A Cup a Day Keeps Unproductiveness Away: How to Make Perfect Coffee

A few sips of coffee in the morning can be a great way to kickstart your day. Apart from giving your taste buds a wonderful massage, a cup of Joe in the morning can help boost your concentration, mental energy, and alertness levels. It can also help uplift your mood and give a boost to your physical stamina, keeping you productive throughout the day. But just like with other beverages, we all have our own preferences when it comes to coffee. Some like it with milk, whereas some like it black and sugarless. Others prefer a cup of coffee with other ingredients, including chocolate, cream, and sugar.

Especially now in the COVID-stricken 2020, where most of us are working from home, it has become more important to know how to make your own coffee from home. After all, most coffee shops still remain closed. Making it from home is also more convenient and can help save you the much-needed buck in these uncertain times. Whether you need to do it from home or from your office, here are a few tips you need to make perfect coffee and stay productive throughout the day.

1. Grind Your Beans

One of the most common mistakes coffee enthusiasts make is that they heavily rely on pre-ground coffee. For great-tasting and more flavorful brews, it is advisable to buy whole coffee beans fresh and grind them yourself. In this case, you'll need a coffee grinder, just in case your coffee making machine doesn't have one. If you don't have a grinder, don't worry! There are a few ways you can grind it without a coffee grinder and still produce an amazing cup of paradise. You can simply use the mortar and pestle in your kitchen to smash the fresh beans into powder form. Alternatively, you can put the beans in Ziploc bag and hammer and break them down using your meat tenderizer or hammer.

Remember, the flavor and concentration of your coffee will depend on how fine the ground coffee is. It might take a bit of experimenting before you can tell just how fine your grinds need to be for your definition of the perfect cup of coffee.

2. Know Your Coffee Preferences

There are different types of coffee drinks, and this largely depends on the method of preparation as well as the ingredients used. So, here, you'll have to ask yourself how you love your coffee. Do you prefer it with milk or do you prefer it black? As for the preparation methods, common ways to make coffee include pour-over, French press, drip, Chemex, and cold brew, among others. The best choice will largely depend on your preferences and the equipment you have, which brings us to the next important pointer.

3. Have the Right Equipment

Apart from the grinder, there are various types of coffee making machines. As earlier noted, the best machine for you will depend on your coffee preferences. Common types of coffee makers include the espresso machine, aero press, French press, drip coffee maker, siphon coffee machine, percolators, and cold brew coffee machine. Depending on your coffee making method, other equipment and accessories you may need to become your own barista include:

  • Decanter
  • Hot water dispenser
  • Iced tea brewer
  • Weighing scale
  • Coffee machine cleaner
  • Milk thermometer
  • Coffee tamper

4. Pre-Infusing Your Grounds

For a stronger brew, it is best to pre-infuse your coffee grounds before you start brewing. Coffee preinfusion means pouring hot water over ground coffee so that it soaks to release any CO2 that might have been left after the roasting process. Let your grounds sit in hot water for about 45 secs before pressing the start button on your coffee maker. This is an important step in the coffee-making process, especially for espresso.

5. Water Quality and Temperature

The flavor of the resulting cup of coffee will largely depend on the water quality and temperature. It's best to use water with low mineral levels when brewing. For the best results, ensure that the water you use is within the pH 7 range. You'll also want to note that at higher temperatures, more caffeine will be extracted from your beans or grounds, thus resulting in a stronger and more flavorful brew. To avoid a bitter taste, it's best to ensure your water is at least 205 degrees before pouring it over your coffee.

Finally, always ensure that your coffee making equipment is clean each time you use it. Also, be sure to store your coffee beans well in an airtight container. This prevents it from sucking moisture from the air (which can lower their quality and impact flavor). If you're brewing your coffee manually, it is also helpful to track the brewing time, so you can make the perfect cup of coffee each time. The tips are can be more than you need to become your home's own barista.

Creative DIY Tips for Making Your Own Calendar

The current state of the world definitely affected us in many ways, it made us stay locked up in our homes away from all the social events and seemingly fun stuff. But the responsibilities didn't just vanish into thin air, they are still there, waiting to be organized and prepared. Times are super hectic and you are probably not in the mood to think about the foreseeable future, but there are ways to turn in into a fun time. Starting a journal or making a simple calendar can bring you peace, use that creative time to yourself and relax while doing it. Grab your colored pencils, stickers, scraps, and everything in between, your inner DIY queen is about to jump out!

Fill in the blank

So probably the easiest way to start when it comes to making your own calendar is by simply printing a blank template found online. This way you'll have a base, a blank canvas if you will. Take all the materials that you have in your house, like washi tapes, sticky notes, glittery colorful pens and anything you can think of that could work as a decoration on your calendar. And go at it! There are no rules when it comes to decorating, it's super personal and it can differ from person to person.

The only real advice you'll need is to leave some space while decorating, don't overdo it since it will clutter and distract you from the written parts. Finding the perfect template that will suit your aesthetic is extremely easy and fast, a simple google search could get you whatever you want and the best part is, it's free! There are many printable options out there, so don't worry about not finding something you'd like, the possibilities are endless and you'll find just the right calendar you imagined!

Start from scratch

If you don't have a printer at home or you're just determined to make the calendar yourself, there are awesome ways to make the best and most unique personalized calendar there is. This gives you the full freedom to do whatever you can think of, want to make a calendar from old newspapers, do it! Want to cut out a certain shape and disguise the calendar as an art piece in your kitchen, why not?

Nothing is stopping you when it comes to unleashing your creative side, use everything that you can get your hands on, think outside the box, don't be afraid to experiment. Making a calendar from scratch is an amazing opportunity to explore your artistic side, especially if you've been busy with work and responsibilities. This is a great excuse to do something creative, at the end of the day you are making it for the purpose of being more organized and having everything mapped out and planned. So make this time, the best time possible, be free and create!

Mix and match

Since there are absolutely no rules when making any diy project at home, what's stopping you from making the ultimate, super personal calendar! If you have basic knowledge in photoshop, you can even modify the blank calendars you got online, add pictures of your loved ones and family, maybe your pets or anything you like, and then print it out. Or you can print the blank template right away and add pictures or polaroids later on by using some washi tape.

Also, you can even paint over the printed blank calendar, this is a good option for those who aren't as skilled, so you'll have a base to start, just dip in your paintbrush in some acrylic or watercolor paints (or whatever you have around the house) and go for it. This is a great way to start doing artsy projects while still having some form of direction and help.

Have fun

Sure keeping your priorities at bay and making plans and notes for everything is important...but the heart of this project has to be your willingness to turn something as boring and blank as a calendar into something spectacular. This calendar should proudly be up on your kitchen wall, so loud and colorful it just draws your attention to it.

If the calendar is decorated, personalized, and fun to look at, maybe it will inspire you to look forward to some events or responsibilities even if you didn't feel like it in the first place. So be creative and free, there are no rules so just go at it. With everything that happened this year, try to be positive and find little joys in seemingly insignificant things like diy calendars!