a consistency close to sand and are great for espresso.
- The medium-fine grinds are perfect for making brewed coffee. To make coffee in a French press, give preference to coarse grinds.
Method 3 of 4: Choosing Water and Equipment
Step 1. Choose a regular coffee maker to make coffee quickly and easily
Ordinary drip coffee makers are super simple to use and therefore are the most popular. You just need to put the ingredients in place and let the machine make the coffee for you. The coffee maker will heat the water itself, pour it over the powder and pour the coffee into the pot. The machines also don't need a lot of effort to always be clean and well cared for.
- Common coffee makers come in a variety of sizes. To make coffee pots instead of individual cups, invest in one with a large water reservoir.
- If you prefer a manual alternative, try an Italian coffee maker or a coffee percolator.
Step 2. Buy an espresso machine to make faster, more intense coffee
Espresso machines have a pump that pushes boiling water through the beans, making the drink come out more quickly. The problem is that they only make individual cups. In order for the drink to be strong and tasty, you will also need a good quality grain or powder. After brewing, you can add milk to make a cappuccino or latte.
- Espresso machines use finely ground powders. Remember this if you want to grind your beans at home.
- There are automatic, semi-automatic and manual espresso machines. Bet on an automatic for an easier way to make coffee.
Step 3. Invest in a capsule machine to minimize mess
Capsule machines use small pots filled with coffee powder. The capsules are attached to the machine, more or less in the same place where you would put the filter. You don't need to grind the beans, measure the amount of coffee or clean the filter. The machine only has two problems: the flavors are limited to those produced by the capsule manufacturer, which, in turn, are more expensive in the long run than coffee powder or beans.
- Coffees prepared with capsules are closer to an espresso than a brewed coffee. The capsules are also individual, so you can't prepare a pot of coffee with such a machine.
- If you like espresso coffee better, look for a machine whose manufacturer also produces espresso capsules. The biggest brands usually offer varied options.
Step 4. Buy filter paper suitable for your coffee maker
Both bleached and unbleached filters are available in a variety of sizes. The first ones are very white and are usually made with chlorine. Many people say that whitened filter coffee is better. The unbleached filters, on the other hand, have a more opaque coloration, but they also yield excellent quality coffee.
- Both types of filter are disposable. To reduce your environmental impact, invest in unbleached filters, which are not chemically treated.
- You can also purchase a reusable cloth or metal filter to make brewed coffee.
Step 5. Buy a conical blade grinder to make the powder uniform
Conical blade grinders grind coffee beans evenly and are sold in both automatic and manual versions. Automatic ones are easier to use: you just need to plug them in and put the beans in place. They also tend to be a little more expensive, but you can find smaller models for about the same price as a regular grinder.
- Flat blade grinders produce an uneven powder, resulting in lower quality coffee. Grind the beans in small portions if you only have one such grinder at your disposal.
- You don't need a grinder if you've already bought ground coffee. However, the drink will be much less fresh and tasty.
Step 6. Run the coffee with tap water or filtered water
There is nothing wrong with using water from the sink to make coffee. However, it contains minerals that can negatively affect the taste of the drink. If you prefer a more consistent quality, use filtered or bottled water. A homemade filter can be your best friend if you are unhappy with coffee made from your sink water.
Avoid using softened or distilled water to make coffee. These products do not contain the essential minerals to flavor the drink. Rich in magnesium and calcium, hard water makes a much better coffee
Method 4 of 4: Cleaning Equipment
Step 1. Wash the teapot with soap and water
In addition to looking awful, coffee stains in the pot also change the taste of future drinks. Wash the teapot thoroughly with warm soapy water and scrub the stains with a sponge, removing all dust residue.
Also remember to wash cups and other equipment after use so they don't accumulate residue
Step 2. Remove dust from grinder after use
If your grinder is electric, unplug it and disassemble it. Wash plastic and rubber parts with soap and water. Most grinders come with a soft brush that serves to loosen dust residue from the blades. Finally, remove the old dust from the blades with a dry cloth.
- Avoid washing the blades and motor of an electric grinder. Only use water if the device is manual.
- Always clean the grinder after use. Coffee leftovers can leave the next drinks with a bad taste.
Step 3. Wash the coffeemaker with vinegar once a week
Discard the water from the reservoir and fill the compartment with equal parts of water and vinegar. Put the coffee pot to make a cup. Soak for an hour. Then fill the reservoir with clean water and make another two cups. While waiting, wipe the outside of the machine with a damp cloth.
- If you drink coffee daily, thoroughly clean the machine frequently. Dedication is not necessary if you only make coffee once in a while, but it can be good for removing the bitterness caused by stale coffee residue.
- If you prefer to make coffee with a strainer or a French press, wash the equipment with soap and water after use.
- Try different types of coffee to discover your favourite. Then experiment with different ways to make coffee to find the method that's perfect for you.
- Never make more coffee than you intend to drink. To fully enjoy the taste, you should enjoy the fresh drink.
- To better measure the amount of coffee, use a kitchen scale. The weight of a spoon varies depending on factors such as the grinding of the beans.