Many coffee lovers began their coffee obsession with a simple goal—the need for an early morning buzz to get the day rolling. As long as caffeine rushed to the brain, focusing on the taste of the coffee itself was often secondary.
Soon enough though, that buzzy brew became a treasured part of daily life and tasting that delicious first drop pumped us up for day ahead. Now that coffee is more than a means to wake up, why not learn to take the flavor to the next level right at home?
Here are eight easy, affordable, and delicious ways to elevate your daily cup of coffee.
1. Grind Your Beans Fresh
Though whole coffee beans typically remain at optimal freshness for about 1—2 weeks, once ground they begin to lose flavor almost immediately. For the most delicious cup of coffee, grind the beans in small enough batches to brew within the next day or two. The difference in flavor will be astounding.
When it comes to grinding coffee beans, not just any machine will do. Cheap blade grinders are notorious for creating uneven grounds—and yes, it matters. Water pulls flavors from the grounds at varying speeds depending on their size. Uneven grounds will develop an uneven flavor. Cheap grinders can also heat up the coffee which can cause an unpleasant, burnt taste.
Rather than a flimsy blade grinder, invest in a highly-rated burr coffee grinder. They are widely regarded as the best style of coffee grinder for reducing heat and creating even grounds. There are many great coffee grinders out there, but if you’re looking for a place to start, we love the OXO Conical Burr Grinder and the more budget-friendly JavaPresse Manual Burr Grinder.
2. Make it Frothy
One element often separating the coffee shop brew from the at-home version is the healthy dose of that frothy milk foam dabbed on top by your barista. Why not have the same experience in your own kitchen?
It may look fancy, but it’s incredibly easy to froth up your own milk foam in no time. Just purchase a handheld milk frother, like the Bean Envy Handheld Electric model. Ranging in price from about $10 to $40, just blend up the desired amount of foam and add an amazing extra level of luxurious bubbliness to your cup.
3. Water Matters
Though obvious once you think about it, coffee’s actually mostly not coffee. It’s nearly all water—98.75% in fact. That means that choosing high-quality water can make a significant difference in the taste.
Brewing coffee with fresh, filtered H2O rather than just the stuff from the tap will allow for a purer cup without the impurities that can significantly affect taste. Try experimenting with various kinds of water as well, from a crisp Evian to new trends like a splash of tonic for a refreshing change.
4. Add a Flash of Flavor
Skip those artificial creamers and add a pop of flavor to your at-home coffee the all-natural way. There are tons of easy, delicious additions that’ll give your everyday brew a little something extra.
Why not spice up that cup with a hearty dash of cinnamon or chai? Include a touch of cream and further elevate this un-guilty pleasure. Or drizzle in a dose of coconut milk for a tropical taste of our home in the Hawaiian Islands no matter where in the world you live.
5. Create an Affogato Indulgence
Looking for a sweet treat with a jolt? Try this this classic Italian dessert. Traditionally made with a shot of espresso with a scoop of gelato, we also love it with a high-quality dark roast coffee combined with rich French vanilla ice cream. It not only adds a wonderful creaminess to the drink, but also cools everything down making it perfect for a warm evening.
Turn your affogato into a true nightcap by adding in a coffee liqueur like Bailey’s Irish Cream. Top your whole creation off with a sprig of mint and a drizzle of chocolate and it’ll feel like you’re on a Roman holiday in no time.
6. Cool It. Don’t Dilute It
On a hot summer day, is anything more refreshing than an arctic cold coffee? And does anything damper that drink more than melted ice cubes quickly turning it into a watered-down disappointment? Skip that sadness and use a few tricks to keep that coffee tasting amazing from the first sip to the last, no matter the weather.
Cold brew coffee is one of our favorite ways to make large batches of chilled coffee. Unlike iced coffee, cold brew is prepared cool from the start making the process of adding extra ice—and ultimately additional water—unnecessary.
Another trick is to freeze up ice cubes made of coffee instead of only water. This isn’t as ideal as cold brew since it can involve mixing two different coffee batches together causing uneven flavors, but it’s still better than diluting it with water.
7. Try a French Press
If you’re looking to try new at-home coffee brewing methods outside of drip coffee makers but are unsure of where to start, check out the French press. It’s easy to use, affordable, and creates an unmistakably enhanced brew.
With the French press, you’ll pick up more of the coffee’s subtler flavors and textures than with other brewing methods. This is thanks to the ample seeping time and the inclusion of more of the coffee’s natural oils. The French press also involves minimal waste as the filter is part of the press itself, and who doesn’t love making the world a little bit greener?
8. Choose Incredible Coffee from Incredible Places
Ultimately, it all comes down to great coffee made with passion and expertise. No advice on Earth can save a subpar bean from turning into subpar coffee. At Carta Coffee Merchants, we proudly offer only the highest quality, sustainably grown 100% Kona coffee. Every bean is harvested and roasted by hand so you can experience the exceptional taste in every sip.