There are many ways to learn how to make real coffee at home, depending on the customs of each culture, the coffee maker used and personal tastes. It is clear that having a good machine is an important first step, and we can invest the entire budget we want to allow ourselves, but it is not the only thing to consider.
In fact, our country is full of coffee shops full of professional machinery that produce drinks that are more purgative than coffees. Don’t let the same happen at home!
I was surprised at how cheap I was able to a good coffee maker for home from the listing on Amazon.
Learn how to make real coffee at home
1. Buy good natural coffee and forget the roast
There are different varieties of coffee but the most consumed worldwide are two: Arabic and robust. Arabica contains less caffeine and provides softer coffee with fruity aromas. The robust ones have more body, are somewhat more bitter, concentrate a greater amount of caffeine and are usually perceived as stronger in flavor. You can also find mixtures of both varieties in different proportions.
What you have to run away from forever is the roast, a crime against quality coffee. Despite what many people still believe, it does not contain more caffeine because it seems to be stronger. It is simply more bitter because it mixes with sugar, which, when heated, caramelizes and burns, destroying the qualities of coffee. Always, always, natural coffee.
2. Bet on coffee beans
Coffee beans are a delicate raw material that begins to lose properties the more processed they are. That’s why it is convenient to buy coffee beans to grind at home, either with an automatic coffee maker or with a grinder that we buy separately. If it is manual, much better, although a good electric grinder will always be better than buying ground coffee.
Coffee begins to release its aromas from the moment it is ground, thus losing flavor. It will also affect you more contact with the atmosphere, air, and light. It is a shame to buy good coffee that within a few days you will have already lost part of its aromas and your body from being ground early.
3. Always look for the freshest coffee
Not only should you grind the beans at the moment, but it is also advisable to buy the freshest coffee possible. When less time has elapsed since it has been harvested, dried, transported and roasted, much better. That is why it is better to trust professionals who are real specialists, who treat the coffee they sell with the care they deserve.
Of course, it is key that we can be assured that the roast of the beans is daily, to take them as fresh as a possible home. They must also be well preserved, you should never buy coffee that is exposed to air or light, because although it has not yet been ground the external agents also affect its quality.
4. Adapt the grinding grade
To adjust perfection much more it is necessary to pay attention to the degree of grinding. With the grinding of coffee beans, what we are looking for is to facilitate extraction by infusion, so it should be different according to the method of preparation. The great professional baristas know its importance and dominate it perfectly since a variation of the setting in the coffee makers can dramatically change the quality of the cups.
We don’t have to get too complicated at home. It is enough to know that, the longer the coffee passes in contact with the water, the thicker the grain should be. For example, for filtering procedures that require more than 5 minutes, we will look for coarse grinding, while espresso or Italian coffee makers require a finer grain. It can also be played to fit personal taste.
5. Pay attention to water
The other fundamental ingredient in making coffee is water, and we shouldn’t drink it lightly. It is the basis of the infusion and should be of the best possible quality since bad water can spoil any preparation. And you should never use hot water to speed up the process, it should be heated gradually so as not to affect the natural infusion process.
Choose mineral water as much as possible, or at least not hard water. It must not present strange odors, it must be totally transparent and better of weak mineralization. If it is water that when you drink it suggests some flavor, it is better to discard it. The temperature must always be constant, and in manual processes, it is recommended to pour the water just before boiling.
6. Adjust the water-coffee ratio
Here it depends a bit on the particular tastes and coffee culture of the region, but it is not a proportion that should be left to chance. It also depends on the type of coffee maker we are going to use; For example, with the Italian one, it is recommended to fill the valve with water, without submerging it. It is clear that the higher the proportion of water, the more “claret” the coffee will come, with less body and less aroma.
The amount of coffee for each infusion is equally important. Again, different coffee makers have different settings, and should not be passed. An espresso usually has about 8 grams of coffee, and while professionals must press it, in the Italian coffee maker we should not do it. You have to let the coffee fall naturally without crushing it in the tank.
7. The cup matters
Yes, there are many different cups with the most varied designs, but in the end, the classic is imposed in a matter of quality. We talk about cups for espresso coffees, ristretto or coffee alone since other drinks can be better adapted to other types of containers and play with it. The color should be neutral, better white, because it will not affect the psychological perception of taste, although it is in taste.
Traditionally porcelain is used because it is a noble, resistant material and because it keeps heat better . Glass or glass allows you to see the interior, appreciate the colors and texture of coffee, its uniformity, and cream, but quickly lose temperature. A good alternative is the double bottom cups, but in any case, you must ensure that they are not cold before filling them with coffee. The conical shape is suitable for the infusion to fall gently on the cup, without splashing.
8. Serve coffee instantly
If you want to spoil a good coffee, let it cool and reheat it in the microwave until it smokes. Obviously, we do not recommend that you do so unless you only look for a dose of caffeine and do not mind enjoying a good cup. Again, maximum freshness is important, also when tasting the drink. Without burning, of course, but always fresh coffee.
At the time it cools we can no longer appreciate coffee at its peak of aroma, body and flavor, and also lose the cream. There is an exception to this rule, of course, only when we go to prepare cold or iced coffees. As important as the infusion temperature is the service temperature, as is the case with food.
9. Do not forget about maintenance and cleaning
Many times the key behind a bad coffee bar is in the poor cleaning of the machine or careless maintenance of it. At home, regardless of the coffee maker we have, we should never forget certain basic care. Nothing to leave the coffee grounds in the Italian coffee maker until the next day, or to let dirt accumulate in the deposits.
Like any other kitchen utensil, the coffee maker must be cleaned properly after each use and using the right products. Automatic machines will also require periodic descaling and other specific care indicated by the manufacturers. The myth that a dirty “veteran” coffee maker will give better coffee is totally false. If we do not clean it, we run the risk of affecting the taste of coffee and of obstructing its components.
10. Be careful what you add to your cup
A barista will almost always recommend tasting coffee alone, as it is the only way to appreciate all its perfect qualities. Without entering the world of cappuccinos, lattes, and others, adding milk, cream, liquor, sugar, honey or any sweetener will affect the original taste of a good coffee. Unfortunately, they still look odd to you today if you drink “dry-stick” coffee, although I recognize that many of the coffees that are served to you out there are unmanageable without help.
In any case, we must be aware that everything we add a posteriori will modify the flavor of the coffee they have prepared for us. Artificial sweeteners are terrible in general because they leave a metallic aftertaste that spoils any coffee, and if the milk has become too hot it can bitter the coffee – when the sugars are burned. At home we can prepare coffee as we like, it would be more, but it is worth trying to accustom the palate to appreciate a coffee alone, especially if it is served by a good professional.
11. Keep the coffee correctly (and do not go shopping)
Since you have bothered to look for a good supplier of quality, natural and roasted coffee on a daily basis, it is worth paying attention to its conservation at home. We have insisted that the beans lose their aroma as the days go by, so we will try to slow down the process. First of all: don’t buy extra coffee. The 250 g packages are ideal if we are not many at home, you could even buy less if you prepare coffee infrequently. Nothing to get carried away by offers or accumulate large amounts; we have to make frequent trips to buy if we want the highest quality.
When it comes to keeping it, you should always look for clean, opaque, airtight containers with no strange aromas. The heat is very harmful, so there are those who keep it in the fridge, although except in hot summers it is not really necessary – and it can be counterproductive due to humidity and odors. Choose jars of good material, with the airtight lid intact, that is not very large, and store them in a closet or pantry away from sunlight.
One last tip on how to make real coffee at home: do not fall into excessive obsessions, the important thing is to enjoy. Knowing a little about the nature of the beans and how they affect the processes involved, it is not so difficult to prepare a good coffee at home. And you, how do you drink coffee? Do you have a special trick or custom when serving coffee?