Coffee is almost like an alchemy. How it changes our mood from 'bad' to 'great' and how it gets us out of our energy slump is nothing less than magic. This makes all of us coffee lovers, but not all coffee lovers are coffee pros unless they know their coffee well. Do you often find yourself confused (and embarrassed) while ordering one at a cafe? If you can't tell between a cappuccino and a latte, maybe it's to brush up on your knowledge. But if you prefer to make your own cup of joe and enjoy its deliciousness at home, but end up with a wan and watery beverage, you need to perfect your coffee-making skills.
Without questioning your love for coffee, we are going to help you become a pro at understanding, selecting and making the best barista-style coffee.
How do you make the perfect cup of coffee?
These days, coffee aficionados are opting for different coffee machines that are ideal for use at home. But if you don't have, and don't want a coffee machine, the following tips will help you make just the coffee you like, in the right way.
1. Roast The Beans
We know it's a lot to roast the beans when pre-roasted beans are easily available at the stores. But the freshness that freshly-roasted beans bring to the cup is unmatched by the store-bought ones. You can roast the beans on a pan on gas stove or oven. Unroasted beans are geen in colour and soft in texture. You should roast them till they turn brown and hard, and release their aroma. If you want light flavour but high caffeine content, roast till they start cracking. Roast a little longer, you'll get medium-roasted beans with balanced flavours. And if you want deep bitter flavour of the coffee, roast till they crack twice.
2. Grind Your Beans
Again the same logic applies. The fresh flavours and aroma are why you should grind your beans just before making coffee. You don't need a fancy machine for it, just use your multi-purpose grinder to grind only the amount you need, when you need. For you long you should grind the beans depends on your taste preference. It's best to keep coffee grounds medium fine to extract the right flavours. Overgrinding to a bit too fine will lead to over extraction and the coffee will taste bitter. Coarse ground bean will under-extracted and will taste sour.
(Also Read - How to Grind Coffee Beans to Make a Fresh Cuppa)
3. Store Coffee Properly
Aim to use roasted coffee beans within a month and try to finish off the roasted beans within two weeks. You can store unroasted coffee beans for as long as a year. This simple rule will let enjoy heavenly coffee every single time. But make sure to store the beans in an air-tight container to keep away the moisture. And when you bur roasted coffee, make sure to ask for freshly-roasted coffee, packed properly in a vacuum-sealed pack.
4. Get The Right Temperature
Always, and I repeat, always, make sure to let the boiling water come down to the right temperature (somewhere around 92 degrees Celsius) before pouring over the beans. Boiling water can strip off the potency of the beans. A good trick is to wait for 50 seconds after the water has boiled, and then pour it over.
5. Weigh, Not Measure The Bean
Believe it or not, weighing your beans instead of measuring with spoons gives you a better coffee. Take your kitchen weighing scale and weigh your ground coffee keeping these ratios in mind. For a regular mildly-flavoured coffee, 10.6 grams of ground coffee should be good for a regular cup of coffee. But feel free to adjust the weight if you want a strong or a mild coffee.
It takes a few hit and trials to finally get that perfect cuppa. But if you want to head out to a coffee shop to quench your thirst for a good brew, you should know what exactly you want. There are several varieties of coffee served at coffee shops, and we have rounded up some of the most popular ones and explained them in a nutshell.
Most Popular Coffee Types You Should Know About:
First you need to know that espresso is the base for all coffee varieties. Espresso is about an ounce of a shot made by passing boiling water through ground beans with high pressure. You get a thick-bodies concentrated liquid, which you can have for a quick hit of caffeine or use it make other coffees.
Americano is also a shot of coffee but is diluted with hot water. So you take an espresso shot and pour hot water over it to make Americano shot. Got it? This coffee variety is what we can describe as a bit pallid, but has many takers all over the world.
The Latte is a regular milk coffee with a dash of froth. It is made with a shot of espresso mixed with steamed milk, and topped with a thin layer of foam. It is medium-bodied coffee that is light in texture but strong in flavour.
Latte is preferred by those who like their coffee milky and frothy. It is made by combining espresso with foamy steamed milk with a big pool of froth on the top. Unlike Latte, Cappuccino has more foam than milk, and if often garnished with cocoa powder.
Mocha is basically a Latte but with more profound flavours of chocolate. It is made with chocolate espresso, steamed milk, a hint of foam and is usually served with whipped cream on top.
Think of Macchiato has a layered coffee, not a blended one. It is a combination of Latte and Cappuccino with extra milk and extra foam, which are layered over espresso.
If you've seen weight-watchers sipping on black coffee all day long but couldn't bring yourself to try it because, well, you know nothing about it, read this. Black coffee is just ground coffee beans that are brewed in water sans milk and sugar. The flavour of black coffee is an acquired taste but we know for sure that one eventually likes its taste.
You all know that coffee beans naturally contain caffeine. There are many ways to remove the caffeine content from the beans to make decaf coffee with just the flavours of the decaffeinated beans.
Lie your coffee cold? Cold Brew is the traditional cold coffee, which is made by steeping the beans in water for several hours, sometimes for up to two days to make it stronger. To finish making a cold brew, just add cold milk or cream to the long-brewed ground beans.
Iced coffee is simply coffee mixed with cold milk and/or cream, and sweetener, topped with crushed ice. Click here to see how a cafe-style iced coffee is made.
Frappe is a frothy cold coffee made by shaking the drink to create froth. The coffee is made by combining espresso, some milk, flavouring syrup and crushed ice.
Irish coffee is a region-specific drink but has made inroads to baristas worldwide. Irish coffee is basically black coffee mixed with whiskey and sugar. Whipped cream is usually added over it.
The only difference between Vietnamese coffee and other coffees is that it is made with condensed milk in place of regular milk.
(Also Read: 8 Best Coffee Recipes | Easy Coffee Recipes)
These, according to us, are some of the most common types of coffee found on the menu of most baristas.
Congratulations! You are now a true coffee lover, like us.
About Neha GroverLove for reading roused her writing instincts. Neha is guilty of having a deep-set fixation with anything caffeinated. When she is not pouring out her nest of thoughts onto the screen, you can see her reading while sipping on coffee.