Coffee. The caffeine-rich elixir of life that wakes us in the morning and keeps us powering through the day. It is a multi-billion dollar industry driven by the glorious taste and, in no small part, the addictive qualities of caffeine, and you are probably a serious contributor to this with the $3 latte you buy every morning on your way to work but what if we told you, you could make just as good a coffee at home or work for a fraction of the cost?
Well, here we look at how to up your coffee game and rid yourself of that expensive St*rbucks habit.
1. Buy Whole Bean Coffee
Forget about instant. It's not the 1980s anymore, and you are better than that. If you want premium coffee, you've got to start from the root....or bean. Buy beans rather than pre-ground or frozen stuff and grind it yourself and only grind enough to portion out over a few days.
Once they are ground, they start to lose freshness and taste so by buying beans and dictating when you grind them, you'll get better, fresher tasting coffee.
2. Store Them In An Air Tight Container
The minute the beans are exposed to air, they start to lose freshness and so, by keeping them in an airtight container you save them from becoming too stale too quickly.
Make sure this container isn't plastic though as the oil in beans is acidic and will affect the plastic so and will not only alter the taste of your coffee but can also be bad for you.
3. Discover What You Like
Don't be afraid to experiment. Coffee has a greater range and flavor palette than even wine, and different growing regions offer up different intricacies in taste.
Sweet and chocolatey coffees you may prefer with milk whilst those with more floral and citrusy notes might be better off black. Drink around and find out what works for you.
4. Experiment With Brewing Processes
You don't have to invest in a $500 espresso machine to get a great cup of joe at home (although some are, undeniably, really great) but there is a multitude of different home brewing methods you can try that will produce different results.
Some may take some time to get the hang of but, like finding what taste works best for you, you may have to work out what brew method gives the best results for what you want. Put the time in because it is well worth doing the research.
5. Learn What You Can Make With It
Many don't realize they can make their own cold brew or iced coffee drinks at home with relatively little effort, but people also don't appreciate the wide range of things that can be made using coffee.
Baked goods, ice lollies, ice cream, desserts can all be crafted using your own coffee so search around for recipes and give it a go.
6. Try Food Pairing
Like wine, different coffee can really nicely compliment certain foods so once you've found the coffee you like, undergo the delicious research of finding what sort of food goes with it.
It's not just cake and pastries that can be paired with coffee though so broaden your horizons and see what's out there.
7. Invest In A Proper Measuring Spoon
All too often, people ruin their coffee by not measuring out what they want or just throwing it about in ad hoc manner. Simply investing in a properly sized measuring spoon, you can work out the strength and quantity of your coffee far easier and to your taste perfectly.
The same applies for a proper scale as well to get your weights right for the perfect espresso extraction.
8. Get Decent Travel Equipment
It's all well and good getting a thermos flask, but certain coffee drinks don't always travel that well so make sure you get the right product for you.
You can get flasks with inbuilt grinders so that you can make a freshly ground brew on the move, and self-heating ones as well. Decide what you need and get the best thing for your wants.
9. Find A Decent Supplier
It's all well and good to be prepped and informed on how to make great coffee, but if you don't know where to get the good stuff, you will soon find yourself back at the local coffee shop buying lattes at a premium price.
Many independent coffee shops will sell beans and equipment themselves anyway but make sure there is a place near where you that sells what you want and need for your new life as a coffee pro.
10. Enjoy It
Just remember to enjoy it. It doesn't matter if you find yourself appreciating cheaper brands or more bitter tastes. If that's what you like then don't worry about it.
Take the time to enjoy the moment and savor the flavor.