7 Things You Need to Make Great Coffee at Home

How many times have you visited a coffee shop, enjoyed a fabulous cup of steaming hot Joe, and then asked yourself why you can’t replicate the results at home? Why is it that coffee shop coffee always seems so much better? While the coffee shop will have access to blends and beans you may not have at home, there’s really nothing stopping you from learning how to make a great coffee yourself.

7 Things You Need to Make Great Coffee at Home
Close up photo of a barista at bar counter preparing coffee in pour-over and Hario style while working in a cafe

Here we’ll take a look at seven things you need in order to perfect your coffee game and create a coffee-shop vibe in your own home.

Whole Bean vs Coffee Grinds

While there is absolutely nothing wrong with instant coffee, and it certainly serves a purpose on those busy and rushed mornings, you probably aren’t going to declare it the best coffee you’ve ever had. The fact is that if you want a great cup of coffee at home, it has to start with high-quality coffee. Part of finding high-quality coffee is knowing what form of the bean is best and most flavorful.

Any coffee aficionado will tell you that whole beans are the way to go. This is the best way to preserve the flavor and get the most out of the bean when you’re ready for a cup of coffee. The idea is to grind the beans fresh each time you are going to have a cup of coffee. So, what’s the reasoning behind that? Well, the flavor actually starts to dissipate and change as quickly as one minute after it has been ground.

For those who don’t have the time to grind fresh beans each morning, then a bag of pre-ground beans that is still high quality is the next best choice.

Pay Attention to the Region It’s From

The next step is to start paying attention to the region in which the coffee is grown and then roasted. If it doesn’t clearly state the region on the packaging, it’s best to skip it altogether. The packaging should also show the date the coffee was roasted, which will help ensure you’re getting a fresh product.

The packaging should also be airtight so as to retain the flavor. That can be an airtight container or bag. Either way, it shouldn’t allow light into the product as that will cause oxidization which affects the flavor.

In terms of the best region to buy coffee from, in general, there are a few that stand out and are often seen as the best quality. These top countries are Guatemala, Colombia, The Arabian Peninsula, Costa Rica, and Ethiopia. That’s not to say that coffee can’t come from other regions; it’s just that these five are often seen as the highest of quality and flavor.

Try Some Exotic Blends at Home

Of course, you can take that great coffee to the next level and step outside your comfort zone, giving exotic coffee blends a try. While each one may not be to your liking, there’s a chance you may find a new favorite that you hadn’t even been aware of.

But where to start is the question? If you have not heard of cat poop coffee, here’s the perfect opportunity to give it a try. Cat poop coffee is actually called Kopi Luwak and is found in Indonesia and some other parts of southeast Asia. It is a specialty coffee that still uses the concept of fermenting the coffee beans, but rather than doing this in the sun or a vat of water, the process occurs within a civet cat’s bowels.

The idea behind the Kopi Luwak process is that coffee cherries (what coffee beans are sometimes called) start to obtain more flavor as they are moving through the digestive tract in the cat. Also, the beans/cherries begin to break down. Once the coffee cherries have been passed, they will then be harvested and prepared.

Although it’s not exactly the standard way to harvest and prepare coffee, it can certainly qualify as an “exotic coffee”.

Invest in a Good Quality Grinder

As long as you’ve followed the advice to only buy whole bean coffee, you’re going to need a grinder. You want to purchase a grinder that does an excellent job at keeping things uniform – there should be no beans or chunks missed. A smooth even grind is essential. It should also be fast and easy to clean up.

If you do decide to grind your beans in advance, it’s best to only do a few days’ worths at once and store them in an airtight dark-colored ceramic canister.

Shop Around for the Best Coffee Brewer

There are so many different ways to brew coffee from the French Press, to the automatic drip coffeemakers, and even the single cup with a filter adapter for your own grinds. It will come down to how much time you have to brew your coffee, how much coffee you drink in a day, your budget, the ease of use, and how much space you have available for the brewer.

Once you do invest in the right coffee brewer from places like Great Coffee Brewers, make sure you are cleaning it on a regular basis to ensure the taste isn’t affected by built-up grinds.

Start Using Filtered Water

Another trick is to start using filtered water for your coffee rather than just regular tap water. Simply keep a jug or container of filtered water in your fridge and ready to use at all times.

Get Creative and Top with Spices

The final tip is the topping. One of the best parts about those expensive coffee shop coffees is the spices they put on top. The most common spices they use are ground nutmeg, cinnamon, and chocolate shavings. If you want to get really fancy, you can even add whipped cream, caramel sauce, or chocolate syrup.

The Perfect Coffee Each and Every Time

Taking an interest in where your coffee is grown and roasted, how it’s packaged, how you store it and brew it will all help to ensure that you’re able to make a great cup of coffee at home each and every time.