How to get café quality coffee at home: seven quick tips
Welcome to Café …… (*reader inserts surname*). It’s the place to be for café-standard coffee at home!
There’s something special about visiting a coffee shop. Well, lots of things. The cake, the chatter, the being-waited-on. And the coffee! Ohhh, the coffee…
We can’t recreate it all (we’d come round and be your waiters if we could), but we can most definitely recreate cafe quality coffee at home! Forget long queues and costly cups; here are seven easy ways to bring your fave café into your kitchen!
Buy fresh coffee
A craftsperson is only as good as their tools.
Well… not quite. You can have an all-singing, all-dancing coffee machine, but your coffee ain’t gonna taste great if you’ve got second-rate beans. Coffee is at its best when it’s fresh from the roaster. Those first few weeks after the roast? We like to think of them as your coffee’s heyday. A cup made from freshly roasted beans will knock the socks off anything shop-bought; it’ll taste vibrant and lively and practically pop with flavour.
Coffee kept for months will, on the other hand, be flat and dull. It’ll also be grumpy, because it’s been pushed to the back of your kitchen cupboard for weeks on end. And, trust us, grumpy coffee is never going to give you a five-star brew.
Try grinding at home
Coffee shop coffee tastes so super fresh because, well, it is. Coffee starts to lose some of its freshness as soon as it’s ground, which is why all good baristas grind their beans to order. Grinding at home might sound scary, but give it a go – you’ll be surprised at just how simple it is. And fun! Because grinding at home is an uber-trendy new hobby that’s just right for dropping into (every single) conversation…
Good coffee shops will use a burr rather than blade grinder to ensure that all the particles are the same size. It’s a cool piece of kit, but totally unnecessary for Café Home. All you need is this quality home hand grinder and some speciality whole beans, and you’ll be away. Grind before each brew and please, please don’t resort to a food processor. You’ll give us nightmares ?.
Use scales to weigh out your coffee
Why does a 7.43 am, pre-work take-out taste so good? Because it always does. It tastes just as good as it will tomorrow and is just as tasty as it was yesterday.
That’s right, café coffee is all about consistency. You want good coffee; you get good coffee. Smiles all round.
Luckily, it’s easy to put good home coffee on repeat. All you’ve got to do is weigh out your coffee. Which makes sense, when you think about it; you don’t just chuck any amount of flour and butter into a bowl to make a cake, do you?
Just grab a set of coffee weighing scales, weigh out your coffee and water and get brewing. If you make adjustments, note them down. Maybe our suggested brew ratio wasn’t quite to your taste? That’s fine. Try weighing out a couple more grams of coffee next time to fine-tune a personal coffee-to-water ratio you can enjoy again and again and again.
Filter your water
Fun fact: coffee is 98.75% water. So it makes sense to give your water a once over before starting to brew.
Hard water is high in dissolved calcium and magnesium. Magnesium, in particular, can alter the taste of your finished coffee by increasing the amount of bitterness extracted during the brew. So, if café quality coffee is what you’re after, we’d suggest you try using filtered water. Get your marker pen out if you live in the South or East of England and highlight over that last sentence, because your water is especially hard. Why not check the water hardness where you live?
Try making flavoured coffee at home
Coffee shops are more seasonal than the seasons themselves. Fruit-infused coffees pop up each spring, while festive flavours are on the menu before we can say Christm…
So let’s get making flavoured coffee at home! You can invest in some simple coffee syrups to create that vanilla/hazelnut/caramel classic in your kitchen or go au naturel with nature’s ingredients. Try flavouring your cold brew with orange peel, cacao nibs or spices like cinnamon.
If you like your coffee a little sweeter, why not try adding honey for a refreshing, refined sugar-free cup? Pop over to our recipe file and take a look at the TC recipe for a honey iced latte. And while you’re there, check out our Irish Coffee guide for a grownups-only treat that’ll go down a storm.
Pair it with cake
We have nothing against a bourbon or dunkable digestive, but café quality coffee calls for something a bit more special. A just-warm pastry, perhaps, or sponge cake in the wedge rather than slice form. Homemade if you want to pop your pinny on or shop-bought if not – just make sure it’s your favourite!
Take your time
Coffee shops are all about taking time out. Spending time with friends or half an hour of me-time in the window seat (THE best seat in every café!). So, whether you’re latte-ing in the living room or sipping iced coffee outside, make sure you take… your… time. This will help you savour the flavour and enjoy your lovingly brewed, cake-accompanied coffee to the max.
Remember Café Quality Coffee step 1? Head over to the shop to find a speciality coffee for you!
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