Coffee At Home
With Lockdown being extended until March at the earliest we are all missing our usual morning coffee in our favourite coffee shop! but fear not!! we are going to explore all of the at home brewing methods you can use to recreate your favourite drink, from the affordable home devices to the more expensive coffee machines.
Buy Good Coffee
First thing is first! you need to use a good quality speciality coffee which we have plenty of here at Bravo Tango Coffee. I will take you through our different wholebeans so you can find one which suits your taste best.
Award Winning Guatemala
This coffee has won the great taste award it has beautiful rich chocolatey flavours with a toffee like sweetness.
This coffee has deep dark cherry notes with a chocolatey sweetness with a rare honey coffee profile.
This coffee has bright floral and fruity flavours resembling other beans from the African growing reasons.
This coffee has nutty sweet flavours with chocolatey undertones.
Nicaragua El Arenal
This coffee has caramel sweet flavours with chocolate and citrus elements.
This coffee has tropical fruity flavours with apricot and blackberry juicy notes.
The Correct Grind
You might think that step 2 after the coffee, would be the coffee maker, but no – regardless of which coffee maker you decide to use, the most important step after buying great quality coffee, is to grind it yourself.
Grinding your own coffee is what really makes the biggest difference to the quality in the cup.
Literally as soon as coffee beans are ground, they start to lose their freshness – and I’m talking from the second they’re ground, not hours or days. Coffee is an amazingly complex entity – with over a thousand different chemical compounds, and not even the most sciency scientists fully understand why it does what it does to us, the mood enhancement, the energy boost, and all of the health benefits that are now being discovered by study after study.
But all of this good stuff is within the structure of the coffee bean, and once it’s roasted and then ground, so much more of this good stuff in the coffee is exposed to the air, that it’s obvious that a lot of these compounds, including many of the compounds that deliver coffee’s flavour, aren’t going to be as potent after they’ve been ground and sat in a bag for a while. We stock the Hario mill grinders which are really good and easy to use.
Firstly we will take a look at the Aeropress
This is a really great little coffee brewer. It’s versatile, not only in terms of the various different recipes you can follow, but you can even use it in various different ways, namely the standard or inverted method. The standard method simply involves putting the Aeropress on top of the cup, putting in the ground coffee, pouring in the water, stirring (with the stirring paddle that it comes with) and then plunging. The inverted method on the other hand, involves startin off with the plunger engaged, upside down, and leaving the coffee to brew or steep, for however long the recipe dictates.
I’m a huge fan of Aeropress, I use this brewer a LOT, and I really enjoy aeropress coffee. You can use Aeropress to make espresso style coffee, concentrated, and then dilute it with hot water for Americano or Lungo, or with hot milk to make milkies such as cappuccino, flat white, Latte – or at least a version of, since it’s espresso style coffee as opposed to being actual espresso.
Next we have the French Press
The cafetiere is a coffee brewers already present in many UK kitchens, so this suggestion may well not require any spending at all. Having said that, most people who own a cafetiere would use pre-ground coffee, so a grinder will be one purchase you’ll need to make if you want to make really good coffee from home with your cafetiere.
If you’re going for cafetiere, you’re going to be grinding more coarse than for most other brew methods. The courser the grind, the less grinding required, so grinding for cafetiere does make hand grinders a more obvious choice than with espresso for instance which takes quite a bit more effort.
The Moka Pot
Stove top coffee pots, also known as Moka pots – or simply as “Bialetti“, are a great way to make really good coffee from home on a budget.
These little things have been an icon of Italian culture since the mid 1930s. This coffee brewer was invented by Alfonso Bialetti, who apparently took the idea from the laundry methods at the time in Italy, which involved tubs with a central pipe, which drew up the hot soapy water and distributed it over the laundry.
Not only did this little idea prove to be a good one, but it quickly became the most popular home coffee maker in Italy, owned by apparently 9 in 10 Italian households, and has become one of the best selling coffee makers in the world.
Moka pots make something similar to a lungo in strength, it’s not as strong as espresso – generally speaking, but it’s usually stronger than pourover for example.
There’s no doubt you can make some decent coffee with Moka pots. I mean come on, if they’re in 90% of Italian households… They tend to end up in the back of cupboards though, which is a shame, and it’s simply because people don’t tend to know how to use them, and that can easily lead to bitter coffee.
The main causes of bitter coffee with a Moka pot, are using coffee too finely ground, brewing with cold water, not keeping the pot clean, not keeping the rubber seal clean and in good condition (store it loosely sealed, not tightly sealed, that will help the seal to last longer), and leaving it to brew too long after the gurgling sound begins.
Pour over drip is the manual way to make filter coffee, basically. Instead of the water being heated and poured through the ground coffee automatically, it’s done by the user.
So for pourover, you just need a filter holder and a filter. There are lots of options, but the most popular are Hario V60 which are filter holders that can either be used as single cup machines, by simply putting the filter holder over your cup, or you can buy them with a corresponding jug – and Chemex. Chemex is a a one piece filter holder and jug, and it has quite a following, as does V60, to be fair.
You can make some really good coffee with pourover – again, as long as you’re using great quality freshly roasted coffee, and grinding it yourself. Drip coffee tends to be cleaner than other brew methods, you’ll usually get a cleaner and lighter cup than with cafetiere and stove top. I prefer to drink pour over when the weather is nice, if that makes sense? If it’s cold and wet, I’m more likely to crave cafetiere coffee if I’m not drinking espresso, Americano or flat white.
Most people don’t realise that operating an espresso machine takes skill, there’s a real learning curve – nobody is going to get an espresso machine out of the box and start making amazing espresso from day one, without investing time and effort into developing home barista skills. Trust me, your first shots as a home barista are likely to disgust you ;-), but in my opinion its definitely worth the investment. After a few years, I’m really happy with the quality of the espresso and the espresso based drinks I’m now capable of making at home.
But if you just want to press a button and get espresso – and you’re not concerned about perfection, and being able to continually hone your skills and improve the quality of your espresso, then a bean to cup espresso machine is probably a good option.
We have a few different machines available on our website check out the pics below!
So there we go, if you were wondering how to make good coffee at home, during lockdown and beyond, and on a budget – you now have plenty of options.
Just remember, no matter the brew method(s) you decide on, for really good coffee at home you’ll need excellent coffee beans like ours at Bravo Tango Coffee.