We asked an expert from La Colombe Coffee Roasters for his top tips.

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If you're used to fulfilling your daily caffeine craving at your local coffee shop, or are known to make frequent Starbucks runs, it's probably been quite the adjustment making coffee at home during quarantine. There's just something about an expertly made espresso drink, latte art and all, that feels more special than drip coffee from your own kitchen.

Coffee grounds and mug
Credit: Courtesy of La Colombe and Anthropologie

Related: More at-home coffee tips

Recently, we rounded up all the best coffee accessories, from mugs to milk frothers, that will help you create your very own coffee bar at home. Now, we're asking the experts about how we can improve our at-home coffee game. Travel + Leisure spoke with Josey Markiewicz, national trainer at La Colombe Coffee Roasters', about how to make better coffee at home. Keep reading for his top tips on home-brewed coffee.

Man smelling coffee
Credit: Courtesy of La Colombe Coffee Roasters

Start with quality ingredients.

Markiewicz emphasized that "quality ingredients make quality beverages," and that includes water. "Coffee, when brewed at desirable strength is approximately 98.7 percent water. Therefore, you should use the best water available. Does your local water smell musty or of chlorine? Well, that water is going to translate into subpar coffee. Brewing with spring water is choice, but most bottled waters should suffice," he said.

Make sure you have the right tools.

In addition to your favorite mugs and storage accessories like airtight canisters, the right tools will make all the different when brewing at home. If you're grinding your own beans, a durable burr grinder is a must-have. "It is like the chef's knife of the coffee world," according to Markiewicz. "The fineness or coarseness of your grind is dictated by the amount of coffee you are making in an allotted amount of time. Therefore, you may have to adjust your grind size depending on how many people you are serving. A good grinder is everything. Well, that and a kitchen scale."

Hario Skerton Plus Coffee Mill

Coffee mill grinder
Credit: Courtesy of La Colombe Coffee Roasters

To buy: lacolombe.com, $44; williams-sonoma.com, from $58

Hario V60 Drip Scale

Black food scale
Credit: Courtesy of La Colombe Coffee Roasters

To buy: lacolombe.com, $60; crateandbarrel.com, from $57

Find the right recipe.

When making your everyday brew, Markiewicz says "the perfect cup of coffee is no accident." So, it's all about the recipe. He recommends a ratio of one part coffee to 15 to 18 parts water. "This is where a scale comes in handy. I brew in a relaxed, controlled manner with water 20 seconds off-boil. My grind particle size rests somewhere between the size of sand and kosher salt," he said.

However, when it comes to more creative recipes to make you feel like you've been transported to your favorite cafe, Markiewicz has a recipe suggestion. "I am a coffee purist, but if you whisk an ounce of Frangelico into a cup of heavy cream with a dash of confectioners' sugar, you end up with a warming, rich, delicious topping for drinks (and desserts) of all kinds. Alternatively, you can also grab an Oatmilk Draft Latte," he said.

And if you want to take your coffee game to the next level, try the recipe that is taking over TikTok. Dubbed dalgona coffee, due to its similarity to a Korean candy with a sponge-like texture, this drink consists of a frothy, whipped coffee mixture served over milk. Most recipes call for one tablespoon of instant coffee or espresso, one tablespoon of sugar, and one tablespoon of hot water. Mix the ingredients together and use an immersion blender, milk frother, or whisk and blend until the mixture forms stiff peaks. Pour over your choice of milk and serve.

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