It’s not just you struggling to get going without a decent cup of coffee in the morning.
Covid-19 has robbed many of us of our regular fix in the morning – but all is not lost. With a bit more time at home (ok, a lot more), now might be the time to master a bit of caffeine wizardry in your own kitchen.
City A.M. spoke to Sam Trevethyen, Head of Beverage Training & Development at GRIND, to get his tips on making a proper cup of coffee at home – and yes, that even includes a hacked flat white.
What type of coffee is best to use for those that have the equipment and those that don’t?
Three things to remember are; follow a recipe using a timer (and scales if you have them), use filtered water and buy quality coffee.
If you have a Nespresso machine, make sure you are only using compatible pods, which are great because they take all the variables out of brewing coffee – the pods will be the same every time.
If you are using a French Press, Aeropress or Drip Filter, buying some pre-ground coffee and making sure you follow a recipe for 60 gram of coffee per litre of water (Or 16:1 water: coffee) brewed for 2-3 minutes – based on how strong you like it – will ensure you get a great cup. If you do not have scales, you can measure water using a measuring jug, and 1 tablespoon is about 5grams.
If you have a home espresso machine, investing in a good burr grinder and following the recipe for 2:1 water to coffee for about 25 seconds will give you a great cup.
Is there an at-home way to steam and froth milk for those that don’t have the equipment?
The best at-home milk hack is to fill a French Press a quarter full of milk, heat it until it starts to bubble, and pour it back into the French Press. Then, using the metal filter attached to the lid, hold to just under the surface of the milk and pump it up and down, fairly vigorously. This will drive air and texture into the milk, and you can experiment with how deep you go or how fast for different results.
As a general rule, once the volume of milk has increased by a quarter it will be thick enough to transport you back to the last time you had a barista-made coffee. You can even watch some latte art videos and give that a go!
What equipment would you recommend novices to buy?
I think a french press and some cheap kitchen scales are a good place to start, mainly because lots of people already have them lying around.
If you want to up your coffee game a little more, I recommend buying an Aeropress. This little plastic device is one of the most versatile ways to make coffee around, and the new Aeropress Go comes with a traveling kit including a build-in keep-cup, amazing for when we can travel again!
We have a great video on the Grind blog on how to brew a french press without scales as well, check it out, here.
Any advice on storing your coffee?
This is really simple – store coffee in a dry, airtight container, away from sources of heat and direct sunlight. And never, ever store it in the fridge. This is for two reasons; firstly, coffee can absorb the smells of whatever is in there, hence the airtight container, but more importantly, when you take coffee out of the fridge, the temperature difference can cause condensation to form on the beans, and that causes problems.
In recent years the idea of vacuum seal coffee beans and freezing them has gained popularity – coffee has an extremely low moisture content, and removing the air and chilling the beans means they can stay fresh for months, even years! Check out the tag #freezebeansnotpeas to see some examples of this.
What is the easiest style of coffee to master at home? e.g. latte, flat white etc
If you have an espresso machine and a French Press, using the milk frothing hack I mentioned earlier, you can make almost any style of coffee at home.
- For a Flat White, use a smaller cup and less milk, with milk that has been textured to increase 1/4 or so in size.
- For a Cappuccino, use a medium cup with milk that has been textured to increase 1/3 or so in size.
- For a latte, use a medium glass, 1/4 textured milk, and put the coffee in after
If you have a Nespresso compatible machine, try the Grind House Blend pods which are great for coffee with milk. If you like your coffee black, try the Grind Black blend pods, and for a great long black or Americano, pour the coffee onto the hot water to get that crema.
If you like an iced coffee (spring is here and it’s starting to get warmer!), pour your milk over ice, give it a stir and slowly pour the coffee on top for that perfect Instagram moment.
Grind is a hospitality company that lives in London. Since opening Shoreditch Grind in 2011, the brand has expanded across London with restaurants and café-bars, burning the candle at both ends to serve coffee, food and cocktails to a killer soundtrack. Last year, the company debuted its Grind at Home collection – led by some of the UK’s first compostable coffee pods for Nespresso machines.