Nine Tips for a Better Cup of Coffee

Find out how to make a better cup of coffee at home with these nine simple steps

This post is by Kieran MacRae. He tried getting into wine but didn’t like it, tried getting into whisky and it was too expensive, then thought “I really love coffee. I wonder if you can get  into coffee?” Turns out you can! Find out more about him at Above Average Coffee

A lot of people like to have a cup of coffee to start their day and you might make your morning cuppa almost as if you’re on auto-pilot. But have you ever thought that you could improve your coffee?

These simple tips will help you to create an even better cup of coffee, so you can start your day with a little extra joy!

Buy Fresh from the Roaster

Fresh coffee is great coffee. The coffee you pick up in the supermarket could be quite nice, but nothing beats coffee that you buy straight from a roaster.

Small coffee roasters are getting more and more common, and the coffee you buy will usually have been roasted within the week. To find what’s available near you, just search for ‘coffee roaster’ and your nearest town or city. It’s not too expensive and even better, you get to support a local business. Even if you just save it for your morning cup it’s a good investment.

Use a Scale

This easy change will allow you to get a really good cup of coffee time and time again. It might sound silly, but try using 15 grams of coffee one time and 16 grams of coffee the next time. You’ll be really surprised at the difference you taste in your coffee.

Use the scale to weigh out the coffee and the water depending on how many cups you’re making. Weigh the water first, and then you want a ratio of 1 gram of coffee to 15 grams of water. So divide the weight of the water by 15 to find the perfect amount of coffee to use.

Use a Grinder

This is the next step if you want to keep on improving your coffee. Spending a little money on a coffee grinder allows you to move on to whole bean coffee and start grinding it fresh.

This takes you to the next step of flavour by having your coffee as fresh as it can possibly be. It’ll unlock a lot of subtle flavours and fill your house with the best smell: coffee!

Buy a Water Filter

How does your water taste straight from the tap? Does it taste clean and fresh, or does it have a chemical flavour that isn’t something you enjoy drinking?

If it’s the latter, all that strange taste is going to end up in your cup of coffee. But a water filter jug will help you to make coffee with fresh water that tastes good and leaves no strange after taste.

They aren’t hugely expensive and if you live in a hard water area, this will make a huge difference to your cup of coffee.

Use a French Press properly

Lots of people have a French Press, but not many people know how to use one properly. But if you combine a French press with the tips on this list, you’ll be in coffee heaven.

Combine 15g of coffee with 225g of water that’s just off the boil, and let it steep for five minutes. Not roughly five minutes – use a timer and leave it for exactly five minutes.

Stir it once at the start to soak all the coffee beans and then again towards the end of the steeping time. This will break the “crust of coffee” that floats on top before you press the plunger.

This is how you make French Press coffee that isn’t too strong, isn’t too weak, and is delicious time and time again.

Hold the Milk

This can be challenging, especially if you usually drink your coffee with milk and two sugars. But if you can make the transition into drinking black coffee, you open up a whole new world of flavour.

It’s true that when you add milk and sugar, you can still tell when a coffee is good or bad. But when you drink it black you can tell if it’s sweet, or chocolatey, or slightly acidic.

Now if you want to do this, you can build up to it slowly. Start by cutting sugar down and then out, and then do the same with the milk. Or if you prefer, you can just go full in and try a cup of black coffee that’s well made. Once you’re converted there’ll be no going back!

Take your Time

There’s no need to wolf down your cup of coffee. Relax into it, take your time and appreciate the aroma first. Then take your first sip and feel how hot it is, see if you can notice the taste changing as it cools down.

If you stop rushing your coffee, I promise you’ll be pleased with the results!

Store it Properly

Finally, remember that fresh coffee is good coffee – it’s true for buying it and for storing it. So don’t just leave the coffee open to the world where it will dry out further and lose all of its flavour.

Use a clothes peg or clip to keep the bag shut properly, or better yet transfer the whole thing to an air-tight container. There you can be sure it will stay fresh for weeks to come.

Roasters will tell you two weeks is how long your coffee will be fresh and delicious but I’ve used coffee that’s 4 weeks old with no problems. Always trust your taste buds and treat them by making yourself a proper cup of coffee.

Add some extra flavour

Cinnamon isn’t just for a pumpkin spiced latte. You can put a little cinnamon in your coffee at home too. Just make sure you have a nice fine grind so it stirs in well, don’t add too much and make sure you stir it thoroughly for a spicy wake up in the morning. It works well on top of a cappuccino as well!

And in the evening, you could add a little whisky to your cup and pour on some double cream over the back of a spoon to make an Irish coffee. If you don’t like whisky, you could try cognac or rum, or even add a little Baileys Irish Cream.

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