How to Make Better Coffee at Home: Tips for Every Budget

A Zero Dollar Budget

Like any food, starting with the best ingredients is always the best place to start. Make sure you are using freshly roasted coffee. Most coffee professionals will tell you that coffee should be consumed within a month of the roast date. If you buy coffee from a grocery store, look for a roast date. If your coffee doesn’t have one, there’s a reason for that. It’s likely that coffee is not freshly roasted. There are some exceptions but most coffees on a grocery store shelf have not been roasted within the last month. With that in mind, we offer coffee that has been freshly roasted straight from our website

• Zero Dollar Budget Tip: Use fresh coffee.

A Fifty Dollar Budget

Hands down, the best bang for your buck coffee investment is a grinder. After you have found your source of fresh coffee, invest in a grinder. There are two types of grinders, burr grinders and blade grinders. Blade grinders make good paperweights, and that’s about it. While blade grinders are less expensive I would advise against using one because blade grinders produce very inconsistent coffee particle sizes. Next time you use that blade grinder, take a look at the grounds. You will see very large and very fine particles of coffee.  Why is this not ideal? Grind consistency is the best way to set yourself up for brewing a delicious cup of coffee.

For around fifty dollars the best burr grinder you can get is the Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill. Being on the more affordable end, this grinder produces consistent particle size, offers a variable timer, and compared to other electric grinders this one is on the quieter side. 

Another option in your journey toward delicious coffee at home is a non-electric hand grinder. I have used a manual grinder many times for my morning cup, and there is something special about grinding coffee by hand. You’re feeling the coffee beans crushed by the burrs with every turn. After a minute or less of cranking the handle your manual grinder can produce some grounds ready to be brewed into a delicious cup of coffee. 

Here are some of the best manual coffee grinders:

Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill - “Skerton”

Javapresse Manual Coffee Grinder

In summary, finding a quality grinder that produces consistently sized particles of ground coffee will help you achieve much more delicious coffee at home.

• Fifty Dollar Budget Tip: Invest in a burr grinder.

A Hundred Plus Dollar Budget

As I mentioned before, a burr grinder is your best bet in helping you achieve quality coffee at home.  If you're willing to invest a little bit more into your home coffee set-up, there are some fantastic grinders out there. A common suggestion among coffee aficionados is the Baratza Encore. You might see this in some coffee shops if they have a pour over bar, because even though it was designed as a home use product, the quality of the grind produced by this little machine is phenomenal. 

Also, ranking high as a fan favorite is the Breville BCG820BSS Smart Grinder Pro. One notable difference here includes the Breville Smart Grinder Pro’s ability to program a set grind time down to 0.2 seconds, while the Encore has a manual on/off switch and button. The Breville has increased functionality for espresso as well, but at a higher price point. Both of these grinders produce uniform coffee grounds suitable to make your home coffee experience exceptionally inviting.

• Hundred Plus Dollar Budget Tip: Consider investing in one of the best electric burr grinders.

You might have noticed we didn’t discuss brewing devices, brewing methods, or even home roasting. There are plenty of ways to up your coffee game, but focusing on the quality of the ingredient is the best first step to ensure a clear path to a tasty cup of coffee. Have you recently started focusing on brewing better coffee? We would love to hear from you. Please leave your own tips in the comment section below.

READ MORE: Craft Coffee Brew Methods Explained.

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