Is it true that you need a pretty pricey piece of kit to knock out a coffee as good as any coffee shop? In many respects the answer is yes – that’s precisely why commercial coffee machines don’t tend to be the cheapest on Earth. It’s not often you walk into a prime coffee joint and find the staff lining up dozens of cafetieres as machine substitutes…in fact it never happens. For one thing it just wouldn’t be practical as the very logistics of keeping up with demand would be mind-blowing, but in terms of quality there’s a good chance most coffee drinkers would in fact be quite satisfied with the theoretical output.

Long story short – it is indeed possible to make quite exceptionally gorgeous coffee using nothing more than a cafetiere that costs about 97% less than a machine. But if that’s the case, why is it that your own cafetiere coffee always comes out second-rate at best?

It’s simple – you’re not making it properly!

The problem comes by the way in which way too many coffee lovers totally underestimate the cafetiere coffee-making process. They think it’s a case of buying a 50p plastic jug, chucking any old coffee in and whacking down the handle – and then they’re surprised when they get a mouth full of gritty garbage. Yes, cafetiere coffee making is technically a simple process, but if you don’t follow the rules of good cafetiere coffee making, you’ll never be happy with the results.

Here’s a quick overview of the key points you need to know in order to make the best cafetiere coffee you’ve ever tasted:

1 – The Right Tools For the Job

So right off the bat it’s a case of not being able to make coffee any better than your equipment will allow – it’s the whole artists with poor paintbrushes scenario. And this applies to pretty much everything, which in this case means the beans you buy, the grounds you choose and the cafetiere itself. A poor cafetiere won’t come close to filtering the coffee properly and poor coffee will only ever taste like poor coffee. Check your tools before going any further.

2 – Made to Measure

There’s a general rule of thumb to follow when making cafetiere coffee, which is to use approximately 7g of coffee grounds per cup. Of course, if the coffee you buy tells you to use 5g or 10g, then you should do as instructed, but in all cases the worst thing you can do is just throw in a random amount – it’ll never be up to par.

3 – Water Makes a Big Difference

Here’s a shocker – the main ingredient in coffee is water! So really, how can you expect it to taste good if you don’t look out for the water you’re using? Summed up, you need to use water that’s only been boiled once and has been left to stand for around 60 seconds after boiling before being used. Too hot and it’ll burn the coffee, too cold and it’s useless, over-boiled and it’ll have insufficient oxygen.

4 – Practice Pouring

It’s also good practice to get into the habit of pouring the water over the back of a spoon so that it travels down the sides of the cafetiere, rather than directly onto the coffee.

5 – Precise Timing

Instead of pouring the whole dose of water in at once, pour in just a little at first to infuse the grounds in the bottom of the cafetiere. Give them a stir, add the rest of the water, give it another good stir and leave it for exactly 4 minutes (unless instructed otherwise). After this time, get busy with the plunger and you’re good to go.

6 – A Quick Exit

If you’ve done everything right and followed the instructions to the letter, the worst thing you can do is leave the finished coffee in the cafetiere. The reason being that it will carry on infusing with the grounds in the bottom and end up tasting horrible. So, the very second you’ve plunged and the coffee is ready to go, get it out of the cafetiere.