Have You Been Using Your Drip Coffee Maker Correctly?
The drip coffee machine has been a staple on kitchen counters for decades. While coffee lovers are trying more coffee brewing methods than ever before, these classic coffee makers still comprise the largest portion of at home-brewed coffee. The process of making pot coffee might largely be second nature within your morning routine, but there are some common mistakes that you may not be aware of. There’s a good chance the coffee you’ve been drinking every morning can be much better than you think!
1. You’re Not Using the Right Amount of Coffee
This is probably the most common mistake I see with coffee. More often than not, I find people do not use enough coffee in their coffee makers. Also, while some falsely believe you can use the same amount of grounds to brew more coffee, the science there simply doesn’t work. My suggestion to ensure you’re using the correct amount of coffee is to measure precisely. Trade out the standard dinner spoon for a much more accurate tablespoon measure or coffee scoop, or ideally, measure based on weight (with a scale) instead of volume. This in and of itself can completely change your morning coffee experience. I recommend starting with a ratio of 7-8g (1Tbsp) coffee to every 112g (4oz) water and tweak to your personal preference from there.
2. Using Low Quality Tap Water
Coffee is almost entirely water which makes it one of the most critical components of your overall cup. In short, not all water should be treated as equal. To get the best tasting coffee, you must use filtered water, and doing so will also ensure the longevity of your coffee maker. If you’ve been using tap water in your coffee maker for years and wonder why your coffee always tastes a bit off, there’s a very good chance that the inside of your coffee machine is filled with mineral buildup from hard water. Those mineral deposits in the machine will greatly change the taste of your coffee and will ultimately lead to a broken machine.
3. Coffee Grind Size is Off
I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve seen people use finely ground coffee beans, that should be reserved for espresso or even Turkish coffee, in their drip coffee brewer. The general rule of thumb for this method is medium coarseness. The ground coffee should resemble normal sand. If yours resembles table salt that’s too fine, and if it resembles sea salt that’s too coarse. If you must buy pre-ground coffee for your machine, make sure the grind size is right for the brew method. If you’re grinding whole bean coffee at home - the highly preferred option- you have complete control over getting this just right.
4. Your Coffee Machine Needs a Clean
Just like any piece of kitchen equipment, your coffee machine needs a deep clean on a regular basis. If you don’t scrub out the coffee pot or any components the coffee touches, there is a good chance that you’re tasting the funk left over from previous coffee brews. Long story short, stay on top of cleaning your coffee machine in regular intervals to make sure the remnants of your old coffee don’t make their way into your new brew.
5. Your Equipment Needs an Upgrade
It’s not uncommon to see a low-cost drip coffee maker used for years and years. While I don’t want to encourage anyone to discard functioning equipment, it’s important to make sure your coffee maker is doing what it should. Many of these coffee machines do a very poor job of regulating temperature throughout the brewing process, which can negatively impact the resulting coffee. Additionally, with larger drip coffee makers, you’ll often make much more coffee than you actually need at that moment. Whether that brewed coffee ends up in the sink or sitting on the burner for hours until you can finish it off, both are less than ideal. At the end of the day, good coffee paired with attention to detail can only do so much if the coffee machine itself is not up to par. Is it time to donate or recycle that old coffee brewer and trade up?
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