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Tips for Café Quality Coffee from Home Drip Coffee Makers

Everyone has their preferred method for obtaining their coffee fix in the morning. With so many people working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic, there are more people than ever trying to brew a cup of coffee shop quality coffee at home. Today, I am going to give you some tips on how to make the coffee you brew at home in your Mr. Coffee taste just as good as the coffee you get from the coffee shop. There are many factors that go into making an excellent cup of coffee. Here I am going to cover 7 main things that can take your coffee made at home to the next level.

1. Use filtered water: Coffee shops use water filtration systems to ensure that their coffee beverages are made using clean, fresh tasting water. Using unfiltered tap water can affect the taste of your coffee once it is brewed. Use filtered water so the true flavor profile of your coffee shines through without any unwanted flavor from hard and unpurified water. Whether you purchase filtered water for your home or use a Brita water filter, the filtration method you use for your drinking water and for cooking is what you want to use for brewing your coffee as well.

2. Warm up your water before putting it in the coffee maker: The water temperature that coffee shops use when brewing coffee is 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the ideal temperature for extracting the correct amount of dissolved solids into the water during the brewing process. A drip coffee maker works by heating the water in its reservoir and then pouring the boiling water through the brew head over the ground coffee in the brew basket. You can make sure the water gets up to at least 195 degrees Fahrenheit during the brewing process by starting with warm water instead of cold water.

3. Use high quality, whole bean coffee and grind it yourself at home: When we are talking about quality of coffee, there are two different types of coffee beans, Arabica and Robusta. Arabica beans are higher quality beans that are cultivated between 1,300-1,500 m altitude. These are the beans that are used by most coffee shops and quality roasters and are what Som’s Café uses for all their roasts. Lower quality coffee that is mass produced and sold in grocery stores is made from Robusta.  I would recommend trying any of Som’s Cafe’s quality coffees because they are Arabica and will have a smoother and more complex flavor profile than the coffees sold the grocery store. Another way to make your coffee taste like it does in the coffee shop is to grind it at home. For the freshest tasting coffee possible, you want to buy whole bean coffee and grind it right before you brew it. There are many different types of electric coffee grinders on the market. You ideally want to be using one that allows you to adjust the grind size. Good coffee shops grind their coffee right before they brew it, no matter what brewing method they are using. Waiting to grind your beans until you are ready to use them will keep them fresh and flavorful and result in a better tasting cup of coffee.

4. Use the correct grind for the brewing method you are using: Every brewing method has a grind size that works best for brewing coffee using that method. If you are brewing coffee at home in a Mr. Coffee, you want to use the “medium”, “drip” or “auto drip” setting on your grinder. Using the correct grind size allows for the proper level of extraction of the coffee into the water during the brewing process. This is true for any brewing method. When you are brewing drip coffee, too fine a grind can make your coffee taste too strong and too course a grind can make your coffee taste too weak, so using the proper grind size is very important.

 5. Use the correct coffee to water ratio: Using standard 1 Tbsp coffee scoop, the ratio for a drip coffee maker would be 2 scoops of coffee for every 8 fl. oz of water.

 6. Store your coffee properly to maintain freshness: There is a big misconception out there about how to store coffee that I want to address here. Please, DO NOT store your coffee in the freezer! I don’t know how this became a thing, but by storing your coffee in the freezer you are destroying its freshness, not keeping it fresh!!! Here’s the deal: moisture, light and air are the enemies of fresh coffee, and taking your coffee in and out of the freezer every day creates condensation within the bag or container that you are storing your coffee in. You want to store your coffee beans in an airtight container that is not clear, and you want to keep that container in a cabinet, NOT in your freezer. This will ensure that your coffee beans are protected from moisture, light, and air to maintain their freshness up until the time you are ready to grind them.

7. Clean your brewing equipment regularly: Coffee has a lot of oils in it that can build up on the inside of your brewing equipment over time. If you don’t clean your equipment regularly, you will end up with an oily, brown residue inside your equipment that will affect the taste of your coffee.When using a drip coffee maker, you want to clean the pot, the brew basket, the water reservoir, and the other parts inside the brewer once a week. This will remove the weeks worth of residue and keep your coffee maker cleaner over time. The pot itself and the brew basket can be cleaned with dish soap and water. To clean the inside of the coffee maker, use a mixture of half white distilled vinegar and half water. Fill the water reservoir with the vinegar and water mixture and set it on a brew cycle without any coffee in the brew basket. The vinegar water will remove the residue from the inside of the water reservoir, the water line, and the brew head. This will keep that nasty residue from getting into your coffee every time your brew it. I also like to run another brew cycle with just water after using the vinegar mixture just to make sure everything inside the brewer is rinsed well.

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