Making coffee with an automated drip machine is usually regarded negatively among the coffee snob community. However, that doesn’t mean you should toss out your machine and do penance for having ever owned one.
If you still aren’t ready to part with your machine or you just defiantly want to prove that it can still make a decent cup of coffee, follow these tips to learn how to make coffee with a drip coffee maker that doesn’t taste like bitter mud.
Making these adjustments will help you realize how much better coffee can taste and you won’t need all that sugar and milk to cover the poor taste. Once that happens, you’ll soon find yourself browsing through pour over coffee makers and French presses to achieve the perfect cup of coffee.
#1 Clean it regularly
Cleaning is the most important thing you can do to your machine to improve the flavor of your brew. A dirty machine and dirty pot will lead to bad coffee because old brews have left their coffee oils behind and those oils have gone rancid.
Additionally, water starts to leave behind mineral build up that effects flavor and clogs up the brewing process. Do a thorough clean every 4-6 weeks by running vinegar through the machine twice and scrubbing out the different areas with baking soda and warm water.
Before each use, you want to at least clean out the part where the grounds go and the pot with warm soapy water(or baking soda)to remove rancid oils.
#2 Use good, whole beans
Pre-ground beans are bad. Really bad. They lose most of their flavor and aroma within 15 minutes of being ground so what you have is, essentially, a bag of caffeinated dirt. Since a machine already decreases the flavor, you need to use high quality beans that are freshly ground within a minute or so of being used in order to get any good flavor at all.
Don’t freeze your beans unless you don’t plan to use them for a long time. Instead, keep beans stored in a cool, dark, dry place.
#3 Do a “dry run” first
Well, technically it’s a pretty wet run. But what we mean is run just water through your machine once before you actually brew the coffee. These machines take a while to heat up to a good temperature, so a warmed up machine will produce a better brew than a cold one.
#4 Use the right grind
The grind is essential to the brew. You can’t control everything in your machine but you can at least control the texture of your grind. For a flat bottom filter or a plastic permanent filter, use a medium grind (about sand texture). For a cone shaped filter, go for a finer grind (slightly finer than granulated sugar).
With these tips, you will get a much better cup of coffee out of your machine. It won’t rival a pour over cup, but it will be much better than what you were drinking before.