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Better ‘Latte’ than Never: A Beginners’ Guide to Home-Made Coffee

Say ‘aye’ if the stay-at-home order has disrupted your daily routines; Yeah, I feel you. Prolonged isolation drove many of us to realize the small constants that can make life slightly more bearable, one of them being our usual coffee orders from the local cafés we used to visit almost every morning before work.

Here’s some good news: you can enjoy that same, or better, cup of coffee at home. Learning to make coffee can be overwhelming since there are so many different types of caffeinated beverages you can touch on, but believe me when I say that the brewing skills you have yet to develop can take you to whole new heights.

Then, you will be able to enjoy indulgent drinks that are closely tailored to your liking whenever you want, wherever you want. There is a lot to learn. But fear no more because here are the four early steps to finding the perfect coffee recipes for you.

1. Understand your flavor profile

Every cup of coffee is made up of a complex blend of varying ingredients that each extract unique flavors and aromas, together creating a complete sensory experience on your taste buds. Hence, it is important that you carefully choose the right ingredients.

Let us talk about the two types of coffee beans: Arabica and Robusta. Arabica coffee tends to create a smoother taste, whereas Robusta coffee can be a lot more bitter. If you can’t choose your fighter just yet, some brands sell packets containing a mix of both.

Coffee beans also come in different roasts, from light to medium, to dark. The darker the roast, the more bitterness the beans produce. Typically, coffee chains use the medium to medium-dark roasts in most of their drinks because these types tend to exert a good balance between aroma and flavor.

Other questions that are worth considering are the following: Do you like your coffee cold or hot? Do you like to have some foam on top? How sweet do you like your coffee?

If you have a sweet tooth, you may want to put in one to two sachets of sugar (or honey for a healthier alternative) and possibly some milk or creamer into your drink. If you want to up your drink, you may also add some cinnamon powder, matcha, or caramel syrup (basically any topping of your choice) for spicier, fancier flavors!

2. Know your caffeine needs

It is also important to take note of how frequently you plan on drinking coffee. If you plan on consuming it every morning to get your energy up, you should opt for an espresso with two to three shots to wake you up before your early meetings.

If you plan on drinking coffee weekly or occasionally as a treat, you might want to go for more intricate recipes or more complicated techniques that produce in-depth flavors and aromas that satisfy your cravings. TikTok is the perfect destination if you need inspiration.

You may also want your coffee to be more of a health drink. Cinnamon, honey, vanilla extract, and cardamon are among some of the add-ins people put into their coffee to make it a little more nutritious.

3. Gather your essentials

Now that you know what you want, it is time to assemble your home café setup. We have compiled a small checklist of items you need to have in your kitchen to make this possible:

  • Coffee grinder. Any type should do the job but I recommend researching the different brands and types available in your area and selecting one that is most suitable to your lifestyle before making an investment. You want one that is durable, practical and delivers a high-quality grind.

  • Kettle. It is less of a hassle to have a kettle around, as it is efficient and ready-to-go whenever you need hot water to complete your cup of coffee. It is also generally inexpensive and low-maintenance whilst being very portable and easy-to-use.

  • Scale. A digital scale would be useful in ensuring that your ratios are correct.

  • Brewer. There are many options out there; the most common types are the French Press, the Drip, the Aeropress, and the Siphon. They provide quick methods to brew your morning coffee and each offers slightly varying textures. I also recommend that you do some research on this to select the right brew method for you, alongside their price points and offers. There are many affordable options to choose from.

  • Coffee Beans. This is self-explanatory. Note that it may take some time to find the type and brand that suits you. I recommend purchasing them from coffee roasters over grocery stores because their beans are usually still fresh and of top quality.

  • Optional: toppings and extras. Feel free to include some add-ins of your choice — whatever makes you happy — to your drink, like a good swirl of whipped cream, some mint leaves, or maybe even a bar of chocolate. Never feel like you are limited to the standard ingredients only. A dash of this or a sprinkle of that could make all the difference. Who knows? Your drink could be the next Dalgona coffee.

During this tough time, we are encouraged to stay inside as much as possible to minimize the spread of COVID-19. Let us introduce you to MyKuya’s Personal Shopper, or PaBili service, a feature that allows you to find a Kuya or Ate on demand to help check off the items on your shopping agenda.

You can simply take note of the above checklist and provide other instructions or comments that you want Kuya or Ate to keep in mind when collecting the items for your home café setup from your nearest shopping area. They can exchange photos with you to ensure that you are exactly getting what you asked for. You will be able to track their journey from the moment you ordered the service, to the moment they arrive at your doorstep with the MyKuya App. Download it here.

Once you have everything, the fun begins.

4. Experiment!

It takes creativity to find the recipe for your perfect cup of coffee.

Firstly, it is important to follow the grind size required for your chosen brewing method. Don’t forget to make sure that your equipment has been cleaned and your ingredients are fresh. Be bold in your decisions and write down every measurement and every step you take for every cup you make until the day you find your ideal morning beverage.

And don’t just stop once you have mastered your usual.

Come up with other recipes for different occasions, like a very over-the-top dessert-like beverage that could cheer you up on a gloomy day, or an aesthetically-pleasing drink to impress your friends whenever they come over next. You can also bring to the dining table a rendition of your favorite seasonal classics, like the pumpkin spiced latte to put you into the fall mood, or the eggnog latte to get you in the Christmas spirit.

The possibilities are endless and are explorable from your home kitchen island. Get all the appliances and ingredients with MyKuya and spend the rest of the lockdown pouring your creative energy into your coffee mug. Like creating any form of art, making your ideal cup of coffee can bring you as much happiness as sipping the go-to from your favorite café. You just need a few creative leaps and an open mind.

So, what are you waiting for?


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