Brewing Basics: Making the Perfect Cup of Joe

Cup of Joe

Ask any coffee connoisseur and they’ll agree, there’s an art to making the perfect cup of joe. While sipping a steamy brew at your favorite coffeehouse is always a treat, sometimes you just want to have a great cup of coffee at home. Follow these simple steps and you can make coffee like the pros…maybe even better!

Start with a squeaky clean coffee maker. Whether you are using a conventional auto-drip machine, a fancy trifecta or are opting to dawn your skills with a French coffee press, the fact remains the same…a great spot of coffee begins with a spotlessly clean machine. Not only do coffee makers provide the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and mold, it’s impossible to make a great cup of coffee from an apparatus that is caked in grounds or is laden with a film.

How to clean your coffee maker is, of course, dependent on which type you are using. If you are unsure, check the instruction manual. How often you clean it depends on your machine as well but one thing is for sure, any device should be cleaned at least once a week if not every time you use it. Warm, soapy water usually does the trick for daily washing but running white distilled vinegar through the cycle weekly is recommended. Parts should be scrubbed then doused with vinegar as well. Be sure to run a good amount of water through the machine afterwards to get all traces of vinegar out. A small bristle brush works wonders to get in nooks and crannies and don’t forget the seals.

Now that you are confident you are starting with an impeccably clean machine, you’ll want to use good water. It’s common for people to make their coffee from tap water that they wouldn’t dare drink alone. Even boiling water doesn’t always rid it of some unwanted chemicals nor does it improve the taste. Besides, most coffee making methods do not actually bring the water to a boil. Do yourself a favor and use purified or distilled water when making your joe and…it will show.

Quality matters! It goes without saying that input determines output. Excellent coffee beans or grounds make for…an excellent cup of coffee. Experiment with different brands and blends. Why not branch out and try making expressos and cappuccinos too? Keep in mind that quantity is important as well. Too much coffee can render a bitter taste and watered down java is pretty much pointless.
It’s not difficult to make great coffee, by following the easy suggestions above, you are well on your way to the perfect cup of joe…right at your fingertips.

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