Sitting down with a nice cup of coffee in the morning is a great way to wake up and take a few moments to yourself before rushing out the door. But how is your coffee tasting? It's easy to get used to a routine and find yourself not really enjoying the taste of your trusted coffee. The great news is that there are some simple steps you can take to give your brew a boost.
01 of 10
It's easy to pick up the same coffee you've been drinking for years, but today's coffee selection is vast and impressive. From the local coffee shop to the grocery store, there are many great coffees available to explore.
A well-roasted coffee bean doesn't have to cost a lot, either. You can find some quality and affordable coffees if you're willing to give unknown brands a try. Simply look for the one-pound bags and sample different roasts as well. The right bean for you is out there, you just have to find it!
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Once you get those coffee beans home, they need to be stored the right way. That means an air-tight container that is placed in a cool, dark, and dry location—not the freezer. If you use a clear container, place it in a cupboard away from the heat of your appliances.
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Each brewing method will require a different ratio of ground coffee beans and water. Use too little and you have no flavor; too much and you get thick mud.
The key is to find the perfect amount of beans for your brewer and how many cups you make at a time. A standard drip machine, for instance, uses 1 tablespoon of coffee for every cup of water. If needed, measure your beans with a kitchen scale to the perfect amount for your taste and brewing technique.
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You have a lot of options when it comes to a coffee grinder and everyone is going to find a personal preference. Some electric options automatically grind the beans as finely as you want, while others require you to learn it on your own.
Once you find the best grinder for you, it's time to match the size of the coffee grounds to your brewing technique. Generally, finer grinds are used for espresso while medium grinds are good for drip machines. You'll use coarse grinds for cold brews or things like the French press. When in doubt, look to the manufacturer's recommendations for your brewer and make adjustments from there.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
05 of 10
No matter how you make it, coffee is nothing more than coffee beans and water. When you take care to select the right beans, the next logical step is to look at your water.
The best water to use when brewing coffee (or tea) is clean and cold. Distilled bottled water or tap water that has been filtered will often produce a better, cleaner tasting cup of coffee every time.
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There are many methods to brew a cup of coffee, so you're not stuck with a traditional drip machine. You might try, for instance, a pour-over style or a French press. Stovetop espresso makers, like the moka pot, and the popular Aeropress are excellent options as well.
Each of these will create a rich, flavorful cup of coffee that often outshines a drip brewer. They may take a little more time and often only brew a few cups, but the result is often worth it.
If you have a small kitchen, these alternatives can free up valuable counter space and reduce paper filter waste as well. The same theory applies to single-serve coffee machines, which are convenient but leave you with no control over your coffee.
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A coffee pot is not a cast iron pan and it does not get better as it becomes "seasoned." The residue left behind from the brewing process will diminish the taste of your coffee, so it's important to clean your coffee pot.
With most presses, brewers, and stovetop pots, you can simply handwash it once a week or so. Some can be tossed in the dishwasher, but check with the manufacturer first.
For a drip brew machine, you'll need to clean the inner parts to remove coffee and mineral buildup. Use one part vinegar with two parts water and run it through the machine. Rinse it out with two or three passes of water until the water is clear and the vinegar smell is gone.
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Bitter, bad-tasting coffee is often the product of overheating or burning the coffee. It typically happens when you leave the pot on a warming burner until it dries up or someone at the office becomes desperate enough for an afternoon jolt. Worse yet is the practice of reheating it in the microwave!
If you want to truly enjoy your coffee, brew a fresh pot or cup. It's best to leave a pot on the warming plate for no more than an hour. If you don't want to waste it, place it in the refrigerator and enjoy an iced coffee later in the day.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
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Any cup of coffee can be doctored up with a variety of sweeteners and creamers. Some people say that a good cup doesn't need additives, but it's your coffee, so mix in whatever you want!
Try a small slab of butter rather than milk or cream. Cinnamon makes an excellent sugar substitute and simple syrups are easy to make. Freeze some of that leftover pot (with milk and sugar) into coffee cubes for a quick iced coffee, or make your own Irish cream (skip the whiskey if you like). Have fun, follow your mood, and you'll never have a boring cup again.
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Watch the barista at the coffee shop whip up a few drinks and you'll realize they're not difficult. There are many ways that you can easily create coffee shop drinks at home.
For instance, a latte requires foamed milk, which requires a whisk and a saucepan. A café Americano can be made with a stovetop espresso pot and a teapot of water. Do you like flavored drinks? Syrups are the secret!
They're often easier than you think. Once you figure them out, you'll enjoy making them and save a lot of money in the process.