Be Your Own Barista: The Secret to Making Quality Craft Coffee
A new crop of craft coffee brewers makes you the barista in the kitchen.
How many nights have you gone to bed thinking about the cup of coffee you’ll have when you get up in the morning? Is the trek to the nearest coffee shop part of that dream? It doesn’t have to be. Getting that perfect cup at home is easier than you think. We don’t mean prepackaged pods, either. We’re talking artfully crafted java that raises the bar on your morning routine.
Foodies are getting hot and heavy about a new artisanal brew, and it has nothing to do with beer. Craft coffee turns a coffee break into an experience. The term refers to the growing pursuit of making high-quality, premium coffee that engages drinkers in the story of coffee, not just the sipping of it. From the origin of the beans to how it is brewed, craft coffee is about awakening your senses and emotions. Shops like Peace Coffee in Minneapolis and Coffee & Tea Collective in North Park, California (named one of the 21 Hottest Coffee Shops Across the U.S. by Eater), have been on the forefront of the craft coffee movement. Baristas create coffee with Zen-like precision, using filtered water, temperature controls, food scales, measuring cups, and more. Companies like KitchenAid — who have come out with a line of at-home craft coffee brewers — appreciate the passion behind craft coffee and make it possible in your own kitchen.
First, start at the beginning. There is no chicken-egg scenario here. Good coffee starts with good coffee beans. You should be as choosy about your beans as you are about your greens and grains. Coffee farmers put an enormous amount of time into growing the best coffee beans, so choose a bean that comes from a fair trade practice that compensates farmers. Research the flavor profiles of the beans — if you like chocolate and nuts, find a coffee that plays on those aspects. Also, choose coffee that has been freshly roasted. That means no pods, cups, or capsules. Choose a brand that has a roasted-on date so you know you are within the two-week window of consumption. Next, determine your grind. The right size grind is imperative for proper extraction. You’ll want to use a quality machine, like KitchenAid’s Burr Grinder, to do this. Too coarse a grind can result in a jammed brewer and brown water. Too fine and you’ve essentially created a pool of water for your beans to float in. Each brew method demands the proper grind size, delivering flavor and texture to create the optimum flavor. The KitchenAid Burr Grinder offers precision grinding that is really the first step in creating a consistent cup of rich craft coffee. Bonus: It’s a stunning machine that guests will gush over.
About that brew method… choose one that appeals not just to your tastes but also to your personality. If you’re looking for a bold, full-bodied, and robust cup of coffee, a French press is for you. KitchenAid’s Precision Press Coffee Brewer enhances the simplicity of the French press process but elevates it with its stainless-steel construction and integrated scale and timer. There is no need to fumble around with a measuring cup — this machine makes it easy to measure coffee to water ratio. It actually measures the coffee and water by weight instead of volume — a method favored by professional baristas around the world. A timer and digital display provide a quick and convenient read on steep time, too. And its stainless-steel construction provides optimal heat retention for coffee. These high-tech features ensure that the Precision Press will brew the best possible cup of coffee every time.
Craft coffee also embraces the lost art of coffee brewing in techniques like pour over or espresso pulling. Stickler for history and science? Siphon coffee brewing was invented in the 1800s and involves vacuum brewing for an artistic approach to coffee-making. It will appeal to both the historian and hipster in you.
Each of the brewers in KitchenAid’s new line has been engineered for precise performance. Exact water temperature is achieved in each brewer, allowing the grinds to awaken, bloom, and reveal their flavor, so no matter which method you prefer, the perfect pure cup of coffee is just moments away.
Ready to give home craft coffee brewing a shot? Channel your inner barista and get brewing.
1. Great Grinders
Once the farmers and roasters have done their thing, and you have brought their finished product home, it is time to start working on yours. Are you using the right brew method for your beans? And about those beans… did you know that you should really be grinding them yourself? Choose a grinder that takes the guesswork out of it for you. KitchenAid’s new Burr Grinder offers 15 selectable grinds for a wide variety of coffee beverages. Two precision, flat-cutting burrs grind beans to superb consistency every time. ;
2. A Perfect Pour Over
Pour-over coffee is taking over the craft coffee scene one filter at a time. Unsure about how steady your pouring hand actually is, but want to give this artful method a try? Automated pour-over technology in the Pour Over Coffee Brewer by KitchenAid does the work for you. The machine precisely heats and pulses the flow of water, so grounds are allowed to bloom, revealing a clean, full, bright-flavored coffee that isn’t over-soaked or diluted. Plus, you can select medium or dark roast to match your favorite flavor profile.;