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How to make perfect coffee at home without a machine | food

I spend a fortune on takeaway coffee. Can I make a good one at home without a machine?
Harry, Leeds
You can save hundreds of pounds a year by up your coffee game at home. James Hoffmann, author of How to Make the Best Coffee at Home, says a little investment goes a long way: “Take a monthly budget for cafe coffee and spend it on a grinder.”

“Buying ground coffee is like buying a chopped apple,” adds Hoffmann. “It’s starting to get stale and spoiled quickly.” The grinder also allows you to make coffee by adjusting the grind size – medium to medium-fine for a cafeteria, for example. “But be sure to use a burr grinder for a consistent texture.” A set of scales for weighing the beans is also handy to ensure a reliable cup every time. This may seem silly, but you don’t necessarily have to fork it out: “The kitchen scale works just fine,” says Hoffmann.

Look at the roasting date when buying beans. “Freshness is important,” says Dale Harris of Ozone Coffee in London, so buy little and often and store in something airtight and in the dark. Kernels “within four to six weeks; That way, your coffee will taste much better.” While Harris says the name of the farm or producer is more important than the country of origin, another factor is the origin, because “it’s more likely that someone will personally choose that coffee for its taste.”

“In the supermarkets, you’ll see a strength guide,” says Hoffmann, who says roasting will also significantly affect the taste of your coffee, explaining that ultimately it’s all about roasting. “The higher the force, the darker and more bitter the roast.” However, specialty coffee does not provide a power level. “Most of the time it will be a light-medium roast,” says Hoffmann. “If you see fruity words in the description, that indicates some acidity, while a sweeter and nutty description means a more aromatic brew.” If you’ve lost it, buy beans at your local cafe – after all, you’re already a fan of the beans they use.

Next, you have to choose what to brew these beans with. Harris prefers “anything with a paper filter”. [from £10]although once you have a Chemex [a pour-over-style glass coffee maker at about £50], you will never come back”. They make a “really clean brew”. Harris uses 60g of coffee per liter of boiled water and is slowly poured through a filter.

Nick Law, founder of Bean Shot Coffee in Bruton, Somerset, also recommends a Chemex or AeroPress (about £30). “It’s a good, versatile device and you can take it anywhere,” says Law, who uses 18-20 g per 240 ml of water that needs to be filtered and is at about 90°C. However, Hoffmann’s brewer of choice is Clever Dripper (about £20). “There’s a little stopper underneath [of the conical dripper]He mixes 18 grams of medium-fine coffee with 300 grams of water.

But Harris says a cafeteria can also produce great results. Hoffmann uses 60-70 grams of coffee per liter of coffee in his coffee. Let it steep for four minutes, stir the crust formed on it, and ladle the residue. Be patient, let the ground sink to the bottom, then just dip it up to the surface of the liquid and pour slowly.

Hoffmann says the iconic Italian Moka pot (about £20) is also great if you want a strong coffee; It uses 100g of medium-fine coffee per liter of water, but that doesn’t get you an espresso. “It’s much more complicated because you need a proper machine instead of an expensive brewer.” It’s much better to save the espresso for a weekly takeaway treat.