Most people cannot start their day without having a cup of coffee. Picture: Supplied
Most people cannot start their day without having a cup of coffee. Picture: Supplied

5 tips for making high quality coffee at home

By Lutho Pasiya Time of article published May 14, 2020

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Most people cannot start their day without having a cup of coffee.

Be it enjoying a cup from their favourite coffee place in town or on their way to work, coffee has to be the highlight of their day.

That said, as a coffee lover and with the lockdown in place, I am sure some of you are missing those morning coffee runs, ordering your cuppa Joe and running out again during lunch. And let us face it, homemade coffee is not nearly as delicious as that from a coffee shop.

But, do not stress, below we have the easiest tips from the senior barista at Origin Coffee Roasting South Africa, Hayley Arendse, that will help you make the perfect cup of coffee in the comfort of your own home.

Most people cannot start their day without having a cup of coffee. Picture: Supplied

Water temperature

A common mistake people make is pouring boiling water directly over their coffee grounds. It is always best to wait at least thirty seconds to a minute after your kettle has boiled before adding water to freshly ground coffee. 

This will help to prevent any burning of the coffee. The same goes for instant coffee. While it has been processed to handle boiling water, the steam bubbles coming off the element in your kettle are above 100 degrees. Wait thirty seconds, and then pour your hot water.

Grind size

The grind size (particle size) of your coffee differs depending on your brewing method of choice. If I was making a plunger I'd want my grind size to be quite coarse, similar to coarse salt. But if I was making a Bialetti Mokapot, I'd want a grind size that is just a bit coarser than castor sugar. 

Having a hand grinder at home is great because you have complete control over your grind size and can adapt it method by method, but if you don't, many cafes and dispatchers will grind the coffee specifically for your needs.

Most people cannot start their day without having a cup of coffee. Picture: Supplied

Finding a recipe

There is nothing worse than making a beautiful cup of coffee one day, and a terrible one the next. By using a recipe, your results will be far more consistent. Use a certain amount of coffee to an amount of water, and play around with ratios. 

This can be done using a kitchen scale, and the timer on your phone. There are many resources online for finding a ratio that works for your particular brewing method.

Water quality

Using filtered water is a great way to combat inconsistency in coffee. The coffee you make at home is always going to taste different from what you drink in a cafe, even if it is the same product. 

Cafes generally have extensive water filtration systems, whereas we tend to just boil our tap water at home and expect similar results. A simple water jug with a filter can greatly impact flavour.

Frothing milk

There is nothing quite like steamed milk from an espresso machine, but the closest piece of home equipment that I've used is the Bialetti Tuttocrema. With 10-12 pumps, you get silky flat white- texture milk. If you don't have one of those, you can try using your plunger. 

Heat your milk (try not to heat it above 70 degrees, or it will burn), and pour it into a clean plunger. Insert the top of the plunger with the metal filter and make a pumping motion, holding it by the handle. Pump it as many times as you would like to reach the milk texture you're aiming for.


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