Caffeinated Cup Coffee

It has no rival – that perfect cup of coffee – the aroma, the warmth, the richness as you drink it in. For some of us, it’s the sole reason we climb out of bed every morning! It’s also the reason we pay (and tip) our favorite barista to make us the perfect cup.

But let’s face it, you probably don’t have the budget or time in your daily grind to make a regular stop at the coffee shop. What you DO have is the coffee maker sitting on your kitchen counter at home…but coffee at home always feels like a consolation prize. Why is that?

Simply put: You’re doing it wrong.  

 

 

Here are the seven mistakes you are making when brewing coffee at home:

1. You are buying old coffee.
Yes, it really does matter! The minute coffee is roasted, it is exposed to oxygen, moisture and light, and begins to go stale. For the best possible outcome, buy your coffee fresh from a local roaster. For supermarket coffee, check the date on the bag. Coffee should always be consumed within 2 to 4 weeks of roasting. If there is no date on the bag, that’s bad mojo for your Joe – skip it altogether.

2. You are using a grind that is too fine.
Simply put: size matters. Different brewing methods call for different grinds. Mathematically speaking, contact time + grind size = your perfect cup of coffee.

So, if you are making espresso, where contact time is short, the grind should be fine. If you are making a cold brew, steeping for more than 12 hours, the grind should be coarse. For the standard, at-home drip coffee maker, a grind just larger than table salt is recommended. The more finely ground your beans are, the more bitter the taste. On the flip side, the coarser the grind, the weaker the flavor.

So, if you are making espresso, where contact time is short, the grind should be fine. If you are making a cold brew, steeping for more than 12 hours, the grind should be coarse. For the standard, at-home drip coffee maker, a grind just larger than table salt is recommended. The more finely ground your beans are, the more bitter the taste. On the flip side, the coarser the grind, the weaker the flavor.

3. You are not storing your coffee properly.
This one is simple: beans and grounds should always be stored in a cannister – absolutely no more resealed paper bags or plastic baggies! To slow the process of going stale as much as possible, your grounds must be kept dark, dry, and especially airtight.

4. You are setting the timer on your coffee pot.
It’s lovely to wake each morning to your favorite aroma, but would you even consider setting out two pieces of bread tonight for tomorrow’s sandwich? Of course not, that’s ridiculous. Why are you doing it with your coffee?

Now that you are going to buy freshly-roasted coffee and store it in an airtight canister, you just can’t forfeit a quality mug of java in exchange for the two extra minutes in your morning routine. Really, it’s a small price to pay.

5. You are using a dirty coffee pot.
This may be the most common mistake people make when brewing coffee at home, because they think “it’s only had water running through it”.

Wrong. Coffee beans contain oil. Water doesn’t wash away all the oil, and oil becomes rancid quickly, leaving your coffee tasting bitter, stale, and greasy. Research the best way to clean the coffee machine you have, and clean it often.

6. You are not using filtered water.
The chemicals and minerals in your tap water (like chlorine, fluoride, and even algae) affect the taste of your coffee far more than you’d expect. Don’t freak out – this doesn’t mean you have to have an expensive filtration system or purchase bottled water.

Simply boil a pan of water and let it cool overnight. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how much better your morning coffee will be.

7. You aren’t using the right amount of ground coffee.
There’s a reason for the size of coffee scoops – 2 tablespoons (or one coffee scoop) of coffee per 6 ounces .of water. So, if you’re going for a full 20 oz. travel thermos for your commute to work, you need 7 ½ tablespoons of ground coffee.

 

Make sure you remember to do these seven things to brew a great cup of coffee at home:

  • Buy fresh coffee.
  • Have it ground to the right consistency for your machine.
  • Store it in an airtight canister.
  • Turn off the timer and make it fresh each time.
  • Clean your coffee maker regularly.
  • Always use the correct ratio of coffee to filtered water.

Now, relax, sit back, and enjoy.

Share some tips of your own below or share this post with someone who needs a hand making better coffee!

Learn How To Pull The Perfect Espresso Shot

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