- Place a coffee filter in its corresponding reservoir. Although bleached or recycled paper filters can be used, it is recommended that they be single-use. Cheap reusable filters usually give worse results.
Many coffee makers come with their own mesh filter. If you can get a coffee makers machine at my deal with this type of filter, it is probably the most practical and environmentally friendly option. It is better to use a good filter expressly made to make coffee than any filter paper.
- Measure the amount of coffee. The more coffee you want to make, the more coffee you have to pour into the filter. Depending on the type of coffee maker you have and the type of coffee you want to make, the appropriate ratio between coffee and water will vary. The standard ratio is 2 teaspoons of coffee (or the amount that fits in a coffee grinder, at most) per 180 ml of water, approximately. It is advisable to take a look at the instruction manual of the coffee machine you are going to use before deciding the ratio between coffee and water.
Special coffee blends can have special proportions between water and coffee (in most cases, you can read the preparation instructions in the mix package). Make sure you use a soup spoon. Most coffee makers include their own measuring spoon. Read the instructions to find out how many spoonful’s you need.
- Measure the amount of water needed to make coffee. To measure, you can use the measuring lines of the container for coffee or those of the water tank of the coffee machine. Use the coffee container to pour water into the coffee maker (there is usually a deposit on top or behind the filter).
If this is the first time you make coffee, you may be tempted to pour the water directly onto the filter tank. Do not do it. Put it in the specific deposit in which it will be held until the elaboration process begins. After pouring the water, put the coffee container back on the heating plate.
- Plug in the coffeemaker and turn it on. Some coffee makers start to make coffee automatically, while others require a manual setup prior to the preparation time.
- Wait until the coffee has been made before serving. Some coffee makers offer the option to interrupt the brewing process in order to serve a cup before all the coffee has been made.
- If you use a paper filter, throw it away as soon as you finish. If you take too long to remove the ground and soaked coffee, the water in the filter will drip on the container and the coffee will be too bitter.
If you use a reusable mesh filter, you simply have to empty it, throw the coffee residue in the trash (or recycle it) and wash it.
Get the best of your coffee
- Use fresh coffee beans that have been stored properly. To get a fresher coffee, with a more intense flavor, it is best to buy fresh coffee beans and to grind them yourself, instead of buying ground coffee. The flavor of the coffee comes from its delicate aromatic components, as well as the cells of the roasted beans. When the coffee is ground, the inside of the beans comes into contact with the air and, over time, it reacts to this exposure, losing part of its aroma.
Be sure to store the coffee beans in a tightly closed container. Coffee has properties to absorb odors; therefore, coffee beans can replace sodium bicarbonate to neutralize bad odors in the refrigerator. Unfortunately, this also means that if you do not store the coffee in an airtight container, you may get a coffee flavored with garlic.
Coffee aficionados disagree with the idea that it is better to store coffee beans at a low temperature. Some recommend keeping the coffee beans in the fridge if they are going to be used in a period of a week and put in the freezer the grains that are not going to be used in several weeks. Others simply prefer to keep them in a cool, dark place.
- Clean the coffee maker. Like any other equipment that uses substantial amounts of hot water, coffee makers can accumulate mineral sediments over time. These sediments can leave an unpleasant and rancid taste in the coffee.  Clean your coffee maker periodically to get the best possible flavor of your coffee. You can see our guide to clean a coffee maker.
If your coffeemaker gives off a clearly perceptible odor or has visible sediment when you are not using it, or if you simply do not remember the last time you cleaned it, it is probably time to do it.
- Use the proper thickness of ground grain for your coffee preparation method. The different methods of preparation of coffee may require milled grains of greater or lesser thickness to achieve optimum flavor. Because the ground grains combine their aromatic components with the water, varying the thickness (and, therefore, the entire surface that comes into contact with the water) of the ground coffee can also vary the flavor. In general, the longer the coffee and water have to be in contact during the preparation process, the thicker the ground grain will have to be.
In the case of the common drip coffee machines, already described in the first part of this article, the medium-thickness milled grain (the standard thickness of the ground coffee that you can find in stores) usually gives good results. If you use a more sophisticated preparation method, such as a plunger coffee maker or an espresso machine, you should consult a list of recommended grindings of ground coffee for each type of coffee machine.
- Choose the correct temperature for the ingredients. During the preparation process, the water must be at a temperature between 90 and 96 ºC approximately, or at the point prior to boiling. If the water is colder, it will not extract enough flavor from the coffee beans, while excessively hot water could scald the coffee, negatively influencing its flavor.
If you boil the water for the coffee yourself, let the water boil and then remove it from the heat source and wait about 1 minute before pouring it over the ground coffee.
If you keep the ground coffee in the refrigerator, the temperature of the coldest grains will not adversely affect the coffee making process. However, if you prepare an espresso, you must remove the beans from the refrigerator until they are at room temperature before using them. Since the preparation of the espresso requires that only a relatively small amount of water comes into contact with the coffee, for a very short time, the cold grains can significantly affect the extraction process.
Solve performance problems
- Identify the problem like all appliances, coffee makers are prone to occasional operational problems due to their regular use. Here are some of the most frequent problems presented by coffee makers and their possible solutions. Before attempting to fix any malfunction, make sure the appliance is unplugged and that there is no hot water in the tank.
- “Coffee tastes strange.” As already mentioned above, in part two, the hot water can leave mineral residues in the coffee maker, which, if allowed to pass, may end up affecting the flavor of the coffee. It is recommended to clean the coffee machine (including its internal components) once a month if it is used regularly. Check our guide to clean coffee makers.
Consider also the possibility that you have made a mistake when storing coffee. Make sure you have not left the coffee container open, or in contact with any ingredient that may have contaminated its aroma (coffee easily absorbs the flavors and odors of other foods).
- “It seems that the water does not circulate through the coffee machine”. If there is little (or no) water flowing through the coffee machine, some tube may be clogged (the aluminum heat pipe is especially prone to clogging ). Light the coffee maker with vinegar in the water tank and without putting coffee in the filter. Repeat this operation as many times as necessary, until the affected tubes are unblocked. Then, operate the coffee machine a couple of times with water only to remove the remains of vinegar.
- “Very little / too much coffee comes out of the coffee machine”. Many modern coffee makers offer the possibility of controlling the amount of coffee expelled, so that, in case you are in a hurry, you can pour coffee directly into your cup or your thermos. Make sure that the coffee machine is set correctly and that the tank contains the appropriate amount of water before preparing the coffee (you may have to consult the instruction manual of the coffee machine to modify the dosage of coffee).
- “Coffee does not come out hot.” Probably, this problem is related to the internal wiring of the coffee machine that is responsible for its thermal operation. Since spare parts can be difficult to find and repairs require handling potentially dangerous cables, perhaps the best solution in this case is to replace the coffeemaker with a new one.
If you still want to try to fix an electrical fault in the coffee machine, make sure to unplug and turn off the appliance before proceeding.  You can easily find on the internet many tutorials to repair common faults of different appliances.
Make sure you close the bag or coffee container properly after taking the quantity you need. If you do not, the coffee will lose its aroma and will spoil due to contact with air.
Cinnamon sprinkled on ground coffee before preparing it can reduce the bitter taste of strong coffee blends. However, you should be careful, because if you use a drip coffee machine and add more than a tablespoon of this ground spice, you could overload the coffee filter.
If when you prepare coffee, it usually gets bitterer from the bill, try sprinkling a pinch of salt on the ground coffee. This method helps avoid the bitter taste that coffee gets during the preparation process (especially if it is of poor quality). Some pieces of egg shell also serve to soften the taste (this method is widely used in the United States Armed Forces).
To consult more advanced techniques, take a look at how to prepare a good cup of coffee
Although the standard method described in the article is for many coffee makers, except for insignificant variations, some coffee makers (such as plunger and espresso coffee machines) use coffee processing systems that are sufficiently different to require additional instructions.
Consider the possibility of reusing ground coffee. Ground coffee can be reused in the kitchen to neutralize odors in the refrigerator or as an abrasive to wash the coffee maker and other appliances and containers. Since ground coffee contains phosphorus and nitrogen, it also functions as an excellent fertilizer for certain plants.