There are many different ways to make a good cup of coffee at home. While a few methods are more convenient than others, such as using a drip filter coffee machine, some coffee connoisseurs swear by older, tried and true methods to make the perfect cup.
Drip Filter Coffee
Most Americans are familiar with this method of coffee brewing since it has become increasingly popular thanks to its relative ease of use. Brewing coffee with a filter coffee pot can be as simple as filling the pot’s water reservoir to the correct level, placing a correctly sized coffee filter in the chamber, scooping in some ground coffee beans and pressing the machine’s “On” button.
In order to get set up to use this method, the coffee drinker simply has to buy a filter coffee machine (they are sold according to how many cups of coffee they make in one go). The boxed sets will describe what kind of filters to purchase, typically either cone shaped filters or basket filters, and what size to get them in. The only other necessary ingredients to start making coffee are pre-ground coffee beans.
Stove Top Coffee
This method of brewing coffee is slightly more involved and takes a little longer than using a drip filter machine. Percolators are made from metal and come in two slightly cone shaped pieces that hold a basket between them. To use, one simply has to fill the bottom piece with water, place on a hot stove stop, and wait for the steam to rise through the coffee basket holding the ground beans, capturing the coffee flavor, before being caught in the top section.
Many coffee purists comment that this method of at-home coffee making is the one that comes closest to a full professional espresso machine in regards to taste and overall coffee quality.
True coffee lovers swear by the French press method. A French press is usually a cylindrical, glass cup that has a fine mesh basket that can move up and down through the container. In some coffee drinking countries such as Australia, it is also known as a Coffee Plunger. The coffee grounds are placed under the basket and hot water (not boiling) is poured in, after waiting for the coffee ground to steep, the wire basket strainer is pushed slowly down to trap the grounds at the bottom of the container before the coffee is poured to be consumed.
While this method takes the longest and yields the least amount of volume per go, it is typically suggested for individuals who want to cherish their cup of coffee instead of having just another cup to start their mornings.
There was a time when owning an espresso machine at home was considered out of the realms of the average at-home coffee drinker. Today this is no longer so, due to mass production of espresso machines from several of the large espresso manufacturers (DeLonghi, Nespresso, Krups, Sunbeam, Breville vs DeLonghi-What is the difference?).
These machines are now highly affordable, starting at the $200 price point. If you stick to one of the reputable brand name machines, you should expect a machine that can produce a minimum of 15 Bar pressure – this will result in a very good cup of coffee each and every time.
It can however, take some time to master the Espresso machine. To this end, it can therefore be beneficial to consider taking a professional barista / espresso making course. These are typically offered over a weekend or during weekday evenings. These courses are geared specifically at the domestic espresso machine owner. Price for these courses is also reasonable, with most averaging around $200 for a single 1 day course. Though certainly not a necessity, attending such a course will ensure that your getting the very most out of your espresso machine, and will almost certainly guarantee that your at-home espresso making is of a cafe standard each and every time.
Coffee Making quality control
Regardless of the method you choose there are some ways to make sure that each cup is as good as possible. Keeping the coffee beans frozen when they are not being used can help to preserve a stronger flavor. Also, flushing the coffee makers every now and then by running them as you normally would but without including filters or coffee grounds can help to keep each cup of coffee tasting the same.