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5 Simple Things You Can Do to Get Barista-Style Coffee

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Kawai loves to learn new things and explore ways just to make life taste and feel a little better.

a person stirring a cup of coffee with a small spoon

a person stirring a cup of coffee with a small spoon

About 2.25 billion cups of coffee are drunk every day, and coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world (after oil). That is how important coffee is in our lives.

Most of us get by drinking instant coffee, but for those of us who are more picky coffee drinkers (or just simply want to enjoy a more decent cup of coffee), we are willing to spend a portion of our daily budget to get the best coffee from a coffee shop.

However, making that barista-style coffee by ourselves is really not that difficult, and with a little effort, you too can enjoy the best coffee without having to burn little holes in your wallet.

With that, below are five simple tips on how you can make your own barista-style coffee! You'll also find more information on the different types of coffee makers out there and how to add even more flavor to your morning brew.

1. Get Freshly Roasted Coffee Beans

Most of us buy coffee powder from a supermarket. However, you can get much better quality coffee if you buy coffee beans that are freshly roasted. Try going to your local coffee shop (e.g. Starbucks) or search for a roast supplier to order from.

Freshly roasted coffee should be left aside for five days before you use it—so remember to ask your coffee bean supplier when the roasting was done. To get the best coffee flavor, you have to finish the coffee beans within three weeks. Any longer, and you will lose its delicious natural flavor.

There are mainly two types of coffee beans:

  • Arabica is considered higher quality than Robusta (due to its richer and stronger aromatic taste); it is a more preferred and commonly used bean type.
  • The Robusta, which is considered lower in quality (therefore also lower in price), is commonly used in instant coffees.
coffee beans

coffee beans

What Types of Arabica Beans Are There?

There are many types of Arabica beans and each comes with its own unique flavor. Here are some examples.

Type of Arabica beansFlavor


Favoured for its light and nutty flavor.


Lighter and more nutty than maragogoype.


Has quite an intense flavor. The flavour can differ depending how it is processed e.g. chocolate, floral flavored like jasmine and citrus flavors like lemon and lime.

Ethiopian Yirgacheffee

Has a sweet and spicy taste.


Has a sweet acidic taste, similar to apples and pears.


Has crisp acidity and sweet, caramel undertones.

Blue mountain

Has light taste with a sweet undertone.


Has a citrus taste like lemon or lime. Less body and sweetness than Bourbon.

2. Purchase a Quality Grinder

Ask any barista, and they will tell you the importance of having a good quality grind to get the best coffee. Poor quality grinding will give you a coffee grind with a lot of different grind sizes which will affect how the flavor of the coffee is extracted during the brewing process.

Although it is preferred that you freshly grind coffee whenever you brew coffee, it would be better to get your coffee bean supplier to pre-grind for you if you don't have a quality grinder at home.

According to Business Insider, there are two types of grinders: The blade and the burr grinders. Burr grinders are apparently better, but you can read the article to find out more about the difference between the two.

3. Properly Store Your Coffee

Storage is also an important factor in getting your cup of barista-style coffee. Coffee needs to be stored in a cool dry place—and by that, I don't mean the fridge. The cool and moist environment in the fridge can damage the coffee. And if you are thinking of putting the coffee in the freezer to preserve the flavor (like how most people do for cut vegetables or fruits), don't since the defrosting process can actually damage the coffee, making it lose its original flavor. Keep coffee in an airtight container in a cool dry place, like where you would usually store your dry goods.

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4. Brew Your Water Correctly

Water is a very important factor affecting the quality of your coffee as more than 90% of your regular coffee is made up of water. The worst thing to do is to use water from the tap to make coffee (which many of us are guilty of that). This is because tap water can contain impurities such as minerals, metals, and salts, and these impurities can alter the taste of your coffee as they do give some distinct taste to the water alone.

Therefore, it is best to use filtered water to get the best coffee taste. Besides ensuring that you get a smoother and richer tasting coffee, using filtered water can also help to protect your coffee machines - as impurities in tap water can create a limescale build-up and clog your machine. However, if getting a water filter is a little over your budget, you can always use bottled water to brew coffee.

Also, remember to use fresh water at every brew; don't use water that has been sitting in your coffee machine or kettle for a while.

5. Find the Right Brewing Temperature

The ideal temperature of the water to get the best coffee brew depends on the size of your grind (e.g. coarse or fine), the brewing method (e.g. using a Moka pot or French press) and how roasted or dark your coffee beans are. A general pointer is to use cooler temperature for darker roasted beans as using very hot water can make the brew taste more bitter/burnt.

Types of Coffee Brewers

You do not always need sophisticated equipment to get that barista-style coffee. The following methods to brew coffee can be easily done in the comfort of your own home or office.

moka pot

moka pot

1. Moka Pot

The Moka pot consists of three compartments:

  • Bottom for water
  • Middle one for the coffee grind
  • Top part for collection of the brewed coffee.

This type of brewing is slightly more time consuming as it involves the use of a stove during the brewing process. This brew works by turning hot water in the lowest compartment of the Moka pot to steam so it extracts the flavor of the coffee grind that is stored in the middle compartment of the pot as the steam travels up. The final product will be collected at the top compartment (the top pot). Using a Moka pot will give you stronger flavored coffee.

2. Coffee Dripper

coffee dripper

coffee dripper

2. Coffee Dripper

This technique involves putting coffee grinds on a paper filter, pouring hot water over it and waiting for the water to drip through the coffee grind (while extracting its flavor). This is one of the easiest ways to brew coffee and will generally give you a lighter tasting coffee.



3. Aeropress

The Aeropress looks almost like a giant syringe and is another very simple type of brewing technique that involves mixing the coffee grinds with water for about 30 seconds, before using air pressure to slowly pushing the contents through a micro filter and straight into your cup. Coffee brewed by an Aeropress is generally less acidic and bitter as the brewing time is short.



4. Chemex

The Chemex is a large round glass jug with a funnel structure on the top. The funnel holds a filter paper where coffee grinds are added before adding hot water. The coffee will then drip down to the round jug. The Chemex provides you with a very rich coffee flavor.

French press

French press

5. French Press

The French press is the more widely used coffee brewers as it is simple to use and convenient. The French press is basically a big cup where you first mix the coffee and hot water and brew for four minutes, before putting the plunging lid on to press the coffee grinds to the bottom to get the smooth grind-less coffee brew.

Adding That Last Bit of Extra Flavor

Ever wondered why there are so many different flavors (e.g hazelnut, vanilla) of coffee in your favorite coffee shops? The secret is flavored coffee syrup! Coffee syrup is added to coffee to give it that extra punch and also increases the variety of coffee combinations available in a coffee shop.

Generally, for cold coffee, it is better to use a fruity syrup. For hot coffee, it is better to mix the coffee with chocolate, vanilla, nuts, ginger, and mint.

You can easily purchase coffee syrups from coffee shops (e.g. Starbucks sell a wide variety of flavors) or online.

Coffee Terms

Flavor What does it mean?


Fragrance of the coffee.


The sharpness and brightness of the coffee. E.g. fruity & floral flavors


Body refers to the thickness of the coffee.


Sweetness simply is how sweet the coffee is. Good coffee will have a good balance of sweetness.


This refers to how long the coffee flavor lingers in you mouth; a longer or shorter aftertaste

In summary, to get that barista-style coffee, you should take note of:

  1. Freshly roasted coffee beans
  2. Quality grinding
  3. Storage of the coffee
  4. Brewing water
  5. Brewing temperature

I hope these basic tips will help you get one step closer to making your own cup of delicious coffee!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2016 Kawai

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