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For me, a good cup of coffee implies one that is not too strong, not too sweet and not too creamy. If, like me, you too are a connoisseur of an impeccably good brew, I’m sure you take your cuppa very seriously and spend a lot of time balancing its look, taste, texture and the aroma in perfect harmony before you sit down and sip it.

Whether you prepare coffee manually or in a machine, everything eventually boils down to its taste. Coffee machines have enabled us to experiment with this beverage and alter its elements to suit our palate. They infuse the flavors accordingly time and again with minimal supervision and deliver what we like to drink the first thing in the morning – the perfect cup of coffee!

There are, however, several things you can do to make machine-made coffee taste better. In this post, we look at how to make delicious coffee in a coffee maker.

1. Use the Best Equipment

Let’s face it - the kind of equipment you use to brew your coffee has a lot to do with the kind of coffee it churns out. Using high-quality equipment could hold the key to the best coffee you’ve ever had, which is why coffee-lovers frequent those renowned chain restaurants with their huge, shiny, professional coffee-making machines.

You may want to think about getting yourself a coffee machine as well. Pick one based on its ease of use, the amount of time it takes, the taste it adds, and the maintenance aspect. Whichever you pick, ensure that you use it properly.

2. The Temperature of the Water Matters

One might think that plain ol’ tap water would be good enough for making coffee, but the reality is that it can actually ruin your pot of coffee, thanks to its own flavor and added chlorine. People who appreciate really good coffee would know better than that. Using filtered or bottled water should help.

Do not make the mistake of using soft or distilled water as it is important that you keep the water’s natural minerals intact.

The temperature of the water used also goes a long way in determining the taste of the finished product. The proper brewing temperature can be anywhere between 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit (or 45 seconds off a full boil).

The good news is that most good coffee makers take care of this aspect on their own. Water hotter than that can extract the coffee compounds in a way that leaves it tasting bitter.

Once brewed, coffee should be consumed as soon as possible as it cannot retain its best flavor for long. Heating, boiling or prolonged warming will turn even the best coffee into a bitter and unpleasant mess.

3. Buy the Best Coffee Beans

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Guess what’s the most important component of making good coffee? The coffee itself. When you use it, it should be fresh and aromatic. Typically, coffee stays fresh for two weeks, if refrigerated in an airtight container. It tastes best, however, when it is freshly ground.

Do check the best-before date on the package when buying coffee beans. Buying them can be quite tricky for amateurs as they vary greatly in character depending on their variety, origin, and roast. You can look at this as an opportunity to experiment.

The beans should be whole and roasted within the past few weeks. Lightly roasted ones are a very safe option. With darker roasts, you may have to be careful as they might look and taste like they’re burnt.

4. Grind the Coffee Right before Brewing It

Once the coffee beans are roasted, they become perishable and extremely delicate as the coffee compounds tend to start deteriorating rapidly upon coming in contact with oxygen. This has a direct adverse effect on its flavor.

This is why it is always better to grind your coffee just before brewing it as doing so keeps the compounds intact. This is an easy step to improve the taste of your coffee.

5. Don’t Skimp on the Coffee

Some like it strong, others love it mild. But the standard measure for brewing coffee of proper strength is 2 tablespoon per 6-ounce cup.

Stick to this ratio for the perfect brew and do not even think about adding hotter water to extract more cups of coffee as doing so will result in a bitter, repulsive beverage.

6. Time It Right

If you’re using the increasingly popular French press to make your coffee, then I have an important tip for you. When brewing the perfect cup of coffee, getting the timing right is crucial to getting the taste right.

Make sure you pour just enough water to moisten the coffee grounds and allow it to absorb the water before you fill the cafetiere. Let it settle. Stir and then add the plunger to keep it warm. Let it rest for around 4 minutes, stir, plunge, and then pour into mugs.

7. Store the Coffee Properly

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Typically, it is advised to buy coffee beans in small quantities so that you do not have to use it stale. But if you’re left with some which you’re not going to use immediately, put them in an airtight container and store them away from sunlight.

If it’s going to take a long time for you to brew the coffee, store the beans in the refrigerator to make them last longer.

8. Keep the Equipment Clean

It is important to clean the storage containers and the coffee grinders once every few weeks to eliminate any kind of buildup.

Run a strong solution of vinegar or special coffee-equipment cleaner through your coffee maker at least once every month to disband mineral deposits.

Always rinse the equipment carefully before reuse.

9. If You Must Add Milk

A lot of people like adding milk to their coffee, which is absolutely fine. But keep in mind that you add warm milk (as opposed to hot milk) as hot milk will rob the coffee of its flavor. Alternatively, you can also add cold milk to it.

Conclusion

Having a coffee maker at home is great for coffee lovers as it enables them to sip their favorite beverage whenever they please without having to step out of the house. It is important you understand how it works and what goes into using it optimally. The above tips should come in handy the next time you try to stir up a cup of coffee.