A Guide To Brewing Coffee

These days, greater numbers of people are staying at home more than ever before. So being able to brew a cup of coffee that can give you just as much pleasure as a trip to your local barista is an essential skill.

Here are some fundamental steps that you can quickly learn to help you brew the perfect coffee.

We encourage you to experiment with these steps: play around with different bean types and countries of origin, arabica vs. robusta or a blend, the texture of your ground coffee, and preparation methods and extra ingredients.

It starts with the beans

Treat yourself to the freshest, most organic beans you can get.

Look at the color categories. You can choose between light, medium, medium-dark, and dark. And don’t think that the darker the roast, the higher the caffeine content. Caffeine levels don’t have anything to do with the color of the roast. If you want more caffeine, just add more coffee!

Generally speaking, light roasts are preferable if you like milder coffee. These beans aren’t roasted for as long as other blends, so the oils haven’t broken through to the surface. Therefore they aren’t shiny or oily.

Medium roast beans still won’t have oil on their surface, but they’ll have a slightly more robust flavor than the lightly roasted beans. A medium roast can also be called American roast, as many people in the US prefer this roast.

Medium-dark roasts will have some oil on the beans’ surface, a more robust flavor, and a slightly bittersweet aftertaste.

Dark roasts will produce black beans that are shiny and oily on the surface, and more bitter with a more robust flavor. You may also hear dark roasts referred to as ‘charred’. Contrary to what you might think, darker roasted beans have less acidity in the resulting coffee, so if acidity is a concern for you, you may opt for a dark roast.

As for the country of origin, coffee is grown in more than 50 countries worldwide, so you have a lot of choices!

Another top tip is to buy your coffee as soon as possible after it’s been roasted. The sooner you purchase it, the more flavor you’ll get.

Grind them yourself

Freshly ground beans will make all the difference. Beans that are ground right before preparation taste fresher than ground coffee in your freezer or cupboard.

Make sure you have the equipment you need. The best grinders for coffee are burr or mill grinders because the result is ground coffee that is consistent in size. Most people have blade grinders that will grind some of your coffee beans more finely, and some more coarsely – the smoother the ground coffee, the better the taste. Experiment and see for yourself.

If you can’t grind the beans yourself, when purchasing your coffee, let them know how you will be brewing it to advise you. Professionals can grind coffee to best suit your preparation method, whether that’s a French press, a mesh filter, or a flat or cone drip filter.

The water you use matters

Use high-quality, filtered water if you can. If that’s not possible, run your tap for a bit first and always use cold water, in any case. Don’t use water that has been softened or distilled; otherwise, your coffee will taste flat.

In terms of how much coffee to use per cup of water, the general rule of thumb is to add 1-2 tablespoons of ground coffee per 3/4 cup water (6 ounces). Play around with this quantity to suit your taste.

If you are using a brewer, the water’s ideal temperature should be between 195 to 205 degrees F for the best brewing (except for cold brew). Uno Casa Cast Iron Cookware has a coffee brewer that can do this for you.

If you are brewing your coffee without a brewer, let the water come to a boil. Then turn off the heat, letting the water sit for a minute before pouring it over your ground coffee.

Watch the brewing time

For a cold brew, you want to leave your coffee to steep overnight (12 hours). The ideal brewing time for drip brewing is about 5 minutes. For a French press, it’s 2 to 4 minutes. When making espresso, the coffee should only contact the water for about 20 to 30 seconds.

Experiment with the brewing time that is right for you.

Enjoy the process and happy brewing!

Ways To Decorate The Home On A Budget

Your home is the place where you can relax and be yourself, but sometimes, after your rent or mortgage has been paid, you may feel like you do not have the funds to spare to make the most of it. 

You can find other ways to increase your disposable income, such as by looking into your utility bills. For more example, you could make big savings just from changing how your home is heated – click the link to find out more: SuperSaverOil. Otherwise, you can also make the most of budget methods to decorate your home. These don’t need to always involve bought items, and can involve a bit of fun crafting that you could even get any children, your partner, or friends to join in with. 

Make a Statement Clock

Wall art can be a great way of adding some personality to your home. Large, artistic looking clocks can also be a great talking point. Joining the two together to create a clock that is both functional and a statement piece can really bring your home to life. You do not need to spend a fortune on the items you use to create it, and can get your children to help you with both the design and decoration. The only truly important part of this is that you have a functional timepiece and that the hands and numbers are correctly spaced, otherwise, you get to have full creative reign and a truly bespoke piece.

Upcycle

Instead of buying furniture or other items brand new, you might want to consider upcycling an existing item. You can often find various items that are ridiculously cheap, or even free, online or at junkyards. With some paint or other creative ideas, you can recondition them and give them a purpose in your home. In some instances, you may not need to change them all that much, as shabby chic is in right now. 

Decorate Yourself

Providing you have clearance from your landlord if you are renting, you may also wish to change the colour scheme of your home. Hiring a professional painter and decorator can be expensive, especially when you will also need to cover the cost of materials. Instead, you may want to do the job yourself. Painting walls and ceilings can be fairly straight forward. You could even enlist the help of friends and family and make a group event of it. Hanging wallpaper can be a bit trickier, but it certainly is not impossible to make your home look that bit more personal while still looking professional. 

Decorating your home to suit you and your family’s tastes and personalities does not need to involve spending copious amounts of money. You can spend time planning what items you would like, and how you would like each individual room to look, then work out ways that you can save money and still have an end result that you are all happy with. Extra work on your part can be a fantastic way of helping you to lower your decorating budget.

Advice And Tips To Boost Your CV And Career

Pulling your CV together can be a challenge, as you consider what to include and how to stand out as a candidate by putting your work history and characteristics on a piece of paper. Aside from work experiences and where you studied, what makes a CV stand out are the additional skills (like soft skills) and also other experiences that most people tend to overlook. Think outside of the box for this content and the skills that you have, and take the initiative to gain new experiences (that you can also include on your CV!) 

To boost your CV and career, here are a few things you can do and include in your CV:

Learn a new language

Language skills are incredibly sought after nowadays. If you already speak another language, be sure to add it as well your proficiency level to your CV. If you don’t know a second language yet, dedicate time developing these skills. When deciding which language to learn, consider your personal motivations. Is there a language that would be particularly helpful in your industry? For your company? For where you’d like to grow your network and find new opportunities? 

Luckily, traditional classroom settings are required anymore for learning a language. You can learn a language online with tools such as apps, media, and social connection. Babbel, for example, is a language app you can use to learn so many languages, even Turkish! Apps like this are a great resource for people with limited time: the lessons may be done anywhere, at any time of the day. 

Volunteer

Volunteering is a way to give back to the community and also show employers that you are involved, committed and well-rounded. It is also a place where you can network and meet like-minded people! 

This is an opportunity to find a cause you believe in and also boost your CV and career in the process. 

Do some freelance work

Freelance work is a great way to gain experience you can add to your CV and make some extra money! Find projects that add to your experience and remember to keep a portfolio so you have examples of work, etc. to show your skill development. 

Take a course or get a certification

There are many continued education courses that you can do to boost your CV and tack on a certification. Consider which direction you’d like to go in your career or what interests you have, and find a course that interests you. If you get a certification, that is a bonus to add to your CV.

Many jobs require specific vocational certifications, and if you keep seeing a specific certification pop up on jobs that interest you, take this as an opportunity to advance your skill set and earn that certification. 

Hint: For interviews, be sure you are ready to be asked questions about the course and what you learned! 

 

Engage in pro bono work

Pro bono work shows significant character attributes that are attractive to potential employers and in any industry. It shows that you take initiative and that there are things important to you, outside of just money. It is also a great way to get more quality experience on your CV. 

While you can say a lot on your CV through your experience, interests, and additional skills, it is incredibly important to add a personal statement to your CV. For your personal statement, keep it short and to the point. You want to highlight who you are and what your strengths are so that people can get an idea of what you bring to the table in just a few lines.  If you have a hard time coming up with your personal statement, talk with your loved ones to get an idea of what strengths you have that make you unique.