Addicted to your favourite coffee shop? Can’t get through your day without a visit to your barista? So were we, until we found out that your daily flat white addiction costs up to $1,400 a year!
About time to learn how to make that perfect barista-style coffee at home, don’t you think? From selecting your favourite beans to choosing the right coffee machine, these 5 tips have been put together from top baristas over the years will leave you feeling like a self-appointed coffee connoisseur in no time at all.
- It all starts with the beans. The most important thing to remember is that, fresh is best. Just like wine, coffee oxidizes, so the more it is exposed to air and oxygen, the more the flavour of the coffee is degraded
- To ensure your beans stay fresh, keep your coffee beans or ground coffee in an airtight container. Avoid storing them in the fridge or freezer as the moisture will ruin the essential oils
- Whether you’re after an Arabica or Robusta coffee bean, or perhaps even a blend of the two, there are many different flavours of coffee and one to suit every taste
- As a general guide, lighter blends are more palatable, and darker beans (like the Robusta variety) have a stronger, more acidic flavour
- There are a lot of different choices available but trial and error is the best approach – your favourite bean might be waiting for you in the supermarket, local café or from your coffee machine provider
- Choose a machine to meet your needs – if you have a small kitchen try a compact machine like the new DéLonghi PrimaDonna XS, or if you have kids (large and small) with a penchant for hot chocolates, consider investing in the PrimaDonna Exclusive Coffee Machine which also comes with an extra hot chocolate function
- DéLonghi is the most popular fully automatic coffee machine provider in Australia and their newest release, the DéLonghi PrimaDonna XS is one of the most kitchen friendly offerings on the market – at just 19.5cm wide, it is the perfect coffee machine for snug city apartments, kitchens and small office environments.
- Simplifying the coffee making process, the DéLonghi PrimaDonns XS can make the most complex order with one touch of a button
The daily grind
- The grind of your coffee will greatly influence the end result as it impacts the amount of contact time between the hot water and the beans
- Grind it too fine and you will have a bitter coffee (the result of too much contact time), whilst grinding it too coarsely will give you a watery blend (i.e. too little contact time)
- For the most consistent blend, grind your own beans or use a burr grinder. The DéLonghi PrimaDonna XS comes with an integrated burr grinder and an incredible 13 settings to guarantee the coffee beans are freshly ground each time, just to your liking
- Good quality grinders will help extract all the essential oils from the coffee beans, giving you a delicious, full bodied crème
- Experiment with the settings to find your ideal grind. Once you have this you are well on your way to a great cup of coffee
If you like a milky coffee – as opposed to an espresso or a long black – there are a number of things you need to be aware of:
- The temperature of the milk should sit somewhere between 60C and 70C, so if you are frothing your own milk keep a thermometer nearby. It’s a good idea to stop once the temperature reaches 60 C as the temperature will continue to rise as the milk rests
- Try not to overheat the milk as it will burn the coffee beans and leave you with a bitter tasting coffee
- If you’re not confident frothing your own milk it could be worth investing in a machine that has an Instant Frothing Device (IFD) and can do the hard work for you – whichever milk you choose
- Contrary to popular belief it is actually easier to froth skim milk than full cream milk
- Double walled glasses are the top choice for coffee lovers as they are comfortable to hold whilst keeping the heat in. DéLonghi has a fantastic range of double walled glasses from espresso cups all the way up to larger offerings, allowing you to choose the size that suits your coffee preference
- Try and match your glass to your drink – anything too big and the coffee will lose heat faster than you can drink it!
Do you make coffee at home or hit your favourite coffee shop for your daily grind?
Julia has lived and worked in London, Amsterdam, and New York, and is obsessed with food. She's either cooking or thinking about what to eat next. Follow Julia on Twitter.