Why Homemade Coffee vs. Coffee Shop Drinks Hit Different
No, this is not a humble brag about our coffee being better than what you can make at home, even though some might say that’s a fair statement. When you take into account the freshness of the product, the preparation methods and the professionals bringing it all together; there’s a sense that perhaps there is a reason why coffee in particular, simply tends to taste better when it’s not made at home. Perhaps to some this is a no-brainer, but even when you purchase the coffee fresh, sometimes it still fails to hit the mark when you’ve attempted to become your own barista. It sounds kinda funky to say, but we bet we’re not the only ones that have ever wondered “Why doesn’t the coffee I make at home ever taste as good as what I buy at the cafe?”
Well for starters, we can look at the fundamentals, which are basically the machines and tools themselves. Not to diss your faithful coffee maker that may or may not have been your daily go-to, but hear us out that there’s probably something to be said about the equipment your baristas use to whip up your favorite drinks. Not to harp on price by any means, but your home countertop unit probably does not have the same temperature or pressure control as the pros. You may be wondering what temperature even has to do with anything as long as the coffee is hot, right? Well, water temperature is essential in the brewing process because it affects the rate of extraction. If the temperature is off, this can lead to over-extraction, making your coffee taste too bitter since the heat strips away a lot of oxygen.
The second reason behind such a significant difference in taste can potentially be blamed on the grind of the coffee. Yes, there are plenty of grinders on the market and perhaps you even own one or a few. The only issue with your home grinder, is that it tends to be a fraction of the size of commercial grinders, which makes them less efficient. Efficient in what way? Well it means that the grinder heats up faster because it’s working that much harder to get the job done, and heat can negatively impact flavor before the water even touches the grounds.
In addition to the mechanics of the grinder itself, the actual size profile of the ground coffee impacts taste as well. At-home grinders can arguably create a varied grind profile with every batch, meaning that your finished product will always be a sort of mishmash of very coarse and very fine grinds in addition to the "just right" size you were shooting for. This occurs with commercial grinders as well, but to a far lesser degree.
The last points boil down to (no pun intended) water and the freshness of the coffee beans themselves. Since your brewed cup is made up of about 98% water, the quality here arguably makes a difference. Filtered versus tap water can have a very obvious impact on the flavor as well. And this is probably the most obvious insight of all, but clearly the fresher the product, the better the taste profile. Don’t just take our word for it, try our free delivery subscription service on our freshly roasted beans and test drive your next cup of home brew today!