Sun. Apr 21st, 2024

A recent survey by the National Coffee Association found that more Americans consume coffee daily than any other beverage ― including water — and the average person is downing almost three cups a day.

If we’re drinking that much, we want it to be the best it can be, right? So, what’s one simple thing we can do to help ensure whatever we’re pouring into our cup is as delicious as possible?

That’s what Sumi Ali, co-founder of YES PLZ Coffee, told us, Raj Punjabi and Noah Michelson, co-hosts of HuffPost’s “Am I Doing It Wrong?” podcast when we recently chatted with him about his secrets to making or ordering the perfect cup of joe.

“If you can grind your coffee fresh at home, do it, even if that means you’re using a $10 or $8 grinder. If you have the cash, I think the best place to spend the money on gear — like coffee gear can get crazy. You can buy a lot of stuff. But a grinder, I think, is really a good place to start.”

Ali explained that grinding beans offers us the chance to customize what we’re brewing so it turns out exactly how we like it.

“You can control how fine you want the coffee,” he noted. “If you want your coffee a little stronger, you can grind it a little finer. Or maybe it tastes a little bitter, so you can go a little coarser.”

It’s also going to be more delicious.

“Grinding fresh makes a huge difference — it’s going to be way more aromatic,” Ali said. “The flavors are going to be way more pronounced — even if you’re smashing beans with a hammer in a bag, do that, over pre-ground, if you can.”

What if we don’t have a grinder?

“If you’re already drinking pre-ground coffee, and you buy whole bean coffee and ask the coffee shop or ask a neighbor to grind that coffee for you, it’s going to be better than having it pre-ground in a can that sits in a grocery store for six months,” he said.

We also discussed the benefits of choosing a light roast over a dark roast, why chatting up our local barista is our best bet for scoring a great cup of coffee when we’re not at home, and much more:

Need some help with something you’ve been doing wrong? Email us at [email protected], and we might investigate the topic in an upcoming episode.

For more from Sumi Ali, head to YES PLZ’s website and Instagram.

Do you have a compelling personal story you’d like to see published on HuffPost? Find out what we’re looking for here and send us a pitch.

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