We’re all about visiting coffee shops. Whether you’re in it for the specialty lattes or the good vibes, they offer an experience that is worth pursuing. Sure, we may be biased, but coffee shops are popular for more than just providing people with a caffeine fix.
There’s just something innately exceptional about a good local coffeehouse, with its freshly-roasted beans filling the air with alluring scents, eclectic environment welcoming everyone, and busy baristas buzzing along being the bar. It makes us giddy just to think about stepping into our favorite local spots or trying something new on vacation.
Chelsea Coffee is no stranger to giving people the experience and the coffee in Ocala that they crave. While we’d love to welcome you into our cozy coffee shop every day, we understand that most of our patrons have to have at least a cup or two at home each week. In the spirit of sharing our coffee expertise, we’re here to help you craft the ultimate cup of coffee in the comfort of your own home.
How to Make the Best Coffee at Home
As the top coffee shop in Ocala, FL, Chelsea knows a thing or two about great coffee. Heck, we even have some industry secrets up our sleeves that we keep under lock and key. You’d need a treasure hunt á la Nicolas Cage to uncover the depths of our coffee cult.
That said, we love our fellow fanatics. That’s why we’ve put together the following guide to unlocking the full potential of your at-home coffee-making adventure. If you crave coffee that lives up to the standards set by your favorite local coffee shop, you’ve come to the right place.
Begin with Beans
You can’t build a solid house without a strong foundation. When it comes to coffee, your foundation is built with beans. If you opt for subpar beans, you’ll never be happy with the finished product. However, if you begin with the freshest, highest-quality beans, you set yourself up for success.
Picking coffee beans is both an art and a science. As a general rule, you want to buy whole beans that are as fresh as possible. To do this, you should purchase your whole beans from your local coffee roaster or coffee shop. For Ocala coffee lovers, stopping by Chelsea (or buying online) to pick up a fresh bag of beans roasted by Sweetwater Organic Coffee Co. is your best bet.
Keep Air Out
Unless you’re brewing a batch for the entire family, your new bag of freshly roasted beans will likely last you at least a few days. Because the freshness of the beans plays a direct role in the quality of the coffee, keeping your beans as prime as possible is essential. Otherwise, the potential of your brew deteriorates with each passing day.
As with most sensitive food goods, oxygen is the enemy. Coffee beans will stay fresher longer if they are kept in air-tight containers. Ideally, your beans will also be safe from light and moisture. If you have a pantry, that’s probably the best location to store your air-tight container full of delicious beans.
No matter what you do, don’t store your coffee beans in your refrigerator or freezer.
Mind Your Grind
Opting for whole beans is key to brewing superb coffee at home, but it does require that you invest in a coffee grinder. Luckily, there are a variety of options available in a spectrum of price ranges. So, whether you’re a purist who prefers to grind beans with a manual grinder or you crave convenience and choose an electric coffee grinder, there are plenty of great products to select from.
One thing you should consider when buying a coffee grinder is the method they use to turn those whole beans into grounds. Burr grinders are superior to blade grinders due to the consistency of the grind they produce and the lack of heat they generate.
Once you’ve selected your burr coffee grinder, you’ll want to perfect the coarseness you achieve for the brewing method you’re using. Coarser grinds are ideal for things like French press, while fine grinds are best for espresso. Drip coffee, on the other hand, thrives with medium coarseness.
Don’t Bother with Bad Water
The water you use to brew your at-home coffee will directly impact the quality and taste of the finished product. City water is known for having a funky flavor thanks to chemicals like chlorine. Rather than using water straight from the tap, consider investing in a good filtration system that will remove any unwanted odors or tastes.
As a general rule, it’s best to use filtered water when brewing coffee. Remember, if you wouldn’t drink it straight from the sink, you shouldn’t use it in your coffee-making process!
Precision is Your Friend
Practice makes perfect, and brewing coffee is no exception. Whether you’re experimenting with different techniques or improving your favorite method, precision is your friend. While we don’t necessarily advocate becoming obsessive about the minute details of making coffee (though you can if you want), being intentional and thoughtful does make a difference.
Factors like the coffee grounds to water ratio, brewing temperature, coffee bloom, saturation level, and more all play vital roles in the heavenly beverage that fills your cup. It may sound a bit overwhelming, and we assure you that diving deep into these particulars isn’t a prerequisite to enjoying phenomenal coffee at home, but if you want to elevate your brew, these nuanced facets of coffee making are worth considering.
Cleanliness and Coffee – A Match Made in Heaven
After brewing your divine cup of Joe, take the time to clean your equipment. Any residue left behind will affect your next brew. If you neglect to clean it time after time, you’ll have buildup from your grinds and any minerals from your water, such as calcium and lime.
By consistently cleaning your implements after each use, you prevent this accumulation and eliminate the possibility of unpleasant lingering flavors tainting your delectable coffee beverages. As an added bonus, regular cleaning and maintenance will also help your equipment remain in pristine working condition for years to come. Now, that’s a win-win.
On those dark days when you can’t make it to your favorite Ocala coffee shop, we hope this guide to brewing up a batch of exquisite coffee makes your homebrew a suitable alternative to Chelsea. Of course, you can always purge your palate by stopping by our joyful little shop tomorrow!
For more pertinent pointers to crafting coffee perfection, be sure to visit our blog. We update it regularly with all the coffee knowledge you can handle. From what makes Chelsea the top coffee in Ocala, FL, to tips and tricks you need to unlock the full potential of your own coffee-making talent, you’ll find all things caffeine fiend there for free!