To make a perfect cup of coffee every time you need:
- A Drip coffee maker
- A Stainless steel or gold mesh coffee filter, brown unbleached paper if you are insistent on paper
- A stash of vinegar and baking soda for cleaning
- A good quality whole bean coffee bean not the 1.99 a pound kind
- Fresh clean filtered water
- 30 minutes of you time (start to finish)
If you want a perfect cup of coffee, instant is not going to be in your vocabulary. To make an absolute unadulterated cup of coffee you need a little time and a few essential ingredients.
First off, almost any drip coffee maker will work. The 19.99 one all the way to the 99.99 ones all do the same thing. They heat the water and siphon it over coffee grounds. As the water is soaked into the coffee, picking up the flavor it is then drained through a filter into a glass pot. Honestly the coffee pot is not what makes the cup of coffee. If what you are looking for is the best tasting cup of coffee for your money and time, here is how to do it yourself.
A clean glass coffee pot is what you need to start off with. To clean this well, you need to place about ¼ cup of baking soda into the glass pot and with your fingers add a few drops of water. Use your fingers to spread the baking soda all over the pot, up the sides and such. After you have used this as a mild abrasive, add 1 cup of vinegar. Swirl and swish allowing the baking soda and vinegar to bubble away. Next, use a clean cloth to wash the inside of the glass pot. Now, rinse well under hot water. When you think it has been thoroughly rinsed, give it one more good rinse. We are trying to make sure our pot is clean with no residues of soaps, coffee oils, or vinegar and baking soda. A clean pot will make a lot of difference. No more washing the pot once a week, or just running it under the water and calling it good.
Second step to a great cup of coffee is the filter you use. Most of us buy the cheap white 150 for 1.25 coffee filters. Why are they cheap? Because, they are not good. Not only are they paper, but they add chlorine and bleach, and starches to your coffee. How are you supposed to have a good cup of coffee if you add those things to it. I recommend a metal strainer. Gold mesh or stainless steel is good. These are a little more expensive, but are not disposable so you can reuse them for a good long time. Average cost for these run 12.99-19.99. Clean these the same as the coffee pot. Rinse well!
Third step to a great cup of coffee is using good filtered water. I am not saying you need to use bottled water. But getting a Brita filter and filtering your water before brewing will take the extra minerals and chlorine and any other extras often found in tap water. Since coffee is mainly water that is heated and flavored doesn't it make sense to use good quality clean water?
And of course the last step to a great cup of coffee is using a good whole bean coffee. No, coffee that is sitting on the shelf at Safeway will not do. You need to buy coffee beans from a good small company that buys their coffee in small batches, that are roasted daily or weekly. Only then can you be sure that the coffee you are getting is fresh. Choosing coffee this way runs about $12 a pound. But remember this is whole bean, you are getting a lot of coffee for the price. Grinding your own coffee bean at home is the best way to assure your very own perfect cup of coffee.
One more tip, do not reheat your brewed coffee, or leave it on for hours and hours. Brew only enough coffee that you will drink within the hour or so. Reheating and micro waving coffee just breaks the coffee down even faster. Yes, coffee does break down. When this happens you end up with a strong, sour taste. Not the perfect cup if you ask me. How do you brew just a few cups of coffee at a time? For every 6 ounces of water you add to your pot, add only 2 tablespoons of fresh ground coffee beans to the filter. When putting the ground coffee beans into the filter make sure it is level and spread evenly across the bottom of the filter. This assures even brewing. You now have no excuse to not enjoy your own perfect cup of coffee.
The author is from Medford, OR. Linda Cramer is owner of http://www.babygiftbasketco.com a wholesale site for baby gift baskets and gourmet food baskets.