Making Friends with Mr. Coffee (or Brewing Drip Coffee at Home)
Avid coffee drinkers tend to think that there’s a “best” way to brew coffee at home. While this is true, it turns out to be somewhat subjective. The best way to brew is the one that you enjoy the most, simple as that. The majority of people have an automatic drip coffee maker at home, so today I’m going to dish out some tips that will make your daily cup taste like it came straight from a five star coffee shop...aka the ShareWell Espresso Bar.
Simple Steps to Make Better Drip Coffee at Home:
Make sure your machine and equipment are clean.
It’s important to clean your coffee maker and bean grinder after each use. Wash the carafe and filter basket with soap and hot water, ensuring there’s no grinds left. Coffee oil (caffeol) can build up, and after a while, cause a bitter taste in future cups. Once a month or so, run a mixture of one part vinegar to two parts water through the machine twice, followed by a pot of just water.
Choose high-quality, fresh beans.
The best coffee starts with the best beans. We’re impartial to ShareWell of course, but flavor largely depends on what beans you choose. Select your favorite origin, variety, and roast profile when choosing. Make sure your beans are fresh, which might mean buying your beans in smaller amounts. Purchasing fresh beans once every two weeks is ideal.
The Grind: How and When.
Grind your beans as close to brew time as possible using a mill or burr grinder to ensure a consistent grind. Blade grinders will do, but they often produce inconsistently sized grounds which greatly impacts flavor. This leads to over or under-extracted coffee which will taste either bitter or flat. Don’t have a burr grinder? We’ll gladly grind your coffee for you based on your brewing method, and most grocery stores have one in the coffee aisle.
Rinse the paper filter.
Right before brewing, rinse the paper filter with cool water to get rid of any build-up and promote better, more even filtration.
The golden ratio.
1-2 Tablespoons of coffee per 6oz. of water is a good general guideline. Filtered or distilled water is best, but if using a tap, let the water run for a few seconds before using. Also, make sure to use cold water only.
*Side Note* The measuring lines on the carafe of most coffee pots are marked to measure 6oz., not the standard US 8oz. cup, but make sure to check before measuring out your grounds.
Taking it to another level (and if you have a food scale at home) you can use the following ratio, 1 gram of dry coffee : 16 grams of water. If you can measure your water and do a bit of math, you can brew the perfect ratio every time!
The ideal amount of contact time water has with the coffee grounds is 5 minutes. If your machine is taking a much longer or shorter amount of time than that, over or under-extraction is likely the end result. Try to keep contact time within that 5 minute range and keep fine-tuning until the brew satisfies your taste-buds.
*Side Note* The key to remember when brewing any coffee is that you want an equal extraction; which means you want the water to pass over all of the grounds equally. In order to ensure your Mr. Coffee is extracting equally, take a spoon and about half way through the brew pop the top of the brewer open and stir the coffee in the basket. (Be careful not to burn yourself, you're turning into a barista)!
It truly doesn’t matter if you have a Mr. Coffee or a Breville coffee maker. Utilizing these tips, while really making sure to choose quality coffee and stick to proper ratios, will have you making coffee that always tastes fantastic.
Now throw on some tunes and go give it a whirl!
Montell Jordan - This Is How We Do It (Official Music Video) - YouTube