15 Things We Learned About Coffee This Year

15 Things We Learned About Coffee This Year

So many of us start our days with coffee of some sort. From a full French press of black coffee to an espresso drink with a mountain of foam, there's something for almost everyone. There's also still a lot to learn to help you make a better cup of joe at home. Here are our favorite coffee lessons from 2015.

  1. Introducing fika: This was the year of fika, the Swedish coffee break. Learn what it is and why it will make your days so much better.
  2. How to choose the right brewing method: Try our handy flow chart to decide whether you should be using an AeroPress, French press, or classic drip coffee maker.
  3. What is a "flat white" exactly?: They've been popular for ages in Australia and New Zealand, but this was the year we all started embracing the cousin of the latte.
  4. The brilliance of the coffee nap: Yes, it sounds counterintuitive, but the coffee nap is a real thing and it changed our afternoons in 2015.
  5. Your barista wishes you knew these things already: Good coffee doesn't need milk, you should buy that burr grinder already, and a quality cup takes time. Plus, a few other lessons you'll be better off knowing in 2016.
  6. Which has more caffeine: hot coffee or cold brew?: There isn't really a clear-cut answer to this question, but it's good to know a few tricks to control the amount of caffeine in your cup.
  7. Stop microwaving your coffee: This is one of the ultimate pet peeves for coffee lovers. It might be tempting to warm up that cold cup, but you'd be better off making a fresh pot.
  8. Coffee is good for more than drinking: You can put leftover coffee to good use by watering your plants, making a natural fabric dye, or even using it as a sepia-toned watercolor paint.
  9. Tonic water is the best thing to happen to cold brew this year: Did you get hooked on coffee tonics this year? You're not alone. It was one of our favorite drinks of the summer.
  10. Mind your manners at the coffee shop: There are some hard-and-fast rules of coffee shop etiquette, including knowing when it's okay to use your cell phone.
  11. You too can be a barista: If you're ready to up your coffee game and be a barista, take these steps to get started.
  12. There's a right way to store your coffee: Sometimes you have to go back to basics. Follow this guide for the freshest beans possible.
  13. Fika isn't just about coffee: If you want to fika like a true Swede, you're going to need a baked good, too.
  14. You have permission to get your coffee beans by mail: Here are a few of our favorite coffee subscription companies.
  15. You're not hallucinating — airplane coffee really does taste bad: It's all about the water they use. You're better off skipping that in-flight coffee service.
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