Awesome Coffee Starts With Your Coffee Grinder

by Kathryn Schuller

You must have a good coffee grinder in order to make a good cup of coffee. Pre-ground, store bought beans may be fine for common consumption, but aficionados know that something better is out there. With the proper tools, it can be had in your very own home.

Ground size is dependent on how long they will be in contact with the hot water. Home brewing machines are built to process a medium grind, whereas espresso machines would use a finely ground bean.

Be certain your machine and carafe are clean before setting out to make your drink. If you aren't sure, an old diner trick for cleaning the carafe is to put some ice, table salt, and lemon juice into the carafe and swirl it around for a few minutes. It won't take long, and it doesn't have to be full - only a few ice cubes and a tablespoon of salt will do the trick.

If the machine itself is not clean, there is a very simple way to break up the residue inside and flush it out. Put white vinegar in the reservoir, enough to reach halfway to the top. Then fill the rest with clean water. If the machine features a button for cleaning, push it, or just press the button that starts the brewing process and let it run. Flush it with clean water and another brew cycle to remove the remaining vinegar.

Be sure that your grinder has not been used for any other purposes before you grind your beans. Some home cooks enjoy making spice blends in these machines, which is fine, except that the oils never really come clean. So without a dedicated grinding machine you may be tasting leftover pepper or garlic in the next cup.

You may determine the amount of grounds you prefer based on your own tastes. A strong cup requires a large scoop of grounds in a smaller amount of water. Or for a less intense cup, reduce the grounds and increase the water.

If the natural bitterness of the beans is problematic, try putting a small pinch of salt into the grounds before you begin brewing. Too much will taste terrible, but a little bit serves to take the edge off and reveal the other flavors.

As long as your coffee grinder is exclusively for beans, and your brew machine is clean and free of old residues, you will have no problem making a very flavorful brew.

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