How to make a perfect cup of coffee: 5 different ways

Follow these tips and tricks to make the best possible cup of coffee every morning.
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/ Source: TODAY

Calling all coffee lovers! How many cups of coffee do you drink in a day? If you’re like most Americans, that number is probably between two and three.

More importantly, how do you make your coffee? Do you use the same coffee pot you've had since college or do you switch it up depending on the time of day? Or perhaps you're loyal to your favorite French press? Regardless of what brewing method you use (or if you're just getting into coffee), there's always room to improve upon this basic skill.

With so many options out there, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. But as long as you know the basics of which beans to buy and how much water to add, you'll be well on your way to crafting the perfect cup of coffee every time.

How to choose the best coffee beans

New to buying coffee beans? Go to a speciality shop and sample the different varieties before committing to a pricey blend. Getty Images

Even though there are only four main types of beans (arabica and robusta are the most common; liberica and excelsa are less well known), due to country of origin and roasting style, there are endless varieties of coffee available to us today.

Whatever coffee bean or brand you choose, it’s important to get them freshly roasted and, ideally, you’ll want to grind the beans yourself just before you brew. If you don’t have a grinder at home, most stores have one that can be customized to your preferred brewing method. Grinding your own coffee beans ensures freshness and will yield a more flavorful cup. Plus, different brewing methods call for different size grinds.

Master the coffee to water ratio

This is a bit of a trick as you’ll find there is no perfect coffee to water ratio: it’s all up to your personal taste preference. But this is a great place to start. Begin with two tablespoons of coffee to every 8 ounces of water. Use that ratio to decide whether you prefer a bolder or less intense brew. Coffee making is an art, not just a science, so keep in mind that the bean-to-water ratio will vary depending on the type of coffee you're using and who you're serving.

How do you brew coffee?

Let’s take a look at the most popular methods for making coffee.

How to make coffee in a traditional coffee maker

A classic coffee maker may not seem like the most exciting way to make coffee these days but, with just a few simple steps, you can turn that slightly bland cup of joe into a fantastically flavorful brew. Drip coffee makers are easy to clean and come in a variety of sizes with varying extra gadgets.

When using this type of machine, you don’t have control over how long the coffee brews or the temperature of the water, so it’s important to control what you can. This means it all comes down to the type of coffee beans used, the grind of those beans and the coffee-to-water ratio.

How to make coffee using a French press

The design of the actual French press hasn’t changed much since its inception about 100 years ago. Despite being associated with artisanal coffee shops, French presses are surprisingly easy to use. Since this is manual brewing method, you have total control over all aspects of the coffee-making process — from the grind of coffee bean to the water temperature and even the brew time.

How to make iced coffee

Iced coffee is brewed hot coffee, that's cooled then simply poured over ice. You can brew it any way you like (and make it as strong as you like), but you’ll have to plan in advance and give it plenty of time to cool down to avoid a watery beverage.

How to make cold brew coffee

Cold brew coffee is made from coffee grounds that have been steeped in cold or room temperature water for at least 12 hours. Unlike iced coffee, cold brew isn't made with hot water, so the resulting beverage has a smoother, mellower taste.

How to make Bulletproof coffee, aka butter coffee

Bulletproof coffee, which is still wildly popular in the keto community, is the brainchild of Dave Asprey, an American entrepreneur and bio hacker who founded the Bulletproof supplement brand in 2013. In 2004, while trekking through the Himalayas, he was introduced to tea blended with yak butter. Asprey said the drink left him feeling incredibly energized and rejuvenated, so upon his return to United States, he set about creating his own version of the hot beverage.

If you don’t use the brand’s products while making the drink, then it simply becomes “butter coffee.” Butter coffee is made by adding medium-chain triglyceride oil and grass-fed butter (or ghee) to hot cup of coffee. MCT oil, which is extracted from coconuts, contains smaller molecules than most fats, which makes it easier to digest and therefore gets converted into energy faster in the body.