How to make the best coffee at home

It’s estimated that the average person spends roughly $2,000 purchasing coffee from cafes every year. While this number may sound surprising, constantly shelling out funds to buy coffee from your local shop can add up fast. 


If you want to enjoy better coffee without buying it at a cafe, learning how to brew at home is a skill that can pay off for years to come. Not to mention, you’ll get full creative control over how your coffee tastes while saving valuable time and money in the process. 

Whether you’re taking your very first steps into the world of at-home brewing or you simply want to elevate your existing skills, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’re breaking down expert strategies for improving your brew so that you can know how to make the best coffee at home. 

Start by choosing the right coffee beans

From that trademark aroma to the intricate undertones you’ll taste when you take your first sip, good coffee beans provide the foundation of any quality coffee drink. 

For this reason, you’ll want to consider the following when selecting your coffee beans, as they can each play a role in the flavor and aroma of your brew:

 Region of origin – Coffee is grown in more than 50 different countries

● Variety of bean – The two main varieties are Arabica and Robusta

Another factor that will impact coffee taste is the way the beans are roasted. There are four main types of coffee roasts to choose from: 

1. Light – These beans have been roasted for the shortest amount of time. As such, they’ll retain the original undertones of the unique coffee variety you’ve chosen. Light roast beans are also the most concentrated when it comes to caffeine. 

2. Medium – The coffee of choice in America, this roast typically features moderate acidity and body, achieving an enjoyable flavor balance that many people like to drink with their breakfasts. 

3. Medium/Dark – Intense and rich, this roast features less acidity and more body compared to lighter options. Expect to experience a slightly bittersweet aftertaste when you choose this roast. 

4. Dark – Appearing dark brown or almost black in color, beans roasted to this extent give off a complex taste and feature low acidity. Instead of showcasing the original flavor of the coffee beans, this roast achieves a smokier flavor due to the longer roasting process. 

No matter which roast you choose, make sure to buy coffee that’s been freshly roasted and brew it as soon as possible so that it doesn’t become stale. Another expert tip? Try purchasing coffee beans in small amounts so that you don’t end up with excess coffee that loses its freshness before you’re able to enjoy it.

Procure the essentials for brewing

The best way to make coffee at home is to invest in the proper equipment. 

To make the most of your coffee beans, make sure to secure these four essentials: 

● Proper storage containers – You could buy the best coffee beans in the world, but if you store them in the wrong conditions, they’ll go bad and lose their flavor faster. Coffee stays in optimal shape longer when it’s stored away from air, moisture, heat, and light. We recommend investing in an airtight, opaque jar and storing it in a dry, dark, and cool area, like your pantry. Learn more about how to store coffee beans for optimal freshness.

● A scale – The science of brewing coffee is precise. To that end, it’s important to weigh both your beans and water before brewing coffee to achieve the correct balance consistently. Since coffee beans all have different fluctuations in weight, it’s best to avoid the method of eyeballing and estimating. A regular scale may be sufficient for weighing your coffee in a pinch, but a digital specialty scale is best for frequent use. 

● Coffee grinder – One of the first things you’ll learn as you delve deeper into the world of coffee is that buying whole beans and grinding them yourself results in a far superior  final flavor and aroma than purchasing pre-ground coffee from the store. For this reason, we recommend investing in your own coffee grinder. (We’ll explore different types of grinders in more detail in the next section.)

● Brewing equipment – Because there are countless ways to brew coffee, there are a number of brewing tools you can outfit your kitchen with. If you prefer espresso-based beverages, like macchiatos and lattes, an espresso machine might be just what you need. On the other hand, you might prefer French press coffee or classic drip coffee. No matter your brew preference, securing quality equipment is key.

With these four essentials, you can ensure you make the most of the beans you purchase.

Perfect the art of grinding

As mentioned, it’s an absolute must to invest in a grinder if you plan to make coffee at home on a long-term basis. Since grinding releases the coffee bean’s flavor and aroma, using freshly ground beans will result in a more exceptional cup of coffee. 

There are two main types of coffee grinders you’ll want to look into: 

● Burr grinders – Burr grinders are available in both electric and manual versions. Both versions use two abrasive, adjustable surfaces to grind the coffee bean to your desired size. Coffee experts agree that burr grinders are the ideal choice for grinding as they ensure a consistent grind size every time. This results in a more balanced extraction of the bean. 

● Blade grinders – Blade grinders are electric and use a single blade to grind coffee beans. Because of this design, there’s no level of grind size control or uniformity. However, blade grinders are a more budget-friendly option and a great option for individuals who are new to the world of at-home coffee brewing. 

The type of grinder that’s best for you will depend on your lifestyle, budget, and coffee-drinking preferences. For instance, if you’re only interested in drinking espresso, you’ll want to invest in a burr grinder that allows you to achieve a uniform, fine grind for your expresso. 

Master the coffee-to-water ratio

The term “brew ratio” refers to the ratio of coffee to water, measured in mass. By mastering your coffee to water ratio, you can likewise master making coffee at home.

A good rule of thumb to keep in mind when it comes to brew ratios is to use one to two tablespoons of ground coffee for every six ounces of water. However, the ideal amount of water to use in the brewing process will vary depending on which brewing method you use. 

For instance, to get the perfect espresso shot, follow a brew ratio of around 1:1 or 1:3, but immersion coffee (like French press of Aeropress) and drip coffee require more coffee and water, resulting in ratios that can be closer to the area of 1:18.

If you’re just starting out with making coffee at home, it might be best to stick with recommended guidelines at first. As you progress in your coffee journey, you can alter your brew ratios slightly to achieve more intense or diluted drinks.

Explore different brewing methods

As mentioned, there are a variety of different brewing methods you can try when learning the best way to make coffee at home. Here are just three of the many popular options you can experiment with: 

Drip coffee – This famous and accessible method uses an automatic coffee maker to brew ground coffee. With the capacity to create many cups at a time, this method is also ideal for preparing drip coffee for multiple people.  

Espresso – A highly-concentrated form of coffee, espresso is most efficiently made with an espresso machine. You can then enjoy the strong coffee by itself or add frothed milk to create your favorite coffee recipes like macchiatos, lattes, and cappuccinos. 

Cold brew – Instead of brewing hot coffee and then pouring it over ice, this method uses no heat in the brewing process. Without heat to pull flavors out of the coffee grounds, this method often results in a smoother, less acidic cup. 

You might also explore French press coffee, pour-over coffee, and Moka pot coffee. By trying various brew methods, you can discover the one that best suits your lifestyle and coffee taste preferences.  

Pay attention to your water temperature and quality 

The way you utilize water when preparing a coffee drink has a big impact on your final result. For instance, the temperature of the water you use when brewing determines the:

● Extraction yield – This refers to the caffeine, flavors, and other elements that are brought out of beans.

● Total dissolved solids – This determines your coffee’s strength and concentration.

● Chemical profile – This affects your coffee’s aroma and flavor.

Luckily, there’s a recommended water temperature range that works across the board no matter what brewing method you use: The National Coffee Association recommends staying between 195°F and 205°F.

In addition to the temperature of your water, it’s also important to pay attention to the quality. After all, water makes up about 98% of a typical cup of coffee.

To ensure optimal quality water, it can be a smart idea to install a water filtration system in your kitchen.

Brew like a barista with Breville 

With these expert strategies, you can start brewing the best coffee at home and save valuable time and money in the process. And, when it comes to procuring professional, quality equipment, you can count on Breville to have exactly what you need. 

Designed by coffee experts with at-home baristas like you in mind, our innovative collection of coffee equipment and accessories can empower you to improve your brew and turn your kitchen into a home cafe. Shop today to get started.



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2. National Coffee Association. Coffee Around the World.

3. National Coffee Association. How to Brew Coffee.

4. Perfect Daily Grind. Coffee Brew Ratios: What You Need to Know.

5. Coffee Dictionary. Coffee Brewing Temperature.

6. Perfect Daily Grind. Testing Water in Pursuit of Excellent Coffee..

7. Perfect Daily Grind. How can you make water perfect for brewing coffee.

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