If you want your coffee to be truly great, then you need to treat your kitchen like a laboratory—or so says Katie Carguilo, winner of the 2012 U.S. Barista champion. But regular joes (pun intended) shouldn't be put off by the sound of that; it's not that complicated! If you're ready to take your coffee brewing to the next level, read on for her expert tips:As Carguilo told Slate in this recent article, the key elements to a great cup of coffee are: use a ceramic dripper (the Hario is one example), use the freshest beans you can possibly get your hands on, and grind them with a burr grinder right before brewing.
If you've got all those things, then follow Carguilo's step-by-step instructions for how to brew the best cup of coffee you'll likely ever have. (Note: I've been making coffee this way for about two years. It's no joke.)
→ Slideshow: How To Make an Awesome Cup of Coffee at Slate
(Image: Juliana Jiménez Jaramillo for Slate)