The popularity of coffee is at a peak, in Britain alone we drink an estimated 55 million cups of coffee per day, making up a tiny percentage of the estimated 2 billion cups of coffee being drunk worldwide.
While many love a coffee, the steps to the perfect cup of coffee can seem a faraway wish as the school run starts or a report is due first thing. The rush of routine means that many leave their luxury coffees to be bought in coffee shops, fitted with commercial coffee machines using specially sourced beans. Also, it can feel like a multitude of equipment is needed to make ‘coffee shop coffee’ at home, let alone a level of technical skill that many simply do not have – but what if we told you, it doesn’t have to be this way?
Is instant coffee really the way?
According to data from The British Coffee Association, 80% of UK households buy instant coffee for their morning brew, with self-serve pods also increasing in popularity.
Now, while instant coffee is a quick and easy, the freeze-dried granules are prone to leave a dull taste in the mouth and for many, instant coffee can be seen as coffee for coffee’s sake.
On the other hand, coffee pods are both expensive, averaging at £4.50 for 8 cups,and also terrible for the environment. Whilst coffee shops are under the spotlight to add a levy onto the price of cups of coffee for people that do not bring their own cup, so too should the creators of plastic coffee pods be, since when these are disposed of they go directly to landfill and add to the growing plastic waste problem around the word.
Both of these options provide coffee drinkers a cup of the good stuff with relative ease, but do they provide the ‘ultimate’ coffee?
What you’ll need
There are a number of simple ways to make great coffee at home but for us the winner is grinding your own beans as needed and using a French press. As such, you’ll need both a bean grinder and a French press, and if you want to add a bit of foam you can pick up a handheld milk frother as well.
All of this will set you back around £30, and while it is a one-off cost it means you’re all set to create amazing coffee in a very quick way. There are a number of online coffee retailers and coffee suppliers where different beans and equipment can be easily sourced.
How to make the ultimate coffee
Firstly, you’ll need to grind your beans, different levels of coarseness offer a different taste and over time you’ll work out what is best for you. This process is quick and easy, just add the amount you need to a grinder and switch it on.
A pound of coffee is around 454g – and the average weight per shot of espresso is 8 – 10 grams. If you’re making americanos, we’d recommend adding a few more grams before adding the water and for lattes (or similar drinks) around 10-12 grams for a great taste.
This being said, the strength and flavour of the coffee you have bought will play a part in your decision making here.
Once ground, simply add to the French press and pour over some boiled (but not boiling) water, and leave to sit for five minutes to brew.
As this is happening add your milk to the cup and froth, much like the coarseness of the beans, you’ll work out what works best for you. For a cappuccino, foam for longer with less milk; this will give you the light, stronger coffee a cappuccino offers. For a latte, use more milk and froth until foam is on the top, but creamy underneath.
Once foamed and brewed, plunge your coffee in the French press to sperate the grains from the water. Then pour into your milk and enjoy.
So, there we have it, the quick and simple way to make great coffee with very little effort and even less impact on the environment!
Liquid Line is a commercial coffee machine specialist operating in the UK market, selling a range of espresso and bean to cup coffee machines.