If you're anything like me, that first cup of coffee is less a part of your routine, and more akin to a religious experience. The smell of it brewing, the sound of the boiling water, the sensation of stirring the cream and sugar into it, and the anticipation of that first sip all contribute to the act of the morning coffee, and it's one that people love nationwide.
Of course, there's always ways that you could make your experience just that much better. Some people are just satisfied with using the pre-ground stuff like Nescafé or Folgers, tossing it into a pot and gulping it down before taking off for work. But no, not you. You've got the refined taste of someone who really enjoys a solid pot of coffee, and you've decided you want to step up your game and get the maximum flavor out of your beans.
Well, your friends at Shared have you covered. We've assembled a crack team of coffee-ologists and quizzed them for all of their best information, and we're passing the information on to you! Keep reading for ways to up your coffee-making skills!
1) Get yourself a French press.
Wait wait wait, before you leave, hear me out on this one. Sure, things like a Keurig or Nespresso machine are easy and straightforward to use, but if you really want to get to the good stuff, this is an easy and cheap way to do it. You can get a single-cup French press for under $10 at places like Amazon, Walmart and IKEA, they're absurdly easy to use, and they consistently give great results. It's the first step towards treating yourself!
2) Try lots of flavors, and write down which ones you like.
Much like any kind of food or drink, coffee comes in all sorts of varieties that can have subtle yet significant differences. Think of it like trying different kinds of wine: look for tastiness, aftertaste, smell etc. Also, make sure you write down ones that you like, so you always remember which ones to get when faced with a ton of different varieties.
3) Buy local if you can.
We like Starbucks coffee as much as anybody else (the recycling bin by my desk is a testament to that), but when it comes time to make your own, the freshest and best beans are gonna be the stuff that gets harvested locally, not the stuff that's pre-packaged and has preservatives added. That plus you're supporting the little guy. You deserve the best, so treat yourself to it!
4) Don't hoard your coffee after you open it.
So, you've finally found the perfect bean and now you wanna invite your friends and coworkers over for a cup. While this is a great idea, you might wanna try to schedule that get-together sooner rather than later. Believe it or not, coffee does have a "shelf-life" in some sense; while the beans never really go "bad," they will go stale after being exposed to air for a few months, and you'll start to notice the taste has gotten a bit more dull. So don't wait!
5) When in doubt, ask a barista.
Baristas spend their entire days serving coffee alongside food and other things, so if anybody's going to know what goes well with a particular blend, it's them. Don't be afraid to stop by your local coffee shop and ask for some tips, because they might just make your experience that much better!
6) But don't put too much weight on other people's advice.
There are going to be people who insist that there's a "correct" way to drink specific roasts of coffee; either it has to be served black, or at a certain temperature, or paired with this kinda food yadda yadda yadda. The truth is, the "correct" way to drink your coffee is however YOU like it best. Like it black? Go for it! Can't drink it without cream and four sugars? Be our guest! It's YOUR drink and you need to enjoy it.
Share these tips with anyone you know who's looking for the perfect cup of coffee!