Tips To Maximize Your Drip Coffee Flavor At Home
Posted on January 06 2022,
The weekend has arrived, and you wake up feeling the struggle bus after a busy week. The only way to shake the funk and jump into your day is over a good cup of coffee, and the quickest way is to pull out the trusty drip coffee maker.
Now, we all know the ol' coffee pot can get a bad rap in the world of specialty coffee. That's why we tend to go for the espresso machine, French Press, Kalita Wave, or an assortment of other brew methods. But let's not dismiss the merits of the drip coffee maker: it brews quickly and in voluminous amounts, as opposed to the one-cupper methods.
Convenient, right? But how do we get around the stereotypical "lower quality" taste that this coffee maker so often produces? Are home drip drinkers doomed to sip coffee that tastes like the Folgers grounds sitting in grandma's freezer for the last seven years?
Fear not: there is hope! Check out these simple steps you can take to drastically improve the brew flavor from your drip coffee maker.
1. Grind fresh coffee (if possible).
For one, coffee is much more fresh if you grind it yourself at home, as opposed to buying pre-ground coffee. The sooner your coffee is ground, the sooner that fresh quality will be released from the beans. So that ground coffee sits in the bag losing freshness quicker.
In the same vein, make sure you purchase coffee that has been recently roasted (within a few days). Specialty coffee will typically have a roast date on the bag. Older, stale coffee will highly impact the taste of your cup. Grind at the peak period after the roast date and use up through the next week or two for a fresh taste.
2. Store your coffee right.
Just like with accounting firms, there is a Big Four in specialty coffee: air, temperature, light, and humidity. Exposure to these elements will keep your coffee from a fresh taste. Store your coffee in a vacuum container and in a dark, cool place to preserve the freshness of your coffee.
3. Check your water.
Have you ever tasted water from the tap with a metallic taste? Even if your tap water doesn't actually taste peculiar, chances are, it still contains some kind of chemicals or imperfections that can diminish the taste of your coffee.
If possible, use treated water for your coffee (distilled with certain minerals re-introduced). If not, use filtered water over tap water.
4. Pre-heat your cup before pouring your first cup of coffee.
We don't often consider what happens when pouring hot coffee into a cold coffee cup, but this can impact your brew quality as well. Any quick drop in temperature allows the potential for your coffee to lose flavor.
However, heating up your cup beforehand will not only keep your coffee warmer for longer, but will prevent that first cup from dropping quickly in temperature. One option is to microwave water in your coffee cup while the coffee is brewing.
5. Pour hot water (about 200 degrees) into your brewer.
The concept in the previous step also applies to the water you put in your drip coffee maker. Cold water will take longer to heat up and may be inconsistent as the coffee is brewed into the carafe. Starting out with already hot water will keep the temperature more consistent, allowing for optimal extraction and providing a full flavor for your coffee.
Who says you can't have tasty coffee brewed with a drip coffee maker? Try these steps to maximize your taste and sip your way into the weekend. Enjoy!