How to Make a Perfect Cup of Coffee

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There’s nothing like a cup of good coffee to start the day. And, there’s nothing better than being able to brew your cup. Besides the convenience that making your own coffee offers, it also saves some money if you spend a lot on take-out coffee.

There’s also the fact that mastering the art of coffee making is an enjoyable pastime for any coffee lover. Fortunately, you can be your own barista. In this post, we’ll show you how to make a perfect cup of coffee with a few tips and three easy methods.

8 Tips for Making a Perfect Cup of Coffee

When making coffee, it’s the little things that’ll determine whether or not you end up with a great cup. Here’s our list of eight tips we think you should keep in mind to ensure you end up with the perfect cup:

1. Use Freshly Roasted Beans

freshly roasted coffee beans

Freshly roasted coffee beans deliver the most flavorful beverage. You’ll get the best results by using beans within four to five days after they’ve been roasted. To ensure you’re getting freshly roasted beans, get them from a local roaster or roast them yourself.

When buying from a roaster, ensure that they pack the beans in airtight bags. Exposure to oxygen and light leads to loss of flavor even in freshly grounded beans.

There are two types of coffee beans: Arabica and Robusta. The type of coffee beans you opt for depends on your personal taste and coffee goals. To learn more about the differences of these two type of coffee beans, check out our article Arabica vs Robusta

2. Store Your Coffee Beans Well

When you buy coffee beans, always transfer them to an airtight, dark-colored ceramic or glass container after opening the packaging. This is to keep out oxygen and light, which affect flavor.

Never refrigerate or freeze your beans since they’re porous and will readily absorb moisture. They can also absorb food odors, ruining their flavor and aroma.  

3. Grind Your Coffee

The moment coffee beans are ground, they start losing their flavor notes. Therefore, it’s important to buy beans instead of ground coffee—if they’re already ground when you buy them, you have no idea how long they’ve been losing flavor.

Once you have your beans, only grind them right before brewing.

4. Use Good Quality Filters

Using inferior filters will leave you with low-quality coffee. Filters keep the grounds from your drink, but they can also absorb some coffee oils, known as diterpenes.

These diterpenes are what lend coffee its aroma and flavor. Therefore, you don’t want to be using filters that absorb too much of these oils, stripping your coffee of its flavor.

Also, avoid filters that introduce foreign flavors into the coffee—such as a papery taste. If using paper filters, opt for oxygen bleached types. Bleached paper filters will hold your grounds without introducing any taste. But, they will absorb some of the coffee oils.

To avoid interference with your coffee’s flavor profile, go with metal, gold-plated filters. Metal filters hold the grounds but don’t absorb any coffee terpenes, allowing for a full-bodied beverage.

5. Use Good Water

Without good water, you cannot have a perfect cup of coffee. Avoid using tap water. Only use filtered water.

You can also use activated charcoal or carbon filters on your tap water to remove impurities before using it for brewing. Don’t use distilled water since it’s stripped of minerals that contribute to a full-flavored cup of coffee.

6. The Right Water Temperature

When making coffee, it’s essential to use the right water temperature. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a drink that’s either dull or bitter. The ideal water temperature for coffee brewing is around 195°F-205°F.

Water boils at 212°F. After removing boiling water from heat, it should take about 30-45 seconds to lower to about 195°F-205°F.

You can either wait this long or use a kitchen thermometer to ascertain the water’s temperature before adding it to the grounds. After adding the water to the grounds, don’t leave it on heat or reheat it as this will make it bitter.

7. Use a Measuring Scale

Many people use spoons or measuring cups when making coffee. You might make it with these, but get a measuring scale if you’re serious about making a perfect cup of coffee. Check out our blog on

You can measure the exact amount of grounds needed for your coffee, making way for excellent flavor balance and strength with a measuring scale.

8. Clean Your Coffee Maker Frequently

We’ve already mentioned that coffee beans have oils. Some of these oils get left behind in your equipment when you make coffee. Each time you use your machine, the residue builds up, eventually affecting your coffee’s flavor.

To avoid this, clean your coffee-making equipment regularly. Once or twice a month, run water and vinegar through your coffee machine to remove the oil residue. Rinse with clean water before getting back to making coffee with the machine.

How to Make a Perfect Cup of Coffee: 3 Easy Methods

Now that you know the tips to help you make a great cup of coffee, it’s time to explore the various brewing methods you can adopt. The ideal method depends on the result you are after—a mild or bold flavor? Here are three methods to choose from:

Pour Over Coffee

Pour over coffee is the easiest and fastest method to opt for if you’re in a hurry. Here’s how to make a perfect cup of coffee with the pour-over method in a few steps:

  1.  Fold the filter paper, fit it into the brewer, and soak it with hot water. Leave the water in the brewer. Do this to warm up the brewer so your coffee doesn’t cool down too fast when brewing.
  2. Bring water to a boil in a kettle. Meanwhile, grind your roast coffee beans until they resemble coarse table salt.
  3. Remove the water from the brewer and pour the grounds into the filter. Shake them to ensure they settle evenly.
  4. After the water in the kettle boils, remove from heat and let it settle for 30-45 seconds. Next, pour it on the coffee grounds in the filter and stop when it is saturated, but no water is dripping into the brewer. Let them sit for half a minute.
  5. Pour the rest of the hot water into the ground in small tight circles, starting from the middle and outwards to the edges of the filter.
  6.  When all the water has dropped through the filter, you can serve your coffee.  

French Press

Making coffee with the French press takes a little longer than the pour over method, but it’s pretty straightforward. Here are the steps to take to make your perfect cup:

  1. Preheat the press and mug by pouring in hot water and letting it sit while you grind your coffee beans.
  2. Grind your beans to a coarse or medium-coarse consistency.
  3. Boil water in a kettle, then remove from heat and put aside for 45 seconds.
  4. Pour the preheating water from the press and add the ground coffee.
  5. Pour the hot water into the press and stir thoroughly. Close the lid and wait for 4 minutes to allow the coffee to steep.
  6. After 4 minutes, plunge the press slowly to push the grounds to the bottom of the container.
  7. Remove the warming water in your mug and serve your cup of coffee.

Drip Coffee Machine

Drip machines are popular coffee makers because they can make many cups at once. This is the ideal method if you’re making coffee for a large group and don’t have time to repeat the process over and over. These are the steps to making a great cup of coffee with a drip machine:

  1. Begin by placing a filter in the basket. Grind your coffee beans, then place the grounds in the filter basket. Make the grind medium—any finer, and you’re likely to end up with a bitter drink.
  2. Fill the reservoir at the back of the machine with cold filtered water. Measure the amount of water you’ll be using with a carafe before pouring it into the reservoir to ensure you get it right.
  3. Place the carafe on the warming plate. Ensure the water spout is positioned over the center of the grounds in the filter.
  4. Turn on the machine and let the brewing begin. When brewing is done, remove the carafe from the warming plate immediately to prevent extra heating, which causes the drink to turn bitter.
  5. Your coffee is ready to serve.

Great Coffee at the Comfort of Your Home

As you can see, there’s no reason to make bland coffee because making a perfect cup isn’t all that complicated. We hope that you can now begin your coffee-making adventure and try out different beans, grounds, and additives with these tips and methods. 

Always remember it’s the little things that matter—the water, filters, ground consistency, the heat—and you’ll be well on your way to becoming your own favorite barista!

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The Best Coffee Tips from the Best Baristas. Whether it's an Americano, drip coffee, or espresso, you will find the best tips to brew the perfect cup of coffee at home.