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Coffee Basics

5 Ways to Start Enjoying Better Coffee at Home

5 Ways to Start Enjoying Better Coffee at Home

Coffee Basics

5 Ways to Start Enjoying Better Coffee at Home

5 Ways to Start Enjoying Better Coffee at Home

A simple five-step guide to updating your kitchen gadgets and morning habits so you can start enjoying cafe-quality coffee at home.

Just like anything in life, you have to put time and effort to perfect it. Coffee is no different. It can be one of the greatest simple pleasures in life if you spend the time and energy to make it special.

Follow our simple five-step guide to ensure you own the right equipment, invest and store quality beans, brew a great cup, and, ultimately, make coffee an enjoyable morning ritual.

1. Upgrade your equipment
2. Invest in better beans
3. Store your beans
4. Brew the perfect cup
5. Make it a habit

  

Coffee cone, kettle and grinder illustration

1. Upgrade your equipment

Probably the most important component to great coffee, aside from the coffee beans itself, of course, is the equipment. You could have great coffee beans, but if you don’t have good equipment to extract the quality taste then your cup of joe could be awful. If you’re investing in good beans, then it’s a worthwhile investment to improve your equipment. There are many appliances that you could get to improve coffee brewing, but we recommend your primary focus is on getting a good grinder and brewing device.

Here is our list of essential home coffee equipment: 


Gooseneck kettle

Kettles with a gooseneck spout give you more precision when pouring the water over the beans. It’s important that you submerge all the grinds with the same volume of water, and a gooseneck kettle lets you do this easily.

Gooseneck Kettle

Shop on Amazon: Hario Stainless Steel Gooseneck Coffee Kettle

 

Food scale

A kitchen scale seems excessive if you aren’t accustomed to using one. However, it's essential to get an accurate ratio of coffee to water. Measuring cups or scoops are significantly less accurate which can result in an extra strong or super weak cup. No one wants that!

Hario Scale

Shop on Amazon: Hario V60 Drip Coffee Scale and Timer 

 

Chemex and/or Hario V60 (with filters)

We have a strong preference for pour-over coffee which is why we recommend using either a Chemex or Hario V60. There is no preference between the two and it's more dependent on how many cups you are planning to make. The Chemex is great for 2-3 people, while the V60 is perfect for making one cup at a time.

Chemex

Shop on Amazon: Chemex Glass Handle Coffee Maker with Pre-Folded Filters

 

Hario V60

Shop on Amazon: Hario V60 Coffee Pour Over Kit Bundle

 

 

Beans illustration

2. Invest in better beans

This is the most obvious change you can make to your home brewing. Coffee is the only ingredient (aside from water of course), so the beans you buy will make all the difference. Coffee varies based on roast level, region, processing, and so much more, but you can start by simply purchasing freshly roasted coffee from respected small-batch roasters.

Our biased recommendation is, of course, a boutique coffee company called Trapdoor Coffee Roasters.

Trapdoor Coffee Roasters - Coffee

Shop Trapdoor Coffee Roaster's Latest Coffee Offerings

 

 

Coffee beans in mason jar illustration

3. Store your beans

Keeping your beans in the unopened bag is totally acceptable, however, it's ideal to place them in an airtight container once the bag is opened. This can be something that you might already own, like a mason jar with a lid.

It’s also very important to store your beans out of sunlight, preferably in a cool and dry place. The airtight container and temperate location will help extend the freshness of the beans, so you enjoy better coffee longer. In other words, it’s as simple as placing a mason jar of beans in your kitchen cabinet. You will keep your beans fresh and your counter clutter-free.

Even in the best airtight container, coffee beans don’t last forever. We suggest that properly kept coffee isn’t kept for longer than 4 weeks from the roast date. Any longer and the coffee will begin to lose a significant amount of its flavor.

Another big warning: Please do not freeze your beans. It’s unclear where this idea came from, but it’s very common. Freezing the beans will dry them out faster and result in a worse cup of coffee, so don’t do that.

 

Mason Jar

Start simple with a 32-ounce mason jar. This is a cheap option that is more than big enough to hold a bag of beans. The screw-top lid will provide an air-tight seal for perfect storage.

Mason jar with coffee beans

Shop on Amazon: Ball Wide-Mouth Glass Mason Jar 32 oz. (Set of 2)

 

  

Coffee chemex with coffee mug illustration

4. Brew the perfect cup

Think of coffee as if you are baking and following the recipe. If you follow the steps with the correct ingredients, you’ll end up with something great. With practice, you will perfect the recipe and be rewarded with consistently delicious cups of coffee.

A great reference for those just starting out is our Trapdoor Brew Guide, which serves as a handy reference for recommended brewing ratios. We always encourage you to tweak these numbers according to your preferences. And if you find something that works particularly well for a specific Trapdoor blend or single origin coffee, please let us know! 

Some tips for brewing the perfect cup:

  • Grind your beans right before you brew (ideally within 90 seconds). This will ensure freshness.
  • Don’t pour boiling water over the beans. This will burn the coffee. Bring the water to boil and then wait 10 seconds before pouring over the ground beans.
  • Brewing one cup of coffee should take 2-3 minutes. If it takes shorter than that, then your beans are likely too coarse. If it takes much longer than that, then your beans are too fine.

Once you have your ratios and timing figured out, you’ll really start tasting the subtle differences between beans you brew. Consistency in how you brew will allow you to explore different companies, regions, and roasts with a better understanding of each.

Keeping your metrics consistent and your variables limited will help you become the coffee expert you’d never thought you’d be. 

Trapdoor Coffee Roasters - Brew Guide

View the Trapdoor Coffee Roasters Official Brew Guide

 

 

Coffee mug with calendar illustration

5. Make it a habit

Great coffee should be something you look forward to making and enjoying, repeatedly. It should never feel like work. And while all of these steps and requirements outlined above might be overwhelming at first, it’s important to try it, stick with it, and make it a habit. The whole process will end up being a very enjoyable morning ritual over time.

Here are a few recommendations to get started:

1. Set out the equipment in the morning
2. Boil water as you are doing other things
3. Do it for 2 weeks and make adjustments, if needed

And that's it! In just five simple steps you have upgraded your equipment, invested and stored better beans, brewed wonderful coffee, and, ultimately, made the whole thing a delicious morning ritual.

 

 

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Trapdoor Coffee Roasters

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