The definitive guide on how to make coffee

If you’ve been searching online for how to make coffee, you probably want one of the following:

1)You want to discover the secrets to making a great cup of coffee at home.

2)To find the answer on how to make coffee for your preferred coffee drink or maker.

We try and answer your questions in this article. If you have any more questions, do drop us a line and we’ll try and answer them for you.

How to get the best coffee at home – factors that make a difference.

1. The Beans 

The starting point for the flavour and quality of coffee is the coffee beans. There are a wide variety of types of flavours based on where the coffee was grown and how they are blended by the roasters from which you’ll discover your favourites.

Coffee Beans

Roasting date

The next thing with the beans is when they were roasted. The ideal period for the coffee beans is between 3 days to a week after the coffee was roasted for the freshest taste. So look at buying small quantities of coffee at a time. 

2. The Grind 

The right grind is crucial to extracting the flavour. But the grind varies for different types of brewing techniques. You can read the guide on choosing a home grinder or the options of home coffee grinders here.

Coffee grinder

3. The Equipment

 Left over dregs can spoil the flavour of the coffee. An obsessive attention to keeping your equipment clean will give you the best flavours of coffee. 

4. The Water

Filter water jug

If the water in your area has a strong flavour of chlorine or is particularly hard, try using filter or bottled water. Strong flavours will affect the flavours of coffee.

Ideal water temperature for coffee. The ideal temperature to make coffee is between 91-95C, so just off boiling. Boiling water will scald and create a burnt flavour increasing the bitterness. This is a crucial factor to good coffee.

5.Coffee to Water Ratio

 There is a golden ration known to the coffee industry which is about 1-2tablespoons of coffee grinds to 180ml of water. Start with this and then adjust to your taste for long coffees.

6. Coffee Brew Times

This is another major factor. If you don’t like the flavour of your coffee at home, you could be over extracting (brewing your coffee for too long). Or perhaps you are under extracting – leaving it for too short a period. The rule of thumb for various brews is as follows

Brew method

Ideal Time

Espresso

25 seconds +/- 5 seconds

French press

2-4 minutes

Drip filter

4-5 minutes

Stove top percolator

5 minutes


Coffee Brewing Methods

1. How to make instant coffee

How to make instant coffee

a. Put the kettle on to boil water

b. Measure out a teaspoon of coffee into your cup or mug.

c. Pour about 2 table spoons or 50 ml of hot water (before it boils) over the instant coffee. This prevents the coffee from being burnt with boiling water and tasting bitter. If you use sugar, you can stir this in now.

d. Pour hot water. Once the kettle boils you can pour the water straight in. The lower temperature of the instant coffee syrup from step c and this boiling hot water will give you the hottest instant cuppa. 

f. If you like your coffee black, you’re done.

g. Add milk & stir. Try milk that’s been heated up either on the stove or microwave. Again, not boiling, just hot.


2. How to make good cafetiere coffee

How to make french press coffee

a. The amount of coffee needs to be adjusted to your size of cafetiere, but for a 1l French press, add 5 tablespoons of coarsely ground coffee with nearly 1 litre of hot water into the French press.

b. Stir the mixture and leave it to stand for about 4 minutes

c. If there’s a sludge on top of the mixture at the end of this time, use a spoon to scoop it out.

d. Push down the plunger slowly and serve the coffee with or without milk & sugar.


3. How to make the ideal filter coffee

How to make filter coffee

a. If you are using a chemex or V60, place the paper filter into the cone. Choose good quality paper filters for the best filter coffee.

b. Place 2 heaped tablespoons of coarsely ground coffee into the cone.

c. Pour a small amount of hot water (50-60ml) over the coffee. Start at the centre and work outwards in a circular motion.

d. Repeat step c two more times with an interval of about a minute. 

e. You’ll know that the brewing is finished when the dripping from the cone slows down.

f. Discard the filter from the cone, pour and enjoy with or without milk and sugar.


4. How to make smooth moka pot coffee

a. Fill the bottom compartment with freshly boiled hot water, till just below the steam valve.

b. Fill the filter basket with coarsely ground coffee, tamp down slightly and put the filter basket on top of the chamber. Fasten the top.

c. Put the percolator on a medium heat on the stove. It takes about 5 minutes for the coffee to appear in the top.

d. Give the coffee a stir, close the lid and pour the coffee out.

How to make percolator coffee