1) Great Home Espresso is Expensive
Well, seeing that you’re on this website, you must be at least a little interested in this myth, right? Well, this is totally wrong. Want a great shot of espresso on a budget? You can get a number of good home Espresso machines for under $200, wait for the sales and you could bag a great one! In fact right now you can get a Gaggia Evolution Espresso machine and a Baratza Virtuoso grinder for under $400. if you shop around a bit. With practice, that will have you outperforming your local Starbucks “barista” in a week or so. Let’s be honest, espresso is one of those weird things where science and a kind of art meld. You will probably need to spend more than $99 to get decent equipment, but you certainly don’t need to take out a second mortgage to get a solid shot at home. A key thing to remember is that a good grinder is more important than a good Espresso machine!
2) Expensive Coffee is Better than the Inexpensive Kind
We all know that sometimes you pay more just for the name on the label or the aura of the coffee rather than the quality itself. Kopi Luwak goes for hundreds of dollars per pound, because of the unique process and mystique surrounding the coffee. But, you won’t get me to try it for free. At the same time, an average fresh roasted coffee is probably better than your average branded bag of beans from the corner store. So, this myth I’ll leave open to discussion.
Don’t store your ground coffee in the fridge; buy small resealable bags of whole beans and grind only the amount you need when you brew it. Fresh roasted coffee is incredibly hydroscopic, and will quickly absorb odours in the air. A fridge normally contain strong aromas, which will then be transferred to your cup. Keep the beans as air tight as possible and store them out of direct sunlight. The best rule of thumb is: Buy small – Use quick!
Because beans have a longer shelf life than ground coffee, it is advisable to invest in a small burr grinder if you regularly enjoy your morning wake-up call. This way, you can grind your beans as and when you fancy a cup. Only grind what you need there and then.
Do make sure, however, that it is a burr grinder and not a simple blade grinder, as the latter has a tendency to chop rather than grind beans, which will prevent you from achieving the consistency needed to deliver our coffee’s exceptional flavours. You can pick up a reasonable burr grinder for as little as $50 in most kitchen suppliers, but if your on a budget it’s generally better to spend a bit more on a better grinder and go with a more basic espresso machine. The grinder is where a lot of the magic happens.
Although some people swear by Tupperware containers, Kilner jars and the like are just fine, it really doesn’t have to cost you anything to ensure your coffee keeps its fine flavours.
Fresh air is coffee’s greatest enemy. Oxygen and moisture within the air is quickly absorbed by the roasted beans, at the expense of its inherently delicious flavours.