Ah, the conveniences and simple pleasures of modern-day life! Coffee at the touch of a button. You hear it brew in the distance while you get ready for work; music to your ears, in the midst of life’s daily little dramas. It is said that the mere act of noticing the sound of coffee dripping from the hopper to the pot reduces stress as much as a brief walk in nature.
And yet, as with everything else, we cannot help but imagine ever better ways to enjoy our daily java. We are inventive creatures, after all, and very much inclined to improving our condition in big, world-changing ways as well as in the small ways that make life a pleasure to live. For some, the technology that brings coffee at the snap of our fingers also presents us with the occasional notion that, “This could be even easier if….” Which brings us to three clever coffee machine hacks to make your life even easier.
1. Milk and Coffee, The Way it Should Be
It’s amazing how even a minimal amount of cold milk will turn a wonderfully piping hot coffee into a tepid brew in seconds. You’d think that the ration of coffee to milk is enough to overpower the cold, but that’s not quite how it works.
Easy, we think. Just warm up some milk on the stove while the coffee brews. Then we walk away to look for a last-minute item we just remembered to bring to work, only to have our attention brought back by the aroma and sound of boiling, ad thus ruined, milk.
Easy indeed. Just do this instead: Pour the amount of milk you need right into the carafe. Then, brew your beans as usual. The hot plate begins to warm the milk. The hot coffee dripping through turns it wonderfully hot. The key is the hot plate. This trick will work with any method that is designed to keep the pot warm.
2. Excess Water in The Reservoir
You’re juggling the morning rush, all of it. The kids, the cat, the dog, the fruit spread on your shirt, the outfit that felt right at first and now suddenly makes you feel like a blimp (but it’s all in your head, you look wonderful). The one thing that quiets you down is stopping to get the coffee going, but you’re distracted and pour way too much water in the reservoir. So, you unplug it and hold it upside down over the sink, splashing your shirt in the process. Change again. Argh!
Do this instead: Get the turkey baster. Use it as a pump to suck out water until it’s down to the proper level.
3. That Nasty Percolator Basket
The sound of the percolator at the end of a dinner gathering adds soothing ambiance to the evening. It is a promise of a lingering evening in good company, with a good brew to enhance digestion and accompany good conversation. But then you must clean to pot. You’re tired, so you dismantle the basket and soak it in a dish overnight. This helps, a little.
Do this instead: Get some natural basket-style paper filters of the right size to fit your percolator’s basket. Before making coffee, pierce the center of a filter with a small hole. Fit the filter into the basket, tube poking through the whole. Fill the basket with coffee grounds, as usual and brew. When done, take out filter and grounds and dispose in the compost bin.
Do you have your own creative coffee hacks?