How to Brew the Perfect Cup of Coffee

Let’s talk about coffee. I mean, I know we talk about coffee a lot here at Bustle — but this time, let’s go into specifics about how to make the perfect cup of coffee at home. Who needs overpriced coffee shop drinks when you’ve got everything you need to make something even better, right in your very own kitchen? In her latest infographic, Ryoko Iwata of has provided us with six easy tips that will ensure the next cup of joe you brew will be the best you’ve ever made. Life is too short for bad coffee.

The short version is this: In an ideal world — or at least, in a world where all cups of coffee are magnificent beverages worth savoring — we would be a lot less lazy than I bet most of us are. More specifically, we’d grocery shop the European way, buying what we need as we need it every few days, rather than getting everything in one fell swoop and then not shopping for three weeks; we’d grind our beans fresh every time we brew; we’d either use French presses or cold brew instead of using drip makers; and we’d carefully measure out our coffee and perfectly-heated water, rather than just kind of throwing everything together in the coffee maker and hoping for the best. Here, check it out:

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But let’s delve a little deeper into a few of those points, shall we? For instance, coffee grinding — there is, in fact, a right way to do it and a wrong way to do it. Each method of coffee brewing requires a different grind. But I have good news! If you, like me, stand baffled before the coffee grinder at Trader Joe’s for a few minutes each time you buy coffee, here’s your cheat sheet for which setting to use. Iwata posted this handy infographic earlier this year; since proper coffee brewing technique never goes out of style, though, HuffPo recently unearthed it again. If you missed it the first time around, here’s your chance to check it out — just find which brewing method you typically use on the right and match it up with the type of grind you need on the left.

But we’re not done yet. Iwata’s “6 Tips” graphic tells us what one magic ratio of coffee to water is — but as you might have guessed, it’s not the only magic ratio. Lifehacker pointed us to a rather more comprehensive description of brewing ratios last week from Black Bear Coffee. These charts? Oh man. These charts might be at-home coffee-making game changers. You’ve got two versions to choose from — the standard brewing ratios and the connoisseur’s brewing ratios — and they go into aaaaaaaaall the detail you didn’t know you needed to make the perfect cup of coffee. With five different measures for the coffee itself and seven for the water, resulting in instructions for making anywhere between one and 12 cups of the good stuff… well, let’s just say that you’ve got no excuse for poorly-made java anymore.

You got that right, Jules.

I’m writing from a hotel room in Pennsylvania this week, so alas, the only supplies I have on hand are one of those dinky little hotel coffee makers and a bunch of single-use packets of really bad coffee; as such, I won’t be able to start putting these tips into practice until next week. In the meantime, though, I’ll be dreaming of the Platonic ideal of java. Anyone else?

Images:; Giphy