We’ve all made changes in our routines over the last year, and coffee-lovers are no exception. For me, I’ve reverted to the convenience of a good ol’ fashion pot of coffee instead of my usual pour-over every morning.
When I purchased my Moccamaster KBG (in Matte Black, of course), I assumed all I’d have to do is press a button and step away. And, while, of course, it does work automatically, satisfying my need for convenience, it didn’t necessarily satisfy my palate. I wanted more out of my electric coffee maker, and, after some at-home experimenting, now I know you can get more out of your brew pot too!
So, whether you’re an exhausted parent (like me) or just trying to impress your friends and family, here are some simple tips to improve coffee when using an electric coffee maker.
[See also Your Coffee Is Probably Filled With Mold]
Grind fresh beans
If you’re trying to improve your at-home coffee experience, grinding fresh coffee beans is 101. Fresh coffee beans (generally, coffee roasted within the last 30 days) will always offer more exciting flavor notes as the coffee is, well…fresher. And, yes, coffee gets stale. Though it’s not in the same way that bread gets chewy, stale coffee tastes bland and has a very unsatisfying mouthfeel. Much like a banana spoils quickly when peeled, pre-ground coffee ages much faster when broken down to vulnerable bits. That’s why it’s best to grind fresh coffee no more than 30 minutes before brew time.
Pre-wet the filter
Pre-wetting the filter is a coffee tip long-associated with pour-over methods like a Hario v60, Chemex, or Kalita Wave. The idea is to eliminate any paper flavor unnecessary to a good cup of coffee. But, even when using a brew pot, it’s a good plan. And it’s simple.
When filling the machine with water, add a little more than you actually need. Place the filter and turn on the brew pot before adding the grounds. Let the extra water run through and wet the filter. Then turn the machine off again before adding your fresh ground coffee.
Have a stirring utensil at the ready
One issue with brew pots is that the water drips in a singular spot, forcing the home barista to overload on the ground coffee to get a strong enough flavor. Instead of adding those few extra (costly) scoops or reverting to a “dark roast,” try stirring the slurry mid-brew. Stir when the grounds are fully saturated and again near the end. Coffee tastes better when all grounds are sufficiently utilized.
Remove the basket, and, if possible, turn down the heating plate
Empty the basket once the coffee is done brewing. Letting the grounds completely drain over a period of time will contribute to a burnt and bitter-tasting cup, so even if your first one tastes spectacular, the second will be cringe-worthy.
Turn down the heating plate (if possible). The coffee will stay warm as it sits, without cooking.
Making even these simple changes to your morning coffee routine can improve your experience immensely. Not only will your coffee taste better, but the extra effort can reward you in other ways too. Better coffee is healthier, happier, and, let’s face it, heavenly. You deserve a better cup.