There’s nothing like that incredible feeling you get after taking that first sip of delicious, hot coffee in the morning. If you’re like I was, you might find yourself wanting to experiment with that cup of coffee, wanting to find ways to improve it. In my ‘Coffee Brewing Tips’ articles, I’ll teach you ways to spruce that cup up (even on a budget), how to go about trying new methods of brewing coffee, and I’ll give you general coffee-related advice. In this article, we’ll focus on the most-commonly-used method: drip coffee.
Coffee brewing methods
There are so may ways to brew coffee! You have your French press, your pour-over, your cold brew, your espresso – and, if you’re a coffee newbie or a traditionalist – there’s always the classic drip-coffee maker. You’re probably already familiar with drip coffee makers – they’re the classic machines that require you to up a paper filter in the top part, they use a glass carafe (the pot part), and they usually brew up to twelve cups of black coffee at a time. Chances are, this is the type of coffee-maker you already own.
Drip-coffee doesn’t have to be boring
If you like to try new things, but don’t want to or can’t afford to experiment with different coffee-brewing methods, know that you can do plenty to spruce up your reglar coffee fix with nothing more than the drip-coffee maker that’s already in your possession.
The first thing you have to do to switch things up is experiment! Play around with the strength of your coffee. The quantities they tell you to brew on the backs of your bags or cans of coffee are really only generic suggestions – try adding more grounds to your filter or less of them, until you figure out the boldness-level you enjoy.
Try switching up the roasts, flavors, and brands that you buy. Medium roasts are fine, but are – as their name suggests – very middle of the road. The lighter the roast you pick, the higher the caffeine content and – in my opinion – the smoother the flavor it’ll have. If you’re looking for a darker, more bitter or acidic taste, you want to lean more towards darker roasts.
Grind the beans
Freshly ground beans do much for the flavor and freshness of your coffee! Even if you don’t want to invest in the tools to brew coffee in alternative ways, consider buying a coffee bean grinder – you can get a cheap electric one from some grocery stores for as little as $8.
If you don’t want to do that, consider at least buying your coffee ‘whole bean’ instead of already pre-ground. Most coffee shops and many grocery stores will grind the beans for you right there, for free. (Don’t forget to ask before you buy, though!) You’ll be amazed how fresh your coffee tastes!
Spice up the grounds
Maybe you’re on a budget and buy coffee in bulk – or maybe you decided to try a new brand that you ended up not liking. Don’t worry; you don’t have to waste those grounds or settle for a flavor you don’t like.
If you’re on a tight budget, I recommend buying a plain roast in a mediocre brand in bulk – maybe don’t go full Maxwell House, but Folgers works well. Then, purchase a smaller quantity of a slightly higher-quality coffee in the flavor of your choice. When you add the grounds to our filter, put the cheaper coffee in first and top it off with some of the flavored stuff. The taste of the flavored coffee will come through wonderfully well, and the cheaper coffee will add a robust flavor to the brew.
Another way to spruce up mediocre coffee is done in much the same way – but, instead of adding flavored coffee to your grounds, add actual spices instead. Nutmeg, cinnamon, pumpkin spice powder – maybe a dash of cloves – most baking spices can be sprinkled on top of the coffee grounds and will go a long way in evenly flavoring the entire pot of coffee.
Experiment with the flavors and flavor-combinations you like. Maybe even add a tiny bit of vanilla – or any other flavored extract you enjoy – to the bottom of the carafe before you brew.
Now that you’ve got some ideas on how to improve your daily drip coffee fix, start experimenting! Switch up the roasts, strengths, and flavors of the coffee you buy. Grind those beans, and experiment with spices. Everyone’s tastes are different; it’s up to you to find what you like. Have fun, and enjoy your new-and-improved daily cup of joe!
Let me know if you have any questions, or any other helpful tips you use to spice up your own coffee!