The perfect cup of morning coffee is one of life’s simplest pleasures, and if you’re someone who has an enthusiastic appreciation of that first morning brew then you’ll know exactly what we’re talking about.
Even so, making a cup of your favourite blend at home doesn’t always come with the same satisfaction as having someone make it for you at your café or coffee shop of choice – not because of the act itself, but because the results don’t often measure up.
Thankfully though, creating that perfect cup of barista style café coffee at home is more than achievable, and it’s also easier than you think. So, if you’ve always dreamed of starting your days at home in bed with the best mug on the block, then you’re in luck.
Making a barista style coffee isn’t just about the time you take to brew and pour it, and you’ll need to take a little extra time to ensure that you are storing your coffee correctly for optimum results, treating your milk right and taking the right steps to create your desired result.
Read on to find out exactly how to achieve that luxury cup of coffee at home, covering everything you’ll need to know, from start to finish.
Storing your coffee
The differences between a good cup of coffee and a bad one are many, but one of the simplest factors that will determine which way things go is the freshness of your beans or blend. If you have the right equipment, you’re best off buying whole beans, which retain their freshness for longer, as ground coffee can turn stale in just a few days if not stored in optimum conditions.
Reducing the time your coffee is exposed to oxygen is the best way to ensure that it lasts, and that it continues to taste its best, too. This will prevent it from oxidising and losing its most appealing characteristics. If you can, keep your beans in an airtight container for maximum longevity, and only grind them immediately prior to use to enjoy the most potent flavour and aroma possible.
Avoid keeping your coffee anywhere humid, as moisture from steam or from inside a fridge will have a disappointing effect on both the taste and smell.
Brewing your coffee
You can’t possibly hope to make a great cup of coffee if you don’t get the coffee itself right – so be sure to choose a high-quality blend for the very best results. The type of machine you choose to use is also important, and there are plenty of options to peruse. The best option for you depends largely on just how passionate you are about coffee.
Speciality coffees require a certain level of quality when it comes to the brewing process, so if you consider yourself a serious coffee drinker for whom only the finest will do, then a drip coffee maker simply won’t cut the mustard. Instead, you might like to consider a precision brewer, which is designed especially for speciality craft coffee enthusiasts and can produce a range of different coffees types. Check out this Breville Precision Brewer review at thecoffeefolk for the full low-down.
If you’re less concerned about speciality coffees, then a simpler set-up will serve you just fine.
The base ingredient for many coffee-based drinks, espresso is an essential element that will determine the overall outcome, and is based on a method of brewing that creates a small and highly-concentrated coffee. To make the ultimate café quality cup, you’ll need an aeropress and finely ground coffee. First, you’ll need to insert your paper filter and then rinse it through with hot water to remove any residue that might interfere with taste.
Next, you’ll need to place around 28g of finely ground coffee into your machine, pour in 100ml of hot water and give it a stir to ensure that your grounds are saturated. Cover and wait for one minute, then flip the aeropress into your cup and push down, applying pressure for around 30 seconds until it is completely empty.
From here, you’ll simply need to pop your espresso into a cup and enjoy – or, if you’re more of a cappuccino or latte lover, then move onto the next step.
Steaming the milk
Steaming the milk for a cappuccino or latte can often feel like the most daunting aspect of making your favourite drink barista style, but in actual fact, all you’ll need to do is learn the simple technique that is required and you’ll have perfect results every time.
No-one likes a burnt cup of coffee, and often this can be exacerbated by overboiling the milk – so it’s important to steam your milk to just the right point and stop before you go too far.
A home milk frother is the key to achieving those perfect microbubbles or luxurious foam, depending on which type of drink you’re wanting to create. The hand-held, wand-style varieties are quick and easy to use, but as they only add air, to do so you must heat the milk yourself first – so investing in a pot-style frother, which does both jobs for you in one, is our preferred solution. A French press is another option, but will require you to pump the plunger up and down to add air – making it a less ideal choice for busy mornings when you’re getting ready for an important day in the boardroom, and have minimal time to spend in the kitchen.
The finishing touches
With your coffee and milk both brewed and steamed to perfection, all that’s left to do is pour your milk into your cup – spoon out the extra froth for a fluffier finish.
To create some easy coffee art, try swirling the espresso and milk together, adding your milk slowly and evenly from a little higher than you would usually, moving the milk closer to the cup to create a final swirl on top. Et voila – the perfect cup of barista style coffee at home is yours. Whilst there’s no comparison for having someone do the hard work for you, it will certainly be welcome on those dark winter mornings, and will allow you to enjoy that much needed caffeine hit in style.