What Makes A Perfect Cup Of Coffee?

May 19, 2016

Melbourne is a caffeinated city. There are heaps good coffee at every corner of the city, and every other day we’d find new innovative blends popping out literally everywhere. But, what defines a perfect cup of coffee? 

I am no coffee expert, I won’t pretend I am. So frankly, I don’t have the answers you’re looking for.

I simply can’t tell you the definition of a perfect cup of coffee because there just is no exact formula for it.

But since I enjoy drinking and learning about coffee – even had heaps of good time learning to professionally make some with Nia some time back, I had many interesting talks about it with people from all walks of life.

My conversations with different crowds – from those knowledgeable coffee lovers and casual coffee drinkers, to seasonal cafe goers, are always interesting. I’ll usually walk away feeling more appreciative – especially after knowing where my caffeine intake come from and how they are prepared.

It’s fun hearing their varying opinions about what makes a good coffee. Getting recommendations of new blends and places to try is the best part!

Common Grounds Coffee Surabaya

It’s All About Your Coffee Preference

All of these caffeine fanatics don’t necessarily share opinions. Though most would agree while the choice of beans is essential, there are other important factors to consider, too. The roasting and extraction process, for instance. Because..

The thing about coffee is, there are a diverse range of beans, origins, blends, brewing methods, and the list goes on. You’ll never run out of things to learn about!

Yet your definition of a perfect blend would be subjective depending on personal preference. Some like white coffee better than black, some prefer having blends to a single origin, others like it light bodied and sweet while some other might favour more acidic coffee.

Hence, questions like, “How’s their coffee? Good?” is confusing and tricky. There’s no carved in the stone kind of formula for the perfect coffee. What works well for my palette might not be your cup of tea. Well, coffee.

Melbourne Market Lane Coffee

Straight A’s definition to a perfect cup of coffee is just non-existent. Ultimately, it depends on individuals. It’ll certainly help to have some background knowledge because it’s hard to say a coffee is better than the other from its origin or preparation methods alone.

It’ll also help to keep on trying the different blends to better understand the differences and figure your own preference.



Remember when they say happiness is not a destination but a journey? In my opinion, the same goes for coffee. The best coffee is a bittersweet pursuit. Your taste buds will only keep improving with time, and eventually better blends would follow.

Personally, my tastes in coffee has changed since I first took interest in the art of coffee drinking. I used to order black coffee all the time until I become more appreciative of espresso-based white coffee. These days I tend to favour the beautifully clean and light-bodied pour over, or cold drip on a hot day.

It seems like the cycle won’t stop anytime soon because for one I’m still exploring and trying to find the one I like best – there is an endless list of must try house blends in Melbourne alone! And I find myself liking ristretto more than I would months back, too.

Look Out For These Things In Quality Coffee

So, Lya how am I supposed to know my coffee’s worth if you kept saying it all depends on personal preference?

Well, even though there aren’t carved in stone formula to define a perfect cup of coffee there are a few pointers you could use to ensure the quality of your drink.

1. Thick Honeycomb Crema

I usually look for a consistent, thick and honeycomb-coloured crema layered on top when deciding if I liked the black coffee served. I don’t like having a bitter aftertaste and love a good amount of acidity.

2. Smooth & Creamy Froth

When ordering white coffee, I tend to prefer ones with consistently fine, silky and creamy layer of milk and froth. Those are the best! I used to go with skinny milk but stopped after realising how it couldn’t reach the same amount of consistency and body as full cream milk.

3. Complex Or Subtle Acidity

When it comes to filter coffee, I just expect it to twirl and contradict in my mouth. I enjoy it most when the coffee is clean and delicate, while bringing complex acidity and aftertaste unique to each coffee. I love how aromatic they usually are, too. Just, wow.

Little Rouge Market Lane Pour Over Coffee Melbourne

All in all, defining a perfect cup of coffee is an impossible task. I’d say, continue adding heaps of chocolate if that’s what you like. There’s no better coffee than the ones you enjoy drinking, after all.

Just remember to keep on broadening your coffee knowledge, understanding the coffee grading better, and ordering that Jamaican Blue Mountain once in a while. Over time, your taste buds could surely tell.


Comment below to let me know your experience. If you find this article helpful, I would really appreciate it if you share and/or pin it with your friends. You can use the photo below 🙂

Till our next coffee run, city walkers!


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