Tips for a Great Cup of Coffee at Home

Every morning it’s the same ritual. I know it so well I could do it in my sleep, and some days, I just might be. I get out of bed and make a beeline for the kitchen. I get there mostly by instinct, because I am not fully awake. Between the need to get to the coffee maker and the peril of stepping on toys, it’s a tricky stretch. I always get there, though.

After the coffee is going I can then wash my face, put in my contacts and get breakfast for my daughter. Once that is done I have a pot of fresh coffee waiting for me. It may sounds silly, but it’s the small things that make your day what you want it to be.

I won’t just use any coffee though, and I won’t make it just any old way. Some frown at my coffee habits, but I don’t care. I can’t start without a great cup of coffee. Coffee shouldn’t be just to wake you up; it should lift your mood and put a smile on your face. They key is making each cup a great cup of coffee.

Your Machine

No matter what type of coffee maker you use, you have to keep it clean. Some people swear by leaving the pot alone and letting the stuff build up to enhance the flavor of the coffee. To me, that just seems silly. But then again, I don’t want to knock anyone’s coffee beliefs; I just prefer to use a clean machine.

I use automatic drip and I keep it clean. This also helps keep the coffeemaker in good shape. I have hard water and the mineral deposits build up quickly. Fill your pot up with water and one cup of vinegar. Put a filter in the basket and run the coffeemaker. The filter will show you what kind of gunk you are cleaning out.

After you have run it though, run two cycles with just plain water to get all traces of the vinegar out of your coffeemaker. Your coffeemaker will work better, and your coffee will taste better.


Try grinding your own beans. The moment coffee is ground it begins to lose the oils that makes your coffee taste good. Imagine how bland ground coffee will taste once it reaches your coffee maker if it is ground in a factory. You can buy grinders rather cheaply in a department store, and they are very easy to use.


Most coffee brands will taste better if freshly ground at home, but you can get an even better taste by being choosy about the beans you buy. You will find an assortment of different flavored beans in your local store. If you aren’t sure what you will like, buy a little of each kind and experiment.

How Much

Coffee that comes already ground will have instructions on how much coffee you should use to make each pot of coffee. This will make a good coffee, but your taste might differ. Try using a little less or a little more to find the perfect strength for you.

Too Much Caffeine?

If you love the taste of coffee, but hate the caffeine jitters, try mixing some decaf in with your regular coffee. You will get the same great taste, but with less caffeine.


I use cold water to make my coffee, but to be honest, I don’t know why. Some will tell you it improves the flavor of the coffee, and others will say the coffeemaker will be damaged if you use hot water. Someone else may tell you that cold water makes brewing time longer, thus producing a more robust cup of coffee. I’m not sure if any are true, but the directions on my coffeemaker tell me to use cold, so cold it is.

Final Thoughts

I’m sure there are many more tricks to making a great cup of coffee; I just haven’t found them yet. I do know that with the above tips, I have found that I can make a great tasting coffee at home without driving blurry-eyed to Starbucks at six AM just to get a cup of the good stuff.

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