How to use a filter coffee machine
Become worthy of even the best barista by learning to brew the perfect pot.
02 Jun 2019
No one wants to be left waiting first thing in the morning for that steamy cup of coffee to kick-start a hectic day with a full schedule. So, we’ve put this guide together to help you make sure you’ve got the steps down to get the perfect mug of java from your filter coffee machine.
Using a filter coffee machine
Here are the steps to create the perfect cup of coffee using your filter coffee machine.
1. Add a coffee filter to the filter basket
There are lots of different types of coffee filters to choose from, but you’ll often find them branded as either ‘natural’ or ‘bleached’. While cheaper, generic options might be cheaper in the short-term, they’re less dependable for good results.
Most coffee makers come with their own mesh filter, and this usually the best option because it’s easy to use and you can clean it when you need to.
2. Measure out your coffee
How much coffee you put in the filter depends on how much coffee you want to make. It will also depend on your coffee machine and the type of coffee you’re making, too.
Usually, you’ll need about two tablespoons of coffee for every six ounces of water, but you should check your coffee maker for its perfect ratio. Some speciality blend coffees can have different ratios too, but you can check the back of the package for instructions.
3. Measure out your water
Your coffee pot will have markings on the side to help you measure out how much water you need. To fill it up, there’s usually an opening behind or above the filter.
While it might be tempting to just pour the water through the filter basket, this could cause some problems so just fill it up where it’s meant to go.
4. Plug the coffee maker in
Some machines will start brewing the coffee as soon as you turn it on, while others might need you to press a button to get them going. Some also have a ‘time setting’, so your coffee is ready when you need it.
5. Wait until the coffee has finished brewing before you pour it
We know, it’s tough to watch that pot take forever to fill, but a little patience will be worth it in the end. Some machines do have a ‘pause’ option though, for those times you just need it right away.
6. Throw away the paper filter
If you’re using a paper filter, you should remove it and throw it away as soon as you’ve used it, because leaving coffee grounds in the machine will make your next pot of coffee too bitter.
If you’re using the mesh filter, make sure to throw to used coffee grounds in the bin and give the filter a rinse.
Getting the best coffee
Now that you know how to make the perfect cup of coffee, here’s how to get the best out of your machine every time.
Grinding your coffee
For the very best coffee, instant just won’t do. If you’re looking for a fresh, flavoursome coffee, you should always look to buy whole coffee beans and grind them yourself. You should be careful about how finely you grind your coffee though, as you’ll get different results.
The flavour of coffee comes from within the cells of the coffee bean, and when it’s ground, the exposure to air creates the aroma. The longer it’s left like that, the quicker it will lose its aroma.
You should keep your coffee beans in an air tight container. They have odour-absorbing properties, so if you leave them exposed in the fridge, you might find they start smelling like leftover garlic chicken.
There’s some debate between coffee aficionados about where to keep your coffee though. Some say you should keep them at low temperatures – so you should keep them in the fridge if you want to use them within that week, or in the freezer for any longer. Others will say they’re fine in a cool dark place, so it’s up to you really.
Cleaning your coffee maker
Any machine that uses hot water can accumulate sediment over time, and if left too long this can cause your coffee to have a nasty, rancid taste. You should make sure to give your coffee maker a clean every now and then to make sure nothing unfriendly is stuck in there.
A good sign your coffee machine needs cleaning is if there’s a noticeable odour or residue on the machine, or if you just can’t remember the last time you did it, you should probably set aside some time to get it squeaky clean again.
Getting the right grind
Different methods of brewing coffee will call for a finer or coarser grind, because the flavour exchange between the ground beans and the hot water will be affected by how much coffee is ‘touching’ the water.
Usually, the longer the brewing time, the coarser the coffee will need to be ground, because it spends a lot longer in contact with the water than coffee that only takes a short time to brew.
That should be everything you need to know to brew the perfect cup of joe. Take a look at our full-range of filter coffee makers to find one that’s ideal for your kitchen.