My Sneakily Cheap Way To Make Coffee – Without A Coffee Machine

My Sneakily Cheap Way To Make Coffee – Without A Coffee Machine

In my last post I spoke about how much I love the coffee shops and how I wanted to make my own coffee at home. Well, I thought I’d continue this theme and let you know some of the top tips I use to improve the quality of my coffee – still without a coffee machine!

Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against these devices and they can do some pretty amazing things. In, fact you can read a bit more about coffee makers with this guide, if you’re a bit curios about what they can do. You can also find a guide on the same site for milk frothers on the mainpage. But, I also know that most people don’t have around £200+ to pay for one. So here’s  few sneaky tips you can use to improve your coffee!

  1. Look after your beans. Ground coffee doesn’t stay fresh for long. Especially when its exposed to the air. It can quickly loose flavour over just a few days. You’ll know when this has happened because it will loose its glorious odor which smells rich and flavourful. Once this has gone you can expect dull, muddy coffee. Try storing it in air tight containers to make it last longer.
  2. Use filtered water. Coffee is around 98% water. So, it is clear why any impurities in the water will alter the taste – for the worse. Make sure your water is fresh and filtered and, trust me, you will taste the difference in your drink.
  3. Make sure your water isn’t too hot. Freshly boiled water isn’t the best friend to coffee grounds. Too hot and the grounds will become scorched and your coffee will taste like old tyres. The simplest thing you can do is to leave the water after it has boiled for the minute or two to cool down.
  4. Leave the sugar to hot chocolates. Coffee is supped to be a bitter drink and, loading it with sugar only masks the wonderfully rich flavours the drink offers. Most people only want to sweeten the coffee if it tastes bad, a good brew should be divine all on its own.
  5. Use the same spoon to measure your grounds every time. If you find that 2 tablespoons of grounds to 200ml of water gives you a brew you like then use two tablespoons next time. Don’t use a teaspoon and try to guess because you’ll only get it wrong. You’ll be surprised how many people think they can just guess the right amounts and then wonder why their coffee tastes bad. Remember what works for you and stick with it – don’t leave it to guess work.
  6. Be adventurous. If you find a certain blend doesn’t work for you they try another brand, strength or both. For example I love Costa coffee grounds. Sorry to be a corporate slave, but I do. However, some own brand coffee grounds just don’t sit well with me. How do I know? Because I experimented until I found a brand and strength I enjoyed. You should too. You’ll be surprised what is out there.

I’m the New Starbucks!

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I’m the New Starbucks!

OK, I lied. I’m not the new Starbucks (All Starbucks lawyers please back away). I’m a fan of the coffee shops. I enjoy socializing in them with my friends and they’ve became a nice part of my life – I enjoy the coffee and the company. So, I wanted a little bit of that in my home and thought about making my own cappuccinos. I’ve tried the sachet cappuccinos, you know the one’s which self-froth when you pour water on them? But to be honest they’re crap. They’re bland and there’s no foam (which is my favourite part!).

So, off I set on my own home-made-cappuccino making journey. I didn’t have too much money to spend and wanted to keep this as cheap as possible – which ruled out the the all-in-one coffee machine things, like the ‘dolce gusto’ et al. Don’t get me wrong they do make really nice coffees, but they’re still not authentic tasting. Tasty, but clearly artificial.

I did a bit of research online and found that using a cafetiere (which you can pick up for a fiver) and a milk frother you can get an authentic cappuccino at home. I did deliberate over some of the slightly more expensive milk frothers like those made by Dualit or Krups, but settled on a cheap hand held version. All in all the whole set cost me about £15, so I was quite happy

No armed with everything I needed I set off very optimistic I could make a great cappuccino! Well, it wasn’t quite so easy. It wasn’t rocket science or anything but it took a bit of time to get the espresso part right. The frothed milk was easy, just turn the milk frother on and let it do its thing. But I needed some help, luckily a few searches on youtube provided me with the answer:

Pretty cool, huh? Well, it is to a coffee lover! Once I got the coffee portion of the drink right, the rest followed. I have to say I was quite impressed with myself and enjoyed the results. I just wish I had taken a photo. Maybe next time…