Our philosophy about making coffee at home is simple: we believe home brewing should be easy and enjoyable, and the end result should be consistently delicious (…and the clean-up minimal)!
Whether you’re a brewing beginner or an experienced coffee maker, here are five crucial tips to help you make incredible coffee right there in your own kitchen.
1. Start with high quality coffee
As with anything you make or bake, you want to start off with good quality ingredients.
Tips for selecting quality coffee beans:
- Look for coffee that was roasted within the last six weeks
- Seek out coffee with transparency – look for the name of the coffee farm, the country of origin, and the bean variety on the bag
- Purchase beans that were roasted for your chosen brew method. Generally speaking, beans roasted for ‘Filter’ will be suitable for pour over, Aeropress, plunger and Moccamaster methods. ‘Espresso’ roasts will be suitable for stovetop and espresso machine brewing (and plunger coffee if you like a stronger brew).
Once purchased, store your beans in a cool, dry and dark place. Avoid heat, light and moisture, as they’ll accelerate the oxidisation and staling of the beans.
2. Use good water, too!
Water makes up a large percentage of your coffee beverage, so it’s important that it’s also of good quality. We’re lucky in Melbourne to have great tap water, but if you find your water tastes chloriney or minerally, try filtering it.
3. Follow a recipe
As with baking a cake or a loaf of bread, it’s important to use a recipe and scales when making coffee. You can find our tried-and-true recipes for several different brew methods here. We recommend using these recipes as your starting point and then tweaking them according to your taste.
4. Keep it clean
It’s really important to keep your coffee equipment clean! Dirty brewers and grinders hold onto coffee oils, which go rancid over time and can negatively affect even the most carefully brewed coffee. We sell cleaning products for the Moccamaster and for espresso machines.
5. Choose the right tools
When it comes to grinding coffee, we always compare it to black pepper – it’s much, much better when you grind it fresh! Freshly ground coffee provides a more vibrant aroma and retains the coffee’s complex flavours. So, to make delicious coffee, make sure you grind your beans right before you brew.
We recommend investing in a burr grinder for your coffee. It will grind your beans evenly, allowing for a consistent extraction of your grounds, which creates a more balanced cup. We’ve tried and tested many grinders in our search for the perfect ones, and we have three top picks for home (and travel) use.
Once you’ve chosen your brewing equipment, you’ll need to ensure you have the grind size to match. As a general rule, coarser particles should be paired with a longer brewing time (as with a plunger), and finer particles should have a shorter brewing time (as with espresso).
We strongly recommend using a set of digital scales when brewing coffee. It will help you weigh out the amount of coffee you use, and the amount of water you need. Scales are far more accurate than a scoop or measuring cup, as different coffee beans have different sizes and densities. It may sound like an unnecessary step but, trust us, weighing as you brew will help ensure that you make a consistently delicious cup of coffee every time. We have three top picks for travel and home scales.
You’ll need a kettle to boil your water when brewing filter coffee. We recommend filling it with fresh water before each brew. Pop it on to boil, then gather your brewing tools and grind your beans while it heats up. At Market Lane, we love the Hario Buono Kettle and we use it to make filter coffee in all our shops and at home. This gorgeous and durable kettle can be popped onto any stove, including induction, and the position and shape of the spout allow for great control when pouring.
A timer is a really helpful tool for controlling the extraction time of all brewing methods. Some digital coffee scales (like the Hario Drip Scales) come with a handy built-in timer. Otherwise, you can use your phone, the oven timer or a small kitchen timer.
And that’s it! We hope these tips help you make beautiful coffee at home. If you’re located in Melbourne and want to learn more about brewing coffee, you can always chat to a barista in one of our shops or take one of our fantastic coffee brewing classes, run by a Market Lane trainer. You can also check out our online How to Brew Coffee videos, and grab yourself a copy of our Coffee at Home booklet.
Happy brewing, everyone!