The Path to Coffee Nirvana Is Easier to Walk Than You May Think
You may have learned a long time ago that “what might be right for you may not be right for some,” and that perfection lies more or less in the eye of the beholder. And, if you’re already making the best coffee you’ve ever tasted in the comfort of your home, this article may not be for you.
But, for every person who is content with their current coffee brewing methods, there is someone out there who understands the difference between what they’re getting at their favorite coffee shop or café and what they can accomplish at home. With that in mind, here’s how to get your coffee expectations in line with your coffee reality, so that you can brew the perfect cup of coffee at home.
1 – Buy Fresh
With coffee, freshness matters, and it matters a lot. If possible, always buy your coffee direct from a small-batch roaster that imports their own coffee beans.
2 – Buy Whole Coffee Beans
This may perplex you. What’s the difference between grinding at home and grinding at the shop? The answer in one word is: OXIDATION. Oxidation is the spoiler of coffee and the more surface area there is, the faster your beans will oxidize.
3 – Store Your Coffee Beans Well
Light, air, and heat all contribute to the rate of, wait for it, OXIDATION. These are your enemies. You want to store your beans in an airtight container in a cool, dry, dark space—and not in the freezer.
4 – Invest in a Good Coffee Grinder
If you’re adhering to tip number two, then you’ll want to invest in a good coffee grinder, a burr grinder, which grinds to a uniform consistency without heating up the beans during the process.
5 – Use the Purest Water Possible
If you’re lucky enough to live in one of the few places left with truly great tap water, you can skip this step. If not, you’ll want to use purified, filtered water, or spring water. Stay away from distilled water, though – it’s too lifeless and brews a flat cup of coffee.
6 – Find and Study Your Coffee Brewing Method
There are many coffee brewing methods that are capable of producing the perfect cup of coffee. What might be right for some, may not be right for you. Experiment with different methods to find what’s right for you and then study how the experts say to do it best.
7 – Experiment with Your Method
Once you’ve found the perfect method for you, don’t be afraid to tinker with it. Experiment with brew time, water temperature, bean to water ratio, etc. until you dial in on the best expression of that method.
8 – Perfection Just for You
Mastery takes time, energy, repetition, experimentation, focus, and practice on the level of near ritual. Over time, your relationship to the coffee beans you select and your brewing method will develop into something approaching perfection, for you. The true test of a master is allowing others to find their own path.
Illuminated Coffee Consumption
For those looking for the path to coffee nirvana, whether hoping to dedicate their life to trekking its length or just looking to take a few baby steps on the road to perfection, we hope this list of tips and tricks for improving the quality of your home-brewed coffee helps to light your way.