Few hobbies inspire obsession on such a large scale as coffee. Every step of the process, from the original beans to the way that we drink it, is scrutinised, so you’ll imagine our reluctance to write a piece on how to make the perfect cup of coffee.

We spent some time wondering how to approach this thorny topic. Everyone makes their coffee in a specific way having honed it in over time to match their tastes; one man’s perfect cup of coffee is another man’s hold-your-breath-and-swallow. It would be impossible to walk our readers step by step through one cup of coffee: which coffee would we choose? Pour-over, drip, espresso? Would we make a step-by-step guide to several types? In the end, we thought that the most valuable thing that we could do was to lay out a few of the top general tips that we’ve learnt over the years.

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Wilfa Coffee Grinder
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Black CMC-1550B Classic Plus Coffeemaker

Buy whole beans

As a general rule of thumb, we always opt for whole beans against pre-ground powder. When coffee beans are kept whole they retain oils that provide complex and fresh flavour to your brews. Whole coffee beans can be kept for much longer without losing their freshness whereas ground beans must be kept in an airtight container and used within around 2 weeks for maximum freshness. Once whole beans have been ground they can lose up to 60% of their moisture and aroma within 15 minutes.

Finding a grinder that offers a range of grind sizes is central to a great coffee, try Wilfa’s Coffee Grinder, it’s our go-to for the perfect cup of coffee.

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Silver Svart Coffee Grinder
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Silver Classic + Coffee Maker

Use filtered water

It seems like an obvious point, but we see tap water used more often than you’d like to imagine. While real coffee connoisseurs will normally use bottled spring water to make their cups, we’d say that the least you should do is filter your tap water before using it for coffees. On that note, filter your tap water before drinking it in any form.

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7 Oz Cobalt Coffee Mug
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2.5 Oz Cobalt Espesso Mugs

Store your beans

You should be taking care of your beans from day one. Your beans should come in an airtight bag anyway, this will stop any oxygen entering the bag. Once your bag has been opened, try to use the beans within 2 weeks. When it comes to storing your beans, aim to avoid light, heat and moisture. Invest in an airtight jar and keep your beans in a cupboard.

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V60 Buono 600ml Drip Kettle
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Clear V60 Glass Range Server

Take your time

Coffee has become ubiquitous, you’re never too far from somewhere that can serve you a coffee of some standard. This said, one of the keys to making the perfect cup of coffee is to take pride in each step of the process. Drinking endless burnt coffees purely for a hit of caffeine doesn’t inspire great pride in your brew, so perhaps practise having fewer coffees throughout the day but seeking out a reliable location and enjoying the flavours and experience of each one.

Shop all coffee equipment at OPUMO.

Reach barista-level expertise with Toast Living’s H.A.N.D. Collection.