Coffee drinkers will all agree that the best coffee is all about taste. Whether the highest end, exotic blend or a basic household variety…whatever tastes excellent to you is “the best” coffee.
- It’s easier. Drive up, order, pay, pull away. You don’t even have to leave your car.
- It’s exciting. There are so many creative blends and combinations to choose from. You can have something different…very different…every day!
- It tastes really good. No bad cups of coffee at Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts, right?
- It provides a change of pace. If you have time to go inside, the coffee shops are attractive and comfortable. Set up the laptop, sip and get some web surfing (or work) done.
There are keys to making great coffee at home…even with a (dare we say it) DRIP coffee maker! Here are some tips on how to make the “best” coffee at home!
- Keep the coffee maker clean. Before you even start, clean the pot, filter basket and the little spout at the underside of the basket, too. You don’t have to wash the pot literally every time but if there is a fine film coating the pot, after you’ve swept it with clear water, it’s a sign that it’s time! Best practice: wash it every morning before the first pot is made. Use dish-washing liquid and warm sudsy water. Rinse very well. At least once a month, descale it (clean it) with a commercial coffee cleaning product (pictured at the sidebar) or using white vinegar.
- Make it with great tasting water. Depending on the quality of your tap water, your coffee will taste much better if it’s made with filtered water. Drinking water tastes better purified. Coffee tastes better made with good tasting water, too.
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- Use top quality coffee. This is a matter of taste. Some of us are very happy with commercial brands found in the grocery store. Others require a higher-price, “fashion” brands such as Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts. The ultimate could be considered to be the “designer” brands, only available through coffee shops and specialty stores.
- Select the flavor that appeals to your palate. If you like a lighter roast, you will never be happy with the robust beans no matter how well it’s brewed. Stick with what you like. Adventurous? Then, by all means, experiment but keep your favorite on hand if you strike out with Spicy-hot Chocolato Roasto Beano (I made that up).
- Grind your own. The flavor and aroma of the coffee bean stays sealed in until it is first released by grinding. “Fresher is better” is the motto.
- Store it in the freezer. Yes, whether beans or ground, your coffee will stay fresh, longer when refrigerated or even frozen!
- Never reuse filters. Use a single paper filter, brand new every time. This is no place to try to economize. Though metal filters are available for some coffee makers, they can hold onto a bitter taste unless very well cleaned each time. Paper filters are fast and effective.
- Find the formula. You need to learn your coffee maker. Use just the right amount of coffee per cup brewed for your tastes–not necessarily the recipe on the container.
- Don’t burn it. Some coffee makers turn themselves off after 20 minutes or so. That is perfect. Others stay on as long as you leave them. The coffee will burn after a while and that can taste nasty. Turn it off and reheat in the microwave as you want more…or make a fresh pot. For more tips on great tasting coffee: How To Store Coffee and Keep It Fresh
- Serve it in a hot mug. Coffee loses it’s heat quickly when put in a cold coffee mug. Assuming that you like it piping hot, pre-heat your mug by pouring hot water in it and letting it sit for a minute or two. Pour out the water and pour in your coffee!