But First, Coffee: How To Master The Perfect Cup O’ Joe At Home

If you read Delaney’s post a few weeks ago, you *finally* discovered your coffee order alter-ego [shout-out to all my fellow New Yorkers out there ; )] + were affirmed in the CHAARG belief that coffee is not only a necessity, but a way of life. There’s absolutely no doubt about it — this stuff runs through our veins.

But the sad + scary reality is that indulging in the daily coffee shop trip can definitely break the bank. The average American spends nearly $20 a week on coffee alone [yikes!], totalling to approximately $1,100 a year! ++ let’s not even think about the cute workout clothes or a #CHAARGgetaway that this money could buy us…

So, what’s a CHAARG girl to do? Don’t worry — we’re ready to teach you the ins + outs of mastering the perfect cup o’ joe at home or at the office! Whether you’re a brewing newbie or have been making your own coffee for some time now, check out this overview of #EverythingEspresso.

First thing’s first — the real secret for achieving that *coffee shop taste*? Grinding your own beans! Trust us, it makes all the difference. But that also means you’ll either need to invest in a coffee bean grinder [you can find great, cheap options starting around ~$20 from Target//Amazon  [I personally use + love this one] or purchase your beans from a location that has an in-house grinder [grocery stores like Trader Joes//Whole Foods will have one in the coffee section!]. If you’re really interested in diving deeper into brewing coffee, we recommend investing in your own, because the closer you’re able to grind the beans before brewing, the even better they’ll taste.


In my opinion, the most important thing to consider when picking your coffee beans is choosing between a *single origin* coffee or *a blend*. True to their name, single origin coffees are made of beans all originating from a single source, sometimes meaning one particular country or even down to a specific farm. Blends, on the other hand, are coffees that are made up of beans from various origins, normally brought together for a smooth, round taste. Purists will swear by the single origin, appreciating the particular bean for its unique taste + flavor, while blend fans seek harmony on their taste buds. Be sure to check out the coffee bag’s label for tasting + strength notes!


Drip // The automatic drip coffee maker is the most common method + what you most likely have now at home or the office. But the easiest way to elevate this experience? Using your freshly-ground coffee beans, of course! I’m a firm believer in ditching the pods [they wreak havoc for our environment.] or purchasing a reusable coffee pod, as you explore different types of beans + grind consistencies.

Cold Brew // For all those iced coffee junkies! ; ) To make your own cold brew at home, you’ll just need a large bowl, a strainer, + a coffee filter. You’ll be steeping your freshly ground coffee in cold water for a pretty long time [approx. 12-24 hours], so this is *perfect* to make on a Sunday night for that long week ahead! Check out our own recipe here.

French Press // Named for the device you’ll need, french press is perfect for making a strong cup in a short amount of time. You’ll steep hot water over coarsely ground coffee beans [look for a consistent, medium grind] for about 3-4 minutes, before pressing down the filter.

AeroPress //This may or may not have changed my life. The Aerobie AeroPress uses a *rapid total immersion brewing process* to make the ideal, full-flavored cup. Once you get the hang of it, the AeroPress might be the easiest option for home brewing– ideal for those looking to make just one cup [you can brew regular style coffee or espresso] with quick clean-up.

Pour Over // The minimalistic pour over is another easy-to-master + highly effective brewing technique ++ one of my personal favorites! You’ll need a carafe like this one, filters or a brew basket, + a kettle or pot for hot water. The trick when performing a pour over is allowing the grounds to *bloom* — meaning when you initially pour in hot water [use a gentle first pour!], you allow the coffee grounds to fully saturate. You will actually see the grounds swell + expand//bloom. The brew time is often slower than these other techniques, but of course, well worth the wait!


Last, but not least, don’t forget the final touches on your home-brewed cup of coffee! If you’re not taking it black [it’s okay — it takes time!], try swapping out sugar for stevia + whole milk for non-dairy alternatives like soy, almond, or coconut milk. We’ve even made our own DIY coffee syrups before — check out the recipes here!

You guessed it — it’s your turn! We’re challenging you to replace two weekly Starbucks runs with a DIY routine at home. Don’t forget to share with us on social how you make + take your brew! But first, coffee ; )

+ Jessica [@jessicasmith_inchaarg] // VirtCHAARG NYC

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