For coffee lovers and caffeine cravers, nothing beats a perfect cup of joe. Whether you're a Starbucks loyalist or you brew from home, you can master a few simple tips and tricks — besides cream and sugar — to perfect your habit, making your morning cup of coffee all the more sacred. Bring these five tips to the pot the next time you get brewing!
- Good grind: The right grind can make or break your coffee. If you're serious about the ultimate pour, consider purchasing a coffee grinder for maximum flavor. Keep the size of the coffee grind in mind as well, since this corresponds to the brewing method you use. Coffee made with a French press, for example, needs to have a coarser grind, whereas espresso or Turkish-style coffee requires a very fine grind.
- Keep it fresh: Fresh coffee means fresh flavor. For a cup filled with taste, purchase beans from your local roaster. Keep the roast date in mind. The closer a coffee is to its roast date, the more intense the flavors will be. To maintain freshness, store your beans in an airtight container rather than the freezer.
- Keep it simple: From the "coffee pods" to instant packets, the variety of options available to brew a cup can be overwhelming. Rather than spending hundreds on a fancy machine, keep it simple with the French press. Without a filter, the oils from the coffee beans are not absorbed . . . more oils mean more taste!
- Add flavor: Try adding spices to the coffee grounds before brewing. Cinnamon and nutmeg are common additions. If you're looking for a more intense experience, sprinkle a little bit of cayenne pepper in the grounds to give your coffee a spicy kick. If you're a latte lover, flavored syrups will add a sweet splash to your cup!
- Quality is key: For coffee connoisseurs, the details matter. Fresh, filtered water, a quality roast, and rich creamer will make all the difference. And make sure your coffee equipment is clean: if you're going through the effort to make a great pour, the last thing you want is to end up with a cup that doesn't taste fresh because it's been a while since you last cleaned your machine.
What are your tips for perfecting a cup of coffee at home?