My name is Mike Jones, and I'm a barista at Third Rail Coffee right by Washington Square Park in New York City. I'm going to teach you some basic coffee-making skills.
Alright, so how do you make coffee at home? Now this is a really tricky subject in that any nice cafe that you go to, you ask that question, and you'll get an answer right away. No one's going to say, "Oh, I don't know how to make coffee at home." But is how they're telling you to make coffee what they actually do? What are the basic things that you need? Fresh coffee is one of them, fresh, good coffee. It's funny because, since I'm usually taking home coffee that is too old to be sold and things like that, I find myself not following this like basic rule often. And then every time I have a bag of fresh coffee, I'm like "Oh yeah, I tell people this all the time when I'm not doing it." So if you have coffee that's less than two weeks old and you grind it fresh on either a hand grinder - you can get those for $30 to $40, they're really easy. I definitely recommend it. You can spend up to a couple hundred dollars as well, but a burr grinder is what you want. So you have that fresh coffee. The second thing is the water. The water should be at the correct temperature which is off a boil between 195 and 205 degrees. And also try using filtered water. Water needs to be at a certain hardness. If you want to get technical, it has to be at 150 parts per million TDS, which is total dissolved solids. That's all I can say about that because, I don't know exactly what that means but I do know that I've had water at that and it's delicious. So just buy like spring water and try putting that in the kettle and boiling it. You don't want distilled water because that will be too soft, too pure. It's not going to extract what you want out of the coffee. But just basic spring water. And then finally just a couple of gadgets that will make your life easier. These are a scale and a timer. Once you can start brewing coffee at home consistently and getting a cup that you like, and having numbers that you can apply to that. So say you used 21 grams of coffee, 390 grams of water, 3 and a half minutes and you loved it, then the next day you can do the exact same thing. You're not winging it, it's not all over the place. So, timer and scale, fresh coffee, water. Do those, you'll be happy.