For many of us, our morning cup of coffee is something we look forward to every day – sometimes, it’s even the highlight of our day. However, it can just as easily be the opposite if it’s not made right.
Even though it’s a small detail in a day’s worth of events, a bad cup of coffee is a serious bummer. Have you ever been halfway through your morning commute when you finally take a sip from the thermos you prepared before leaving, to then realize that something about the taste is a little off? Chances are, those morning coffee blues could probably have been easily avoided if you knew you (or your barista, if you’re a quick stopper) were making one of these mistakes.
You’re still using a single-serve coffee machine.
Not only are these single-serve coffee machines notably bad for the environment, they’re not necessarily the best for you, either. They are a hub for chemicals released by heated plastics and they collect dirt and grime in hard-to-reach nooks and crannies.
Think about the last time you cleaned (not just descaled, but scrubbed down) your machine – now think about how “clean” your cups of coffee have been since then. To avoid all of the potential risks and gross residues, opt for a more classic and simple brewing method, like a french press or a pour-over station. They have the same convenience of brewing a single serving of coffee, without the complications of a high-maintenance machine.
You’re not measuring your coffee correctly.
There’s nothing worse than a weak cup o’ joe – if disappointment had a taste, that would be it. Weak coffee is the result of an improper coffee-to-water ratio, and according to the National Coffee Association, the “Golden Ratio” is “one to two tablespoons of ground coffee for every six ounces of water.” However, it will vary depending on your choice of brewing method, as well as your taste preferences.
Moral of the story: if you don’t already have one, get yourself a measuring tablespoon and get ready for some trial and error until you find a ratio that works for you. Then you’ll get a perfect cup of coffee every time.
You’re making iced coffee incorrectly.
- Food Photographer/iStock
To be clear, we’re talking about iced coffee, not cold brew. The two are made very differently. Iced coffee is brewed with hot water using one of the many traditional brewing methods, and then chilled down. If you make iced coffee this way, and add ice without chilling it down in the refrigerator for a bit, the ice will melt and water it down.
If there’s no time for refrigeration, you can make the coffee twice as strong to compensate for the ice dilution.
You haven’t given at-home lattes a shot.
- Thongsuk Atiwannakul/iStock
If you’re a latte drinker, you’re more likely to stop at Starbucks on your way to work than you are to try your hand at making one at home. But thanks to easily accessible milk frothers and espresso machines, they’re becoming just as easy to make in your kitchen as a black cup of coffee. If you haven’t tried it out yet, you should, because it could save you money and residue-filled-coffee (from coffee shop steaming wands) in the long run.
You’re not exploring your options.
It’s easy to get stuck in the daily grind of habitually making or ordering the same drink. Sure, it’s ok to have favorites, but you also don’t want to limit yourself. Coffee culture and education is booming and there are so many different roasts and varieties out there to try. If you never switch it up, you may never know that your new favorite morning brew is right around the corner.
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