How lockdown improved my coffee-making skills
From barely drinkable to almost-Barista-level, there has been a dramatic improvement in my coffee-making skills over lockdown. Admittedly, the coffee bar was set quite low to begin with but I’m pretty chuffed with the quality of the That’s Not My Age brew. Patience, plus time spent practising my coffee-making technique has led to positive results. Though I do love a spot of Fika to break up the morning (now known as: take-away on a bench), I can also have a quality cuppa on my balcony. And when, eventually, we have guests to stay, they will no longer be hurried out to the nearest coffee shop in the morning.
These are my tips on how to make the perfect espresso at home:
Invest in the correct equipment. We don’t have a high-falutin’ espresso machine but ditching the old French Press for the quick and easy to use Aeropress has been key to my coffee-making success.
Buy fresh beans. I’m a bit of a coffee snob and have been using Monmouth Coffee (Fazenda Santa Lucia: Brazil) bought in small-ish bags from a local grocery store. Where they grind the beans for you (medium grind if you’re doing it at home). Store in a cool dark place. The coffee man at the grocery shop advised me not to keep the packet in the fridge but to store it in an airtight container in the cupboard.
Get the balance right. Obviously, this comes down to personal preference but I like my coffee quite strong and so two scoops/shots/ tablespoons of coffee and then hot water up to level two on the Aeropress. Tip: leave the water for 30 seconds after boiling.
The milk frother makes all the difference. I cannot tell you how pleased I am that I spent late afternoon Christmas Eve 2019 rushing around Brixton looking for proper milk frother. My older brother had sent me some money which went on a Lavazza Milkup Milk Frother. Christmas Day coffee was dire, but three months in lockdown and things are looking up.
Latte art is limited to fluffy clouds at the moment but I’m working on a more complicated design. And I might put the money I’ve saved with my at-home caffeine fix towards a fancy new cup:
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