The artisan coffee trend is everywhere, with specialist shops cropping up at a rate and Starbucks seeming feeling rather passé.
But good news if you don't live next to a swanky bean-grinding café or you want to take the authentic experience home, we've spoken to Mike Logue ahead of London Coffee Festival, at Truman Brewery for the lowdown on brewing the best coffee at home.
1. Use good specialty coffee
This seems obvious, but there are a couple of key factors that will make all the difference. Make sure you buy freshly roasted coffee - there are plenty of great roasters out there with many offering subscription services for a regular fix. Supermarket coffee may be convenient, but the quality is generally pretty low, and there is no way of knowing when it was roasted. Best before dates can be as long as 12 months, whereas most specialty roasters would recommend using their freshly roasted coffee within 1 month of roast date. So throw away those old beans in the back of the cupboard and head down to your nearest coffee roaster.
2. Buy beans, not ground coffee
The key to maintaining those fresh vibrant flavours in your newly bought bag of specialty coffee is grinding just before brewing. This means you will need to invest in a grinder - preferably one with conical burrs (this is essentially two blades that can be adjusted to change the grind size of the coffee). Brands like Hario, Porlex or Rhinowares are good and relatively cheap.
3. Invest in a set of digital scales
This may seem excessive but trust me, it will change your morning brew! You ideally want a set that you can rest your brewer on, the idea being you weigh the coffee and the water. At Caravan we work on a ratio of 60g of coffee per every 1 Litre of water - so if you are making a 500ml cafetière you will need 30g of ground coffee. Brewista or Hario are both reliable and cheap, Acaia are the top pick with a brewing app to boot!
4. Don't use tap water!
If the water you brew with doesn't taste good to begin with, it won't taste any good with coffee added. Use filtered or bottled water and you will notice the difference. Make sure your kettle isn't full of scale to begin with too.
5. Keep it simple and don't rush
Making good coffee is all about ritual. Take your time, follow a simple recipe, and don't over complicate things - leave the experimenting to the baristas. You are going to need at least 5 -10 minutes from start to finish. If you don't have this much time, get your loved one to do it for you, or just head out to your nearest specialty cafe!