Updated: December 8, 2021 by Owen Richardson
Whether you have accidentally bought whole coffee beans, you’ve been gifted raw coffee beans, or you simply want to expand your coffee-making repertoire, it is always good to know how to make coffee from beans.
These beautiful beans are extremely versatile, and apart from the growing process that takes several years to complete, the rest can all be completed in the comfort of your home. You can learn how to roast your own beans to enjoy fresh beans at your preferred roast level.
You can then use a good-quality grinder to grind up your beans and then brew these tasty beans using various home brewing methods. Even if you want to skip the grinding process, you can brew up a good cup of hot or cold brew using whole beans.
Once you have selected your preferred beans, the rest is up to you. There is so much you can do with these awesome pleasure nuggets. First things first, though: You should probably prioritize learning how to make a cup of coffee at home.
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Roast up Your Beans
Once you have chosen the right beans for your preferred taste, you can roast them up in the comfort of your home. Remember that the variety of beans can alter the taste of your brew. Robusta beans are the cheaper alternative that offers flat flavors and are usually added to coffee blends to bulk up the coffee.
Arabica beans, on the other hand, are full-bodied and full of complex flavors but also come with a slightly lower caffeine content. These beans are usually found in specialty coffees from premium coffee brands.
The country of origin will also determine the flavor profile as coffee growers use different harvesting methods. The climate in the area can affect the taste and quality of the coffee beans.
Once you have tried and tested your favorite flavors, you can bulk buy raw coffee beans to keep at home. These raw beans can be kept for up to a year while still retaining optimal freshness. Once roasted, the beans will start to lose flavor over a few months.
If you have chosen to roast up your beans at home, you can try out a few different roast methods that include using a stove, an oven, or an actual coffee roaster. Perfecting these techniques allows you to control your roast level and extract the flavors of the beans to your liking.
While roasting at home gives you a lot more control over your bean roast and freshness, it can be a tricky process. A lot of smoke is produced when roasting, so you will need to take into account the ventilation you have at home, as well as the mess that will appear from the coffee bean husks that flake off during roasting.
Whether you have bought pre-roasted beans or roasted them yourself at home, the next step is the grinding process. Apart from a few whole bean brewing processes, most brew methods require your beans to be ground before brewing.
Even if you don’t own a proper coffee bean grinder, you can use household items to grind up your beans. Each brewing method requires a specific grind size to extract the coffee flavors at the right rate. If you use the wrong grind size, your coffee will most likely come out bitter, sour, or bland.
You could choose to buy pre-ground beans from the shop or your local cafe, but this is not recommended. As soon as coffee beans are ground, they begin to oxidize, which releases the flavors of the beans. If you don’t brew up your coffee right away, you will be losing out on flavor and freshness.
Home grinding once your home-roasted beans have degassed is the ultimate method of getting a cup of coffee in its prime freshness. Once you perfect these methods and taste your homemade coffee, you will definitely know the difference from a packaged roast.
Grinding up your beans is pretty simple and you can use a blender, mortar and pestle, or a proper coffee grinder that comes in a blade or burr variety (I recommend the burr grinder for a consistent grind).
Consistently ground beans provide you with a well-balanced cup of coffee that hasn’t been unevenly brewed. An inconsistent grind is likely to produce a bitter cup of coffee. On top of consistency, the grind size also matters.
Each brew method requires a specific grind size to properly brew up the coffee. This is because the size of the grounds determines how fast the coffee is extracted. A fine grind, which is good for espresso, extracts much quicker than a coarse grind, which is good for percolators and cold brews.
How to Make Coffee at Home: Methods
Once your beans are ground up consistently, it is time to brew your coffee. The steps to take here will depend on the type of brew method you have chosen.
However, I will be teaching you how to make coffee with coffee beans using two easy methods. These techniques use whole beans so you can skip the grinding stage if you want to brew your beans straight away.
Pot Method with Whole Beans
If you are in a rustic setting or just want to use the bare minimum to brew up your deliciously roasted beans, you can simply brew them whole. This method was used a long time ago but due to the longer brew times, it has been replaced with other brew methods requiring ground coffee beans.
Step 1: Add Your Beans
Start by measuring your beans and pouring them into a mason jar. Usually, a ⅓ cup of beans work well.
Step 2: Pour in Hot Water
Boil some water and pour it into the mason jar. Pour the water to about three-quarters of the mason jar. Your beans should rise to the top.
Step 3: Add to Pot
Place a deep pot on the stove and stand the mason jar in the pot before adding water to the pot. Let this water reach the waterline of the mason jar.
Step 4: Heat It Up
Heat the water to get a good simmer going and leave it to brew for an hour. You can stir your beans at the halfway mark.
Step 5: Strain and Serve
After the hour is up, use a strainer to pour the coffee into your mug while catching the beans in the strainer. You now have a steaming cup of old-school brew!
Cold Brew Method
The cold brew method is even easier than using a pot, although the brew time is significantly longer. You won’t have to waste time grinding up your beans; however, it is recommended to give them a quick coarse grind for optimal brewing.
Step 1: Grind Those Beans
Start by quickly grinding up your beans. A coarse grind works well here so you don’t have to worry about grinding it up too perfectly. Just use a mortar and pestle or a burr grinder set to an ultra coarse grind.
Step 2: Soak the Beans
Use a large jug and measure out your beans and water. Due to the long brew times, you should make a large batch to use throughout the week. A good measure is to use four cups of water for every one cup of coffee.
Step 3: Let It Brew
Now cover the jug with a lid or cloth, and leave the beans to brew for anywhere between 12 to 24 hours, depending on how strong you would like it. Once brewed, pour it over ice and enjoy.
Additional Tips on How to Make Coffee from Beans
If you are determined to take control of your coffee making and you have set out to become an expert on how to make coffee from beans, here are a few extra tips to keep in mind. The choice of beans is completely up to you and you can try out various brands to find your favorites.
Once you have your go-to coffee brand, you should determine your preferred roast level. Whether your goal is to roast your own beans at home or buy pre-roasted beans, the roast level will determine the flavor.
If you prefer light and subtle coffee flavors, you should go for a light roast, whereas a dark roast will produce strong bold flavors with a slightly bitter taste. Certain brew methods will do well with specific roasts, like an espresso that favors a rich dark roast. However, it usually depends on your preferences.
Next on your list is the grind size. As mentioned before, this is important for the type of brew method you will be using. A wrong grind size will make a huge difference in how much you enjoy your cup of joe.
While the main grind sizes are fine, medium, and coarse, there are several mico-sizes in between these. To enjoy a premium cup of homemade coffee, you should check which size you need for your chosen brew method.
Another very important tip is to store your coffee beans correctly. While the roasted beans may seem like they could last forever, they have a shelf life of about three months. The sooner you brew up your beans, the fresher they will be.
Raw coffee beans are the hardiest as they can keep for a year or more, whereas ground coffee is only good for a few weeks. Whichever type you have, raw, whole, or ground, you should store your beans correctly in an airtight container situated out of direct sunlight.
A dark and dry cupboard is your best bet to keep your delicious coffee as fresh as possible.
How important is a consistent grind?
A consistent grind is extremely important to produce a quality tasting cup of coffee. If your grind size is inconsistent, the coffee will extract at different rates causing a bitter brew. The best way to ensure a consistent grind is to use a good-quality burr grinder. This will give you even grinds ready to be brewed up while producing optimal flavors.
How can I enjoy the freshest coffee at home?
The freshest cup of coffee you can make at home is if you complete the entire process yourself, starting from the roasting of the raw beans. At each level of cooking, crushing, and brewing, the key coffee flavors begin to extract. The longer it takes between these stages, the less fresh the coffee becomes.
If you can roast your own beans, allow them to degas for at least 12 hours before grinding and brewing them. This will give you the freshest cup of coffee you can have. Just make sure you follow our tips on how to make the fresh coffee taste great.
Your Coffee Quality in Your Hands
If all of this pressure seems like a lot to you, just know that it will be a rewarding process. If you are a true coffee enthusiast, then taking these steps by yourself will help you understand coffee on a deeper level.
The process from raw beans to brewed coffee is interesting and fun to learn. It is not a simple process and you may not get each step right the first time, but with some patience and a few attempts, you will start to get the hang of it.
Now you know how to make coffee at home, why not elevate this coffee by investing in the best espresso machine? You can then enjoy a fresh cup of bold espresso, made entirely by you.