November 23rd is National Espresso Day, and it's an opportunity to truly savor and appreciate the role coffee plays in our lives. Our real estate agents wouldn't make it through a day without it, and we're not ashamed to admit that!
In honor of the occasion, we rounded a few crucial tips and tricks for all you home baristas out there. Whether you're looking to up your pour-over game or want to brew the perfect latte in the comfort of your kitchen, these tips will help.
- Use Fresh Beans
All the high-end equipment and perfectly honed brewing skills in the world won't help you if you're using old beans. When you buy coffee, choose beans from a local roaster (we're partial to Mi Mundo Coffeehouse & Roastery here in Round Rock) and look for the roast date stamped on the bag.
- Keep it Sealed Up
As long as we're talking about freshness, it's worth noting that coffee beans start to lose flavor and freshness the minute you open the bag. Once you've opened your package of freshly-roasted coffee beans, transfer them to an airtight container, and store them away from light at room temperature. Contrary to popular belief, it's best not to keep coffee in the freezer if you plan to use it within the next few weeks.
- Buy a High-Quality Grinder
The convenience of having your beans ground when you buy them is tempting. But you'll get more flavor out of every cup if you grind the beans yourself right before you brew. It's also important to use a high-quality grinder.
- Use a Scale
Trying to eyeball the amount of coffee grounds you want to use for each beverage leads to inconsistent brewing. Use a scale so you can dial in the precise amount of coffee and enjoy a perfect espresso every time.
- Experiment with Coarseness
The coarseness of the grind impacts the flavor of the resulting coffee in a big way. For espresso, a very fine grind is usually best. But if you find that your espresso machine takes too long to brew or that the resulting espresso tastes bitter, try a slightly courser grind. If you're simply making coffee using a French press or pour-over method, a courser grind is best for eliminating bitterness without losing flavor.
- Don't Use Hard Water
This is one of the most common mistakes home baristas make. Hard water can potentially add off-flavors to your espresso, but that's not the biggest problem it causes. More importantly, hard water leaves scaly mineral deposits inside your espresso machine, which can be very difficult to clean.
- Brew at the Right Temperature
Water temperature is crucial to extracting all the desirable flavors from coffee beans without scalding them. For espresso, the ideal water temperature is 190 to 195 degrees Fahrenheit. For making pour-over coffee, the ideal temperature is 195 to 205 degrees. No matter what kind of coffee beverage you are making, the water should never be boiling.
- Keep Your Equipment Clean
After making espresso, clean your espresso machine like you're a barista who just got done serving the morning rush. It's easy to put this off until tomorrow, but the longer you wait to clean up, the harder it will get. Leaving equipment dirty is not only a health hazard but can also shorten the lifespan of your precious coffee gear.
Here in Round Rock, we're lucky to have some truly amazing local coffee shops convenient to these Round Rock homes for sale. For coffee lovers, it's a perfect place to call home. Contact us today to learn more about life in Round Rock, TX!