If you love coffee, here are some tips and techniques that will instantly elevate your home brew, no matter how basic or fancy your setup is.
1. BUY GOOD BEANS
It goes without saying, we have to start right at the source. The beans.
By this we mean, buying fresh, whole beans. None of that pre-ground stuff. Not only will you maximize the freshness and flavour of your brew, you’ll also be using your power as a consumer to affect positive change. By buying ethically-sourced beans, you’re supporting local farmers and independently-run businesses, but also elevating the quality of your home-brew.
If there’s one item to splurge on, be assured that good coffee beans are worth it.
2. STORE THE GOOD BEANS
Vacuum sealed containers or mason jars of various sizes should do the trick.
Switch to smaller jars when the beans get low in the bag. It’s always a good idea to downsize your containers to pre-measured servings as you work your way through. This retains the freshness of the beans. See also number 3.
3. USE CERAMIC CANISTERS
Coffee beans should be stored in canisters that shield sunlight. Ceramic preserves the taste of your coffee, which is why it was important to us that our STTOKE cups were designed with a ceramic, shatterproof coating. Try looking out for ceramic or glass containers to keep your beans fresh.
4. TIMING: GRIND YOUR COFFEE JUST BEFORE BREWING
According to experts, coffee loses its flavour within the first 30 minutes of being ground. So start grinding right next to the pot. Also, don’t grind more than what you need at a time. This keeps the grounds as fresh as possible.
And as it turns out, size does matter - of the grounds that is. Too fine and you run the risk of over-extracting and getting a bitter brew, too coarse and you’ll get a weak brew.
If you’re into investing in some equipment, consider a manual hand grinder or if we’re in the mood for a splurge, an automatic burr grinder.
5. MEASURE COFFEE BY WEIGHT INSTEAD OF VOLUME
Having better coffee is all about eliminating the inconsistencies. Having a digital kitchen scale ensures you have the correct ratios every time. People can get fairly accurate measures with ratios like 1:20 or 1:13, or by using a spoon but nothing beats the precision of hard digits.
6. STEAM YOUR MILK AND EXPERIMENT WITH SPICES
There’s nothing like making your own Lattes and Cappuccinos at home to really up that home brew game. Invest in a milk frother to whisk up steamed milk. Then experiment with different spices for an extra tasty topping - Cinnamon, nutmeg, honey, lavender, cocoa, whipped cream, marshmallows, grated chocolate - sky’s the limit. Have fun with it.
7. THE "RIGHT" WATER AND THE "RIGHT" TEMPERATURE
When you think about it, coffee really is just two ingredients - coffee beans and water. It only makes sense then to use filtered water to avoid any strange aftertaste. Keep a pot of filtered water at the side and heat between 90 C - 120 C (195 F to 250 F) when you’re ready to use.
The right temperature is key to extracting. Pro tip: Rinse your coffee pot / vessel with hot water to warm up your pot. Suddenly introducing hot water to cold beans can shock your beans. Think of this like a pre-infusion, or a nice steam for the beans. This will encourage the slow release of flavour and aroma for that maximum payoff.
8. CLEAN YOUR COFFEE MAKER
Another that goes without saying, but you’ll be surprised how much this needs to be said. Coffee beans release oils. So if you don’t clean it out well, the oils remain and will affect your next brew. So get out that elbow grease and clean WELL after each use.
Lastly, you need the right vessel to enjoy that good cup of coffee. Sttoke has double-wall insulation so it keeps your hot beverages up to 3 hours, just nice for you to enjoy your coffee. It's designed to be lightweight and shatterproof, so there will be no more mishaps. Sttoke is intended for you to appreciate every sip of coffee that flows into your lips when it comes to the drinking experience.