How To Use A Coffee Maker – 3 Great Tips

Many people don't know how to use a coffee maker.

That's a challenging, even contentious, statement. Let's see if I can satisfy you that it's true.

Table of Contents
Read the Manual Don't Neglect It Keep It Clean

how to use a coffee maker

How To Use A Coffee Maker

Frank Sinatra told us there's an awful lot of coffee in Brazil. And there are an awful lot of coffee makers and espresso makers that you can buy.

Perhaps that's why you can read the reviews, both on the manufacturers' sites and on Amazon, and be puzzled. Because there's a basic contradiction between satisfied and dissatisfied users. I've only familiarized myself with those coffee makers that score highly in the reviews, with an average of over 4 stars out of 5. But I always leave the reviews pages with a question in my head, which is ...

"How is it that, with so many people saying what a wonderful machine this is, there are always a few disgruntled customers who leave a one- or two-star score and a negative review?"

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No doubt there are cases where the customer has had an unfortunate experience with the product. And maybe it wasn't his fault. But I feel that there are also many cases where the purchaser of the product has simply not learned how to use a coffee maker properly, and when the machine eventually gives out because of misuse, they feel it has failed them, instead of the other way round.

So, for what it's worth, here are three great tips on how to use a coffee maker so that it will give you longer service, better tasting coffee, and pleasant memories.

1. Read the User Manual

Modern coffee makers are very complex machines - and not just the best-rated coffee makers, but even the economy, low-priced bargains. Depending on exactly how far they take over the coffee-making process, they have to

  • boil or heat the water to an exact temperature,
  • perhaps filter it first,
  • move it somehow onto the coffee grinds or K-Cup (or similar pod),
  • arrange for it to filter through at the right pace - too fast and it won't capture the flavor of the coffee, too slow and the coffee will be too bitter,
  • collect the coffee in a cup or carafe,
  • dispose of the surplus coffee grinds or pod,
  • keep the water in the reservoir hot, and
  • keep the coffee in the carafe hot.

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Some coffee makers don't do all of this, of course, but they all do at least some of it, and they often depend on you, the user, treating it in the right way, whether by way of programming it properly or simply ensuring that the correct amount of water is poured into the reservoir.

That's why there's a user manual. So ensure that you read it thoroughly before you unpack your new coffee or espresso maker. It's amazing how many people evidently fail to do that.

Depending on the manufacturer and the model, you'll find there's a great deal of advice and tips on getting the best out of your product, and you'll be far less likely to find fault with it.

2. Don't Neglect Your Coffee Maker

Coffee and espresso makers are, by and large, wonderful machines that eliminate many mundane chores from our lives as well as produce great tasting coffee and other drinks.

But there's one mundane chore that they can't eliminate completely, and that's the chore of looking after them. Nearly all of them are complex electronic machines that have to deal with boiling water and coffee grounds every day. They get soiled. Different parts expand and contract at different rates with the extreme heat that is generated from time to time, and this all takes its toll eventually.

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So it's important not to expect the impossible from them. Carelessly pouring cold water onto a boiling hot surface is one way in which you could cause an otherwise reliable machine to malfunction. Have consideration for what it has to do, and appreciate it for what it is.

It's not invincible; more like a pet, in a way. The more care and love you give it, the more you'll get back in return.

3. Keep It Clean

This follows on from tip # 2 above. If you know how to clean a coffee maker and do so regularly, then you're probably looking after it in other ways as well. But if you don't clean up after each brew then the coffee grounds will find their way into all kinds of places where they shouldn't go and cause damage of one sort or another.

Ensure the water you put in your reservoir is "clean" by filtering it. Keep the reservoir itself clean by rinsing it out regularly, and wash all washable parts, such as the carafe and filter holder, after each use. It's a chore, but if you don't you may find yourself writing a negative review about a good product, saying how it let you down after only ten months.

We hope these three tips help ensure you know how to use a coffee maker properly.

'Coffee Lover'

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How To Make Good Coffee Using A Coffee Maker – 5 Tips

how to make good coffee
You can make really good coffee

Everyone who invests in a coffee maker should know how to make good coffee with it. You may think that the machine itself does the work, and all you have to do is to keep it supplied with capsules and water. In some cases, you can get away with this approach and still enjoy your coffee, but most likely you can improve on what you get with your coffee maker by implementing these few tips.

1. How To Make Good Coffee - Follow the Guidance You're Given

Coffee makers now, in many cases, are so advanced that they require special procedures to ensure that they produce coffee drinks of as high a quality as they are capable.

The manufacturers know their products better than anyone else. If their advice, for example, is to implement a cleaning cycle after every twenty brews, then do so. Don't, for example, try to stretch it to every twenty-five. Follow all the manufacturer's advice concerning the cleaning of the coffee maker and its component parts.

2. Use Filtered Water

No matter how good your coffee beans or grinds are, the water can spoil the great taste. Many coffee makers have water filters, but if yours doesn't then filter it before you pour it into the reservoir. Many coffee connoisseurs do this even if their coffee maker has a filter.

This will also help prolong the life of your coffee maker. Unfiltered water, besides containing numerous impurities that you're better off not ingesting, often contains calcium and other chemicals that can, over time, damage all the components of your machine that it comes into contact with.

3. Use High Quality Coffee and Filters

Using cheap coffee and filters is a false economy. Your brews will not only taste inferior, but your coffee maker will suffer as well. Choose a brand name paper filter if you prefer your coffee smooth with the minimum of residue, or a gold filter if you don't like taking the filter out each time.

4. Look For Solutions To Any Problem

If there's anything wrong with the coffee your machine is producing then look for a possible cause and solution before you pack it up for return to the seller.

Check that all the settings on your coffee maker are correct. If the coffee is not hot enough, try warming the milk beforehand. Is your cup too cold, and causing the brew to cool too much? Try warming that before using it (which is what all the top coffee houses do).

Are you emptying the drip tray and cleaning it frequently enough? What about the spout of the carafe? All these things need cleaning regularly if you're to learn how to make good coffee.

5. Help Your Coffee Maker

If you look after your coffee maker then it will most likely last longer and be more reliable. Try and avoid leaving unused water in it for lengthy periods, and never reuse water that has been heated up previously.

Remember that it's just a machine, and one that is powered by electricity and has to deal intimately with water and coffee grinds or capsules. It's not going to last forever, but you can ensure it still has a long, productive life by learning how to make good coffee with it.

'Coffee Lover'

Make Good Instant Coffee – Nine Tips

You can make good instant coffee - if you just follow a few simple rules. You probably won't get the great taste of real coffee beans because instant coffee tends to come from the lower grade coffee beans, but, nonetheless, you can still brew a satisfying cup.

make good instant coffee

1. Use High-Quality Coffee

Spending a little more to avoid the cheapest instant coffee products will pay off each time you brew up. Experiment with different makes and types until you find one that you like best. Many of the freeze dried granules have extremely good taste, whereas spray dried granules can't preserve the flavor so well.

2. Store Properly

Coffee is notoriously difficult to keep fresh, and this applies to instant coffee as well. To avoid losing the flavor of your coffee, it's essential to store it properly. Coffee hates too much oxygen, light, heat or damp, so seal it well and keep in a storage jar. And keep that in your cupboard, where there's little light and heat. Some people like to keep it refrigerated, but the overall expert view is that it's more important to keep it dry than cold.

In any event, don't store it for an unrealistically long period if you really want to make good instant coffee. Throw it out if it's been in your cupboard too long. Drinking coffee that has long passed its sell-by date isn't usually very pleasant.

3. Read The Instructions

Unfortunately, most of us rarely give the instructions on the tin more than a cursory glance. After all, we all know how to make good instant coffee, right? Just put a teaspoonful in the mug and add boiling water. Well, maybe it's not quite as simple as that.

The producers know how their product can be made to taste its best, so start by following their guidelines as to the ratio of coffee to water and the temperature of the water, and then you can experiment and adapt to suit your own taste.

4. Filter Your Water

If you use water straight from the tap then you're placing a lot of trust in the reliability of your water supply company. Quality of tap water varies greatly from place to place. It can be hard, with plenty of calcium, or soft, and sometimes with chemicals added that can affect the taste of whatever drink you prepare with it.

If you really want to make good instant coffee or any other drink using tap water then it will pay you to invest in a good water filter, and to renew the filter regularly. This will help protect your well-being as well as give you better tasting coffee.

5. Use Fresh Water

Never use water that's been sitting in the kettle for a couple of hours or more, especially if you've boiled it once already. Always refill with fresh water.

6. Don't Use Boiling Water

It's surprising how many people pour boiling water onto their instant coffee. This is probably because it's the same method as in making tea (though even tea shouldn't be made this way).

Remember that coffee is more fickle than tea. You have to treat it with more care so it can release the optimum flavor. The correct temperature of the water should be between 190 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit, or 90 to 95 degrees Celsius. Any hotter and you risk scolding the coffee and making it taste bitter. So once your water has boiled, leave it for half a minute or so before pouring.

7. Use Enough Instant Coffee

This part is very flexible, because tastes vary so much. It's generally accepted among coffee experts that most people who drink instant coffee don't use enough coffee powder, or granules. Estimates of the right amount per 6 oz cup vary from one heaped teaspoonful to two heaped dessertspoonfuls. That's quite a difference.

You want to taste the full flavor without making your drink too strong. Some people like it weak. You know your taste, but be prepared, even if you've been drinking coffee for many years, to experiment with stronger or weaker brews.

8. Allow The Taste To Come Through

Try pouring a little hot water into your cup just to stir the coffee, and sugar, if you take it. Turn it into a paste with no powder or grinds left dry, before adding the rest of the hot water. If you doubt this then try making two cups of coffee together, one by using this method and the other by pouring all the water into it at once, and see if you can tell the difference.

9. Warm The Milk or Cream First

If you take milk then it can improve the taste of your coffee if you warm it before adding it to your coffee, whether before or after you have added the hot water. Again, experiment if in doubt and see whether it improves the taste.

You may prefer cream to milk, and if so then this should also be warmed gently in a pan or in the microwave oven for a few seconds.

10. Make Good Instant Coffee!

If you observe these tips then you should have no problems in making good instant coffee. And why not check out these tips on how to make good coffee using a coffee maker?

'Coffee Lover'

How To Clean A Coffee Maker

how to clean a coffee maker

How to clean a coffee maker - maybe not be as pleasant as making your coffee, but it's still quite easy.

You need two cups of distilled white vinegar and about the same amount of water. Add the water to the vinegar to make a vinegar-water solution.

Put a paper filter in the usual place where the filter goes, and pour the solution into the reservoir (but not through the filter!). Then just close the lid and start the usual brew cycle.

When it's finished, remove the filter. Let the solution in the coffee pot cool down and then clean the pot with an old, hard toothbrush while the solution is still in it. Use a scourer if necessary.

You'll find that most or all of the stains have come off and the pot is looking like new again. But you're not quite finished yet.

Refill your coffee pot with fresh water from the tap. Put a clean filter in position and pour the water from the pot into the reservoir (again, not through the filter). Run the coffee maker through another cycle before repeating with another pot of fresh water. That will make sure there's no vinegar left in the system.

How To Clean A Coffee Maker Glass Grounds Container

If it's just the glass grounds container you need to clean, then this is how you do it.

Rinse it first and then put some ice in it. Add some table salt and white vinegar. How much depends on the size of the pot, but usually a tablespoon or so of salt and a glass or two of white vinegar will be about right. Top it up with water, and leave it for a while. How long depends on how badly the container is stained. It could be anything from a few minutes to a couple of hours.

Rub some vinegar on top of the lid while you're in cleaning mode. Then pour some of the concoction away and use a scourer to rub the stains off. Empty it and rinse thoroughly under the tap.

You'll find there's no residue, and your grounds container is now as clean and fresh as when it left the factory.

Cleaning A Carafe

What about if you just want to clean a stained coffee carafe? This is easy too.

Put some powdered water softener in it and add hot water. Leave it a short while (again, the more stained it is the longer you should leave it). You may have to use a scouring sponge to get rid of the last remains of the discoloring. But there's no effort needed to speak of.

Now you have your carafe looking like new again. It's the same if you want to clean your thermal coffee container, but with that, you'll keep the lid on. And you'll probably have to remove the last of the stains with a scouring sponge.

So looking after your coffee maker and all its component parts isn't difficult or expensive. And you'll have better tasting coffee for longer. Your coffee maker will repay you by lasting longer and putting off the cost of a replacement. As well as giving you great coffee.

That's how to clean a coffee maker.

Coffee Lover