The Quick Report

The Perfect Coffee Isn’t Hard to Make – Here are the Basics

Here are tips gathered from the minds of numerous baristas to show you how to make the perfect cup of Joe. Learn what you’ll need and the basic steps to craft barista-level coffee perfection at home.

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9 Must-Have Ingredients for Perfect Coffee

Here is a list of nine items you’ll need to brew the perfect coffee at home.

  • Whole bean coffee
  • Filtered water or a water filter
  • A scale
  • A coffee grinder
  • A dark-colored ceramic or glass container
  • One of the following: Automatic drip coffee maker, French press, or water kettle
  • Coffee filters (if necessary)
  • Flavoring and toppings as desired (chocolate pieces, Reddi-wip®, cinnamon, nutmeg)
  • Electric milk frother (optional)

10 Easy Steps to Perfect Coffee

The following ten steps will guide you through what you need to know to brew a perfect cup of Joe at home.

1. Use Quality Coffee Beans

The quality of your cup of Joe can only be as good as the quality of your coffee beans. 

In general terms, coffee beans from Central America, such as Guatemala, will be less acidic and yield more of a medium roast. 

Coffee beans from Africa will be dark and acidic.

2. Only Use Whole-Bean Coffee

To make things simple, seek out a local coffee bean roaster in your area. 

If you can’t find one, then purchase whole-quality beans and grind them yourself at home. Whole-bean coffee is considerably fresher and full of more flavor.

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3. Use a Scale

The use of a coffee scale will yield a much more accurate measurement than using a spoon or scoop. It allows you to accurately achieve the right strength and balance.

One group of baristas uses 180 grams of whole-bean coffee per carafe. This yields a quantity of twelve eight-ounce cups.

If using a 6-cup automatic drip coffee maker, 90 grams is the recommended amount.

4. Only Grind What You Need

The whole point of grinding beans is to have the freshest coffee possible. Therefore, don’t grind all your coffee beans in one shot. 

Only grind the amount of coffee beans you need to use at a given time. Weigh out what you need before grinding, then store the rest.

5. Store Coffee in a Light-Shielded Container

To keep your coffee fresh, it needs to be stored in a canister that shields sunlight.

The best containers to use are dark-colored glass or ceramic containers that will block out light.

Don’t freeze your coffee. It could absorb moisture and that will affect its future taste.

6. Only Use Filtered Water

Only use water that has been filtered. The taste of the water will affect the taste of your coffee. For filtered water, you have at least three options.

  • Use water from your refrigerator’s built-in filter.
  • Purchase a water pitcher that includes a built-in filter.
  • Purchase filtered water.

7. Choice of Brewing Methods

There are several ways you can choose to brew your coffee. A method will likely come down to your taste buds and lifestyle.

If you’re seeking a mild pot of coffee, an automatic drip coffee maker is the best choice.

For bolder, darker brew, a French Press is your best bet.

For a single, smooth cup of Joe, a water kettle and pour-over is likely the best choice.

Keep in mind that the method you choose will also affect how you will need to adjust how course you grind your coffee.

8. Clean Your Coffee Maker Frequently

Coffee beans leave an oil residue that sticks to whatever you used to brew your coffee. 

This residue will affect the flavor. The oil can cause your coffee to have a burned taste. Clean your coffee maker frequently to prevent buildup. 

9. Adding Flavor to Your Coffee

If you’re someone who only likes their coffee black, then take this section under advisement the next time you prepare coffee for others.

Adding flavor to coffee is where baristas take things to the next level. They offer some of their secrets such as stirring in pieces of chocolate. Top the coffee with whipped cream, ground cinnamon, or nutmeg.

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10. Don’t Warm Milk, Steam It

Another barista’s secret is how they handle milk. Rather than simply warming the milk, they steam it. They suggest buying an electric milk frother.

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