The promise of a great cup of coffee in the morning makes it a little easier to get out of bed. Even the smell during the brewing process fills a home with something pleasant and stimulating.
If you’re making a mistake in the brewing process, however, the results could be unpleasant or undrinkable. Whether you choose to use an automatic coffeemaker, a single-cup machine, or an espresso maker, there's a reason why the local coffee shop seems to make a better beverage.
Fixing the most common coffee brewing mistakes can get you closer to the barista experience at home.
What are the most common coffee brewing mistakes?
Although not everyone can afford the fancy equipment at the local coffee shop, these common coffee brewing mistakes offer lessons that make it easier to brew a perfect cup. Even if you consider yourself a seasoned coffee drinker, you’re likely making one of the following errors.
1. You’re using dirty equipment
Every component of your coffee-making equipment should be thoroughly rinsed after each use. There should not be any soap or coffee residue remaining.
Some brands recommend running vinegar through the coffeemaker to clean it. If you follow that process, you’ll want to run 2-3 cycles with pure water to remove the cleaning agents.
Don’t forget about cleaning your coffee pot! You can get tough stains out with two tablespoons of baking soda with a half-cup of white vinegar.
2. You have old beans
Coffee beans can stay at their peak freshness levels for up to four weeks past their roasting day. Once you go past that deadline, the flavor profile starts decaying. It only takes a few weeks for a fantastic product to become a shadow of its former self.
Most grocery stores don’t have fresh beans. Some of them could already be past their use-by date if you want maximum flavors.
That’s why buying fresh beans is a better choice. When you order single-origin coffee from a trusted online provider, it’s much easier to avoid stale and flavorless cups.
3. You are using pre-ground coffee
Once coffee beans have been ground, they become more susceptive to oxidation. It doesn’t matter if they’re purchased in an airtight container. That’s why it’s always better to grind your favorite product as close as possible to the time when you intend to brew to ensure freshness.
4. Your beans aren’t getting stored correctly
The primary factors that adversely influence coffee are heat, light, moisture, and air exposure. Retail packaging doesn’t do a great job of protecting beans, much less a pre-ground product.
When your coffee arrives, it helps to keep your beans in an airtight container to reduce oxidation risks. You’ll also want to store your coffee bags in a cool and dark spot at home.
5. You kept the grounds in the grinder overnight
Some people try to save some time in the morning by grinding their beans the night before. Even if you only put the beans in the grinder, the oxygen exposure will likely create a stale cup the next day.
If you want to prep for your morning routine, consider setting out the filter, water, and other elements the night before. It’ll make it faster to complete the steps that lead you to a great cup of coffee to start the day.
Instead of settling for those cheap paper filters at the store, consider using the Clever Coffee Dripper. The Dripper supports immersion brewing, the traditional pour-over, and even cold brew.
6. You’ve ground the coffee to the wrong size
There are many different ways to brew a perfect cup of coffee, but each requires a different grind size. If you’re using the standard drip brewing option, you’d want to have a medium grind. If you use a French press, a coarser processing method works better.
You can tell that coffee has been ground too fine because the flavor tends to be on the bitter side. When it’s too coarse, the taste tends to be mild or weak.
7. You’re using the wrong water ratio
You’ll want to measure about two tablespoons of coffee grounds for each cup you plan to make. If you use more than that amount, the beverage might taste bitter or be too intense for your preferences.
If you use less, the coffee could be watery and weak. Some people like their cups brewed with a ratio of one tablespoon per every six ounces, but you probably don’t want to use less than that.
8. You have an improper water temperature
When your water is too hot during the brewing process, the coffee gets scalded. If the water temperature is too low, your flavor profile will be mild or nonexistent. The best temperature to use for the perfect cup is right around 200°F (93°C).
Once you’ve brewed the coffee, keeping it at the right temperature for your enjoyment is essential. The MiiR Eco Camp does just that with its insulative design. It uses double-wall vacuum insulation technology to keep your beverage hot while using BPA-free materials.
9. Your water has high mineral content.
Impure water can make even the best coffee taste like it’s been sitting in the pot for a day. Minerals alter the flavor profile in unpredictable ways. That’s why the best brewing methods involve using filtered water.
10. You use mass-produced coffee.
Mass-produced products tend to go through a dark-roasting process that creates a bland cup. One of the worst offenders is a pure robusta, but the mass-produced arabica options are often fermented or sour.
Avoiding these common coffee brewing mistakes can help you discover a new world of enjoyment! You won’t believe how great your morning cup can be once you recognize and eliminate the errors in your home process.