THE COFFEE
Try to use the freshest coffee available. Have enough on hand to last the week or fortnight, not the month. Roasted coffee is a fresh product and like a bowl of fruit, will not be at its best after more than a few weeks.

Green or unroasted coffee is relatively stable and in the right conditions can be stored for long periods, but once roasted, coffee begins to oxidize and over time loses flavour.

THE COFFEE MAKING EQUIPMENT
Keep it clean - like you were taking it into an operating theatre.

GRINDING YOUR COFFEE
One of the best things you can do, to improve the taste of your coffee is to grind it as you need it. A little more demanding in terms of your time but you get a better result grinding the beans as you go.

STORING YOUR COFFEE
Cool, dark and dry in an airtight container. Not in the fridge or freezer

MAKING A GREAT CUP OF PLUNGER COFFEE

THE WATER
If you have a filter, use it.

THE GRIND
If you can grind your own as you need it, fantastic. But if the coffee's fresh and the gear is clean you can still get a great cup of plunger coffee using pre-ground coffee. A medium grind suits a plunger best.

  • Boil the water and use this to heat the cups.
  • Measure the coffee into the plunger - try one rounded soup spoon per person or more, depending on how you prefer it.
  • Pour over the water. About 150 - 200mls per person. Do not pour bubbling water onto the coffee as it burns it. About 93C is good.
  • Give it a gentle stir and plunge straight away. Do not leave it to sit like a tea bag, as this extracts bitterness present in all coffee. (The trick is not to draw it out in the making).
Keep practicing and here's to a really satisfying, fabulous cup of plunger coffee!
 

MAKING A GREAT CUP OF ESPRESSO

THE WATER
If you have a filter, use it. The temperature should be around 93C. If it is hotter, you may find your coffee tastes burnt. Put through 30mls of water for a single shot and 60mls for a double.

THE GRIND
If you can grind your own as you need it, fantastic. Adjust the grind according to the pour. Make it finer if the water is coming through too quickly and coarser if it's coming through too slowly. Typically, you'll need a coarser grind in the morning, than you will in the afternoon.

THE POUR
Your coffee should pour like warm honey and take 22 seconds from the time you press ‘go'. If the water comes through too quickly, the coffee will taste sour. Too slowly and it will taste bitter. Good, fresh coffee should never be bitter.

THE TAMP
Technically, the pressure you put on the coffee should be the same every time (around 15kgs) and so just vary the grind, depending on the pour.

THE MILK
Full cream milk carries the flavour of the coffee best. Always start with cold milk and texture/heat it until you have to remove your hand from the jug - about 70C.

Keep practicing and here's to a gorgeous cup of espresso!