We all know how much Melbournians love coffee. It’s basically a selling point when telling people why they should visit our incredible city. I can remember the day my mum told me I made the “best coffee ever”, a cheeky comment of support which ensured that I would make her one every day until I moved out of home. Safe to say my love of coffee started from a young age, and after nearly 20 years of daily doses, I’ve no doubt developed the infamous “Coffee Snob” title. I would honestly rather go without than have a bad cup. It’s that simple.

More recently my husband and I got into a vigilant morning routine of taking it in turns to run to our local café for a “Coffee Delivery” – take away coffee served in bed to fuel the discussions of what the daily grind would deliver us. We calculated that our daily habit (plus a lunchtime top up of caffeine levels) was costing us over $5000 a year and quickly bought ourselves our own coffee machine – inclusive of Coffee Grinder and Milk Frother to boot! My husband would then enlist the tactics of my Mum and insist I make the coffee MUCH better than he does. So I’m back where I started, making coffees every day, but it has in turn given me a large appreciation and understanding of what is required to make the perfect brew.

Start with the perfect machine…

A good machine is always the first place to start. We purchased the Breville Coffee Machine Barista Express for about $600 from David Jones, who have an excellent range. While coffee ‘pod’ machines are certainly the latest craze and make coffee making a breeze, I much prefer a freshly ground cup of coffee as you then have the option of what type of beans to grind and I think the result you get rivals the cups you’ll be served in cafes. The Breville Barista Express came with it’s own integrated grinder, meaning we didn’t have to pay for a separate device. It also came with a steam arm, to froth milk and stainless steel milk jug, so we had all the essential hardware required to make our perfect cup of coffee. It also slotted in nicely onto our kitchen bench which was a big positive too!

Milk Anyone? 

For those that like milk served with their coffee, we all know that how you froth the milk is key to ensuring a perfect cup. I’d recommend having a look on YouTube to view how others froth their milk, but my top 3 tips are:

  1. Ensure that you can hear just enough of that little ‘whirling’ sound, too much screeching is not a good thing!
  2. Ensure the milk rotates around the jug smoothly
  3. Only heat the milk until you can’t touch the bottom of the milk jug with your fingers
  4. Always heat the milk first, then grind and prepare the coffee as the less time you leave between the milk hitting the coffee, the smoother the result!

Beans please!

Ensuring you have the best and most appropriate beans for your machine is the easiest way to deliver a perfect cup of coffee. Most beans come ready for Espresso or Filter servings and if you don’t have a grinder, you can buy them at David Jones, or most local cafes will grind them for you. Below are a sample of my favourite beans which can be ordered online, or sold in 250g or 1kg bags in most good cafes.

Axil Coffee Roasters
Price: $26 for 250g including Delivery
Taste: Red apple, hazelnut & milk chocolate
St Ali
Blend: Kenya Muthingi-ini Peaberry Blend
$27 for 250g including Delivery
Taste: Blackcurrant. Pineapple. Jasmine.
Market Lane Coffee
Seasonal Blend
$24 for 250g including Delivery
Taste: Hazelnut & Chocolate with a soft apple finish
Five Senses
Cleanskin Blend
$42 for 1kg
Taste: This is a lucky dip blend! Five Senses roast more coffee than they can use and with the excess, create a blended ‘cleanskin’ roast of all of their favourite beans so you’ll never know what you’re going to get! Good for the adventurous!