The 6 Biggest Mistakes You Make Using Your Coffeemaker

Mistakes when using your coffeemaker

If that homebrewed morning cup of joe isn't quite as satisfying as the one you can buy at the coffee shop down the street, chances are you're not using your coffeemaker properly. But, by avoiding the following blunders, you can say farewell to stale, bitter cups of coffee-and to those long lines and expensive lattés that you may never want again.

1. Using warm water and old grounds
Make sure it's cold and they're fresh. Anything else will make your coffee taste stale.

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2. Not using enough coffee

According to the coffee experts at the Specialty Coffee Association of America, you should be using 2 tablespoons of coffee grinds for every 6 ounces of water.

3. Ignoring your dirty coffeemaker
Be sure to clean all parts of your coffeemaker, especially the ones that come in contact with the grinds. This will eliminate the oily residue that is often left behind and can affect the flavor of your coffee.

Related: The History of At-Home Coffee Drinking

4. Never descaled your coffeemaker

Just like in other appliances, mineral deposits build up and clog the insides. This slows brewing time and changes the taste of your coffee. Descaling your machine every once in a while will clear clogs due to mineral deposits. First, remove the charcoal water filter if you have one. Next, simply fill the water reservoir to capacity with 1/3 white vinegar and 2/3 water and run a cycle.

5. Your water has been sitting in the tank for weeks
If you haven't used your coffee maker in more than a week, run a few cycles to purge the internal tank of any remaining water.

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6. Brewing coffee pods too long after purchasing
If you're using a single-serve machine, only buy as many coffee pods or capsules as you'll use in a few months. They might be vacuum-sealed, but the taste and aroma of coffee can still degrade.

-By Emily Weinberger

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