How to Make the Perfect Cup of Coffee

Making the perfect cup of coffee at home - it's easy when you know how

You probably already know how to use the cafetiere in your kitchen to make a decent cup of coffee. If not, make sure you see our How to Use a Cafetiere page. But with just a few of our tips and ideas below, you can be making delicious, perfect cups of coffee every time.

Our Pick of the Best Cafetieres

Easy Steps to the Perfect Coffee

Let's go through the steps that will lead to coffee perfection.

The first step is the right coffee beans. The best coffee comes from three different regions and each region has its own distinctive character. Coffee from South America has a sweet taste, Indonesia produces spicy coffee and coffee from Africa can have either floral or citrus hints.

Whichever source you choose for your coffee, always get fresh-roasted whole beans. Fresh coffee beans last as long as a loaf of bread, so keep track of the purchase date. Keep the beans in a container with an airtight lid, but open the lid once a day to release the build up of CO2.

The four kitchen appliances you should have ready for use are your cafetiere, a coffee grinder, a filtered water pitcher and a kettle.

Now, grind the beans. You can use either a bladed or burred grinder. The bladed model works much like a blender, while a burred grinder uses a feeding hopper, rough wheels and a collection bin. The burred model is more expensive, but either will do the job. Grind the beans to coarse, much like large bread crumbs.

Fill the kettle with water. Don't use tap water if you can avoid it - the best results come from filtered water. Bring the water to a boil. Fill the empty cafetiere with hot water, close the lid and push down the plunger. What you are doing is removing residue from the last brewing and pre-heating the interior. Let it sit for at least thirty seconds before you pour the water out. Wipe out the interior with a clean cloth.

Bring the kettle to a boil again, turn off the heat and let the kettle sit for two minutes.

For each six-ounce cup of coffee you plan to make, pour two level tablespoons of ground coffee into the cafetiere. Add just enough hot water to saturate -- stir gently to make sure all the grounds are soaked. Then fill the cafetiere to the proper level with hot water. Close the lid, but do not push in the plunger.

Let the cafetiere sit for four minutes to let the coffee brew fully. Then, push the plunger down to the bottom, gently, smoothly and in a straight line. This action will push the grounds to the bottom, and leave the hot coffee ready to pour with no suspended particles of coffee grounds to disturb you. Do not wait to pour the coffee - the longer the coffee is left in the cafetiere, the more bitter it will become.

If you're not going to drink the coffee right now, pour it into an insulated bottle or flask to drink later. If the coffee is too strong for your taste, you can dilute it in your cup with hot water.

Stockists - Where to buy a cafetiere in UK

Amazon | John Lewis | Cook in Style | Electric Shopping | House of Fraser | Robert Dyas | Debenhams | Sainsburys | eBay