If you want to be a better at-home Barista, follow these tips to elevate your morning coffee by adjusting the temperature, using the right water, storing your beans correctly, and more!
It’s hard to believe Caleb has been primarily working from home for over 6 months now. Along with working from home, he’s also taken the lead on making our morning coffee. And, if I do say so myself, he is incredible!!
That’s what has inspired me to start this “Be Your Own Best Barista” post, where I’ll share helpful tips that anyone who wants to be better at making their morning brew can easily apply. These are things I’ve learned over the past several years, from chatting with friends who work at coffee shops, watching Caleb, and reading about online.
It’s fun and more budget-friendly to make your own coffee at home. Caleb and I used to go out on Friday and Saturday mornings (and sometimes Monday mornings) to get coffee and breakfast, which would, on average, cost us anywhere from $16-$22 per trip for two coffees and two breakfast items.
Like most adults, we loved going out to get coffee for several reasons: convenience, instant gratification, and consistency. But, now, we are saving nearly $2,000 a year by making our own coffee at home AND getting the same results! Not to mention, we are eating healthier breakfast items and not using any paper cups or straws.
Today, I’m dropping some knowledge with 10 tips to follow if you want to be your own best barista! Your next cup of coffee is going to be fab-BREW-lous!
10 Tips for Being Your Own At-Home Barista
1. The Method
There are so many ways you can prepare coffee other than with your regular coffee maker! We own a regular drip coffee maker and a French Press.
If you feel like really getting into making the perfect cup, consider getting a French Press or Pour-Over coffee maker. The metal filter of a French press allows all the essential oils to be filtered through rather than absorbed into a paper filter. And pour-overs are known to make the most flavorful cup of coffee around.
2. The Beans
Buying local is good for the environment, your community, and your cup of coffee! Getting fresh and local coffee beans ensures a good cup. Our favorite place to buy beans: Vennture Brew Co.
Every morning when Caleb makes coffee he always puts a Post It Note with the name of the coffee, the roaster, and the tasting notes. I love being able to see if I can taste the flavors and it helps us define what kinds of coffee we really enjoy.
3. The Storage
Caleb likes to keep our beans in the bags they come in because they have a built-in valve because when coffee is roasted, it gives off carbon dioxide. The valve lets the gas out without letting air in.
You will also want to keep your beans out of direct sunlight and out of the fridge! Coffee beans can take on moisture and food odors if they hang out in the fridge for too long.
4. The Grinding Process
Now that you’ve got your local coffee beans, it’s time to grind them! Freshly ground coffee will be more flavorful than pre-ground coffee. You’ll want to do it right before you’re ready to make your cup. Caleb uses an electric coffee grinder, but any will do.
5. The Measurement
Like in baking, measuring by weight instead of volume often produces a more exact amount. To really amp-up your coffee game, think about investing in a small food scale (they’re not usually too expensive!) to get the perfect cup.
6. The Water
The kind of water you use can also make a difference in the quality of your coffee. You don’t want water with high mineral content, but you also don’t want it without any. Luckily, lightly filtered water, like from a water filter pitcher or the fridge, works great.
7. The Temperature
If your water is too hot, it might bring out more bitter flavors in your coffee than you want. You’ll want it around 200 °F — just wait about a minute after your water boils. (Side Note: most coffee makers will do this automatically!)
When brewing coffee, the sweet-spot for water temperature is around 202-206 degrees Fahrenheit. Since boiling water is a little too hot, pouring the boiling water directly onto the coffee grounds can cause them to extract too much too early, leaving a bitter taste in your cup. Violently bubbling water also agitates the grounds unnecessarily, which can lead to uneven extraction. – 1335 Frankford
8. The Time
Fresh, whole coffee beans are best when used within five days, so drink to your heart’s content and get a new bag the next week! We average about 1 bag a week in our house between Caleb and I enjoying about 2-3 cups of coffee every morning.
9. The Extras
If you’re someone who likes a little something extra in your coffee, consider using quality ingredients. Stirring in some high-quality chocolate or sprinkling some organic cinnamon on top can really improve your overall coffee experience. Consider steaming your milk, too!
10. The Clean-Up
When was the last time you cleaned your coffee machine? Coffee contains oil, which sticks around in your pot, and that leftover oil can make your next cup of coffee taste like it’s burnt. Cleaning your pot (or your French Press!) after every use will make sure that your coffee tastes as good as it can.