Coffee and Espresso Brewing Techniques at Home
If you love coffee, you might be always trying out newer ways to brew the best coffee or espresso at home. Irrespective of how basic or fancy your coffee machine is, you can use quite a few techniques to instantly improve your coffee quality and make it taste much better.
Look for pod compatibility
Check whether the coffee maker that you buy is pod compatible. A coffee pad is a small pre-packed coffee powder disc that can be used to prepare coffee easily without leading to a mess. Some of these devices also consist of a facility that uses loose coffee powder as well as pods.
Look for features that enhance taste of coffee
You should also look for other assistive features in your coffee maker. Many of these come with digital controls that make it more effective and convenient to use them. Some of these have a coffee grinder attachment, which allows grinding of coffee seeds for immediate use and offers strong and fresh flavored coffee. This can be very assistive for people who love to have fresh coffee with that amazing aroma. Although it is costly, the expense is worthwhile when you consider the taste benefits.
Some of the sophisticated varieties come with water filter that removes the tastes of chlorine and iron from tap water. It is a fantastic feature to have. It is also a good option to add a permanent coffee filter to your coffee maker. It is better that you choose a coffee maker with a plastic or metal mesh, which do not leave any paper taste in the coffee as opposed to paper filters.
You may even like to opt for a gold tone filter, which can provide your coffee with a richer flavor than paper filters. Gold screen filters with fine mesh let tastier coffee oils to be released into your cup. Although these need to be cleaned regularly, the additional maintenance can be worthwhile.
Look at coffee brewing temperature
While choosing a coffee maker, you should look at the temperature that your coffee will attain while brewing. The temperature of water has to be in the range of 195 – 205 ° F.
Check the convenience of cleaning
Inability to clean well can leave accumulation of residues and oil, and impact the taste of your coffee. Naturally, you should also check whether the coffee maker could be cleaned easily. Those with a slender and long neck are tougher to clean than those with a top having a wider opening. Cleaning is easier when your hand fits within the coffee pot easily.
Use an appropriate grind for your coffee maker
Unless you wish to spend more than 100 USD on a high-grade auto burr grinder, it is affordable to go for a manual hand mill. You can get a consistent, nice grind although you have to invest some manual labor.
Keep in mind that when and how you grind matters a lot. Immediately before brewing, you should grind the coffee to enjoy the best flavor. According to experts, coffee starts losing its flavor in 30 minutes after it is grounded. Naturally, it is a good idea to grind on the spot, right before you brew a pot.
The consistency and size of the grind also matters to some extent. You will get a weak coffee pot if you grind very coarsely. Too fine a grind will extract too much of coffee from the beans and give you a too bitter cup of espresso. A medium – medium-fine grind is what most drip coffee-makers recommend.
Although blade grinders are also usable, they offer particles of inconsistent size. This can result in over-extraction.
Place a filter in your coffee maker
Many automatic home coffee brewing equipment devices fail to make coffee grounds properly for complete extraction. A bloom or pre-infusion is needed by many manual pour over cones, which work quite similar to automatic drip machines. This prepares the coffee by pouring hot water on the coffee grounds, and helping in the release of any CO2 that is left over from the process of roasting. When you skip the step, water would be repelled by CO2 during the coffee brewing process, serving to make the brew effectively weaker.
If you wish to pre-infuse the coffee, place a filter into your hopper. Add in the coffee grounds. Next, use a kettle for roughly pre-heating a ¼ cup of water or 50 ml of water to 200 ° F. Pour the water slowly over the grounds, and ensure that it is wet thoroughly. Allow this to settle for around 45 seconds prior to starting the coffee making device.
Set your coffee maker to a proper brewing temperature
Most of the auto drip machines fail to attain an optimal temperature for brewing. Achieving optimal temperature is an important step that many automatic coffee makers tend to skip. For drip coffee, the desired temperature for brewing is within 195 – 205 ° F. At times, latest high-tech models come with a manual temperature adjustment feature that is absent in cheaper, older coffee makers.
If you want to ensure that your coffee maker becomes sufficiently hot, operate it without having even a drop of coffee in the hopper. Measure the temperature with a thermometer. If possible, attempt temperature measurement while brewing – given that the temperature of water will drop once it passes into the carafe through the hopper. If it fails to attain a minimum of 195 ° F, check whether pre-boiling water in your kettle proves to be useful.
However, you should remember not to make your coffee temperature surpass 205 ° F. Otherwise, you will end up with burnt coffee. If that fails to work, you would like to upgrade your coffee maker unit.
Use proper water for your coffee maker
While brewing coffee, the quality of water that is used is often ignored. Hard water, which is rich in minerals, will not bond properly with the dissolved particulates present in the coffee, resulting in a weak, under-extracted coffee. The higher amount of minerals will also result in lime deposits or the accumulation of other things in the coffee maker. It will need you to de-scale the coffee maker more frequently.
Distilled or heavily filtered water, on the other hand, can have similarly disastrous consequences for your coffee maker. Although it does not lead to that much buildup, an absence of mineral content and ions will make the water force out minerals from the metal parts of the machine and reduce its performance over the long term. Furthermore, with greater chance of bonding, there can be easy chances of over-extraction due to distilled water.
You will like to have water that is more or less in the middle of the spectrum, and have a balance of minerals around 150 parts for every million. The use of distilled water and the addition of distillation capsules can help you to get perfect quality water. However, for casual drinkers, the use of moderately filtered water from a refrigerator or a water filter pitcher will be enough.
Coffee and Espresso Machines Most Suitable for Home Use
If you are considering buying a coffee machine, you can choose from different types of coffee makers in the market. Other than fresh coffee, either as beans or in grounded form, many coffee makers work with the help of coffee pods. These are flat discs of grounded coffee beans wrapped in a filter paper. A few of them need capsules, which are generally made from either foil or plastic. Read on to know about the different varieties of coffeemaker that you can find.
French Press Coffee Makers
These are ideal coffee makers for the true connoisseurs of coffee, and come with the ability to make use of freshly grounded beans. These can directly be poured into the water chamber. Once the water is heated with the use of stovetop or electric heater to attain the perfect temperature, it is all about just pushing down the plunger assembly.
The plunger serves to filter the coffee and force the grounded beans to the bottom. It can let you enjoy the fresh brew that remains at its top surface. Due to direct contact with the water and grounds, this kind of coffee maker is capable of yielding a strong, clean and refreshing drink. There are no paper filters or dripping mechanisms to mar the overall taste.
Drip Coffee Makers
These efficient devices can work fast. You can use these to brew a standard or basic mug of coffee. It is possibly the coffee maker that is used the most. In standard coffee makers of this type, heated water passes through a paper filter containing the grounds, which help make better tasting coffee without any need to make use of fresh coffee beans. Often, these coffee makers are low in price tag – mainly because the machines are very popular. There are simple as well as high-grade drip coffee makers to be found on the market today.
Pod Coffee Makers
If you are looking for the simplest and most efficient coffee making devices, pod coffee makers are the one to choose. These tend to act quite similar to drip style machines, although there are some notable differences as well. Pod machines are designed to admit a single pod, which is vital. Only a small serving of coffee grounds can be used for making a nice cup of coffee.
You can use a simple method of forcing heated water through the grounds in order to make an instant brew. It can also leave good foam on the top. As far as the taste is concerned, the brew obtained from this device is remarkably fresh – given that single-serve pods do not get stale very easily. These are also very fast to brew, which makes them perfect to use while you are in a hurry to leave for work in the morning. As these devices only accept single-serve pods, you can only brew a single mug of coffee at a time. However, due to the fast brewing time, it is not always a major issue.
Nespresso Coffee Machines
You can find Nespresso pods available for purchase from a Nespresso Boutique or the official website of Nespresso. These coffee pods have a chain of dedicated stores. You can easily find the brewers available for purchase in plenty of retail stores. It is important that you read Nespresso machine reviews to know about the features of each device.
Nespresso Machines work slightly differently from standard pod coffee brewers. When inserted, the pod is first pierced and then hot water is injected into it. Once water pressure builds up, the weaker sections of the aluminum develops holes through which the brewed coffee is released outside. Typically, the aluminum pod is stored within a waste receptacle in the machine to be removed later.
Pods contain real coffee and might prove to be more expensive than fresh coffee. However, you will find that working with them is much easier. Most espresso machines simply take grounded coffee, and you can easily find these from local food markets.
Whether you are a person who loves to enjoy a cup of coffee only occasionally or consider yourself a coffee connoisseur, it is often difficult to choose the right style and type of coffee maker. Coffee makers come with plenty of features and are available from plenty of manufacturers, which make it important for you to invest some time in reading espresso machines reviews before shopping for the perfect coffee machine.