There’s nothing better than a perfect cup of coffee. And nothing worse than facing a long day on a cup of bitter, muddy swill. Making coffee at home with your standard drip coffee maker is an art. However, it’s an art you can master quickly, with the right information. Here’s how to brew the perfect cup at home.
If your machine is new, run a few pots of plain water through the machine. This will help get rid of any factory odors or chemicals. If your machine has been around since your college days, brew a pot of eight cups of water and 1/2 cup of white vinegar, using a filter. Then run another full pot of plain water. This will help remove leftover contaminants from years of brewing and mineral deposits left behind from tap water.
Use high quality coffee. This should go without saying, but you’d be surprised how many people actually buy brands like Yuba and expect to get a quality result. I like Peet’s and Trader Joe’s.
Filter your water. Tap water can contain various minerals that may muck with your brew. Use a Brita or Pur filter to start with the cleanest slate possible.
Use the right amount of coffee
My ex-husband never measured his coffee. He’d just sort of pour the grounds into the filter until it “looked right.” His coffee was vile and never the same twice. People prefer different flavor densities to their brew. Although a nice starting point is one kitchen tablespoon for every cup, plus one extra tablespoon full for the pot. Do not make these heaping spoonfuls.
Mix-ins- they’re not just for ice cream
The right mix-in is what will separate your brew from the masses, adding complexity and individuality to your cup. Be bold in your quest for flavor. Clean crushed eggshells in the filter remove the bitterness and smooth your brew. Feeling Christmasy? Add a few dashes of nutmeg and cinnamon to the grounds before brewing.
Anywhere from a half to a whole teaspoon or grated orange peel and zest in the grounds will add sparkle and a fantastic aroma. A tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder makes a nice subtle mocha base, without adding calories. Experiment with spices and flavors found on hand and create a signature brew.
Creating the perfect cup of coffee relies on the combination of quality ingredients and the proper coffee-to-water ratio. Done well, you can be the most popular guy at the office. Done poorly and your day won’t get off the ground. Using the three steps of preparation, ratio creation, and flavor infusion, you can invent your own master brew. And never need to set foot in an overpriced coffee shop again.