An Instant Guide to Being A Bit of Coffee Snob At Home

<span class="caption">An Instant Guide to Being A Bit of a Coffee Snob</span>
An Instant Guide to Being A Bit of a Coffee Snob


The first rule: if you don’t grind the beans yourself, it doesn’t count. “Once the bean is broken, its health properties start to reduce –as does its flavour,” says Nigel Green, roastmaster at the Dorset Coffee Co.


Ironically moustachioed coffee bores will tell you Arabica is superior. Science disagrees – Robusta beans are higher in cancer-fighting antioxidants, reports the University of Vienna.
Robusta Medium Roast £10 for 500g


The downside? Robusta beans can be bitter. If you find them a little, er, robust, an Arabica blend is your middle ground. “Most high- street chains use a mix of these beans,” says Green.
Italian Espresso Blend £5 for 250g


The purist’s choice. To get your fix of vitamin E, antioxidants and glutathione, go for darker roasts. German researchers found three strong cups a day will fortify your body’s defences.
Vietnam G1 £3.50 for 200g


Beans and air mix as well as coffee snobs and Starbucks: exposure to air produces free radicals, according to Food Chemistry, exhausting those antioxidants. A re-sealable bag with a one-way valve will protect the beans – but once you’ve opened it, the air is in. Store the beans in a vacuum canister in a cool, dark, dry place. But not too cool: “The fridge will add moisture,” warns Green. Make sure you only stockpile a month’s supply at a time. “After that, they’ll begin to degrade.”
De’Longhi Vacuum Canister £30


Find ’em, grind ’em, but don’t do a job lot. “Only grind what you need,” says Lynsey Harley from the Speciality Coffee Association of Europe. “Ground beans have a greater surface area for air to interact with, causing more disease-causing free radicals to form.” When you grind, size is everything: “Select a medium grind so the beans are not too fine or coarse, and they won’t lose antioxidants when they percolate,” says Harley. An adjustable burr grinder gives you control and consistency.
Hario Ceramic Mini Mill £30


OK, it’s a mite more labour-intensive than a Nespresso machine (or Nero trip). But Italian researchers found classic stove-top Moka-style percolators (Bialetti Moka Express Hob £25 produce a brew higher in antioxidants than any other method. Plus, they look good. Not so smug now, eh Clooney? This is how to optimise your skills at every step.

Tamp Out
“Don’t ‘tamp’ the coffee,” says Harley, “Pressing it into the filter, like baristas do with espresso, causes over-extraction.” This is where water passes through the coffee grounds too slowly, reducing the polyphenols and making it taste bitter.

Cool The Burn
Pour cold water (filtered if possible) up to the valve and put the pot on a medium heat. Ensure your watched pot never boils: bubbling means it’s at risk of losing nutrients. “There should be water left in the bottom chamber at the end,” adds Harley. Not scorch marks.

Pot Half Full
Don’t let the upper chamber fill all the way to the top. “Take the pot off the heat when the chamber is half-filled with coffee,” advises Harley. “This avoids burning the grounds and damaging the antioxidants.” It’ll keep on filling, don’t worry.

Take It Slow
Pouring it slowly will give your coffee a proper ‘crema’. “This is the distinctive light brown foam that forms on top of the darker coffee,” says Green. It helps keep in the aromas, which have been shown to activate genes in the brain that alleviate sleep deprivation-caused stress. Also, it looks really pro.


i) Butter for Brain Fuel
The craze among paleo fans and biohackers is to mix coffee with grass-fed butter, which is high in cognition-boosting omega-3s and healthy CLA fats. Whisk it up with an Aerolatte Grande milk frother (£17

ii) Cinnamon for Fat Loss
Swap sugar for spice and not only will you save up to 80kcal per cup, you’ll also improve blood-sugar regulation to curb your cravings. Cinnamon increases antioxidant activity by as much as 13%, found Penn State University. Sweet.

iii) Milk for Immunity
Put that milk-steamer back in its box – adding milk generally decreases coffee’s antioxidant capacity. Unless you’re drinking Robusta, that is, when a 5ml dash (about a teaspoon) actually boosts the disease-fighters.

iv) MCT oil for energy
This concentrated coconut oil blend contains rare, quick-digesting fats that boost energy and burn calories, reports the Journal of Obesity Research. Talk about above-average Joe.

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