We've all had time to get the brewing basics down while spending more of our days at home. But now that you may have returned to the coffee shop a few days a week, you could be noticing that your recipe feels a bit lacking.
Good news: You don't need to log hours behind the counter to brew coffee like your favorite local barista. These simple modifications will make the most of your recipe — and you don't need special equipment or a lot of time to do them.
There are lots of tiny things you can do to not only improve how you make coffee, but also how you taste it — and even how you buy it. All those tiny things add up to turning you into a confident coffee connoisseur, just like one mile at a time will eventually bring you across that finish line. Best of all, all four of these exercises can be done from the comfort of your home over the course of a lazy Sunday.
Experiment with measurements
Start by tackling one of the most fundamental — and yet also one of the most baffling — elements of brewing coffee: your basic recipe. By experimenting with how long you brew your coffee, you may also start to better understand the concepts of over- and under-extraction.
Find your right grind
If you’re intimidated by your own grinder, you’re not alone: Even baristas in cafés are taught to fear their grinders sometimes! The truth is, your coffee needs you to touch your grinder, and in order to be a master of your own countertop coffee bar, we want to help you feel confident as you calibrate, make changes, and even experiment with different grind sizes for different brew methods.
Play with brew time
Brew time can be defined, somewhat obviously, as “The amount of time it takes to brew a batch of coffee from start to finish.” The start is the instant that water and ground coffee come into contact with one another, and the finish is usually when the coffee grounds and water cease touching one another. There are a few ways to manipulate brew time, and they all require your close attention.
Tweak your water temperature
The ideal brewing temperature for nearly all hot-brew preparations is between 195 to 205°F: A good rule of thumb is to start brewing when your water is closer to 205°F, because it’s unlikely the overall temperature will drop below 195°F in the time it takes to finish the job. Of course, you don’t have to take our word for it: Let’s brew and taste the results!