If you’re just starting out on your quest for better coffee, congratulations! Exploring the world of coffee is a fun adventure. While much of the excitement is discovering gadgets, roasts, regions, brewing methods, and more on your own, we’re here to give you three guideposts to get started.
Select a Brew Method that Fits Your Interest Level
You’ll hear people talk about various brew methods, including French presses, pour-overs and espresso machines. You don’t need the latest brewing equipment to make good coffee at home, though. Select a brew method that fits your interest level.
We often suggest starting out with the Aeropress, which is simple but makes delicious coffee. The Aeropress doesn’t afford you as much control as a pour-over, but you can always transition to a more involved method when you’re ready. Beginning with a straightforward process (which this is) will keep you from getting discouraged early on.
Find Characteristics that You Like
As you explore different coffees, start to make notes of ones that you like. You might favor a broad region (the three main ones are South and Latin America, Africa, and Asia), a country, or a roast level.
When you come across a coffee at your local cafe that you especially enjoy, ask your barista about it. If you make something at home that was noteworthy, look up its country of origin and roast level. Soon, you’ll find trends that will help you pick out coffees you’ll like.
Look For Freshly Roasted Coffee
Make it a point to try a freshly roasted coffee early on in your coffee exploration. Even if you aren’t picking out notes of stone fruit and hints of allspice yet, you’ll be able to appreciate the quality of freshly roasted coffee. Coffee is an agricultural product (coffee beans come from cherries), and as such, it tastes best when it is fresh. If you don’t have a benchmark to look for, see if you can find coffee that’s less than two weeks old.
Learning about coffee, especially at home where you can explore at your own pace, is a lot of fun. It’s obviously something we’re passionate about. If you need more help, feel free to ask us a question. These three suggestions should be enough to get you well on your way to appreciating great coffee, though. Here’s to making better coffee at home.