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Coffee Machine Tips

Alexis Labadie Profile image

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Updated August 27, 2022

You probably want to learn some coffee machine tips if you have just begun brewing coffee at home. You can find many tips online, but the ones listed below provide the basis for making the best possible cup of coffee.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • For the extraction of flavors you want, you should use filtered water, but not pure distilled water.
  • Make sure to grind your beans right before brewing and measure the proper amount.
  • If you haven’t descaled your coffee carafe recently, you should do so using vinegar, chemical descaler, or citric acid.

For example, you may read that you can add an egg to your grounds before brewing or milk after brewing to reduce the coffee’s bitterness. However, that tip won’t mean as much if you don’t know to descale your best coffee maker frequently. You may also want to find out how to fix a coffee machine steam wand that is not working.

Tips for Coffee Makers

Many tips cover specific beans, grinds, or maker types for your perfect cup of coffee. However, you probably want to know more about tips that can apply to all types of coffee. Below you can find tips on the kind of water to use, how you handle the grounds, and coffee machine maintenance. If you have a percolator, check out what to do when your coffee percolator is not working.

Insider Tip

Always measure your coffee grounds to brew a consistently flavored cup of coffee.

Use Filtered Water

Everyone knows that brewing coffee requires hot water. However, what you may not realize is that water directly impacts the taste and feel of your coffee. This impact becomes particularly important if you live in an area with hard water containing minerals, chemicals, and gases.

You should consider using filtered water instead of straight tap water. As a result, you brew coffee with a purer taste, unaffected or marred by the tastes and smells of groundwater. This is great for coffee makers with a hot water dispenser to ensure the water is pure for tea or hot chocolate. On the other hand, avoid using pure distilled hot water or reverse osmosis water because it can dull the flavors of the coffee.

Grind Your Own Beans

If you recently started brewing coffee at home, you may still be buying pre-ground coffee beans. Of course, you know the taste of the beans you choose, but you wonder why coffee shop beans taste better. Well, the reason is relatively simple.

Coffee store baristas often grind beans as they use them. By buying your beans whole, you expect the flavors and aromas to say locked inside your coffee grounds. Learning how you should grind your coffee beans for the exact coarseness necessary will help to make an ideal cup of coffee. Some machines can grind your whole beans and brew your coffee in one. If that interests you, check out our review of the Cuisinart Next Generation Burr Grind & Brew.

Measure Your Grounds

If you haven’t been measuring your grounds before putting them in the basket for brewing, you may find you can up your coffee game by doing so. Many people believe you should use six ounces of water for every one tablespoon of grounds in the basket. However, if you like your coffee stronger, you could try six ounces of water for every two tablespoons of grounds. Likewise, if you love strong coffee you might want to try drinking espressos. In that case, we have a great guide for teaching you how an espresso machine works.

However, consider using a scale instead of a measuring cup to avoid variation in how you level the tablespoon. A scale provides a more consistent amount of coffee grounds for every cup, resulting in excellent taste every time. If you decide to use a scale instead, use 280 grams of water with 16-20 grams of coffee for a ten-ounce mug.

Clean Your Coffee Machine

You probably rinse out your coffee pot after every use, but this process only removes loose debris. Ideally, you want to clean your coffee machine every few months, including wiping down the outside and washing the carafe. However, throughout your time using your coffee machine, you may not realize that your coffee carafe ends up with build-up from minerals in your water.

To descale your coffee machine, you use a designated descaler, white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or citric acid to remove this build-up. Whatever method you choose, make sure to follow the ratios of descaler to water that use an effective amount of water to dilute it. For example, vinegar should be added to water, so it remains half water and half vinegar. Chemical descalers state their ratio on the package.

F.A.Q.S

What is the ratio of coffee to water in a coffee maker?

Use 1-2 tablespoons for every six oz. of coffee in a drip coffee maker. If you like your coffee stronger, use two tablespoons.


Can you make a regular cup of coffee with an espresso machine?

You cannot make regular coffee using an espresso machine without a coffee maker that does both. These machines advertise their features in their product descriptions or on their boxes.


How much ground espresso is in a single shot?

You should use 15 grams of ground beans for two fluid ounces. For a 1.5 fluid-ounce cup of espresso, you need 6-8 grams of grounds.



STAT: A general guideline is called the “Golden Ratio” – one to two tablespoons of ground coffee for every six ounces of water. (source)

Warning

You end up with water that affects the taste of your morning coffee if you use tap water, so you should replace tap water with filtered water.

Alexis Labadie Profile image