6 Incredibly Easy Ways to Make Better Coffee with Your Automatic Coffee Maker
While you can certainly invest in some high quality equipment for your new hobby as a home barista, it is possible to make an enjoyable cup of coffee with very basic equipment and these 6 simple steps.
Here's what you need:
- Automatic drip coffee maker (like Mr. Coffee)
- Paper filters
- Coffee grinder (optional)
- 1 tablespoon and 1 cup measures
- Freshly roasted coffee
Let's get started!
1. Choose good beans.
It all starts with the beans.
The problem with most coffee you find on a store shelf is that, well, it's old. Most won't have a date on the bag, and if they do it's a "best by" date rather than a "roasted on" date. You don't want a coffee that's been sitting around 8 months and marketed as good until sometime next year (spoiler: it won't be).
Instead, choose whole bean coffees that have been roasted as recently as possible, within 30 days or less of your brew date. The longer beans sit on a shelf, the more deliciously fresh flavors they lose.
We've got you covered with this. All Red Eye Bistro beans are roasted to order by small, specialty roasters in Tennessee. If you order on a Monday, your coffee is roasted on Tuesday and at your door in about a week. You'll be sipping amazing coffee in no time!
2. Grind your own beans.
I know it’s tempting to go for the ease of pre-ground coffee, but trust me on this. If you don’t have a grinder, you can get a cheap one for around $10 or a quality burr grinder for around $40. It’s well worth the investment.
If you're not interested in grinding beans yourself for now, you can still get a decent cup of coffee from freshly roasted, recently ground beans. We give you the option on all our roasts to select ground or whole bean.
3. Grind only what you need, just before brewing.
We’ll keep it very simple here and go with a general guide for a good cup o’ joe: 2 tablespoons of coffee grounds for 1 cup (8 ounces) of water.
Measure your desired amount of beans into your grinder.
If it has a setting for coarseness, go for medium grind. It may even have Drip as a setting.
Keep the rest of your beans tightly sealed in a dry, cool place.
4. Rinse your filter.
Put your filter in the basket, pour a little water in, slosh it around, and pour it out.
If you go to your favorite local café, you’ll see your barista do this as they prepare your pour over coffee. It helps the coffee brew evenly and eliminates the “papery” taste of the filter. Nobody wants coffee that tastes like paper.
5. Brew it!
Measure out your ground beans into the filter in the basket.
Measure your water using a kitchen measuring cup, not by the numbers on the side of your coffee maker. The measurement markers on drip coffee makers vary by manufacturer – they may mark ounces, or numbers of 5-, 6-, or 8-ounce cups of coffee in the pot.
8 ounces (1 cup) of water to 2 tablespoons of ground coffee is a good ratio to start with. You can adjust from there depending on your taste.
Not sure how much coffee to make? The standard size coffee mug holds about 11 ounces. Making 8 ounces of coffee will leave room for creamer and sweetener.
Pour your water in your coffee maker, and turn it on.
As soon as it finishes brewing, turn off your coffee maker to prevent the coffee from scorching and getting that greasy-spoon-diner-coffee flavor.
6. Pour and enjoy!
Pour your coffee into your favorite mug immediately after brewing. Give it a taste before adding sugar, creamer, or syrups. You might be surprised how much you like it black when prepared with these simple adjustments! (We won’t judge if you add your favorite hazelnut creamer though. You do you!)
That's it! Those simple steps seems just that - simple! - but collectively they can level up your daily coffee game.
Amy, Founder of Red Eye Bistro
P.S. Want more tricks to make great coffee at home? Click here for your free guide.