Tips for Making a Coffee Shop Quality “Cup of Joe” at Home

by | Feb 28, 2024 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

Making a great cup of coffee at home is within reach. Here’s how. 

Full disclosure – I am not a coffee drinker. When I was in college and my classmates were brewing Folgers in the dorm rooms, I never acquired the taste. My preference is for hot chocolate made with good quality dark chocolate or some variety of green tea.

I do make good use of coffee as an ingredient in cooking. The flavor extraction from brewed or ground beans adds depth and earthiness to recipes like chocolate or caramel desserts, spice rubs, soups, stews, and bean dishes. And, I love coffee shops. The casual, comfortable vibe, the natural sense of community, and the aroma suit me when I need a change of scene for remote work and meetings or a personal escape.  

Despite not drinking coffee, I’ve been a good coffee brewing student and truly appreciate its intricacies. I owe most of my coffee education to my husband, James, who is a true coffee aficionado. I’ve also gleaned a great deal from coffee shop staff and purchasing coffee gifts over the years. I’ve come to know that the fine details make a difference – everything from where the beans are grown and how they are roasted, to brewing techniques.

photo: pixabay



Just as with cooking, making a good cup of coffee relies heavily on the quality and freshness of the ingredients (beans and water), preparation methods (grind and temperature), and brewing time. Here are six tips I have learned for producing the most flavorful cup.

1. Source good quality coffee beans.
When purchasing coffee beans for home brewing, find out where the beans come from. Good coffee roasters tend to purchase high-quality beans from smaller growers rather than low-grade mass-produced lots. Many grocers also carry high-quality coffee beans sourced from smaller producers.

2. Check for roast dates.
Roasted coffee beans have a shelf life regarding flavor. Luckily, many coffee roasters list a roast date somewhere on the packaging. Look for beans roasted within approximately the last 2 weeks. Coffee roasted several months ago may not harm you but will most likely taste stale.

3. Buy small quantities.
Buying freshly roasted coffee beans in a 12 – 16 oz bag allows enjoyment of that fresh taste regularly.

4. Use filtered or spring water.
Believe it or not, not all water is created equal, especially in the case of coffee making. Tap or city water usually contains chemicals that can alter the flavor of the coffee. Use filtered or spring water with minerals for brewing coffee for the best flavor.

5. Use a good-quality grinder.
When cooking, it’s important to cut ingredients to a similar size to promote even cooking. It’s the same with the grind of coffee beans. Using a good quality grinder that provides a consistent, even grind size will improve the flavor of the brew.

6. Pay attention to temperature when brewing.
The optimum water temperature range for brewing coffee is between 195°F – 205°F. The best flavor is extracted from lightly roasted beans on the higher end of that range, while darker roasted beans prefer the lower end.

Here’s to your next “cup of joe” brewed at home. By applying a few key coffee-making principles, you’ll be enjoying that high-quality coffee shop taste on the regular.



Have a comment or tip to share about coffee? We’d love to hear from you. Share your thoughts in the comments section.


Main photo: amenic181 for Getty-Images

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