Brewing Better Coffee: 8 Quick Tips

If you are like many Americans, your day doesn't start until you have downed a cup of coffee. But getting the perfect brew is not an easy task. If your morning joe leaves a lot to be desired, follow these easy steps to brewing a better cup.

1. Invest in a Quality Coffee Maker. It all starts with a good coffee machine. If you are a true coffee lover, you will want to invest some money in your brewing equipment. While you do not need to spend hundreds on a professional coffee maker, you will want to read reviews and find the right machine for your budget and your needs. Because more than 50 percent of Americans start their day with coffee, the industry has responded with a wide variety of new machines and there are still the old standbys, as well. If you love rich tasting coffee, for example, but you don't want to spend a lot, consider a simple French press, which brews delicious coffee and typically costs less than $50.

I have the Bodum Chambord 8-cup coffee press, shown below. It comes in a variety of sizes. My husband and I love to share pressed coffee on Saturday mornings, but for our hectic weekday mornings, I love my Cuisinart Coffee Maker. has a great selection of coffee makers with ratings and reviews by customers. If you find a coffee maker you like, don't forget to check for a coupon code before you order. They are well known for generous coupon codes throughout the year. Current codes are here.  

2. Grind your Own Beans. In addition to a coffee brewing machine, you may also want to invest in a bean grinder. Coffee lovers everywhere agree that freshly ground beans make the best tasting coffee.

3. Buy the Right Beans. Buying a grinder also allows you to experiment with different blends of beans. You can purchase specialty beans from a local micro-roaster. Even if you are just using beans from your local supermarket, you can develop some pretty flavorful combinations with some experimentation. Make sure to store your beans in an airtight container for the best flavor.

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4. Brewing Instructions. Once you have acquired a great coffee maker and a good combination of beans, you’ll be ready to make coffee. But what truly makes coffee great is the brewing process. No matter what type of coffee machine you use, the follow steps will ensure that you are getting the best coffee that you can.

5. Start out with a clean coffee maker. The best tasting brew comes from clean equipment. Make sure that your carafe has been cleaned so there are no remnants of the previous morning's coffee, and double check that the basket is clear of coffee grounds. Nothing ruins a pot of coffee more than leftover grounds. If you are new to brewing your own coffee, start with something mild like an Arabic blend. After you have mastered the art of brewing, you can adjust to find your desired strength of flavor and level of caffeine.

6. Fill the carafe with fresh, cold water and then fill up the drip reservoir. Make sure to stop just before the reservoir is totally full. Overfilling will not only make a weaker brew, but it could prevent your coffee maker from working properly. Clean up after you pour so there is no excess water on the hotplate or on the machine itself. This will keep your coffee maker working like new for years to come.

7. Insert one liner (if your coffee machine calls for it) and then use five mounded scoops for ten cups of coffee. Adjust your scoops for less cups (one scoop per two cups). You will, of course, adjust the amount of coffee to suit your personal taste as you continue to experiment with your coffee making.

Great Tip: You might also want to try adding a pinch of salt on top of the grounds to cut the bitterness of the coffee. Or try adding cinnamon or nutmeg on top of the grounds for a special touch.

8. Once you have added the water and the grounds, you are ready to brew. Place the carafe under the drip feed and start your machine. To prepare, warm your coffee cups with a rinse under hot water. If you leave the cups cold, the coffee will drop in temperature before you can enjoy it. Gather sweeteners, milk or coffee creamer and you will be ready to enjoy your perfect cup of coffee once it is brewed.

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