Imagine waking up on a Sunday morning to perfect café-style coffee in the comfort of your own home. Sounds ideal – but unfortunately not everyone can make coffee like a pro. Coffee expert, philanthropist and managing director at Aroma Coffee, Gavin Gam, can share a few tricks of the trade to make this dream a reality.
First things first, you need the right beans. Gavin says the best quality coffee beans are the ones that can be traced directly to the farmer.
“Great coffee begins with ethically sourced, sustainable coffee beans that are grown from love and passion. Making coffee is not just about money, it’s about giving back, paying a little extra and making sure that the people who are producing the coffee beans are living a sustainable life. If there’s love from origin you can taste it, that’s the most important thing,” he says.
“We source Aroma’s award-winning roast, No. 1 Ruby Street, from farmers in Ethiopia who we’ve spent many years developing relationships with. They know us and they know we’re not just there to make a profit. They know we care about them and their community.”
The next step is to make sure that the coffee is freshly roasted – but not too fresh! Your coffee will be at its best a week after roasting and will keep for up to two months. Coffee that was roasted less than 7 days ago hasn’t had time to develop its full flavour, while coffee roasted more than 8 weeks ago will be stale and starting to lose its flavour. Coffee in the supermarket is usually a couple of months old, which is well and truly beyond its peak. The best way to source freshly roasted coffee is to visit your local roastery.
Now it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty: grinding. And sorry time savers but Gavin says there’s no pre-grinding allowed if you want the best out of your beans. It has to be fresh.
“It’s better to buy a cheap grinder than to buy pre-ground coffee. It’s important to grind your coffee beans no more than five minutes before you’re making the coffee to preserve the form and flavour of the beans,” he says.
From here on in most people are familiar with the coffee making process, but Gavin still has a few tricks up his sleeve. No matter what kind of coffee you’re using, be it freshly roasted or instant, you should be using freshly filtered boiled water and let it sit for a minute or two before pouring. Boiling water will scald or burn your coffee and leave you with a bitter taste in your mouth.
If you’re a black coffee drinker then you’re all done! But if you’re more of a latte person there’s one last step: the milk.
There are two phases to heating your milk. First, ‘stretching’ or heating. To stretch the milk properly you need to rest the spout of your milk jug up against the steam arm of your coffee machine, tilt the jug on a slight angle, then place your hand on the side of the jug and lower gradually to the point where the tip of the steam wand is just under the surface. You should only heat the milk to about 60 degrees so to avoid it burning. The second phase is creaming or rolling the milk, which involves rotating your jug in a circular motion to create micro lattice bubbles and remove any larger bubbles from the milk.
And that’s it! Pour your perfect cup of coffee, sit back and relax. You’ve earned it.