For me, a good day usually starts with a cup of coffee, either a Flat White or an Espresso to give me that quick boost. Here are some of my best tips to help you make a good cup of coffee because, believe me, there is a big difference between a great cup of coffee and an average one!
- Good coffee starts with good water. Nothing ruins the taste more so than tap water with an off flavour, no matter how strong the brew. Make sure you use fresh, pure water – ideally water that has been filtered.
- Take the time to grind your own beans. The best-tasting coffee is made from beans ground just before brewing, so investing in a good grinder is key to capturing that fresh taste. It may sound like an extravagance but once you’ve tried it you’ll be able to taste the difference.
- Temperature is vital. Water that is too hot brings out a bitter taste; around 195 – 205°F is ideal. Once the coffee has brewed, enjoy it straight away to avoid it becoming bitter and losing its great taste.
- The taste of your coffee also depends on the brewing time. In a drip system, the contact time should be about 5 minutes. With a plunger pot, this should be 2 – 4 minutes. With an Espresso the brew time is short –as the name implies – around 20-30 seconds of contact between water and coffee. Practice and experiment with contact times until you get your perfect cup.
- Avoid using sparing amounts of coffee. When water flows through the coffee it extracts all of the fabulous flavours, so using too little coffee will result in a weak cup. I like to use two tablespoons of ground coffee; however if you like it on the weak side, try it with just the one tablespoon or add some extra milk.
- Keep your equipment clean. Cleaning containers and grinders every couple of weeks removes oily buildups – try running a strong solution of vinegar through your coffeemaker as this works well to dissolve away any mineral deposits. Just make sure you always rinse thoroughly before you use your equipment again.
- Finally, if you’re a latte or cappuccino fan, why not add a little personal touch by designing a pattern on top – or “latte art” as it’s known. You can pick up coffee stencils from various home-ware stores so you can get as creative with your coffee as you like!