Our love for good coffee is only rivaled by our enjoyment of a terrific kitchen tip. Here are 8 of our best handy coffee maker hacks that should make your life better and easier.
Top 8 Coffee Maker Hacks
HOW TO BUILD A TIMER INTO YOUR COFFEE MAKER
Would you like to wake up to fresh coffee—but lack a coffee maker with a built-in timer? Here’s a crafty workaround. Buy an inexpensive appliance timer (the kind that turns lights on and off when you go on vacation) at the local hardware store. You can set the brewing time before you go to bed and also set a time for the machine to turn off, so you don’t have to worry that you left the machine on.
HOW TO CLEAN A FRENCH PRESS COFFEE MAKER
French presses are hard to clean as the spent grounds cling to the bottom of the carafe. To easily get rid of all the grounds without having any go down the garbage disposal (usually considered inadvisable), try this tip:
1. Fill the carafe with water.
2. Pour its contents into a fine-mesh strainer over the sink, and then dump the grounds into the trash.
HOW TO HEAT MILK WHILE BREWING COFFEE
Like your coffee with milk, but also like it piping hot? Instead of pouring cold milk into your cup for a tepid drink, do the following.
1. Measure the desired amount of milk into the empty carafe of an electric coffee maker before brewing.
2. As the hot coffee drips in, the warming plate of the coffee maker heats the milk, resulting in a pot of steaming hot coffee with milk.
HOW TO MAKE A SINGLE CUP OF COFFEE
Instead of using a large coffee maker to brew a single cup, here’s a creative alternative using a funnel.
1. Fit an appropriately sized plastic funnel over a mug and place a cone-shaped filter inside the funnel. Fill it with the desired amount of ground coffee. (The test kitchen prefers 2 tablespoons of coffee for 6 ounces of water.)
2. Pour just-boiling water into the funnel and let the coffee “brew” into the mug.
HOW TO GRIND COFFEE MORE EFFICIENTLY
Many blade-type coffee grinders grind the beans unevenly, producing some powder and some large pieces of the bean. Here’s one way to even out the grind:
1. Grasp the coffee grinder with one hand over the hopper.
2. Lift the whole unit off the counter, shaking it gently while grinding. This moves the beans around and helps the machine grind more evenly.
HOW TO EASILY REMOVE EXCESS WATER FROM A COFFEE MAKER
Do you ever occasionally add too much water to your drip coffee maker’s reservoir? Rather than precariously tipping the entire machine over to empty just the right amount into the sink, use a turkey baster to remove the water, checking against the machine’s water gauge until there is just the right amount of water left.
HOW TO MAKE DIY VANILLA-FLAVORED COFFEE
Here’s a great way to reuse spent vanilla beans: make your own homemade vanilla-flavored coffee. After air-drying empty vanilla bean pods for two to three days, add half of a pod to a coffee grinder full of enough coffee beans for a pot and process it before brewing as usual.
HOW TO MAKE CLEANING A PERCOLATOR EASIER
Hate the messy chore of cleaning damp coffee grounds out of the plastic basket of your coffee percolator? Here’s how to make cleanup easier:
1. Snip a small hole in the center of a small (4- to 6-cup) basket-style coffee filter.
2. Fit the filter over the percolator tube and into the basket. Fill the filter-lined basket with ground coffee and brew as directed.
3. When it’s time to clean up, just dump out the filter with the grounds.
Here are our top 8 coffee maker hacks. If you think I missed something please mention in the comments and also share your coffee maker or kitchen hacks.