Oh, I just love that cozy, delicate, bitter aroma twisting through the air in the morning. Warm in the winter or cool in the summer, coffee is a simple pleasure that seems to make my home into a haven and my kitchen a little cozier. Enjoying the scent and the flavor of coffee as we start the day is a ritual my husband and I love, and our babies all love as well since they can snuggle in while we drink that first delicious mug!
Making fantastic coffee at home is simple. Here are a few steps, tips, and tricks I picked up while working as a new mom in a small local coffee shop…
Note: This post contains a few affiliate links for products I truly love and recommend.
First things first. You can use a variety of different coffee makers at home, from a countertop keurig to an elegant pour-over carafe. My personal favorite, and what I feel is the simplest, is a french press. To make coffee with a french press, I heat my water to just below a boil (no wild bubbling), scoop a two-tablespoon portion of coarsely-ground coffee into the carafe, pour the water in gently, let it all brew for four minutes, then place the top on and gently press the grounds down with the handle. (I have pressed too quickly in the past at the coffee shop, and experienced an explosion! The ghost of coffee mess past says, “Press gently,” trust me!) Then pour and enjoy your rich, frothy cup of pressed coffee. I use this french press , the Bodum Chambord, because it is produced by a well-renowned company, is manufactured in Europe, and is the exact one we used at the coffee shop continuously, without fail or issue. They now have one with a copper-colored frame and it is just beautiful. The same model made it through many, many french press orders at the bustling coffee shop, and it needed cleaned (see below) every time and still held up very well.
… On a completely unrelated note, I actually made Robert Duvall a latte at that coffee shop! It was terrifying, because I had only worked there for a week at that time, shakily pouring that latte, for Robert Duvall. Now if you don’t pack enough ground coffee into your espresso shots, or you let them sit a minute too long, they taste terrible. So you have to be really careful and time the entire latte just right. It just might still make me a little nervous simply thinking about it. He didn’t send it back so let’s hope it tasted okay. Anyway…
The first real insider tip to make your coffee taste ah-mazing is so very simple: you need to make sure your coffee maker of choice and your coffee mug are completely clean. The oily residue left each time coffee is brewed turns incredibly bitter, and should be washed off after every brew with hot water and soap on a soft dish scrubber. About once a month it is a good idea to swizzle some coarse salt and white vinegar in your coffee maker to remove any stubbornly remaining residue, and then rinse well.
The next tip is to use fresh water every time you boil water for your coffee. If you have extra water left over, you can let it cool completely and water your beautiful houseplants or garden with it. Then when you need to boil more water, pour it fresh and it will taste so much better. In addition, filtered water gives an absolutely pure taste. If it is possible for you to use filtered water for your coffee brewing, it is highly recommended. We use this water filter pitcher at home and it greatly improves the taste of our water. I like to think it filters out most of the toxins in our water as well.
Next, of course, we have to talk about your coffee beans! Now I have friends who purchase their beans green, roast them, and grind them daily, for maximum freshness. Their coffee tastes incredible! I highly recommend this process and suggest finding a local supplier of green coffee beans. Or try out these beans. It is so worth it to throw in the extra effort involved to enjoy freshly roasted and ground coffee. However, that being said, I find myself short on time at this stage in my life and I simple buy coarsely ground coffee at my grocery store. I love this blend for the unique and delicious flavor. But if you want to support fair trade and organic growers, I recommend this variety. Yum!
The next tip is for all coffee drinkers who love a little extra zing or a specific flavor with their drink. Try a simple and healthy homemade syrup in your mug! Making the syrup yourself is so easy and inexpensive, and really tastes wonderful. Just a teaspoon or two of this homemade -and much healthier- vanilla syrup will lend a unique sweetness to your beverage:
Fresh Vanilla Syrup
- boil 1 cup of water
- stir in 1 cup of raw sugar and whisk until completely dissolved
- once cool, add 1.5-2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract, depending on the strength of flavor you’d like
- and that’s it! store in a jar in your fridge for whenever you’d like a splash of vanilla!
One final tip for crafting excellent coffee at home is to consider trying out different types of cream. You can figure out exactly what you like, and you may find it surprises you how much a change of cream can improve your morning coffee! A few of my favorites:
- organic whole milk, with or without 1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil stirred in
- half and half, just a splash pours in so beautifully!
- culinary coconut milk, which needs to be stirred in gently but is so creamy and delicous
- organic goat’s milk, different and honestly a little odd for me at first, but very creamy and enjoyable!
So my friends, enjoy trying out these suggestions for making your home-brewed coffee taste special. How to make delicious coffee at home is a skill our family uses daily. Nurturing our mornings with a shared cup of coffee can be so delicious. And these cozy traditions centered around the home form the framework for our memories together! Feel free to add ideas or experience of your own in the comments. Happy sipping!