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How to Make the Perfect Coffee

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by Kari Kariyawasam (subscribe)
a freelance writer from Adelaide. View some of Adelaide's delights, through my eyes.
Published September 15th 2014
Working in a coffee shop whilst being in year twelve is the greatest gift on Earth. When you are stressing over the 12 billion assignments and 20 thousand tests that are coming up, coffee is always your best friend. So I want to share my best friend with all of you! Here is my way to make the perfect coffee.


1. First and foremost have cole milk
2. Place your milk jar in the fridge (this is definitely a barista trick, don't tell anyone I told you!)
3.Have fresh coffee beans, not the year old ones from your supermarket. (If you live in Adelaide like me, head down to the Central Market and pick up some beans from The Coffee Bean shop- Kenya Mocha is the one I used for this recipe) Check out their website for more

So here are the steps:

Before you start, grab everything you need, it makes life 100x easier (so grab your glass, milk jug, milk, coffee machine, coffee beans and grinder).

1.Grind your coffee to a fine consistency, I use a coffee grinder from Kmart that I picked up for about $20 (Total bargain!!!!!) and place it into your portafilter (I have a double shot, but your portafilter should tell you how much coffee you need to put in for one cup of coffee).

My Trusty Old Coffee Grinder.
Use the 'fine' setting when grinding coffee.

2.Now a barista will use a tamp to level out the coffee but honestly a old salt bottle works fine. Just place it on top of the coffee and use your body weight to push it down. Then, click it onto the machine and pour out your coffee shot (quick tip: once you click in the portafilter into the machine, press the button immediately to run the water through, you have a 3 second gap to do this, if you wait, the heat of the plate will burn your coffee and you will have a very bitter tasting drink)

Coffee Grinded
This is how fine it should be. If it is coarse, your coffee won't work. ):

Tamp your coffee.

If you aren't willing to spend $99 on a tamp like me, a old salt bottle works just the same! Tamp your coffee down, otherwise the hot water won't get all the yummy coffee.

Run your shot (fancy barista way of saying press the button and watch the liquid gold pour into your cup)

The shot should come in a steady stream, but my coffee machine is old now and is a bit slow. But yours should come out in one stream, not drops like in the picture. The shot should also have a crema on it (the gold bit that lies on top of the black coffee), but my machine, just doesn't do that for me.

3. Now that your coffee shot is poured, pour your milk into the milk jug (the milk should sit right underneath the max line) and place it under the steam wand so the tip is sitting right above the milk. This will give you the 'foam'.Keep it here until you get to about 50 degress C (you should have your hand on the jug so you can feel the temperature, if not use a coffee thermometer) . As a practice, let some steam out first before you froth your milk, this allows any residue to be pushed out of the wand, so it doesn't go into your milk.

place enough milk to be just under the max line in your jug.

Try to keep the jug on an angle to get the best results. Also have your hand touching the jug so you can monitor the temperature.

4. Once it hits around 50 degress, push the jug up so the tip of the steam wand sits underneath the milk, this will give you the creamy consistency.

Frothing Milk
you should only have it like this for a couple of seconds. Make sure you don't burn the milk.. (if you smell an odd odor, the milk is probably burnt, ditch it and start again)

5. Once it hits 60 degrees (your hand won't be able to sit on the jug for long- thats how you know its at 60 degrees). Turn off the steam wand. Hit the jug on the bench to remove bubbles and swirl around to get a glossy milk. Always try to let a bit of steam out after you fix your milk, this way any residue milk will be forced out of the steam wand and you won't have it falling into your milk next time.

Frothed Milk
This is what it should look like, nice and glossy. (mine is a little bit frothy because that's how I like my coffee)

6. Pour your milk into your shot of coffee, add sugar and/or flavorings and enjoy! :3 (quick tip- if you pour in fast then frothy milk will come out, if you pour in slow then just the milk will come out) As a general rule a latte only has about 5-10% froth where else a cappuccino will have a bit more.

Latte (this is a very strong one, adjust the amount of coffee to your liking)
Latte-any year twelves best friend.

So that is how to make a coffee, if you have any comments or suggestions, let me know!
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Why? Have great tasting coffee at home
When: Anytime
Where: At home
Cost: Depends on your tools
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