I, like many of you, used to use a simple drip coffee maker. I would stumble, eyes drooping, into the kitchen, portion my pre-ground beans by tossing a handful into a paper filter, add more if I wanted an extra boost or a stronger taste. I would fill the countertop machine to the brim with water from my sink, seeking to maximize my morning elixir. And I would hit the start button, worn down to a cracked grey patch of broken rubber. The maker would churn violently, drawing water through the old plastic pipes and bean, filling the room with a pleasant aroma. What, I thought, could be any better than this?
Perhaps if you’re reading this, you already know. Or perhaps you’re reading to find out. But the truth of it is this: I was entirely wrong. What, I should have thought, isn’t any better than this?
Don’t mistake my intentions. Please, by all means, continue using the drip coffee maker. This old standard is a perfectly acceptable way of making coffee - if - you apply some simple rules to make that coffee great. But I would implore you before we begin to try some different brew methods (see below). I promise, once you find your favorite, there are ways to make it an easy and rewarding morning routine.
By applying what you learn from these 5 simple tips to the way you brew coffee at home, you're coffee drinking experience will go from good to great, without the hassle you might expect.
Store and grind your coffee at home.
This is perhaps the easiest way to get better coffee at home. By storing and grinding coffee correctly, subtle unique characteristics of the bean are unlocked for you to enjoy. Buy only what you can consume in 1-2 weeks, grinding the coffee for each individual brew. Store the whole bean coffee away from excessive air, moisture, heat, and light to preserve freshness. Keep in mind that the grind level needs to change depending on how you are brewing your coffee. Use a coarse grind for a French press, a medium grind for a drip, and a medium-fine grind for a pour over. If you’ve never ground your coffee at home, look for a burr grinder. Burr grinders give you the most versatility and consistency. But if you’re just starting out, a cheap blade grinder will do!
Keep your coffee equipment clean.
A dirty or moldy coffee maker can change the game entirely. In fact, the coffee pot has been found to be one of the dirtiest appliances in the kitchen. Not liking the taste of your morning brew? This could be why! No matter how you brew, make sure to clean everything, especially the removable parts, after each use. Don’t let the wet grinds sit in the filter all day (feeling guilty, aren’t you?), and consider leaving the lid up to allow the machine to dry. To clean a drip coffee maker, fill the water chamber with a vinegar and water mixture and brew half of it. Let the combination sit for 30-60 minutes, then finish the brew cycle. Rinse by brewing clean water once or twice. Feel free to repeat if it needs it!
Know your ratios.
The Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) states that 1.63 grams of coffee (whole bean) should be used per ounce of water. While this is only one standard, and may vary depending on how you prefer to brew your coffee, there are plenty of resources online to help you determine the correct coffee weight for you. While you may think that measuring your coffee every morning seems like overkill, it is a simple way to improve the taste of your morning routine in a massive way. And the effect has been experienced personally. I never knew that I was over-brewing until I measured! Purchase a small tabletop electric scale or use the kitchen scale you already have.
Experiment with different brew methods.
I already said that the drip brewer is a fine and easy way to start the day. And I’ll stand by that. But you’re not a true coffee drinker until you experimented with other ways of making coffee. While it’s easy to assume that the water and coffee mixture wouldn’t change much depending on the brew style, it is absolutely an incorrect assumption (and you know what assuming does…). Give the pour over and the French press a try. These two methods of brewing are incredibly simple and will produce some of the best coffee you’ve ever had!
Buy good (whole bean) coffee!
There is a difference between pre-ground bulk coffee and the good stuff. Making the switch to specialty coffee will monumentally change your mornings. Drop by Canyon Coffee Roasters and speak with one of our team. We will listen to your preferences and help you pick the best coffee for you. And if you’d like to experiment, we have many single-origin coffees and blends to try!