10 Essential Tips for Making Great Coffee at Home


Michael Haft and Har­ri­son Suarez went to col­lege togeth­er, served in the Marines in Afghanistan, then, after return­ing home, stum­bled upon the world of spe­cial­ty cof­fee and began “an obses­sive quest to brew the per­fect cup.” That quest result­ed in the pub­li­ca­tion of an inter­ac­tive dig­i­tal book designed for the iPad. Per­fect Cof­fee at Home ($4.99) uses illus­tra­tions, inter­ac­tive graph­ics, videos and a sound­track to make the tuto­r­i­al “an immer­sive expe­ri­ence.” But you don’t need to foot the bill or have an iPad to improve your cof­fee mak­ing skills.

Over at The Atlantic, Haft and Suarez gave some free advice last week, pub­lish­ing an arti­cle where they, among oth­er things, enu­mer­at­ed 10 essen­tial tips for mak­ing cof­fee. They boiled things down to this:

  1. Buy good cof­fee beans. Prefer­ably whole beans, sus­tain­ably farmed, and roast­ed with­in the past few weeks.
  2. Grind your cof­fee just before brew­ing. They say, “it’s the num­ber one thing you can do to improve your cof­fee at home.”
  3. Store your cof­fee prop­er­ly. Keep the cof­fee in an air­tight con­tain­er, away from sun­light. Try to avoid freez­ing the beans, unless they’re going to linger for more than two weeks.
  4. Use a good amount of cof­fee, and the right pro­por­tion of cof­fee to water. The ide­al is what they call “The Gold­en Ratio,” 17.42 units of water to 1 unit of cof­fee.
  5. Find the right grind size for your cof­fee beans and aim for a uni­form grind.
  6. Con­trol the tem­per­a­ture of your water. Keep it some­where between 195 and 202 degrees. Boil­ing water can sour the cof­fee.
  7. If you get real­ly skilled, you can agi­tate the cof­fee dur­ing the brew­ing to con­trol the taste.
  8. Focus on tech­nique. And once you learn the right tech­nique, make sure you’re pre­cise and con­sis­tent.
  9. Use qual­i­ty tools. Buy the right bean grinder and cof­fee mak­er. Make a good invest­ment in your cof­fee drink­ing future.
  10. When exper­i­ment­ing with the brew­ing process, adjust only one vari­able at a time so you can accu­rate­ly track results.

The Atlantic arti­cle offers more detail than what we’ve high­light­ed above. So we’d encour­age you to give “How to Make Per­fect Cof­fee” a read. You can also find short video primers on the Haft & Suarez YouTube Chan­nel. If you have your own great cof­fee mak­ing tips, def­i­nite­ly share them with us in the com­ments sec­tions below. We want to know!

Relat­ed Con­tent:

A Short, Ani­mat­ed Look at What’s Inside Your Aver­age Cup of Cof­fee

“The Vertue of the COFFEE Drink”: An Ad for London’s First Cafe Print­ed Cir­ca 1652

Black Cof­fee: Doc­u­men­tary Cov­ers the His­to­ry, Pol­i­tics & Eco­nom­ics of the “Most Wide­ly Tak­en Legal Drug”

The Physics of Cof­fee Rings Final­ly Explained

The His­to­ry of Cof­fee and How It Trans­formed Our World

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Comments (9)
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  • Bart says:

    Keep water between 195 and 202 degrees, so it does­n’t boil? I’ve tried, but my water keeps boil­ing and evap­o­rat­ing at 100 degrees (Cel­sius).

    Keep­ing it between 90.6 degrees Cel­sius to 94.4 degrees Cel­sius seems to work bet­ter.

  • Chris says:

    “… The ide­al is what they call “The Gold­en Ratio,” 17.42 units of water to 1 unit of cof­fee.” Is this by vol­ume, or by weight?

  • All won­der­ful. But how in the name of all the gods does on con­trol the water tem­per­a­ture ANYWAY?!
    Too much mys­tique in the fine art of cof­fee brew­ing. Too much open to argu­ment that’s nev­er resolved. Every­one with a dif­fer­ent opin­ion.
    The day I find all the experts agree­ing on any­thing will be a tru­ly red-let­ter one.

  • Ben says:

    I drink bul­let­proof-cof­fee… I’ve been a cof­fee drinker for a long time but this stuff is just out of this world. I get such a smooth flow of ener­gy that just gets me in the mood to get things done. Some­how it real­ly calms my mind and super-focus­es it. Where­as oth­er cof­fees I just get the jit­ters and can’t think straight worth a damn. If you want some of the best cof­fee on the plan­et, get bul­let­proof-cof­fee. If you want to read about why its so amaz­ing, check out this link. Read about their MCT oil as well if you want even more of an ener­gy boost.


  • Mahlon Boehs says:

    Amen to buy­ing qual­i­ty beans. Don’t buy the cheap­est brand at the super­mar­ket because the beans mat­ter!

  • Willie Murphy says:

    Here peo­ple might get 10 Essen­tial Tips for Mak­ing Great Cof­fee at home. Real­ly effec­tive for 10 tips of mak­ing great cof­fee mak­er. I would like to con­grat­u­late for this great con­tri­bu­tion.

  • Maya says:

    This 10 Essen­tial Tips for Mak­ing Great Cof­fee at Home guide , is an amaz­ing resource for any­one who loves cof­fee. It pro­vides easy-to-fol­low steps to make a great cup of cof­fee at home. I was real­ly impressed with how com­pre­hen­sive the tips were, cov­er­ing every­thing from grind­ing the beans to select­ing the right fil­ter size. The guide is also writ­ten in a very acces­si­ble and clear way, mak­ing it easy to fol­low even for begin­ners.

  • Sami says:

    The sug­ges­tions’ thor­ough­ness, which includ­ed infor­ma­tion on every­thing from bean grind­ing to choos­ing the prop­er fil­ter size, real­ly sur­prised me. Also, the man­u­al is writ­ten in an approach­able and under­stand­able style that makes it sim­ple to fol­low even for begin­ners.

  • Murali says:

    Thank you for shar­ing this infor­ma­tive arti­cle about Michael Haft and Har­ri­son Suarez’s quest for brew­ing the per­fect cup of cof­fee. It’s great to see that they’ve shared their knowl­edge and exper­tise for free, pro­vid­ing essen­tial tips for any­one look­ing to improve their cof­fee-mak­ing skills. The 10 tips they’ve shared, from buy­ing good qual­i­ty beans to using qual­i­ty tools, are sim­ple yet effec­tive ways to make a great cup of cof­fee. I appre­ci­ate the addi­tion­al resources, such as the inter­ac­tive book and YouTube chan­nel, that they’ve pro­vid­ed as well.

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