6 Coffee Hacks You Need in Your Life

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If you’re a caffeine addict, you know a great cup of coffee when you taste one -- it has a thick aroma, smooth taste, and gets you through work with a happy caffeine buzz. What’s not to love?

However, it can be hard to find a great brew outside of your favorite coffee shop. We’ve enlisted the help of David Strahl, our specialty coffee expert here at Royal Cup Coffee and Tea, to tell you how to make the best cup of coffee at home without any fancy equipment. Read on for six coffee hacks you need to know.

1. Get to know your taste preferences

Coffee can taste totally different depending on the altitude and soil in which it was grown. As a general rule, African coffees generally taste fruitier, brighter, and more acidic, while South American coffees have more body, and taste sweet, nutty, or chocolatey. Experiment with different growing regions to see which ones you like best!

2. DON’T put coffee in your freezer

After coffee is roasted, there’s still 2 to 3 percent of moisture left in the bag. Sticking that bag of coffee in your freezer will cause the beans to ice over and lose their taste. Coffee also absorbs odors, so after a while, it’ll start to taste like that salmon you stored in your freezer a month ago. Gross, right?

3. Use whole beans when you can

Opening a bag of coffee or grinding it starts the staling process. David Strahl recommends storing whole beans in an airtight container and grinding them as you need them. This will ensure that you have the freshest tasting coffee, every time.

4. The grind size you use matters

As a general rule, you should use coarsely ground coffee for a French press, medium-coarse grind for Chemex or pour over, medium for a drip brewer, and fine grind for espresso. Anything else could over or under-extract your coffee. If you’re frequently making coffee at home, it may be worth investing in a quality grinder!

5. DON’T be the coffee jerk at work

This isn’t necessarily a “hack” as much as it is a PSA. People who pour from the coffee pot before it’s finished brewing are the worst. Coffee is extracted at different strengths during the brewing cycle, so Judy from HR really just got the strongest brew from the pot and left you with the weak, bean-tinted water. Don’t be like Judy.

6. If your coffee still tastes funky, test your water

Did you know that water “hardness” can actually affect the taste of your coffee? Strahl recommends using filtered water for the best, most consistent brew.