Nothing beats a freshly made cup of coffee from your very own coffee machine on a Sunday morning. Dark ground beans, frothed milk and a side of orange juice and you have the perfect start to the day. However to ensure you're always drinking the very best tasting coffee, you need to undergo coffee machine maintenance once in a while. Not only will it help to kill any bacteria, it will remove residual build up that can taint the taste of your brew. Understanding how to store your beans is also a key component for the home barista. Follow this guide and you'll be making top notch coffee every time.
Always buy the best coffee you can and don't be afraid to experiment. Many supermarkets and dedicated coffee shops specialise in unique coffee blends; hints of chocolate and spices are becoming trendier, and having a basic variety and a flavoured blend allows you and your guests to choose some interesting options.
Storing your coffee is just as important as picking the right flavour. Many coffee connoisseurs believe that moisture, air and light can ruin the beans and cause them to become bland and lifeless. Keeping the beans in an airtight container that is opaque and stored in the shade or a cupboard will reduce the chances of light spoilage. Buying whole beans will allow them to retain their natural oils and will allow you to produce different grinds for smoother or more bitter drinks. Try buying in small quantities so that you can drink as close to their roasting process as possible for maximum freshness.
Many coffee machines have their own particular brand of cleaners. Generally, you will only need to clean your machine with a dedicated cleaner once a month; however, a rinse after every use is recommended. As an alternative to store bought cleaners, fill your coffee machine up with half a cup of white vinegar and enough water to make a full pot then run it through. Try to take each component apart and wash in warm water with a little detergent after each use. Ensure you thoroughly rinse it in clean water otherwise the residue may compromise the taste of your next cup. Some people like to run a pot of water through afterwards as well to further reduce deposit build up. Finally, never forget to remove the filter as the moisture will quickly harbour mould.