A coffee expert has shared his top tips on how to make the perfect brew at home, from using filtered water and starting with a warm mug – to freezing your coffee beans.

Ashley Palmer-Watts, founder of Artisan Coffee Co., advises that freezing coffee beans can help to keep them fresh, and can double the length of time they last for. He also says that the perfect cup of coffee is brewed with water between 90 and 96 degrees in temperature.

And “tamping” is another key part of the coffee-making process, when using a coffee machine – ensuring that coffee grounds are compressed together tightly, but evenly, to extract the best flavour from your coffee as water flows through it.

It comes as a study of 2,000 British coffee drinkers found they typically get through three cups a day – adding up to 62,000 mug-fulls, or 18,000 litres of coffee, over their lifetime.

Latte (21%) and cappuccino (20%) were named as the favourite types of brew, followed by americano (18%), and flat white (15%).

And they usually pour their first mug as early as 7am – with 41% claiming they struggle to function properly until they have had their morning caffeine kick.

However, when it comes to trying something new, it's a cappucci-NO from many Brits – as 43% admit they have ordered the same coffee for 21 years.

In order to inspire coffee lovers to be a bit more adventurous with their drinking, Ashley Palmer-Watts appeared at a pop-up café, “Spill The Beans”, launched by home appliance brand, Breville, which commissioned the research.

And the brand also created this quiz, where coffee lovers can put their knowledge of the beverage to the test.

Breville spokesman, Iain Stuart-Crush, said: “As the study shows, UK consumers can't get enough of coffee. As anyone who loves a cup will tell you, it very quickly becomes an established part of our daily routines.

“But it’s interesting to see how many people aren’t sure whether they’re making the best out of their coffee at home. Perhaps this is why so many people prefer to leave it in the hands of the baristas, more often than not.

“We want to show consumers that they can make delicious, barista-quality coffee from their kitchen, with our latest espresso machine innovation.”

But the study, carried out through OnePoll, found that nearly 74% admitted they have no idea which type of coffee bean is used to make their favourite cuppa.

Coffee drinkers typically get through three mugs a day - or 62,000 over their lifetime
Coffee drinkers typically get through three mugs a day - or 62,000 over their lifetime

And while 80% have heard of the Arabica variety, many don’t recognise the three other popular types. A third have heard of Robusta, but only 9% know of Liberica, and just 8% are familiar with Excelsa.

Surprisingly, 51% also don’t know the difference between a cold brew and an iced coffee – with the key difference being that cold brew is made from coffee grounds, steeped in cold water for 12 hours, whereas iced coffee is cooled regular coffee.

Using the new Breville Barista Signature Espresso Maker, founder of Artisan Coffee Co., Ashley Palmer-Watts, gave visitors to the café pop-up some coffee-making tips.

He said: “People often find themselves sticking to the same coffee they’ve been drinking for years, not fully exploring the rich world of coffee.

“It was great to be at the Spill the Beans Café with Breville to help coffee-lovers master the art of homebrewing, and teaching people all about the depth of coffee.

“I want to help people understand their coffee choices, and give them the confidence to explore different ways of drinking coffee – including from the comfort of their own home.”


  1. Start with a warm mug: Run it under hot water before making your coffee, to keep your coffee piping hot for longer.
  2. Use filtered water: Water makes up 98% of coffee, so better water = better coffee. Get water to the perfect temperature – water has to be between 90 to 96 degrees for the perfect cup of coffee.
  3. Learn to “tamp”: When using an espresso machine, tamping is essential to ensure the coffee bed is level. If it’s not level, the water won’t run through it evenly, resulting in an uneven extraction and unbalanced flavour.
  4. Freeze your coffee beans: This helps maintain the freshness of the beans, to make them last double the length of time. Once you’ve defrosted the beans, don’t re-freeze them, and make sure they’re sealed to keep them fresh.