Coffee

Our Essential Coffee-Making Tips, Techniques, and Tools

June 30, 2016

The beauty of coffee is that it's a no-bar-to-entry sport: You'e got options on how to make it! And our favorite coffee-making tips and gadgets are here to show you the way. 

Coffee

Pick—and store—your beans.

  • We're all about strong food foundations here at Food52, and coffee is no exception: Great coffee starts with great beans. But we use them as more than just morning pick-me-ups: Here are a bunch of other great uses for your grounds
  
L
eft: The beans we use for our office coffee. Right: A sampler of single-origin blends from Driftaway Coffee

  • Weigh it out. Different beans have different densities, so a scale is the best way to guard against the crushing disappointment of weak coffee. 
  
Left: Our favorite wooden-topped Mason jars, for storing beans (and everything). Right: A scale that you can depend on.
 

More: Coffee is good in everything—even French onion soup.

Keep things fresh.

  • Grind it yourself. While the ease of pre-ground coffee is tempting, the effort of grinding your own is well worth the payoff—both in slight arm muscle toning and a fresher, more flavorful cup. If you really can't see yourself cranking your own, pick up this electric option. Just don't forget to clean it properly when you're done! 
  • If you want your coffee hot, remember to keep your water temperature below boiling to avoid scorching it.
  
Left: The cutest hand-cranked coffee bean grinder in all the land. Right: The kettle for your pour over dreams

More: Donuts and coffee are made to be together—scientifically.

Choose your method, then master it.

  
Left: An ingenious cold brewer that makes it while you sleep. Right: Lidded, easy-remove ice cube trays

  • Whatever your method, make sure you're doing it right. Master your aeropress, get your pourover just right, perfect your Chemex technique, or become a French Press pro. If you're using a filter, rinse it first. You'll get less paper on your palate and more coffee. 
  Glass-Handled Chemez BrewerRight: A perfect coffee scooper, made from black walnut. Right: Our glass Chemex, for the purists

More: The difference in cold brew and iced coffee—and which is better.  

Now that you have the perfect cup:

This article originally ran two summers ago, but we've beefed it up with tools and new tips so your coffee mugs stay happy. 

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Have you perfected your coffee technique? Tell us all about it in the comments!

4 Comments

tamater S. March 13, 2017
TIP # 1 - Fair Trade, and hopefully organic and shade grown.
 
John K. July 18, 2016
Coffee has different water content depending on roasting length, so a scale is not as reliable as measuring bean volume. If your coffee is too heavy with water (light roast) it's easy to weigh too little.
 
RSherr March 26, 2015
sub
 
Mike F. September 5, 2014
For those who have regular coffeemakers, put in one cup of water more than you intend to make. About ½ to 1 cup will not make it into the pot.