How to make perfect coffee at home without a machine | food

I spend a fortune on takeaway coffee. Can I make a good photo at home without a machine?
Harry, Leeds
You could save hundreds of pounds annually by upping your home coffee game. “Take a monthly coffee shop budget and spend it on a grinder,” says James Hoffman, author of How to Make the Best Coffee at Home.

“Buying ground coffee is like buying diced apples,” adds Hoffman. “It quickly begins to fade and fall apart.” The grinder also allows you to make coffee in a variety of ways, by adjusting the grind size – medium to medium – fine in a coffee shop, for example. “But be sure to use an edge grinder to get a consistent texture.” A set of scales for weighing the beans is also useful to ensure a reliable cup every time. It may sound strange, but you don’t necessarily need to tip: “Kitchen scales work well,” says Hofmann.

When buying beans, look for the roasting date. “Freshness is important,” says Dale Harris of Ozone Coffee in London, so buy a little coffee more often, and store it in something airtight and in the dark. He suggests brewing the beans “within four to six weeks; that way, your coffee will taste much better.” Another factor is the provenance, though Harris says the name of the farm or producer matters more than the country of origin, “because it’s more likely that someone chose the coffee for its flavor.”

Roasting will greatly affect the taste of your coffee, too, says Hoffman: “In supermarkets, you’ll see an indication of strength,” which, he explains, is ultimately about roasting. “The higher the strength, the darker and more bitter the roast will be.” However, specialty coffee will not provide a level of strength. “Most of the time, it’s going to be a light-medium roast,” says Hoffman. “If you see the words fruity in the description, that indicates a certain level of acidity, while a sweeter, nutty description means a more aromatic drink.” If you’re stumped, buy beans at your local coffee shop—you’re already a fan of the beans they use, after all.

Next, you need to choose what you intend to prepare this cereal. Harris’ preferred anything with a paper filter [from £10]although once you get Chemex [a pour-over-style glass coffee maker at about £50]They make a “really clean brew”. Harris uses 60g of coffee per liter of boiling water, poured gradually through a filter.

Nick Law, founder of Bean Shot Coffee in Bruton, Somerset, also recommends Chemex, or AeroPress (about £30). “It’s a good all-around device, and you can take it anywhere,” says Lau, who uses 18-20 grams per 240ml of water, which must be filtered and at 90°C. However, Hoffmann’s favorite brewery is Clever Dripper (£20 or so). It has a little plug on the bottom [of the conical dripper]he says. Stir 18g of medium-fine coffee in 300g of water.

But, Harris says, coffee can also produce amazing results. Hofmann uses 60-70 grams of coffee per liter of water in his country. Leave it to steep for four minutes, flip the crust that forms on top and remove any residue. Be patient, let the granules settle to the bottom, then dip just as far as the surface of the liquid and pour in gently.

If you want a strong coffee, the famous Italian moka pot (from about £20) is great too, says Hoffman; It uses 100 grams of medium-fine coffee per liter of water, but it won’t get an espresso. “This is more complicated, because you need a proper machine rather than a brewer, which is expensive.” It is much better to save the espresso for a weekly takeaway meal.

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