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Barista-Approved Tips for At-Home Coffee

If you’re like most avid coffee drinkers, you probably have a favorite coffee shop that you like to frequent.  Maybe it’s your local mom-and-pop cafe or a little hole-in-the-wall diner that makes the best latte in town.  

These places are your favorite for a reason, and more likely than not, it’s because of the superb coffee they provide. However, you can’t always go out for coffee, and making your own in the morning could save you some time and money; so how do you get coffee-shop quality brews at home?

Thankfully, there are some simple ways to improve your at-home cup of coffee without a whole lot of fuss and muss. These are some of our favorite tips to make your home barista experience as tasty as it can be!

Basic Coffee Tips and Facts

Coffee is a drink for everyone, and everyone likes their coffee made differently.  Some things, though, are central to every cup of coffee, regardless of the end result. Let’s start with a list of the materials you’ll want to use to up your brewing game.

coffee grinder

The Essentials

  • Fresh-roasted coffee beans. Every great cup of coffee starts here, with your coffee beans. Switching out your store-bought coffee with new, freshly roasted beans can transform the way you see and taste your coffee. If possible, buy your beans whole! This will keep your coffee fresher, longer.
  • A good coffee grinder. Now that you have some fresh coffee waiting to be ground, you need a way to grind it! There are two main types of coffee grinders; blade grinders and burr grinders, but in a pinch, a mortar and pestle, or even a rolling pin will do! If you have the choice, a burr grinder will grind your beans more evenly, which helps to bring out the flavors.
  • Your favorite brewing equipment. Depending on the coffee you drink most, this can be different for everyone. If you can’t live without your shot of espresso in the morning, it might be worth it to splurge on an espresso machine! If you just need a cup of simple black coffee to get you going, you might want to look for a French Press. The choice is yours to make.

Common Problems and Questions

Even after you get set up with some fresh coffee, a grinder, and a brewing method, there are some things you might want to consider.  A good barista makes a cup of coffee from scratch, and that means knowing what to do with the beans, milk, and anything else going into the cup.

How to Store Coffee Beans

When you get your coffee beans, you’ll want to make sure you have the right space for them.  For the best results, keep them in an air-tight, opaque container, and store them in a cool, dark place.  

When coffee beans see the light of day and start to feel the air, they begin to go stale.  The longer you can keep them out of light, the better!  To help keep your beans fresh, try getting smaller batches of coffee, or use Amora’s coffee canister to keep them in a cool, dark place until they are ready to be ground. 

How to Grind Coffee Beans

Knowing what consistency of coffee you want can change your coffee forever. There are three common grinds that baristas will use, and they all depend on the kind of drink you want to make! 

  1. Coarse Grind: A coarse grind will leave some small chunks of coffee beans intact and somewhat resembles little pebbles. Coarsely ground coffee needs to steep in the water for a longer period of time.  This kind of grind is best for french press and cold brew coffees.
  2. Medium Grind:  The jack-of-all-trades, medium ground coffee is the most common consistency of coffee and works for several different methods. Use medium grind coffee for pour-over or drip coffees. This is the type of grind you will likely get in pre-ground coffee.
  3. Fine Grind: Finely ground coffee resembles sand and is best when used for espressos!  A fine grind allows the beans to pack together tightly, giving espresso its strength and signature crema.

How to Froth Milk

To really take your coffee from good to great, you’ll want to learn how to make more than just one kind of coffee. Lattes, mochas, and cappuccinos all require frothed milk, and once you have them in your repertoire, you’re well on your way to conquering at-home coffee!

  1. Start with cold milk or milk substitute in a small saucepan.
  2. Heat the milk over low heat, and take it off as soon as it begins steaming. 
  3. Once the milk is hot, you can froth it in a couple ways:
    1. A handheld milk frother can make quick work of your milk, but it is the more expensive option.
    2. A blender or electric mixer might be the next best thing after a milk frother. Just whip the milk for a minute or two, and add to your coffee.
    3. A jar or handheld whisk will do the job, too! Shake the milk vigorously in the jar, or whisk for a few minutes to achieve that foamy goodness. 

Congrats! If you made it this far, you’re on the right track to becoming a master home barista. Keep trying new coffees and methods to grow your knowledge, and soon you’ll be making coffee with the best of them. 

Amora

One of the easiest ways to get some freshly roasted coffee beans is through Amora’s coffee subscription program! It’s our goal to help more people discover the authentic flavors of coffee, from our selectively picked coffee cherries to our 9-step roasting process and all the way to your cup.

We ship bags of whole-bean, fresh-roasted coffee directly to you, no middle man involved.  You can try different blends and find the roast that’s perfect for you, without the hassle of supermarkets or the high prices of coffee shops. Our blends are made for all types of coffee enthusiasts, and you’re sure to find a coffee that you’ll enjoy!


1 comment

  • Thanks for the advice on frothing milk. I am still trying to make a good cup of cappuccino at home.

    Paul R. Waibel

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