*This is a contributed post.
Coffee is a wonderful drink for many reasons. For some, it’s the energy boost they need to get through a hard day at work and for others, it’s a low-calorie treat that can taste a million different ways. Regardless of why you drink coffee, it goes without saying that making it at home can offer huge money savings. However, that doesn’t mean that you should just stick to instant coffee or use those expensive pods that require a specialised machine.
Instead, we’re going to talk about how you can become a better home barista by investing in the right tools, coffee and brewing methods.
Understanding your coffee origins
Coffee changes in flavour based on the region it’s farmed in. In addition, things like single farm coffee tend to have purer tastes that are representative of the region that they come from. For example, coffee from Rwanda tends to have red grape and jasmine notes, while Brazilian Fazenda Recanto has a nutty chocolate taste. The origin of your coffee will make a huge difference in the taste, so make sure you do a bit of research and consider investing in whole beans from different regions.
Start buying whole beans
Ground coffee will always lack a bit of flavour because it’s been pre-ground. Instead, consider buying whole coffee beans and grinding them at home so that the flavour is preserved and you get more delicate notes out of the drink. If you drink coffee made from grounds that have gone a little stale, then you won’t get the complexities of the coffee and it will feel a little underwhelming. However, you should also try to buy at most two weeks worth of whole coffee beans so that they don’t go stale either.
Pairing your coffee
The reason that coffee shops always have some kind of pastries and snacks available is that it goes well when contrasting with the bitterness or acidity that comes naturally in coffee. This is where cinnamon buns and fruit tarts can help to counterbalance some of the flavours that you get in your coffee, creating a much more fulfilling and interesting coffee-drinking experience that will uplift you.
Invest in a measuring scale
Much like any intricate recipe, measurements are important in brewing the perfect coffee. This is why many baristas use measuring scales to judge how much ground coffee and water they should be adding to a drink. Different ratios will create different types of drinks and strengths, and you’re always free to experiment and try something unique to produce different notes. Having a scale means that you can replicate your brewing methods and ratios and it also means you can follow someone else’s recipe to get the exact same experience with no compromises.
It’s also important to purchase the right equipment to become a better home barista, but this will largely depend on how much you can personally invest. You don’t need a huge espresso machine and something like a drip coffee set is usually enough to break away from instant coffee and pods.