- Food and Cooking»
Become your own Barista
Be your own Barista
Be Your Own Barista
By Cindy Linton
It’s not always ideal to drive through and pick up a coffee at your favorite coffee shop. No need to worry, you can find out how to make your own fabulous cup of coffee from your own home. You can be your own Barista! It’s important to know the quality of the bean, the type of roast you desire, how to grind your coffee properly if purchasing a whole bean, the brewing strength and other important details to make your creation just right.
To begin your journey, you will want to select a high quality bean that was harvested from a farmer who has pride in the product they deliver. Some of the countries known for impressive coffee beans are Brazil, Columbia, Kenya and Guatemala. The type of bean you are looking for is based on the type of coffee you desire. Arabica & Robusta are the two main types of coffee beans found. Arabica is known for its smooth and acidic flavor and Robusta is stronger and slightly more bitter in flavor.
Understanding the roasting process can make a big difference in the boldness of your drink. A darker roast doesn’t mean that the coffee will contain more caffeine, instead, it means the bean was roasted for a longer period of, thus cooking out some of the caffeine and giving the coffee a stronger flavor. A light roast is considered to be less caffeine, however, it actually contains more caffeine because they are not roasted as long. The caffeine level decreases the longer the beans are roasted.
In order to keep your coffee beans fresh, never pre-grind them. Keep them in an air tight container to keep in the flavor. Depending upon what kind of coffee you like, it will determine how you grind your beans. If you are using a French Press, you will want to have your beans ground coarsely. Your typical coffee pot will use a medium ground. Espresso machines use the very finely ground beans.
When you are ready to brew your beans, water will play an important role. I recommend using spring water. Using distilled or softened water, it removes minerals and changes the intended flavor. Measure out your coffee properly or use a pre-selected K-cup. It is also important to keep your coffee pot clean. You can use vinegar to run through your coffee pot to remove oil and other buildups to ensure a fresh cup every time.
Cold brew coffee is becoming more desirable as the summer heat peaks. This is where the beans are brewed in cold water for several days and generates a hearty nutty flavor. a
If using a disposal filter, it is recommended to use the natural brown filters verses the white, bleached filters. Also rinse your filter before putting it into your coffeemaker to remove extra paper particles. Reusable filters are also available for those who are more earth friendly.
Even though this sounds crazy, the cup or mug you choose does make a difference in the satisfaction of the drink. I read a study once that showed consumers enjoyed their drinks better in a plain white coffee mug instead of a colored one. That could be explained by the visibility of the drink and amount of cream or sugar added. I personally love a nice big cup but the color doesn’t matter, my mother loves her small white mug. It is true that when I put my coffee in the Styrofoam cup, the coffee is much less enjoyable.
Many people enjoy their coffee black with nothing extra. This provides the true flavor of the coffee and you can visibly see the oils floating on top of the coffee, indicating a good bean. I’ve always wished I enjoyed my coffee this way, however I tend to douse my coffee in far too much cream. The kind of cream used makes a difference in the quality and flavor of your drink. There are many different types of cream and flavors that can be purchased at your local grocery store. Seasonal creamers are available which adds extra spice to each cup.
Finding your favorite blend can only be found through trial and error. I have sampled thousands of different blends, roasts and brews and have found my favorite to be the light roast with a decent amount of cream. You too can make a fabulous cup of coffee, just as if you went out and purchased it from your favorite coffee shop. You can become your very own barista! Enjoy!