6 Easy Ways To Make Your Coffee Taste Like It Came From The Coffee Shop

Do you remember the last time you were in a cafe? For me it was March 2nd, just two weeks before our world was closed by the COVID-19 pandemic. I met a friend and we chatted for hours while sipping our drinks - an Americano with cream for me - and drinking cookies. Fortunately, we were not aware that it would be our last time to share such a moment for the indefinite future.
For many of us, coffee shops are not just about coffee beverages, but also about the experience that comes with them. From hours of work on a project with a steady drop of coffee to listening to an uncomfortable first appointment with a professionally made latte, coffee shops are unique ecosystems. Although we can't replicate everything about them, we can at least channel our inner barista and coffee game at home - regardless of whether your local cafe has reopened or not.
From the equipment to the techniques, here are some ways you can make Java for the store at home.
Gear up
Ideally you need a burr grinder and a kitchen scale.
Whether you're brewing your coffee with a filter coffee pot or a Chemex, one of the best devices you can buy to take your coffee to the next level is a fine line. In contrast to a standard coffee grinder, you can use a ridge grinder to select the coarseness of your grinder. For this reason, they are usually somewhat more expensive than standard mills. Prices start at around $ 50. However, they last for a while and immediately improve your coffee drinking experience.
Fancy burr grinders can cost an arm and a leg, but perfectly good versions start at around $ 50. (Photo: AlexLMX via Getty Images)
"People should get a Grat coffee grinder because then you can experience a super personalized cup of coffee and tailor it to your needs instead of just three cups in the coffee machine," said Gabi Ingersoll, barista at Peaks Coffee Company in Syracuse, New York.
For example, if you are brewing a cup of coffee in a simple coffee pot, you want to set the grind to medium, while a coarse grind is ideal if you use a French press or brew cold.
Leticia Pollock, co-founder of Panther Coffee in Miami, likes to use a kitchen scale to ensure an even brew every time. "You make a cup of coffee and you say," Oh my god, that's delicious. "But you can't do it again," said Pollock. With a kitchen scale (which you can buy for less than $ 20), you can track exactly how much coffee went into the dream cup that you finally made.
Make infused simple syrups
Are you dreaming of the soothing lavender latte that only your favorite barista can make? Making simple syrups is easier than you think and a fun way to add flavor to your coffee.
Ingersoll is part of a simple strawberry syrup, thanks to a lot of strawberries that were accidentally sent to the cafe. "Do you know how Hershey has this strawberry syrup in the bottle? It was like a homemade version of it," she laughed.
To do it, cut half a liter of strawberries and throw them in a saucepan with a cup of water and a cup of sugar. Bring to the boil and then let the heat simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the liquid is bright red and the strawberries are cooked, put them in a glass or heat-resistant bowl and cool them in the fridge.
There is nothing in these coffee shop syrups that you cannot make at home. (Photo: Smith Collection / Gado via Getty Images)
You can use your syrup in hot coffee, but it works particularly well with ice drinks. Use a cocktail shaker instead of just stirring it in. “It kind of makes the drink frothy, which I like about this texture. And then you just get every taste in every sip, instead of just getting to the bottom of the drink, ”said Ingersoll.
Add ice, coffee and half a teaspoon of syrup to your shaker, shake to your heart's content, then pour over ice in a glass.
Other syrups to experiment with are rosemary, orange and salted caramel.
Make coffee ice cubes
It sounds so simple, but freezing part of your coffee in an ice cube tray can make your cold coffee beverages stronger. Ren Doughty, outreach and customer care coordinator for Batdorf & Bronson Coffee Roasters in Olympia, Washington, likes to make his coffee twice as strong before it is frozen.
"You take out the ice cubes, throw them in a Ziploc freezer bag and now you've just finished those strong coffee ice cubes," he explained.
You can put them in iced coffee, but Doughty's favorite way of enjoying them is a mixed drink. Whisk three to four coffee ice cubes in the blender with about 5 ounces of milk and a teaspoon of honey. "It's delicious, it's cold and frosty in the summer, but you get the strength of the coffee taste you want," he said.
In a hurry? Skip the cold brewing process
Making a batch of cold brew is great, but it takes time to soak - at least 12 hours. Japanese-style iced coffee is faster and the result can be jerky as well. Ingersoll makes hers by brewing a pot of double-strength coffee (only twice the amount of coffee grounds you normally use) and then immediately pouring it over ice. "When it melts, it doesn't lose that strong coffee taste and doesn't dilute the coffee," said Ingersoll. The key is to immediately pour it over ice to prevent acid from developing.
Take care of your beans
How many times have you stood in line at the café wondering if this is the day you leave your comfort zone and try one of the specialty coffee blends to stick to your usual conditions? Now may be a good opportunity to get out of your coffee comfort zone and try something new.
Coffee beans have different taste profiles depending on where they are grown, how they are processed, how they are roasted and how they are brewed. Let's say you like Pike Place at Starbucks (or the typical roast of your local coffee shop) with its nutty cocoa notes. Try a coffee with a fruity taste profile, such as the Apollo from Counter Culture with citrus notes or the Guatemala San Sebastian from Perc with notes of berries. Pay attention to which beans you like and how you like them (more fruity coffees are great for iced coffee), and you can expand your coffee drinking experience.
"It's like wine - one day you want Cabernet, one day you want Sauvignon Blanc," said Pollock.
Fancy your milk
If you prefer lattes and cappuccinos, it will be difficult to replicate them at home without dropping some change on an espresso machine. However, a strong amount of brewed coffee and a simple milk frothing tool will help you emulate this experience at home.
Of course, milk or cream can make the difference in your iced coffee drink. (Photo: RyanJLane via Getty Images)
"I will either put oat milk on the hob or in the microwave and almost bring it to a boil and then actually put it in my French press," said Ingersoll. "And just dip it up and down and it actually makes a really nice frothy milk."
Other inexpensive options include whipping milk in a saucepan or buying a foam stick.
Create a coffee ritual at home
Before the pandemic, a visit to the coffee shop often offered an opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of real life. At home, you can also design a coffee ritual that removes the monotony of the day. For me, that means playing a coffee house-inspired playlist, eating a Trader Joe Speculoos biscuit, and solving a crossword puzzle before the baby wakes up from its nap.
Doughty likes to start the day brewing a French press with a digital thermometer. For Ingersoll, the ritual varies depending on the circumstances. At home in Syracuse, she likes to go slow by weighing her coffee and preparing it in a V60 brew. However, she is currently in quarantine with her family in Maine, where they buy Chock Full O'Nuts coffee and cook in a filter coffee pot.
"And for me, at home, I enjoy this coffee ritual with my family, just wake up and drink this coffee."
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