There aren't too many better feelings in the world then relaxing on the couch (or back patio) with a freshly brewed coffee cup. The perfect combination of freshness, superb coffee, and home comfort all rolled into one experience make for such a wonderfully calming and enjoyable moment.
But hey, we love cafes and coffee shops. They have helped build coffee culture into what it is today. But with 2020's global pandemic, and the ability to make a great cup at home, we explored the benefits of home-brewed coffee. Here are our top 15!
Better Coffee for Less
- Cost. Paying $5 or more for a pour-over or $7 for a latte? I guess you can if you want to, but those bills pile up fast - especially if you love coffee and drink a few cups per day. If you make that pour-over at home, you can make ~36 8oz. cups of coffee per 1lb bag of beans based on the SCA ratios. If you order some quality single-origin beans at $20/lb, that's $0.55/cup. Justttttt a bit cheaper.
- Quality. The quality of coffee available online has skyrocketed in recent years. Specialty-grade coffee is readily available in many roasts, including single-origin and estate grade coffees. Coffees of this quality are difficult to find at coffee shops, and when you do - your selection tends to be limited.
- Freshness. When brewing at home, you can access several roasters and retailers - including Relax and Brew - that get freshly roasted beans in your hands at peak freshness. This means right after roasting and a short degassing period. You'll have the freshest coffee possible because it goes straight from the roaster into the mail and then to your door.
- Selection. You have access to an unreal variety when you brew at home - beans from all over the world, and roasts of all color. You can get the coffee you want to match your daily or seasonal preferences. Even better - with the continued expansion of online coffee retailed (like us 😀) you can even get these beans delivered to your house. There is no longer a need to search out a specialty coffee shop or grocery 25 miles away who happens to carry that coffee. Get it shipped to you - easy peasy.
Brew How You Want When You Want
- Control. Admit it - you have a bit of a control freak in you. That's ok, most of us do. When it comes to coffee, everybody has their own preferences. The brewing process can impact a cup's body and mouthfeel, clarity, and acidity.
Additionally, you could be mixing that coffee with milk products to create something more than a single-ingredient beverage. While a well-practiced barista may make a better drink at first, you'll be able to match your preferences perfectly over time. If you're all about control, then home-brewing is for you.
- Convenience. Regardless of your brewing method, nothing beats the convenience of brewing in your kitchen. Roll out of bed or stand up from the kitchen table and start your kettle. There is no trip outside required. Suppose you are a fan of drip coffee. In that case, it gets even easier - you can often program your machine to start at a specific time the night before. Your excellent cup of coffee bliss will be waiting for you when you wake up.
- Experimentation. You never know what you'll come up with unless you try. Having some home brewing equipment, coffee, and a bit of imagination can lead you in a great direction when left with your own devices. I recently followed some online inspiration and used my French press to make cold milk foam for espresso-based drinks. It's a fun new party trick and the perfect way to craft cold foam cappuccinos at home for my wife and me.
Mindfulness and Calming
- Destressing, mindful process. When you think about everything going on in the country today - the Covid-19 pandemic, economic uncertainty, job losses, and nation-wide racial tension - many people are looking for outlets to help them destress and become more mindful. Home-brewing is the perfect hobby, especially manual brewing methods often used for specialty coffee. They fill your home with beautiful aromas from the beginning of the grinding process to the end of the drink and evoke a sensory experience that involves all five senses. Although it may only be a quick escape - it can be a much-needed de-stressor or grounding experience when you wake up or after dinner.
- Aroma. Brewing coffee at home fills your home with the smell of coffee. It's that simple - just like people love candles because the relaxing aroma fills their homes with a scent they love, brewing coffee does the same.
- Comfort. When is the last time you sat on a couch in sweat pants and listened to your own music at the coffee shop without anyone hovering around you? At home, the comfort advantages are endless because you are in control. You can lounge in your underwear if you choose, sit outside, take your coffee back to bed. The opportunities for relaxation and enjoyment are endless.
- Great way to start the morning. Personally, I find taking the extra ten minutes to grind and brew my French press in the morning is calming. For those who don't have the time, energy, or level of awakeness, automatic drip coffee makers have come a lot over the years. Many of them allow you to preset times for brewing the night before so that you can wake up to the smell of coffee and a cup that is ready to go. If you're looking for some drip coffee maker recommendations, Moccha Master from Technivorm is the gold standard. This article by Bean Poet covers the complexity of the choices involved in buying one. I went in a different direction and purchased a Caspresso CoffeeTeam GS many years ago, a workhorse. The canonical burr grinder, huge capacity, and gold filter have all added to the value.
Coffee and the Environment
- Healthy gardens...or not. The grinds from your coffee can help your plants thrive. This is a common factoid that you'll see in many coffee blogs. Recent research shows this to be FALSE. Discovery.com's article mentions the common concern - acidity and the need to be careful when picking plants to fertilize. However, there is another concern - caffeine. There is still a relatively significant amount of caffeine in used coffee grinds, and plants such as coffee and chocolate use caffeine to ward off other plants. This means that the coffee grinds would actually inhibit the growth of other plants. So Reason 10 is actually dispelling a common myth instead of giving you another reason. Sorry!
- Environmental friendly. Some cafes and coffee shops do their best to be environmentally friendly. Still, it's nearly impossible to beat at home coffee brewing. You use your own personal ceramic or steel coffee mug instead of a throw-away cup. You're using real utensils to be washed and reused instead of plastic or wooden stirrers. Whenever you're at home, you're replacing single-use items with reusable, permanent items. This is good for everyone - especially the environment.
Comfort of Home
- Don't have to get dressed. We've covered this in other areas, but with home brewing, clothing is optional. While we recommend some clothing levels for the brewing process, the choice is yours while consuming the results. Sweats and a t-shirt, boxers, briefs, au natural, gym clothes, leggings, whatever your heart desires with no judgment - because it's your house and to hell with everyone else. Coffee time is your time to relax and reset - so be comfortable.
- Beauty. The saying goes - "Kitchens sell homes," which is because people love to feel at home in their kitchen. It's a place where many families spend significant time (and money) investing in their space and home decor to make it look just how they want. One of the beautiful things about home brewing coffee - the brewing and serving accessories are many times as beautiful as they are functional. Products from Fellow, Rocket Espresso, Breville, and other vendors can be proudly displayed on your countertop while adding to the overall kitchen decor.
Don't stop here! Check out this article for 5 Killer tips for better coffee at home.