Mr. Coffee revolutionized the coffee-drinking world with the first auto-drip coffee maker. Before the auto-drip coffee maker, many people were brewing their coffee with percolators or, if you can believe it, using instant coffee. Since 1972, when the first Mr. Coffee drip machine debuted, drip coffee makers have been one of the most popular ways to make coffee. Here are six tips for using them, so you can get a great cup of coffee from your auto-drip.
1. Use a Medium Grind
Drip coffee makers work best with a medium grind. The ideal grind setting differs slightly. For instance, cone-shaped filters work best with a slightly finer grind than flat-bottom filters. All auto-drips use some variation of a medium grind, though.
2. Brew a Full Pot
Auto-drip machines are designed to brew a full pot of coffee. Both the water reservoir and brew basket are designed to accommodate the auto-drip’s maximum capacity, and when less coffee is brewed the machine doesn’t work as well. If you aren’t able to drink all the coffee that your machine brews, consider looking for a different, smaller auto-drip.
3. Grind Right Before Brewing
As nice as it is to roll out of bed to an already brewed cup of coffee, setting up your coffee at night produces a flatter-tasting cup. Coffee’s nuanced flavors come from aromatics that are released during grinding, but the aromatics dissipate quickly. For the most flavorful cup, you should use beans that were ground within 15 or 20 minutes of brewing, not the night before.
4. Turn Your Auto-Drip Off After Brewing
After brewing, your auto-drip should be turned off. It’s hot plate may keep your coffee warm, but it also burns the coffee. A thermal carafe will keep your coffee just as warm without burning it.
5. Clean Your Coffee Pot
The coffee pot and the insert where the filter goes should be cleaned regularly - old coffee grounds and coffee oils will impart a bitter, burnt taste to the coffee. Cleaning the coffee pot after every brew, even if it's just a water rinse, will do wonders for the taste of the next pot. For cleaning the insert, best practice is to remove it and clean it with just a little bit of soap and water, but if it doesn't remove, you can just pour some hot water through to rinse.
6. Let the Water Warm Up
Some auto-drips don’t wait for the water to warm up before they start brewing coffee. If yours begins the brew process as soon as you press “start,” plug your machine in early to let the water reservoir heat up first.
We hope these six tips will help you improve the taste of your cup!