You don’t have to be a professional barista to make a really good cup of coffee. With a little practice, patience, and proper technique you can enjoy world-class coffee at home. Here are four tips to improve your morning cup.
1. Invest in a good grinder.
Your grinder is the most important piece of coffee equipment you own. How good your coffee can taste comes down to the quality and consistency of the grounds (or, in barista speak, the particle size distribution). I can make a better cup of coffee with a $4 plastic cone and a good grinder, than a bad one and the most expensive coffee maker on the market. Unfortunately, good grinders can get expensive, but they’re worth saving up for. I recommend designating 80% of your coffee budget to your grinder. Look for a grinder with either steel or ceramic burrs and few plastic parts. Avoid blade grinders at all costs.
2. Use filtered water.
Coffee is over 98% water, and yet most of us just use what ever comes out of the tap. The chances that your municipal water has the ideal chemical composition for coffee brewing is very small. If your water is hard, your coffee will taste bitter and flat. If it’s too soft, it might taste sour and weak. I recommend using filtered spring water to get the right balance of minerals.