Simple tips for making great coffee

April 07, 2004

Making a great pot of coffee is simple when you have a great brewing technique. Here are the classic rules to remember:

Start with fresh, cold water. Hot water can adversely affect flavor. If your tap water has any flavor, or would be considered hard, you may wish to use bottled water.

Use the correct grind for your coffee maker and follow the manufacturer's instructions.

Keep your coffee fresh. Buy only a week's supply at a time. Store ground coffee in a tightly covered container in your refrigerator.

Be precise when you measure both coffee and water. The right proportions are important. Start with 1 tablespoon for every 6 fluid ounces of water. Add more or less to taste.

Serve the coffee as soon as possible to preserve its aroma and flavor. Freshly brewed means fresh taste. Coffee can be kept warm for only about 20 minutes before the flavor starts to deteriorate. If you must keep it hot, use a vacuum carafe or flask.

Never reheat coffee, because reheated coffee can taste stale or bitter.

Make sure your coffee maker is clean. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for cleaning it. Always rinse the brew basket and the carafe with warm water immediately after every use to minimize the coffee residues that can impair flavor.

Never reuse coffee filters or coffee grounds.

- Maxwell House

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