Many people think you can’t get a good cup of coffee from a drip coffee maker, but I believe you can. Of course, it isn’t going to beat the $3.50 cup from the barista, but you can still have a pretty good cup of joe in the morning… if you are sure to take care of your coffeemaker at night.
Here’s the thing. You’re never going to get a good cup of coffee from a dirty carafe, so before you buy premium coffee beans and a grinder, give your coffeemaker a good, thorough cleaning. It’s actually quite easy, even though it takes a little while.
Start with a 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water. Run it through your coffee maker just like you would if you were brewing coffee, without the coffee, of course. When it’s through brewing, pour the water/vinegar mix back in and brew it again. Lastly, dump the water out and fill the carafe with fresh water. Run it through one more time to remove the vinegar and pour that water out. If you have any residue left from earlier pots of coffee, a little baking soda will get that out. Then every night, wash your carafe in hot, soapy water and always be sure to take the filter out and throw it away. Wipe down the inside of the filter holder with a damp cloth.
Now that you have a clean coffee maker, start with fresh, whole beans. Grind just enough for one pot of coffee. Choose a medium grind for coffee makers that use flat bottom or gold filters and medium/fine for coffee makers that use cone shaped filters. One to two tablespoons for each 6 ounces of water, depending on how strong you like your coffee, is perfect. Don’t rely on your carafe’s markings, however, as different manufacturer’s have different ideas about what constitutes a cup. Use filtered water if your water isn’t good. I always use filtered water in my coffee maker, even though my tap water tastes fine. If your temperature is hot enough, your coffee will be as good as it can possibly be from a good drip coffee maker. Just be sure to remove the glass carafe from the heating plate and pour it into a thermal carafe to serve, or you could come back for your second cup only to find it burned.
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