We’re all self-isolating due to COVID-19, and you might have wondered how to make the best coffee at home. Confession: I used to be addicted to caffeine. I’m talking six cups of coffee a day in order to function. I’ve since switched to decaf to avoid taxing my adrenal glands, preferring to get energy naturally. I still love the taste, though, and have become an expert in how to make the best coffee.

Coffee is a staple for many writers because we keep weird hours (and are weird, introverted people in general). I don’t put my body through the highs and lows of caffeine anymore, but I do enjoy writing with a hot cup beside me. Call it placebo effect! Did you see chapter 1 of Unexpected Ride, the first book in my new series with Marlo Lanz? Check it out because I’d love to know what you think!

How to make the best coffee

The perfect cup of home brewed coffee has several crucial steps. I’m a coffee purist (okay, some say snob), so I’ll rarely drink the chain variety, preferring to control quality (and save money) at home.

Find the best, fresh beans

Coffee is one of the most heavily sprayed crops, meaning the beans are covered in chemicals. We’re an organic household and coffee beans are no exception. Some of my favorite brands are Kicking Horse, Ethical Bean and West End (I buy the espresso, which is not decaf, for a rare treat). To keep the beans fresh, store them in an air tight container.

Grind your own beans

I know it’s a bit of a pain to grind your own beans, but the taste is worth it. You need an even, perfect grind to get the most flavor. Don’t worry – you don’t have to break the bank or spend hours on this process. You can get an awesome grinder for less than $50 and you’ll more than get your money back if you start skipping takeout cups.

How to make the best coffee

Buy the right tools

For drip coffee, there is nothing better than the Chemex. The design is so cool that I don’t mind leaving it on the counter top, and it’s even featured in museums! We also have a fancy pants Breville machine with a built in grinder, frother and so many customizations that I’m still figuring them out. But damn, the decaf lattes are good!

Filters are king

Don’t cheap out on filters. You need them for your water and your machine/Chemex. We go through so much water in our household that we’re looking into an attachment for the sink, but a good ol’fashioned Brita will also do the trick. For our Chemex, we double filter with a reusable version and a paper one. You can taste all the notes in the coffee and we drink it black because it’s so pure.

Don’t use boiling water

For the best results, use water that is about 45 seconds away from boiling. You don’t want to burn your coffee or give it the bitter, gross taste that chain restaurants are known for. Once you have exquisite homemade coffee, you will never go back!

How to make the best coffee

Do you have any tips that you’d add to my list?

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