A few coffee tips from a barista

Waking up in the morning without coffee – Impossible!

Coffee wakes us up and lets us get through the day at university or in the office. 

But: I am now at the age at which we begin swapping card box wine for a wine bottle (made of glass!) and sometimes spend one USD more on a good beer instead of reaching for a can. 

Naturally, it`s also the time that the same thing happened with my coffee. 

I spoke to my friend Luise R. She knows how good coffee works. 

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Luise has been working at a great cafe` in Bangkok since 2014.

As an amazing barista and barista trainer, she gives internal training for employees. 

She gave me a few professional tips and tools that will help you make good coffee in your own kitchen.

Filter coffee or espresso?

Filter coffee or espresso?

“That is a decision that you have to make at the beginning,” says Luise. 

The type of coffee decides which equipment is needed at home. 

If you want to prepare espresso at home, it is best to invest in a good portafilter machine. 

Luise knows I own the Breville Barista Express, and she (like myself) wouldn’t shut up about how great it is, for a home espresso machine.

“In the espresso maker, the water first has to boil properly so that the coffee can be prepared.

And boiling water dissolves bitter substances and acids in the coffee – after which the coffee tastes good Drinking bites somewhere, something went wrong”. 

According to Luise, the optimal water temperature for coffee is 92-95 degrees.

Back to basics

If you want to prepare a simple, tasty and high-quality filter coffee at home, Luise recommends a classic hand brew from a hand filter that is placed directly on the cup or a carafe. 

A paper filter and the coffee powder are placed in the hand filter, which is then poured with hot water. 

“If you want to make large quantities of coffee straight away because you are expecting a lot of guests, you can use a classic French press,” she says.

And there are also differences when it comes to paper filters. 

The classic paper filters, which we still know from our parents’ filter machine, do not have a triangular shape but are flattened at the bottom. Luise explains:

“There is too big a barrier for the coffee to flow through, so it is in contact with the hot water for far too long – that again dissolves the bitter substances that we do not want in the coffee.

Paper filters should therefore have a point at the bottom that makes it easier for the coffee to flow through. “

Spend more money on good coffee!

Where does the coffee come from?

In addition to the preparation and roasting of the bean, geographical conditions can also affect the taste of the coffee bean. 

What are the floors like? 

Which minerals can be found in the soil? 

At what altitude is the coffee grown? “

There are certain taste profiles that can be assigned to certain continents or growing areas:

In Africa, for example, there are often fruity coffee beans that are a little lighter.

In Asia, the coffee tastes more chocolaty and nutty, almost earthy, Luise explains.

She advises buying coffee as whole beans and grinding it yourself: “

It’s worth investing in a coffee grinder.

Freshly ground coffee simply tastes better.

“There are more coffee grinders on the Internet than sand by the sea, and prices range from cheap to small cars” 

according to her, it depends entirely on your own needs.

“If you use less coffee, a simpler hand mill will do the same,” she says.

If you want to experiment more, you should look around at the slightly more expensive electric grinders.

This allows the grinding degree to be set more precisely.

This is important when coffee is prepared using different methods.

“Basically, the beans for espresso have to be ground finer, since the contact with the water is shorter than with filter coffee,” she says.

Here you will find an article where I go over the best coffee grinders.

take the coffee out of the fridge!

One thing is essential to Luise:

“The rumour that coffee belongs in the refrigerator persists, but it has no business there.”

Because coffee beans attract moisture and aromas, which spoils the taste of the coffee, coffee should be stored dry and airtight at room temperature.

Beans last up to six months. Ground coffee should be used within four to six weeks.

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