Mornings (and occasionally nights) are just better with coffee. Sometimes stopping at Eli’s for your Daily Grind isn’t an option, or for you very early risers, your nearest shop isn’t open yet.
Fortunately, we have some pointers in this guide for making the very best coffee at home! Implementing any one of these tips (or all!) is guaranteed to improve the quality and flavor of your next pot of coffee at home.
Use the freshest beans
High quality beans make high quality coffee. Naturally, we recommend buying whole-bean coffee from Eli’s 😉. Specialty coffee like you can find at our shops has been harvested by hand at peak ripeness for the very best flavor. Coffee fruit ripens at varying rates on a single tree, so commercially harvested coffee will never taste as good as a specialty cup.
We recommend buying whole-bean coffee so you can grind fresh as needed. More on that below.
Whether you’re choosing whole-bean or pre-ground, try to only buy the amount of coffee you’ll use within a week to keep things fresh. Store your beans in an airtight container in a dark and dry place. The freezer isn’t a great idea, as the moisture from freezing and thawing can affect the taste.
Grind it up right
You may notice that we always grind our coffee and espresso in our shops right before we brew it. Ground coffee loses its freshness and best flavor very quickly, so to ensure a high quality brew at home, wait to grind only the coffee that you need for the day right before you start brewing.
When looking for a grinder, try to avoid those cheap circular whizzing blade grinders and spend a few more bucks on a burr grinder. It will give you a consistent size of coffee grounds for a more even flavor during brewing.
Whether you’re grinding it yourself at home or asking us to grind your beans for you, use the following guide for sizing your grounds correctly.
Flat bottom filters: medium grind
Cone shaped filters: medium-fine grind
Gold/Plastic Permanent Filters: medium grind French Press: coarse grind
The finer the grind, the more slowly the water flows through, and the stronger your coffee. Stronger isn’t always better though – it can lean into bitter territory quickly!
Use filtered water
Tap water will distort the flavor of your coffee, so use filtered when possible. A filtering pitcher or buying gallons of filtered water are possible solutions if you don’t have a dedicated filtered water system. Use 1-2 tablespoons (or 10-12g) of coffee per 6oz of water. 1 tablespoon will yield a milder cup, while 2 tablespoons will be much stronger. Remember that a regular drip coffee maker uses the 6-ounce measure as the equivalent to one “cup”.
Get the temp right
There’s a reason coffee shop coffee tastes better than the coffee maker on your counter, and the heating power of your coffee maker is a big element. Most home brewers struggle to get the water heated to the 200°+ temperatures that are ideal. Here’s a little work-around if you don’t own a hot water kettle: do a “trial run” of your brewer, without coffee, to heat up the machine and the water. Pour the hot water back into the brewer and brew as usual!
Take it off the heat
Now that you’ve got a perfect pot of coffee ready to enjoy, don’t let it sit on the warmer. Dump it into a thermal carafe to keep it hot for hours. The additional heat from the warmer will distort the flavors and overheat your perfect cup.
We’re firm believers that the best cup of coffee is the one you love drinking. Taste is completely subjective, so if this list seems overwhelming, too expensive, or too time consuming for your everyday life, don’t stress. If you love your coffee exactly as is, we’re thrilled for you! If you want to take one small step to improve your coffee setup and see if you like the results, give it a try. We’d love to hear how it goes for you. Send us a message through our social media channels or on our website!