Plenty of people will say that they can’t handle the morning without a cup of coffee. While many of us stick to instant coffee at work and home, just as many of us will go for something a bit more indulgent now and then and invest in a store-bought caffeine hit.

While coffees from the likes of Starbucks and Costa are the best you’re going to get, they can be pricey and ring in at up to £3 for one cup. Thus, being able to make your own coffee-shop style drinks is no-brainer.

So here’s the guide on how to make the perfect coffee at home, without breaking the bank.

Reading the roast

In order to make good coffee according to your tastes, you’ll need to be clued up regarding roasts.

The number on packets of coffee granules will let you know which coffees are strong, and which are weaker. However, it’s the colour of the roast that you might want to pay a bit more attention to.

Darker roasts are much stronger, and far more bitter. Lighter roasts are more flavoursome and will have much more of an aroma.

The coffee beans you choose also impact the taste, with different varieties having their own unique characteristics.

Arabica: These beans are a softer tasting coffee, with a more rounded aroma.

Robusta: These are the kind of beans often used in instant coffee, and as such have a harsher caffeine taste.

Colombian: Beans from Columbia tend to give you a smooth coffee with a slightly fruity twinge.

Kenyan: Kenyan coffee beans are a lighter tasting bean with a blackcurrant undertone.

Machines and equipment

If you want really good coffee, you’ll probably need a good coffee machine to do the brewing for you.

Filter coffee machines deal only with the coffee, and don’t do anything fancy. They slowly drip water through ground coffee, and are good for making espresso.

Coffee machines such as the ones you can get from are a little different, offering a wide range of production options. They also take much of the hard work out of the coffee making process for you.

If you want to be in control of the grinding process, you can buy coffee beans outright and a coffee grinder to go with them. However, you might need a bit of practice before you can achieve the perfect grind.

It’s also worth noting that ground coffee will go bad within a week, so make sure you store it in an airtight container and keep a space free in the fridge for it. Definitely don’t store it near anything with strong flavours, such as oranges.

General Tips

Most coffee lovers will say that when it comes to great coffee, full-fat milk is one of the secret ingredients. You simply won’t get the same creamy flavour with semi-skimmed or skimmed varieties.

For a better cup of coffee, use filtered water rather than water straight from a tap, and don’t let the water boil for too long. Don’t reheat your coffee in the microwave, either.

Another hot tip: always keep the tools you use to make your coffee clean, and use only hot water to wash up.