How to Make the Perfect Cup of Coffee and Common Mistakes to Avoid

Brewing coffee should be taken very seriously, especially if you know that it's one of the things that will get your day going. A hardcore coffee drinker myself, I don't think I could go a day without a few cups of that liquid caffeine running through my system! It's become part of my morning routine and actually turned into a hobby for me-I absolutely love trying out different coffee beans from different countries.

Coffee brewing shouldn't feel like chore because achieving the perfect cup of coffee is actually quite easy if you follow a few simple steps. Break out the coffee machine, grab some coffee beans, and get ready to feel like an at home barista.

1. Buy High Quality, Fresh Coffee Beans

When you're patiently waiting for the coffee machine to give you the OK that it's ready, the last thing you want to do is sip on just an average cup of coffee. The quality of fresh coffee beans makes a huge difference in taste. You can choose your coffee beans a few ways:

  • By roast type- light roast, medium roast, medium dark roast, or dark roast. It's all about your taste preference.
  • Country- you can buy coffee beans from all around the world and they can have different flavor notes, which is determined by the weather, soil, or the variety of plant. Try out different coffee beans to find your favorite.
  • Variety of coffee beans- arabica or robusta.

It's best to buy from a specialty coffee shop, farmer's market, or local store where they carry quality coffee beans. It's also always wise to check out the roast date, which is usually on the bottom of the package. Try and find beans that have been roasted within the last 2-3 weeks for the freshest flavor.

2. Store Coffee Beans Properly

The best way to store coffee beans is in an airtight container at room temperature and free from humidity. In my kitchen, I have glass containers with lids that I use for my coffee. They look pretty and it keeps all of my coffee organized in my pantry. You can also purchase containers with chalkboard labels so you can simply write down each type of coffee and erase it when you fill it with a new one.

Keep coffee beans out of the refrigerator and freezer since they can easily take on moisture and food odors that float around.

3. Grind Your Own Beans

Nothing beats the convenience of ground coffee and I'll admit that I buy a few bags of ground coffee every so often. However, once coffee beans are ground, they loose their flavor so it's best to grind whole beans at the grocery store or to do it yourself at home right before brewing coffee.

I love my basic blade coffee grinder- it gets the job done and it's affordable, but some people prefer a burr grinder. A burr grinder is on the pricey side, but will give you a consistent grind a result in better flavor.

4. Use Good Water

Sure tap water is easily accessible and free, but who wants to drink a cup of coffee with an acidic or chlorine aftertaste? Tap water can really affect your coffee flavor and maybe even how your day goes (I'm talking from experience here!). Invest in a water filter or bottled water to fill your coffee maker and be sure to avoid using distilled water.

5. Use the Right Coffee to Water Ratio

It can be a struggle to find the right coffee to water ratio, but it all matters on your taste preference. I like coffee with string, bold flavor so I know to add in an extra tablespoon or two when I'm making my coffee. A good measurement to follow is one to two tablespoons of ground coffee per cup. You can always adjust this to suit your taste.

6. Warm Your Coffee Cup

This is one of my favorite tricks! When you pour hot water or any other type of hot liquid into a cold container, it's obviously going to drop the temperature of the liquid. Try pre-warming you coffee mug during the brewing process.

Fill the mug with really hot tap water and let it sit until the coffee is ready. Dump it out just before pouring in coffee.

7. Clean Equipment

I'll admit that I forget to do this sometimes, but having clean equipment really helps with the coffee taste. Wash your coffee or burr grinder every week or do to get rid of any coffee oils that might build up. Every month, run a vinegar and water solution through your coffee maker to clean the machine.

8. Use a Paper Filter

Paper filter vs metal filter, which one is best? Personally, I love paper filters. They're much finer and they do a great job at catching any coffee grinds. You can even reuse them or just simply toss them after each use.

Some metal filters are great, but you do have to clean them throughly after each use. Purchasing a metal filter will also save you some money, too. Keep in mind that if you are using a metal filter, your coffee will have more of a bold flavor to it since the metal filter cannot catch as many coffee grounds and oils.

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