How to make perfect coffee at home

A great cup of coffee can solve anything right? Whether you’re a morning espresso drinker, a leisurely latte in bed kind of drinker, or a mid morning cappuccino reveller, coffee forms part of an important ritual for most people. In fact, it’s one of the most popular drinks globally and as a nation here in the UK we drink a whopping 95 million cups per day! However you get your caffeine fix, good coffee is essential and getting artisanal quality at home isn’t as hard as you think. With our simple top tips find out how you can become your very own home barista and discover different brewing methods.

Find the brewing method to suit you

First things first, you need to decide what brewing method to go with. The right one for you really does depend on your personal preferences. There are lots of ways to brew coffee and each will create different tasting notes depending on the extraction of the coffee.

Barista and co

French press

A true classic and one of the easiest methods, the french press (or cafetière as it is commonly known) works by soaking ground coffee directly in hot water then pressing a plunger down to separate the grounds from the coffee.

Brewing time takes around 4 minutes and will produce a full-bodied rich coffee.

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Pour over

Another super simple method is a pour over. One of the oldest ways to brew coffee, all you do is place your coffee grounds in a filter and pour the hot water over the top. The water infused with the coffee drips through the filter and slowly into the cup or jug you have below it.

Brewing takes 3-4 minutes and results in a nuanced and smooth coffee.

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Drip machine

Great for preparing larger quantities, drip coffee or filter coffee can be made in appliances that do all the work for you. The machine will heat the water to boiling or near-boiling and will evenly flow through the grounds and filter then into the waiting coffee pot below.

Machines usually take around 6 minutes to produce a full jug of coffee and will keep it at drinking temperature.

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Moka pot

Also called a stovetop espresso maker, this Italian invention works by forcing high-pressure water through ground coffee to infuse and produce an exceptional full-bodied coffee flavour.

Simple to use, the Moka pot provides a fuller roasted flavour, resulting in beautifully rich espresso coffee in minutes making it perfect for quick morning caffeine fixes.

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Espresso machine

Whether you prefer a mocha, cappuccino or flat white it all starts with the perfect espresso. Espresso machines work by expressing or forcing out a small amount of nearly boiling water under pressure through finely-ground coffee beans. It results in an espresso shot that has a rich and creamy flavour. A lot of machines also come with a steam arm for your milk meaning you can create a whole host of different drinks.

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Choose quality beans

It goes without saying that good coffee starts with good beans. The roast, grind size and range will all determine what your coffee will taste like. Pact Coffee are a great option for your gift list. Their beans are sourced through the Direct Trade model and every cup you drink is 100% speciality grade, quality-checked over and over, and roasted fresh for your order.

Pact coffee

Get your grind on

If you’re going to invest in any home brewing coffee equipment, the best place to spend is with a good grinder. Coffee tastes best just after it’s been ground so in order to achieve quality results it’s best to freshly grind whole beans just before you are about to brew a cup.

There is no set rule on the perfect grind size, it will totally depend on your brewing method and again on personal taste but two things to consider are if you prefer a sweeter taste or a caffeine punch. A finer grind will extract more of a coffee’s flavour notes, while a coarse grind will produce a stronger caffeine hit.

Measure your coffee

Making better coffee is all about eliminating variables and having consistency each time you make a cup. The best way to achieve this is to use the same amount of coffee per unit of water every single time you brew. Using digital scales or a measured coffee scoop takes mere seconds and means you know exactly how much you are using each time.

Keep it fresh

This sounds like a super simple point but storing the coffee you buy properly will keep it fresher for longer. Any container you store your coffee in needs to have an air tight seal to keep out any moisture and ensure the beans remain dry. You can buy specialised coffee containers or Kilner jars and vacuum containers are also great to preserve freshness.