Such are the lengths that coffee lovers will go to for a perfect brew that it is said that Beethoven himself would count sixty beans to the cup exactly whilst making his coffee at home. But most of us like an easy life and don’t always have the time to put quite as much love into brewing our favourite beverage. So here we take a little look at a few simple ways to get the perfect cup of coffee at home, without having to go the extra mile for each individual cup.
Selecting the bean: There’s way too much science and ethics, not to mention individual tastes to cover when it comes to choosing the right coffee bean for you but here are a few things to start you off. One, the fresher the bean the better the taste. Two, do you’re research, the way coffee tastes can vary drastically (even with beans from the same crop and the same plantation!) so test lots and really get to know your Arabica from your Robusta. Three, look for Organic, Fair Trade and Rain Forest Alliance certifications, these certs will help you choose a coffee that is more sustainable and doesn’t take the planet or coffee producers for granted.
Grinding: Freshly grinding your coffee at home makes a huge difference to your brew. The correct grinding process changes the way that the coffee reacts with the water and can substantially change the taste. Hand grinders are a great tool to have at home and can be used for all brewing methods. Making the perfect brew at home really can’t be done unless you freshly grind your beans. A good tip for those new to the game is that the size of the grind and how long the grind is immersed in the water have a direct effect on the taste so if you find that your coffee always comes out that bit too bitter, try experimenting with a coarser grind and or brewing for slightly longer.
The right coffee machine: Some love the art of brewing a coffee by hand, French pressed coffee is a common sight at breakfast in many a household. However, there really is a science to a great cup of coffee and the slightest changes in water temperature, grind consistency etc can have a huge impact on the taste of the same coffee beans. Often this is where people decide a really cracking coffee machine will come in handy. By selecting a really good quality coffee machine you can ensure the right brewing temperature every time, get a machine with a grinder and you’ll save yourself a little more time in the morning too!
There’s an amazing variety of fantastic coffee machines and brewing equipment out there and it can be hard to choose what kind of tools are right for you. When thinking about coffee machines that make the best cup of coffee there’s an abundance of choice even just under the umbrellas of Bean to Cup, Filter and Espresso and it’s important to do your research, try consulting guides such as Which? and visiting coffee fairs to get a really good idea of the options available out there and don’t forget to sample as much as you can, whenever you can! I’ve got a fair few favourite machines all for different reasons and all produce a great cup of coffee but they all have their own unique elements. Here are just 5 of my faves…
Jura Giga X3: In my opinion this is one of the best coffee machines for commercial use, it offers a huge selection of pre-sets (around 30) and 12 of these can be customized. I love its ‘two heat process’ allowing two delicious cups of coffee in one go which is a real time saver. Whilst we are talking about time its grind process is also pretty swift thanks to its top quality ceramic disc grinder. You can get a business lease on one of these beauties for under £20 a week so its a great office coffee machine to consider.
Linje Espresso Maker: This machine by Øystein Helle Husby just oozes style, it’s a Norwegian approach to coffee with a touch of Italian inspiration, a machine made of wood! With its elegant stylish and modern exterior it would be my pick for the guest annexe to add a little bit of luxury. But alas, it is but yet a prototype.
Sanremo Verona SED: A beauty for the small business, this machine has all the pleasing aesthetics you would be happy to show off front of house in your business. More importantly to add to its pleasing exterior it is top of the range in the functionality department. It’s a great machine for the artistic barista, easy to use and ergonomical giving the user the time and means to perfect the art of a beautifully presented coffee.
The OTTO stove top espresso maker: My favourite for trips away, (along with a few lovely little extras) you get a great little travel case for the OTTO and it’s small/light enough to stash in your case so this is a great little machine for longer trips away in aparthotels or self-catering accommodation. The machine itself requires a hands on approach to your coffee making but OTTO provide a really useful instruction DVD for it so this shouldn’t be a problem for most users. It’s got a small, robust and elegant design that makes it a gem of a machine, you can get your hands on one for around £600 but there are very limited stockists in the UK.
Poppy Pour-Over Coffee Machine by Quirky: Now we are really talking tech with this stunningly designed one cup artisan machine. Science, design and technology are beautifully merged to create a machine that is not only incredibly pleasing to the eye, but also works alongside apps that make your life easier! For example, the app can automatically order your bean refills, the glass carafe is designed to hold the perfect drinking temperature and has a grinder that crushes the beans (rather than chops) to get the best taste from your favourite blend. It really is a little stunner of a machine and I’m desperately waiting for the email to come through from Poppy confirming when they will be on the market.