How to Brew the Perfect Cup of Coffee

If you've developed a friendly relationship with your favorite barista, why not save yourself the expense of a daily trip to the coffeehouse. With these tip and recipes, you can brew the perfect cup of coffee at home.

Coffee-Brewing Tips:

  • Start with an easy-to-use drip-style coffeemaker and follow these tips to make a great cup of joe.
  • Always use fresh, cold water when brewing coffee. Use filtered water if possible.
  • Use 1 to 2 tablespoons ground coffee for each 6-ounce cup. Add more or less depending on your preferred strength. Finely ground coffee is stronger than a coarse grind.
  • Ground coffee loses its freshness quickly, so for the freshest coffee possible, buy whole beans and grind them each time you make coffee. Keep in mind that whole beans stay fresh for about a week, so buy only what you'll need for the week. Store beans at room temperature in an airtight container.
  • When you purchase beans, look at the color. Coffee beans turn darker the longer they are roasted. Select light beans for lighter-flavor coffee and dark beans for stronger flavor.
  • Clean your coffeepot on a regular basis. Rinsing it out will work most days, but you should occasionally wash it in hot soapy water.

Specialty Coffee Beverages:

You can satisfy your caffeine cravings with any of these specialty coffee beverages.

Cafe au Lait

A French drink that means coffee with milk. Just add 1/3 cup milk to each cup of coffee. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon, nutmeg, or sweetened cocoa powder.

Iced Coffee

A refreshing drink similar to iced tea. To make, fill a glass with ice and pour in coffee. If you like, add 1/3 cup milk and sweeten with sugar.


A favorite drink for chocolate-lovers. Simply add 2 tablespoons chocolate-flavor syrup and 1/3 cup milk to each cup of coffee. Or if you prefer, you can stir in 2 tablespoons cocoa mix.

Other Coffee Beverages:


An Italian version of cafe au lait that's made with espresso and frothy milk or cream. (Steam is forced through the milk portion to make it hot and foamy.) It's often served with a cinnamon stick or a sprinkling of cocoa powder, ground cinnamon, or nutmeg.


A double-strength coffee beverage served in a small cup. A favorite in France, demitasse is served black with or without sugar.


An Italian beverage of strong, concentrated black coffee brewed under pressure using finely ground, dark-roasted coffee. Serve it in a small cup with a sugar cube and lemon peel.

Irish Coffee

A slightly sweetened coffee served in a tall, stemmed glass with Irish whiskey and a layer of whipped cream. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon or cocoa powder for additional flavor.

Try these delicious coffee recipes:

Hot Coffee Latte Eggnog

Irish Coffee

Iced Coffee

Who needs a barista when a few coffee-making skills are all you need? Our tips save you money on your coffee habit.


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