Coffee — it can prevent disease, help our livers, make us more intelligent AND and most importantly –enable us to talk to other human beings in the morning after getting out of bed. But if coffee really is the best part of waking up, then we’d better make sure we know all the tricks to making the best cup of miracle brew ever.
After interviewing the experts and researching everything from the type of water you should use to the type of coffee-brewing mechanism you should buy, here are five must-know tips to making a good cup of coffee (and when you should drink it):
1. Clean your coffee pot.
It turns out your coffee pot is way grosser than you think. According to public health protectors NSF International, not only is it more likely to have a higher germ count than your bathroom door handle and toilet seat, the coffee pot could also have coliform bacteria. Make sure to clean it with white vinegar and warm water at least once a week.
2. Store your coffee correctly.
Avoid storing coffee in the fridge or freezer where coffee can dry out, and definitely don’t keep it near an air conditioner or heater. Greg Lorance, Cumberland Farm’s In-House Coffee Expert, also reminded us that coffee can go stale in an instant. “Once you grind [coffee beans] and expose the coffee to oxygen, you’ve got five minutes before it goes stale.” Lorance says his solution is to brew right away or seal in an air-tight container ASAP.
3. Use filtered water.
“Coffee is 99 percent water. If you use poor quality water, you’ll make a poor quality cup of coffee,” says Lorance. The National Coffee Association recommends using filtered or (gasp!) bottled water, and staying away from “distilled or softened water.”
4. Buy a Chemex.
When HuffPost Taste tried out nine different methods of brewing coffee, the Chemex took home top honors. This uniquely-shaped coffeepot is perfect for pour-overs and serious coffee drinkers alike.
5. Finish your coffee early.
That’s right — no afternoon brew for you! Research has shown that you should finish your coffee by 11 a.m. to ensure that you don’t have any caffeine in your system before bed time.