Why We Clean Coffee Machines
One of the many things we do for our wholesale clients is to service and clean their equipment. Whoa, what does that have to do with coffee? Turns out... a lot. The worst thing in the world (for us) is a bad cup of coffee. Restaurant owners tend to blame the beans when dirty equipment is the real culprit. So, to prevent problems from ever arising, we make sure our clients have sparkling clean machines and know how to operate them properly.
Folks at home can learn from the professionals. Make sure you use the right grind for your equipment so that the right amount of water is expressed from the beans. For example, if you use a French press, you'll have a hard time plunging if your grind is too fine. But if it is too course, the plunging will happen too fast and not enough flavor will be extracted from the beans. If you have any questions, just tell us what you use at home and we'll make sure you have the right grind. Generally, a finer grind means a stronger cup of coffee.... but this won't be the case with brew methods that don't catch fine grinds.
But there is a downside to having us grind your coffee. Whole beans keep longer than ground coffee.... up to two months in the freezer. BTW, never put coffee in the fridge. It will absorb the tastes and smells of all your leftovers and other items, including garlic. Yuck. Further, freshly ground coffee tastes better than pre-ground coffee although it is less convenient. The hassle of grinding and preparing the perfect cup of coffee is one reason people come to Hottie Coffee. The others are are super friendly folks and awesome wi-fi. Where else can you get a latte for a few bucks and work undisturbed on your laptop for hours?
If you want super strong coffee, use two parts coffee to six parts water. Use this ratio as your gauge for adjusting the strength of your coffee. Many people dislike strong coffee and if you are one of them, you won't be happy with a hefty brewing ratio.
But one of the most common culprits behind a bitter coffee is... you guessed it... a dirty coffee pot. Its not enough to scrub it clean with soap and water, including the filter basket. Run equal parts water and white vinegar through your coffee maker with a paper filter in place. Turn it off and let it sit 30 minutes. Then rinse with a pot of clean water and a new paper filter using a full cycle. To clean the carafe, use one part baking soda to two parts hot water and let stand over night, then rinse with fresh water. Baking soda and a sponge will also remove burn marks from the bottom of the hot plate. You should give your coffee pot a going over about once a month, assuming you're a daily coffee drinker.
Speaking of water, tap water is death for coffee, especially in this area. Water is not just water; it contains dissolved minerals and chlorine. The more neutral the taste of the water, the better your coffee will be. If you want your home brew to taste like Hottie Coffee brew, use spring water. It doesn't have to be an expensive brand but you should avoid pure distilled and reverse osmosis water because (oddly) they are too pure to brew a nice cup. Also avoid hard water in espresso machines because it leaves limescale deposits that can throw off the performance.
There you have it. How to brew coffee good enough to drink without milk or sugar.