Thursday, March 14, 2013

20 Coffee Hacks Coffee Addicts Will Love

*Photo and story courtesy of

Few things are as satisfying as a freshly brewed cup of coffee, and getting your fix more quickly at less expense is just icing on the cake. These 20 tips can help you brew a better cup of coffee, and are vital knowledge for any java aficionado.
  1. Buy Whole Beans – Instead of getting preground coffee in plastic containers, get a bag of coffee beans and grind them yourself.  You’ll have delicious, fresh coffee that costs less.
  2. Choose Your Grinder Carefully – There are plenty of pricey grinders on the market, but a mid-range offering can do the job just as well at a fraction of the price. Don’t fall victim to the assumption that more expensive automatically equates to better functionality.
  3. Grind it as You Go – Decide whether you are grinding beans for the day or the week and grind only what you need. Store unused grounds in an airtight container to maintain freshness, but don’t count on the freshness of grounds more than a week old.
  4. Read the Instructions On Your Coffee Maker – Sounds simple doesn’t it? Some people don’t bother, and then wonder why their coffee doesn’t taste as good as they thought it would. Read the directions and make sure you are making the best use of your machine, as each of them will have their own quirks.
  5. Keep Your Coffee Maker Clean – A clean coffee maker makes the best coffee. If your coffee continually tastes bitter, try giving your machine a good cleaning. Over time the oils from the coffee will build up and if you’ve ever taken a whiff of rancid oil, you know what it’s like. Cleaning is easy. One tablespoon of white vinegar added to the water and run through the machine should do the trick, then run a cycle of clean water to rinse the vinegar from the machine’s workings. Your next pot of coffee should taste much better.
  6. Make it Smooth – For a really nice, smooth tasting cup of joe, add a pinch of salt to your coffee grounds. Some people prefer to use kosher salt because of the larger crystals. Just a pinch will make a big difference in the flavor.
  7. Keep the Beans Cool – Freezing your coffee beans may actually dry them out, causing ice crystals to form on the beans. You can keep your beans fresh by storing them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Make sure it’s airtight so that other smells in the fridge won’t contaminate them.
  8. Skip the Stirring – Have you ever noticed that the barista at your favorite cafe never bothers to stir your cup of joe, but it always comes out perfectly blended? There’s a time-saving trick at work. When you put your cream and sugar in your cup first and then pour the coffee over it, they’ll all blend perfectly.
  9. Save on Flavor – If you like your coffee with flavor, get the syrup. You can adjust the flavor to suit your taste and you won’t mess up your grinder with the oils from the flavors. Regular coffee beans are usually cheaper than their flavored counterparts, too.
  10. Do Your Homework – Enjoy your coffee and learn about the different brews. It will wake you up, but learn to savor it and let it bring you joy as well!
  11. Keep the Brew Warm – If your coffee cools too much it can lose most of its top flavors, so don’t let your cup sit around and lose its warmth before you enjoy it.
  12. Spring for an Insulated Carafe – Coffee left on the burner can scorch. Keep your coffee hot and delicious by using an insulated carafe instead.
  13. Reduce Acidity – Put a little baking soda on top of the coffee grounds before brewing if you need to reduce the acid in your coffee.
  14. Protect Your Filters– Smashed coffee filters can be difficult to straighten properly, so make sure that you keep yours in a bowl to protect them from being crumpled.
  15. Pre-Heat the Coffee Maker – If you run clear water through your machine to heat it up before brewing that first pot, you will find your coffee tastes much better.
  16. Save Your Coffee Pot – Putting a few pennies on the hot plate will keep your coffee nice and warm without scorching or burning. This is perfect for those times when you brew a pot that will be slowly consumed.
  17. Strive for Optimal Saturation – Stirring the grounds while in the filter will ensure that the coffee gets thoroughly soaked and brews properly.
  18. Use the Program Feature– Take advantage of programmable coffee makers. Get everything ready the night before and set the timer for morning. You’ll enjoy waking up to the smell of coffee brewing, and you’ll be able to shave a few minutes off of your morning routine.
  19. Buy Local – The big chains have a lot to offer, but don’t neglect the little Mom and Pop cafes. Along with a good cup of joe, you’ll also probably enjoy the chummy atmosphere.
  20. Boost the Power of a Nap – You may not have heard of the Caffeine Nap but you may want to try it. Drink a cup of coffee then immediately take a 15 minute nap. You should wake up feeling refreshed and more energetic.

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