Coffee is the fuel of Western society. Millions of cups of this dark-colored, rich-flavored drink are drunk every day. But do you know how to drink and prepare coffee correctly?
In the best of cases, every morning you can have the opportunity to go to a cafeteria where an experienced barista prepares it for you, but the reality (for purely economic reasons), we end up having that rare concoction in the office that we call it affectionately “Sock water”.
Fortunately, thanks to this wonder called the internet, we can become experts in anything. And what better than something as wonderful as coffee.
The basic guide
Forget instant coffee
In the world where we live today, we want everything ‘for yesterday’. In the morning it is no longer easy to invest 10 minutes to prepare a good cup of coffee and we decided to heat water in the microwave and use instant coffee to save time.
That funeral home table drink is known as “Nescafé” (for being the most popular brand), we should avoid it every time we see it. Aside from its terrible taste, it is proven to not have the antioxidant properties of real coffee.
Different types of coffee
There are a huge number of ways to prepare coffee and beverages made from their beans. Although most only know the “American” or “cappuccino”, it does not hurt to try and learn about other drinks.
Espresso: The base of all coffees
It is considered the most popular form of preparation in Europe, America and in high-end coffee shops around the world. Its flavor is intense and allows you to savor elements that rarely appear in other forms of preparation.
Although those who are not used to drinking it consider it as “burnt” and “excessively bitter”, it is actually characterized by releasing the sweetness of coffee.
Here are some popular types of espresso:
Simple: 30 ml of water per 20 grams of coffee (approximately) are strained with a pressure machine. The result is a drink with a yellowish cream on the surface.
Ristretto: Roughly speaking, this is a simple espresso but using only ¾ parts of the water.
Double (long): As the name says, it is twice a simple one.
Cut: About 20 ml of hot milk is added to the espresso. The ‘cut’ is an ideal alternative variety for those who find it strong and bitter to take a direct espresso.
Also do not forget that it should always be taken in an “espresso” size cup (the smallest).
The most popular coffee in cafes and restaurants since it is very easy to drink, and it is also very good after a meal.
Cappuccino is mistakenly believed to be “coffee with a lot of foam on top” (actually that is an espresso macchiato) or a “coffee with flowers and other pictures” (a latte art). In reality, the cappuccino is nothing more than an espresso with milk cream (‘frothed milk’ a little less than twice its original volume).
As a curiosity, the traditional cappuccino should always have the measurements of a regular cup (approximately 200 ml) and with whole milk. The ‘cappuccinos’ in the coffee shops with half-liter glasses (‘large’, ‘venti’ and so on) are really lattes.
It is the Italian name for the traditional “coffee with milk” of a lifetime.
The classic latte is made with a simple espresso for three parts of milk. In its more formal preparation, foam is added and a layer on top of ‘cream of milk’ (as in cappuccino).
A drink that has gained much popularity in recent years thanks to large coffee shop chains (Starbucks).
The biggest differences between macchiato and cappuccino are the type and amount of foam. The macchiato has a large layer of dry and stabilized foam, while that of the cappuccino is much smaller and dilutes as the minutes’ pass.
It is the most recognizable style of coffee outside of Europe and one of the best sellers in coffee shops.
Its origin dates back to the Second World War. Apparently, the American soldiers could not bear to drink espresso while they were campaigning in Italy and they asked for “American coffee” (they ordered it as it was done in the United States), so the Italian baristas managed to reduce the espresso with water.
While Americano can be defined as a quick brew coffee (made with the coarse grain), the correct way to define it is as “an espresso cut with water”.
It is the most popular way to prepare coffee in the world. Thanks to electric coffee makers. It is often confused with Americano as it has a similar consistency but is prepared differently (which causes the flavor to change).
Filter coffee is less intense than espresso but has a more complex body and flavor than Americano.
How to drink coffee
There is no specific ritual to drink coffee correctly and everyone can have their own style, but it is not wine to go around ‘tasting’ (well, unless you are a ‘coffee critic’) …
Although you can drink it as you wish, experts recommend doing it in the following way to decipher and feel its flavors:
Feel the taste of the first sips
Most espresso variants are taken in one or two sips (because it really is a shot of coffee). But if you prefer to take one of the many styles that there are (as mentioned in previous paragraphs), the first sip is undoubtedly the main one.
It is the one that has the most flavor since the coffee foam and the caramelization of the milk are on the surface. The taste between the first and second does not change that much, but there is that ‘little difference’.
Coffee and sugar get along especially well when cut with milk (cappuccino, latte, macchiato, etc.). If it is alone (Espresso or Americano), it is advisable not to add sugar or any other type of sweetener. that totally changes the flavor.
Some will probably say “What are you talking about! It has a very bitter taste and it is impossible to drink it without sugar”, but we must remember that coffee is an acquired taste and with the time you will start to like drinking it alone.
Finish it before it gets cold
Coffee must be enjoyed and not drunk by force, however cold coffee (beware, “coffee that was allowed to cool”, not ‘coffee with ice’ or other drinks of the style), has an unpleasant taste similar to that of a blackboard.
The coffee takes about 15 minutes to cool down, so try to drink it before this time,
Just enjoy it
One of the best things about drinking coffee is just drinking it. No matter where you are and what time of day it is, a good cup can brighten the moment.
Enjoy it and more if it is a quality coffee. Feel the flavor, the aroma and let yourself be carried away by each sip.
How not to take it?
Now that we know what is the recommended way to drink coffee, it’s time to play against it.
On an empty stomach
It is well known that coffee increases the acidity of the stomach and can also cause symptoms such as heartburn and heartburn easily (especially if you take it on an empty stomach). To avoid discomfort of this type, it is best to avoid taking it without having breakfast before.
Using cream substitute
That white powder that they sell in industrial-size packages at the supermarket can be a good option to “improve a little” the taste of the ‘sock water’ of bad coffees. However, if the coffee you are drinking is of quality, do not even think about adding a cream substitute!
Coffee is a drink that has many properties that can benefit your health, but we must not forget that it is a very powerful drug and stimulant.
If you are a person who drinks large amounts of coffee, even if you do not know it, you probably have symptoms such as tachycardia, arrhythmia, sleep disorders and anxiety caused by withdrawal.
Don’t overdo it! 2 to 3 cups a day is more than enough.
How to make outstanding coffee
The difference between the taste of homemade coffee and that of a cafeteria can be enormous. Some may say about it: “Well, they sell coffee, so obviously it must taste better.” But what would you think if I told you that you can make coffee that tastes as good as a coffee shop but without spending a fortune on gadgets?
That’s right, anyone can make a spectacular coffee at home. But how to do it?
Important: grind your own coffee bean
For people who really love coffee, buying ground coffee is comparable to cooking meat in the microwave or baking a cake with pancake flour. I mean, something is totally wrong.
Well, the ground coffee is probably not as extreme as the previous examples, but you do have to bear in mind that having a cup of coffee with freshly ground beans is an indescribable experience.
If you don’t have a coffee grinder, there are options in the online market at a very good price. So there are no excuses.
Even cheap freshly ground coffee tastes good!
Technically the only way to prepare an espresso is with an espresso machine (forgive the redundancy). However, we can have a very similar result in other ways.
Italian coffee maker
The home substitute for complex and expensive espresso machines is the classic Italian coffee maker. Although they don’t really make an espresso proper (rather, it’s a ‘Turkish’ style coffee), their taste is spectacular compared to the typical electric filter coffee makers found in offices.
- Grind 18 to 22 grams of coffee per cup
- Fill the boiler with water up to the point of the valve
- Put the filter in the boiler and add the coffee
- Close the coffee maker and put it on high heat with the lid open
- When the coffee starts to rise, lower the heat
- Turn off the coffee maker when the coffee has risen completely, preventing it from reaching the boiling point
Probably the easiest to do of all since many times all you have to do is press a button and your coffee magically comes out in a matter of seconds.
However, leaving the typical drip or paper filter coffee maker, there are other preparation methods that can yield unmatched results.
The French press or also known as a plunger coffee maker is one of the cheapest and easiest to use coffee makers on the market. Also for coffee, it works well for making tea.
The press has earned a reputation as the best method of brewing black coffee among baristas. By its nature, coffee prepared with this method has a complex body and intense flavors that other methods cannot achieve.
- Heat water to boiling point and then let it rest for a minute
- If the press is glass, pour ¼ cup of hot water into the French press, leave it for 30 seconds and then remove it.
- Add the ground coffee (10 to 15g per cup)
- Pour the hot water in slowly and evenly
- Mix it up with a spoon
- Put the lid on and let it rest for about 5 minutes
- Slowly press the plunger
- Ready to serve
Italian coffee maker (cut with water)
There are two ways to prepare a homemade American coffee: the original and the filter:
- Prepare an espresso (see instructions above)
- Heat 1 cup of water
- When the espresso is ready, serve into the cup
- Add hot water and wait a few minutes until the espresso is diluted
Remember, the ratio is 1 espresso to 3 hot water.
American style French press filtered coffee
- Grind the coffee until you have a fine espresso-like grind
- Heat water to the boiling point
- Add the coffee in the French press
- Pour the hot water and mix
Cappuccino is not as difficult coffee to make as is commonly believed. You don’t even need to have a steamer or espresso machine to make your signature foam.
Prepare a Cappuccino with the microwave
- Make a cup of espresso (see instructions above)
- Add ½ cup of milk to a glass container or a deep plate
- Heat it in the microwave for 1 minute
- To prepare the “milk cream”, mix with a whisk until doubled in volume
- Over the espresso, add ¼ cup of the heavy cream
- With a spoon add the foam
That’s the way you can make and enjoy your coffee at home. I hope you love this article, cheers…)