Missing Your Cafe? How To Make The Best Coffee At Home
If you want to make really good coffee at home, the way your favourite cafe would make it, fear not. We’ve rounded up some coffee experts to give us their tips on the best ways to make barista level coffee at home.
Thu 4 Jun 2020
Missing your daily flat while or oat milk latte? While it’s been great to slow down and no one is missing their commute to work, the coffee ritual is something we’re all craving.
Scroll down for our expert tips on how to make the best coffee at home - including how to use a Chemex Pour machine for those who want to brew, weigh and wait for the perfect cuppa.
But first up, it all starts with the beans. As coffee is now very much an on demand delivery, and with hundreds of roasteries and brands to choose from, where do you start?
There are plenty of sustainable issues to be aware of with coffee (see Fairtrade's interesting report), and different ways to make the most ethical cup of coffee, but in terms of the coffee brands themselves, here are some of our favourite coffee brands that are delivering organic, Fairtrade coffee to your home.
Fairtrade & Independent Coffee Brands That Do Home Delivery
Beanberry Coffee is a specialty coffee roaster, where you can order up to 500g of a range of organic coffees of your choice online. They’ll then roast it and deliver it to your door, spurring you on as you WFH.
Alpaca Coffee are a proud plastic free coffee company that deliver direct to home. They’re focused on reducing the 23 millions of tonnes of waste the global coffee industry produces. The use plant based packaging, from wood pulp and bio plastics. And the coffee’s pretty good too!
Lost Sheep Coffee
Lost Sheep Coffee, Kent’s favourite speciality coffee roastery, is offering free delivery on orders over £19. All Lost Sheep Coffee is made using the world’s top speciality grade 100% Arabica coffee beans which are single origin and direct trade from Brazil, hand roasted in Whitstable.
Kiss The Hippo believe in transparent and fairly traded coffee supply chains, they have an organic certified roastery which was the first to be designated carbon neutral in the UK. Their Stay At Home pack contains coffees and donates to the charity, Meals for the NHS. You can order everything as beans or ground coffee.
Worried about carbon emissions from your coffee? Get it shipped in by sail boat thanks to Yallah Coffee. This Cornish roastery has started shipping Colombian coffee by wind and use a small network of producers in Colombia who are paid higher than average prices for their beans. They also use a carbon neutral courier service to get it to you.
Image Yallah Coffee have cut down the carbon emissions by shipping their coffee beans in by sail boat
Percol was the first ground coffee brand to achieve Fairtrade status decades ago and it’s now a proud plastic free coffee company as well. It’s also Rainforest Alliance and the Soil Association certified and the beans are roasted here in the UK. It’s available in all of the major supermarkets to add to your online deliveries.
Not just sold in Oxfam, Cafe Direct, has rebranded and opened a roastery in East London. It now offers a range of single origin Fairtrade ground coffees as well as delicate blends and small batch roasted coffees from across the world. 50% of its profits go into Farmers Direct, a charity that invests directly in growers and farmers. Available in all of the major supermarkets to add to your online deliveries.
One of Bristol’s best exports, Extract Coffee, know how to roast a mean espresso. Their blended Betty Espresso will fire up your mornings, and even better this cuppa’s supply chain is run entirely by women from crop to cup. You can also sign up for a weekly, fortnightly or monthly coffee to your door subscription. Sustainability is a huge part of Extract, from recycling coffee waste into bio-fuels to supporting a range of charitable causes.
Indy Coffee Box
Like to grind your own beans? For you super duper coffee connoisseurs, the Indy Coffee Box will deliver a monthly selection of beans from the UK ands Ireland’s best roasters. You can also send a gift box to someone who needs cheering up, (let’s face it, don’t we all?). This is a great way to support all those small batch roasters with very little effort.
Don't want to move away from your coffee pods?
Here's how to make your Nespresso machine more sustainable: Eco-friendly coffee pods: 7 brands that are using the best beans and biodegradable materials.
How To Make The Best Coffee At Home
Now you've got the best ethical beans or ground coffee, you're ready to make cafe worthy coffee at home. We've spoken to some serious coffee experts and champion baristas to get their take on how to make seriously good coffee at home.
Of course, everyone has a different take on the best way!
How to make the best cafetiere coffee
Known for their innovative, sustainable approach to coffee, independent coffee roaster, Kiss the Hippo share how to make the best cafetiere coffee at home.
Head of Coffee Josh Tarlo says: ‘The French Press (cafetiere) is the coffee brewer many of us grew up with and it’s a perfect entry into home brewing. With a little precision in your preparation you can get a coffee that tastes sweeter and more vibrant than you’ve ever had before.’
You will need:
- Cafitiere / French Press
- Digital Scale
- Coffee Grinder
1. Place the French Press on a scale, add 21g of freshly ground coffee.
2. Start the timer and add 300g of water just off the boil, taking care to saturate all the grounds.
3. After four minutes, vigorously stir for 5 seconds and place the plunger on top. Don’t press just yet, it’s there to seal in the heat.
4. After two minutes, lift up the plunger and scoop out any grounds left on top to avoid bitterness.
5. Put the plunger back on and press two thirds of the way down.
6. Serve immediately to stop the coffee from over extracting.
How to make a good flat white with oat milk
Oat m*lik brand Minor Figures have this good advice if you're missing the milk froth from your favourite cafe.
"Heat up some Oat M*lk, pour into a cafetiere and pump the handle up and down a few times. Froth's up!"
How to stop soya milk curdling in coffee
Vegan charity Viva have some great advice for one of the big issues if you’re a coffee lover and using plant based milks. Soya milk can often curdle in coffee that isn’t made using a big barista machine.
1. Pour the soya milk in first. Warm it if you’re using fresh coffee but don’t boil it.
2. If you’re using filter coffee add it now and stir.
3. If you’re using instant coffee, add the boiling water and then add the granules last. Stir ‘vigorously’ as you do so.
How to make your instant coffee taste better
UK Champion Barista Hugo Hercod (on behalf of Trewithen Dairy) has some great tips on how to make even the most basic coffee at home taste better.
- Use a water filter. If you live in a hard water area, it’s much better to switch to filtered water. A standard filter works, but something like the Peak Water filter will do a better job. Hard water is already loaded with minerals so is less able to dissolve the important flavour molecules of coffee.
- Don’t make it too hot. Your taste buds can’t taste sweetness above a certain temperature, so leave your boiling water to sit for a few minutes before you pour it into your cup. Ideally you want your coffee at the hot end of warm. Bear this in mind when you heat your milk, as overheated milk loses its natural sweetness and you may feel like adding sugar.
- Use better milk. If you’re doing dairy, make sure you use full-fat organic milk, it’s less than 4% and the flavour that the fat brings is crucial. Milk foam is essentially an emulsion of air, water and protein, coated in fat. Whole milk produces a creamier, richer foam with a more velvety texture, which works best in coffee. What’s more, fat-globules coat the tongue, inhibiting coffee’s naturally bitter flavours. This means you’ll get a more satisfying flavour.
How to use a V60 or Chemex Pour over to make coffee
Brian Williams from John Farrer & Co Tea & Coffee Merchants recommends using a Kenyan Peaberry single origin coffee.
The coffee should be freshly ground to a dosage of 50-65g of coffee per litre of coffee to be brewed. For a standard cup of 300mls the dosage will be around 19 grams.
- Firstly, take a coffee filter paper and put it in place in the V60 or Chemex and soak thoroughly using freshly boiled water allowing the hot water to warm the brewing equipment through. Leave for a couple of minutes and drain the excess water.
- Pour the coffee into the filter paper, ensuring its evenly distributed and isn’t “banked up” at one side.
- Transfer the brewer to a set of barista scales or measure out your freshly brewed water.
- Add 50grams / 50mls of water to the coffee, completely wetting all grounds and let it settle. This opens up or ‘blooms’ the coffee to ensure a smooth extraction.
- Then add a further 100mls of water, pouring over in a circular motion, give it a stir and allow to filter through. Add a further 150mls of water, stir and allow extraction to take place.
This whole process should take 3-4minutes and will produce a sweet zesty coffee, which is clean on the palette and refreshing.
What's your favourite way to make coffee?