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What's the best way to make good coffee from a coffee machine?

Updated: Oct 3, 2020

Here are some general guidelines for tasty coffee preparation, regardless of brewing method:

  1. Coffee beans - should be processed carefully post harvest and freshly roasted to best bring out the natural flavour notes of the coffee bean variety. Processed green beans can be stored for a long time but roast dates should Ideally be within a month before coffee preparation. Lastly, for best results, one should grind the beans no longer than 5 minutes before beverage preparation as grinds start going stale due to oxidation about then.

  2. Water: depending on type of coffee beverage, this could be as high as 98.5% of your coffee drink, so the quality of water matters a great deal. Here are the specific guidelines for it (from SCA):

(Note: We’ve included the BIS specs for natural bottled water as a reference point. Also note that RO water purification devices commonly found in Indian households, deliver water which is far from ideal for tasty coffee.)

3. Finally, the tools, technique and skill of beverage maker matter a lot, regardless of brewing method.

Image : A barista at work. "Mirei Tanaka-Lingg"bysidebyis licensed underCC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Expressed so eloquently by the Italians, referred to as the four M’s of espresso preparation -

  • Miscela: The coffee-blend; it covers the selection and blending of the beans as well as proper roasting.

  • Macinazione: The grinder; proper grinding of the given blend and its usage when its still fresh.

  • Macchina: The espresso-machine; usage of the given grounds with a proper espresso-machine.

  • Mano: Skill of the barista; usage of all above with skill.

To learn more about popular coffee brewing gear and where to buy some in India, do check out our Coffee Brewing Gear Recommendations page.

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