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How to Make the Perfect Cup of Coffee

HG Cooks

How to Make a Great Cup of Coffee

Espress Yourself

How do you get that perfect cappuccino at home? It's incredible to think that just 20 years ago, drip coffee was 'it'.  But as Italian-style espresso-based beverages have gone from niche to mainstream, more and more people have ditched the drip in favour of a more robust European coffee. If you're looking to skip the lines and prices at your local coffee shop, we've culled the most salient tips from baristas to help you create a flawless Cortado, Flat White or Americano while still in your PJs. Not a bad way to start the day.

Barista Tips for a Perfect Cup of Coffee

Know what kind of coffee you like

Understanding the type of coffee you want will guide what kind of machine to invest in. A French Press provides a bold, dark flavour. Pour overs or automatic drip coffeemakers tend to brew an even, mild pot of coffee while an espresso machine offers a more concentrated flavour, and acts as a base for a host of other drinks such as a caffè latte, cappuccino, caffè macchiato, caffè mocha, flat white, or caffè Americano.

Buy whole beans

A great cup of coffee begins with good coffee beans. Find a local coffee roaster or choose whole beans at your local grocer, and grind them at home. Grinding your own beans makes your coffee that much fresher and more flavourful.


Tip: Understand what you're buying. The most common coffee beans are Arabica and Robusta. Likened to the grapes at a vineyard, Arabica is grown at higher altitudes and its cultivation more demanding, resulting in a milder and more aromatic cup of coffee. Robusta beans are hardier and more resistant to climate change, producing a sharper and more caffeinated coffee.



Grind just prior to making your coffee

For maximum aroma and flavour, grind your beans just before you're about to make your coffee. It's this kind of detail that makes your coffee next level. The coarseness of your coffee beans is also critical to a good cup of coffee: You’ll want a very fine grind (like sand) for espresso, a medium grind (like sea salt) for pour overs or drip, and a coarse grind (like breadcrumbs) for French press coffee.


Tip: Never refrigerate or freeze your coffee. If you do, there's a chance it'll absorb moisture which alters the taste.


Clean your machine

Because coffee beans contain oil, not washing your pot or machine will leave an oily residue and affect the flavour. Cleaning your machine often - around once a week - will prevent your coffee from taking on a burnt taste.

Use good milk

With so much focus on the coffee bean, it's easy to forget about the milk. But fresh milk, heated (and never reheated) to approximately 60 degrees Celsius, will make all the difference.


Tip: With espresso-based drinks, pour milk into your coffee. If you pour coffee into your milk, you'll lose the coffee's beautiful crema, that reddish-brown froth that rests on top of espresso - a sign of quality coffee.

Pick Your Machine

Choose the Perfect Mug, Cup, or Glass