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5 Tricks for Making Perfect Coffee You’ll Wish You Knew All Along

If savoring a morning cuppa is maybe your favorite part of the day, you need these coffee-making secrets now.

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Coffee beansIlja Generalov/Shutterstock

Cool coffee beans

According to the New York Times, a new study has shown that cooling your beans before grinding them can lead to a more consistent and higher quality taste: “Colder beans produce smaller, more consistently sized particles when ground, yielding more flavor from less coffee.” Enclose your desired amount of coffee beans in an airtight container and stick them in the freezer before you head to bed. After you wake up in the morning, grind and brew the beans. On the market for a new coffee maker? Check out which brand our Test Kitchen found to be the best.

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Weighing coffee on a scalegolfitti/Shutterstock

Use a scale

This adjustment may seem senseless, but using a scale to measure quantities before brewing is an easy way to improve the quality of your coffee. The coffee bean-water ratio is one of the most important aspects to brewing a great cup of java, but many coffee machines mark a cup as five ounces instead of eight. Additionally, people often just add a scoop of coffee grounds, which is not a subjective unit of measure. The Specialty Coffee Association of America uses a ratio that calls for 55 grams of coffee for every 1,000 grams (one liter) of water. Digital scales are an inexpensive addition to your kitchen and will help to ensure you’re brewing the best cup of coffee possible.

Here are four more excellent reasons you should get a kitchen scale.

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Coffee grindernaito29/Shutterstock

Grind right before brewing

Though purchasing pre-ground beans may save you a couple minutes in the morning, ground coffee loses flavor over time as a result of prolonged exposure to air, making it less flavorful when brewed. This is why it’s also essential to store your beans in a container with an airtight seal, so as to keep beans fresh and flavorful for as long as possible. Grinding beans yourself can be a fairly nuanced project, and it’s important to invest in the right kind of grinder. Burr grinders are more effective and produce a more consistent product than a cheaper blade grinder, but evenly extract flavor for a better taste. Watch out for these coffee mistakes almost everyone makes.

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Man pouring hot water in coffee maker. Jacob Lund/Shutterstock

Consider water quality

A typical cup of coffee is almost 99 percent water, according to So if the water you use to make your coffee tastes funky, chances are your coffee will, too. Use the purest water possible when brewing so your coffee comes out tasting just the way you want it to. It’s also important to make sure your water is the right temperature for maximum flavor extraction, which the Specialty Coffee Association of America says is between 198°F and 202°F.

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Dripper coffeeYulia Grigoryeva/Shutterstock

Get a pour-over dripper

A pour-over setup may require a bit more effort than an automatic coffee maker, but it will also allow you to tweak different aspects of the brewing process at your discretion and adjust the way your coffee tastes. And unlike many automatic brewers that produce coffee by soaking grounds with several small streams of water, a pour-over allow the beans to be saturated with one steady stream that will reduce temperature loss that arises from increased surface area. Hotter water will brew coffee faster, too. Next, find out why you shouldn’t drink coffee on an empty stomach.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest