How to Brew Your Best Cup of Coffee at Home

Words: Jess Spiro

We can all agree that coffee is the bittersweet nectar of the gods – without which we would all be inefficient zombies. There is nothing like that first cup in the morning, especially when made by a true barista who knows what they’re doing. But, what’s one to do when you can’t get your hands on that perfect flat white? As the saying goes, when the going gets tough, the tough get to making their own coffee.

These days, it’s never been easier to make a quality cuppa Joe at home, and it’s possible… whether you have a French press, a pour over or a standard filter coffee machine, we show you how to brew your best cup of coffee at home. It’s probably worth mentioning that you can’t start with bad beans and expect a miracle, so with all of these coffee makers, you’ll need to source good beans.

Brew Your Best Cup of Coffee in an Automatic Filter Coffee Maker

This is the one we all recognise from all those classic American office scenes. The automatic drip coffee maker is almost iconic, with its glass jug and plastic handles. The way this machine makes coffee is that cold water is heated by an element, which bubbles over onto the ground coffee beans.

The coffee then drips through into the jug, which is heated underneath the base. The best way to brew your coffee with this machine is to ensure that you grind your beans to about a medium fineness and use clean (preferably filtered) cold water. Then you add your ground beans to the filter compartment, switch on the machine and let it do the rest.

Best Cup of Coffee

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Brew Your Best Cup of Coffee using a French Press

This method of at-home-coffee-making is probably the easiest way to learn about making your best cup. Start off by grinding your beans to resemble breadcrumbs, and work on a tablespoon of coffee for about 200 ml of water.

Add your grounds to the French press and freshly boiled water (again, let it sit for 30 seconds after boiling) to come roughly halfway up the side of the cafetière. Let this sit for about a minute, then give it a stir before topping up the rest of the water. Leave to brew for about 4 minutes or so, then press down the plunger, nice and slowly. Congratulations, you’ve nailed the French press method.

Best Cup of Coffee

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Brew Your Best Cup of Coffee using a Pour Over

Let’s get real here, a pour over requires a little precision, so we’re really hoping that you bought one knowing how to use it. If you’re struggling with quantities, a good rule of thumb is roughly 30-35 g of ground coffee beans to 500 ml water. Have some water boiling, and once it comes to a boil, remove it from the heat and let it sit for about 30 seconds. The trick with pouring your water is that you want your initial pour to soak the beans, and the water poured after that to add enough pressure to force the coffee through the beans.

Initially, pour just enough to soak your beans, wait about 30 seconds and then continue pouring the rest of your water. This sounds really science-y, but you want your overall brew time to run between 3 and 4 minutes, depending on how dark your roast is. Ensure you hit this time by keeping a timer going and make sure you don’t pour too quickly. This includes the time it takes for all of your water to drip through, which can take up to a full minute to come through.

Best Cup of Coffee

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Brew Your Best Cup of Coffee in a Stove Top Espresso (Moka Pot)

Is there anything more European than brewing your coffee in a stove top espresso machine? In our opinion, it is the most chic way to get your caffeine fix at home. To ensure you’re getting the best out of your Moka Pot, grind your beans to the same texture as table salt and start with freshly boiled water. Placing cold water in the base means that as the water heats up, it cooks the beans, which can lead to a metallic, bitter taste.

Pour enough hot water to come up to the fill line in the base, and add the grounds to the filter basket and level out the grounds gently. Place the basket into the base, screw on the top and place on a medium-high heat. Leave the coffee to bubble and brew, and once you hear it spluttering, open the lid to check the colour. When the liquid changes to a honey colour, remove it from the heat. Once it stops bubbling, pour into cups and enjoy.

Best Cup of Coffee

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Brew Your Best Cup of Coffee using an Aeropress

Your Aeropress will come with all the equipment you need, so don’t be a dingus and lose any of them, as this will greatly affect your coffee outcome. Firstly, measure one rounded Aeropress-spoonful of beans and grind to a fine table salt texture.

Then, set your press up by placing a filter in the basket and running freshly boiled water through it – this ensures there is no lingering paper flavour. For extra points, heat your mug up too, then chuck out the water. Put your Aeropress together by affixing the basket to the bottom of the brew chamber, then place it on top of the mug.

You’re looking to pour about 200-220 ml (or enough to reach the number 4 mark on the side) of freshly boiled water to the coffee. Make sure you’re saturating each part of the beans. Start a timer as you begin to pour, then place the plunger over and wait about a minute or so before removing the plunger (this just helps keep the coffee warm) and giving everything a stir. Replace the plunger and very gently press down to release the coffee into the mug.

Best Cup of Coffee

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Now that you know how to brew the perfect cuppa, you’ll want one of these dunkable biscuits and rusks to go with it. 

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