Coffee wakes us up in the morning, is a quick rescue in the afternoon, and the perfect way to cap off an evening meal. We meet up with friends to share it or enjoy it in a stolen moment of solitude. And, while your local barista is the queen of the bean, it is possible to become a master of the homebrew and up your flavour profile with a little coffee know-how.
1. Choose a good bean.
The most important rule for making a good cup of coffee is to use good beans. At Lazy Daisy’s Cafe, we’re proud to serve coffee roasted by Toronto-based DeMello Coffee Roasters. An award-winning roastery, they maintain a consistent roster of producers from around the world. Popular favourites include Dancing Goats, Butterfly Kiss and a blend unique to Lazy Daisy’s with rich notes of chocolate, caramel and brownie!
Order a Cup Today! Better yet, buy a bag of DeMello’s perfectly roasted beans at our online store and save with discount code CoffeeBlog15! Simply add the code at checkout and get 15% off your coffee order (offer good until April 30, 2023).
2. Store beans properly.
Good beans need to be handled properly. Keep ground coffee or whole beans fresh on a pantry shelf in an opaque, airtight container away from light, heat, and moisture. Grind them fresh for the best results. But, don’t grind too much. Remember, quality over quantity! Keep it fresh by only ever grinding enough for 2 to 3 days.
3. Find a good grinder.
A good grinder can be life-altering to a good brew. In fact, you could argue that poorly ground beans are the start of a bad cup of coffee. While not hard to find, most coffee lovers will tell you that a burr grinder is the best when it comes to size and flavour. Why? Burrs grind beans with pressure rather than by chopping (as with a blade grinder), resulting in fewer tiny fragments or fines.
4. Grind size matters.
An often underappreciated part of the brewing process, grind size influences flavour. The more finely ground, the more exposed surface area resulting in quicker extraction. So an improper grind size can affect the flavour of your cup of joe as a result of over or under-extraction. It’s a fine balance. Coffee that has been over-extracted may taste bland, with subdued flavours and no distinguishing characteristics, while under-extracted coffee can be sour, acidic, or salty.
5. Filtered or tap?
A good cup of coffee starts with fresh water. It’s simple. It’s coffee’s core ingredient making up 98.6%. Some people prefer to make their coffee with filtered water, while others insist tap water brings out a better flavour. However, you may notice a difference between soft and hard water. The high mineral content in hard water can mute the flavour and cause more significant limescale buildup in coffee appliances.
6. Know your ratio.
Chemistry and physics play a part in every cup of coffee. It’s true. While not rocket science, a cornucopia of chemical compounds influences its taste. So, be precise. Start by weighing your ingredients on a scale to get the right ratio - even the water. It’s recommended that for every 8 ounces of water, you add 15 grams (or a heaping tbsp) of coffee for the perfect cup.
7. Avoid tepid water.
Water temperature is another key component to enjoying a great cup of coffee. However, there’s no simple answer. There are 3 different schools of thought that weigh in on the perfect temp for brewing coffee. We side with the National Coffee Association which deems the ideal water temperature for optimal extraction of flavours is somewhere between 195°F to 205°F - about 30 seconds off the boil - just enough time to grab your favourite mug or pulse a fresh grind.
8. Allow your coffee to bloom.
The art of the perfect cup of coffee can be so poetic. Take the “coffee bloom”. This is the quintessential moment when your freshly roasted coffee first comes in contact with hot water and carbon dioxide is released. As the carbon dioxide escapes, the coffee grounds rise, like a bloom (hence the name). Another term for these rising coffee grounds is turbulence. Adding a proper bloom or turbulent stage to your brewing will improve the taste of your coffee.
9. Know your brewing method.
There’s more than one way to make a good cup of coffee at home. Aside from your typical drip coffee maker, there’s the french press, Aeropress, Chemex, Clever Dripper, Moka Pot, and v60. Each has a few unique tips to master the perfect brew. Small things that make a difference. For example, did you know, it’s best to warm up the beaker of the French press with hot tap water before adding coffee grinds? This will help maintain the heat level throughout the steeping process.
10. Be adventurous!
There are a lot of different types of coffee out there. And, while making some fancy types at home can be a challenge, you can get creative with a little steamed milk, some flavoured syrup and different types of creamers or milk substitutes.
Of course, if you’re too pressed for time to pull out your French Press, pop by Lazy Daisy’s Cafe on the go for the best coffee in the city! You’ll be served a perfect cup every time - made just the way you like it!