WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE COFFEE LIKE A BARISTA

With the right equipment – and one of Checkers’ 3 NEW Foreign Ground Signature Blends – you can make coffee-shop quality coffee at home.

1. The Coffee
At Checkers, you’ll find a selection of single origin coffees from the world’s top coffee-producing countries like Honduras, Guatemala, Colombia, Brazil and Ethiopia. Each coffee has a distinctive regional flavour as each batch is carefully selected from only one plantation. It is then artisanally roasted to create luxurious coffee with a captivating aroma.

Now you can enjoy even more exquisite coffee at supermarket prices with our new Foreign Ground Signature Blends. There are three strengths to choose from: Romeo, the dark roast; Bravo, which has full-bodied flavour and is a medium dark roast and finally Sierra, which is a rich, smooth medium roast blend. These blends have been masterfully curated by combining beans from top coffee-producing countries to bring you the most complex and distinctive flavour, perfect for a morning kick-off (Romeo blend), an afternoon pick-me-up (Bravo blend) and a smooth end to the day (Sierra blend).

Central American coffee: Coffee from Guatemala and Honduras has a smooth sweetness, almost like that of brown sugar, with cocoa and spice flavours.

South American coffee: Colombian coffee typically has a strong, sweet caramel flavour and is mellow and medium-bodied. Brazilian beans are more peanutty and heavy with some chocolate and spice flavours.

Ethiopian coffee: Because the country is so vast, thousands of varieties of coffee are grown there and the beans are processed in one of two ways, that each yields a different flavour profile. Generally, naturally processed coffees have a sweet berry flavour and a syrup-like body. Washed coffees are lighter, with fresher flavours that could include lemongrass and jasmine.


2. The Grinder
There are two types of grinders, the blade and the burr grinder. A blade grinder spins and chops the beans, and a burr grinder grinds them and unlocks the chemical compounds, which gives the coffee its taste, flavour and aroma, more fully. That said, a blade grinder works just as well. The trick is to keep rocking it as it grinds to ensure you get fine grounds that are all the same size.

3. The Frother
A frother is indispensable. Look for one that works with hot and cold milk so that you can use it to froth milk for iced coffees as well as cappuccinos and lattes.

Speaking of cappuccino, it’s just as easy to make a cappuccino tart as it is to make the drink. You’ll find a great recipe here.

4. The Coffee Maker
You do not need to spend thousands on a gleaming machine that looks as if it can travel to Mars. Your options are a plunger (also called a cafetière or French press) or a stovetop coffee maker.
A stovetop coffee maker will become your best friend if you are an espresso lover. They range from one to four-cup models. Plungers come in two to 12-cup sizes and the most important thing to look out for is that it seals properly. A great piece of advice is to start by pouring on just enough water to moisten the coffee grounds and to wait until they have absorbed the water before filling it up. Let it settle, stir and insert the plunger – and wait three to four minutes before pouring.

Tip: The general rule for a stovetop coffee maker or a plunger is to use two tablespoons of ground coffee per 175 ml of water.

Last but not least, your coffee-making equipment has to be cleaned thoroughly after every use. Check that no old grounds are left; it can give a bitter taste to your next cup. The same goes for the container you used to store your coffee in. Clean and dry it properly every time before putting in fresh coffee to get rid of the previous batch's oils.