How to make coffeehouse quality coffee at home
The coffee you share with friends, the takeout you grab on the way into work, the beautiful espresso you enjoy after a meal in your favourite restaurant; good coffee is an integral part of our lives and is one of the things some people are missing at the moment. However, recreating your favourite coffeehouse’s flavour at home isn’t as much as a challenge as you may think. Of course, there is a lot of noise about ostentatious artisan coffee, ingenious latte art and mind-boggling barista techniques that may have led you to think you can never match these unrealistic ideals. Simplicity and quality are key; with inexpensive, easy to use brewing methods and a quality coffee roast to accompany them, creating delicious tasting coffee at home is possible.
In this article, we have collated some expert tips and guidance to help you make an informed choice on the method most suitable for you…
Coffee Brewing Equipment for Home
Whilst the majority of coffee lover’s dream of owning an espresso machine, there are other solutions to creating a satisfying and quality brew at home. There are three main styles of coffee preparation equipment available for use in the home, drip brew, domestic espresso machine and cafetière.
Drip Brew Coffee Maker
The most notable drip-brew brands are the Hario V60, Kinto, and Chemex brewers. Each follows the same method, however, factors such as the design of the funnel and hole size at the base of the dripper create subtle differences in taste when paired with the grind coarseness of the coffee chosen.
The Chemex Brewer was designed by chemist Dr Peter Schlumbohm in 1941 with the aim to create a simple, yet perfectly brewed cup of coffee. His ingenuity resulted in a vessel which was functional with clean edges and an eye-catching design. The combination of the glass carafe, which is made from non-porous, scientific grade glass, so imparts no flavour into the coffee, and the double-bonded filter papers brew perfection every time. The filter cone paired with the hourglass shape of the brewer slows the passage of the water and as a single piece of glass, the Chemex Brewer combines functionality with good looks brilliantly.
We recommend pairing our Ethiopian Sidamo ground coffee or why not experiment with our Selection of Three Best Selling Ground Coffee Blends.
Check out this video from our director and head coffee specialist Ian for a demonstration on how to get the best from a Chemex Brewer…
V-shaped and angled at 60 degrees, the Hario V60 is a practical and economical pour-over method. The well-considered design results in a great cup of coffee due to the angled sides allowing the water to pass through the coffee grounds rather than steeping (soaking) them.
Conveniently, the V60 directly brews fresh coffee into your cup, and though it may not have an as eye-catching look as the Chemex its a perfect solution for a quick, quality morning coffee.
Here’s another video from Ian this time demonstrating how to use the V60…
Kinto Oct Brewer
The Kinto Oct Brewer is the bridge between the Chemex and V60. Good looking enough to be left on the kitchen side, and functional enough to produce a quick and simple coffee, it offers a perfect blend of both the V60 and the Chemex. The Kinto is a porcelain brewer accompanied with glass jug for ease of serving.
We recommend pairing with our Dancing Goat Coffee Fairtrade Organic Ground Coffee or for a taste variation our Selection of Three Best Selling Ground Coffee Blends.
Check out the range of drip brew coffee makers available in our online coffee shop.
Domestic Espresso Machine
Depending on your machine, it can take some time to familiarise yourself to get the best results, though the same core principles are applied when dealing with any espresso machine.
Here are some top tips for you to follow to ensure you are getting the best out of your domestic espresso machine, though it is worth noting some machines will manage these settings on your behalf…
Grind coarseness – this defines your coffee pour time. If your grind is too coarse then the extraction will be weak and fast. If the grind is too fine, then it will be slow and over-extracted.
Coffee throw – this is the amount of coffee that you use to make your drink.
Tamping – this is the pressure applied to the coffee in the group handle before placing the handle in the machine.
Pre-infusion – this is a small amount of water used to wet the coffee and make it expand in the group handle, before the pour beginning. This helps ensure a perfect crema is presented.
Length of pour – the total amount of water that passes through the coffee into the cup. Over-extraction can present a light colour on the top of the espresso.
Milk preparation – The key is to avoid scorching your milk. Less is more with regards to heating and more vortex (spin in the milk) equals more texture!
A great guide is the Italian 4m’s principle that encapsulates the points made above.
Macchina – Espresso machine
Macinazione – The correct grind
Miscela – Coffee blend and roast
Mano – The skilled hand aka you!
Practice makes coffee perfection with an espresso machine, so once you have got the hang of it, the joy of a fresh espresso is no longer reserved for a visit to the coffeehouse and limited to being made by an experienced Barista. Welcome to the age of the bedroom Barista! 😉
Cafetière aka French Press
Arguably the most utilised and widely recognised coffee maker for use in the home is the cafetière, which houses a flat filter attached to a long handle on its lid. This brew method entails placing the coffee into the bottom, pouring over the hot water and leaving for a few minutes before pushing down the handle to filter. This way of making coffee requires pouring immediately after filtering so as not to alter the taste, as the brewing coffee continues to impart flavours into the water deepening the taste.
That’s not to say you cannot create a great brew with a cafetière, just be sure to follow these top tips…
Pour hot water into cafetière to warm for 2 mins then pour away before adding the coffee.
Bear in mind the coffee amount to use is always subjective and influenced by the users taste strength. As a general guide use 12g – 16g ground coffee per cup (less for weaker more for stronger, of course).
Do not use boiling water onto the ground coffee as it will burn the coffee and spoil the flavour. We recommend using water at between 90-95°C and pouring with a rolling action on the ground coffee.
Give the coffee a quick stir before placing the plunger and lid on the cafetière.
Allow the coffee to brew for approximately 3-4 mins, or to your taste! (The longer it is left the heavier taste body the coffee will develop).
Serve into your pre-warmed cups and add milk or cream to taste and enjoy!
Browse our full range of Dancing Goat Coffee ground coffee blends that can be utilised in your cafetière at home.
Top Tips for Making the Perfect Cup of Coffee at Home
No matter what coffee making equipment you are using at home here are some top tips that apply to them all that will give your coffee’s flavour the edge…
Warm your cup – those cups don’t just live on top of the espresso machine in your coffee house to save space! The espresso machine is keeping them warm and ready for the next extraction. Warming your cup is part of the coffee, of course, it keeps your coffee warm for longer, but it also compliments the espresso more broadly with a depth of flavour, and retains the quality of coffee for longer.
Not having the water too hot – especially in pour-over methods.
The best method to use really depends on your coffee preference, incorporating the 4 M’s where possible for those coffee geeks amongst us. Simply put, if you have quality ingredients then you’re already halfway to the decent coffee you’re craving.
The good news is that great coffee can be delivered and enjoyed in your home and with some simple equipment and a lesson on brewing from Dancing Goat Coffee you’ll have a new skill which you’ll agree is life-changing!
Check out our full range of coffee making equipment for use at home in the Dancing Goat Coffee online store or get in touch to find out more.