Buy This, Not That: One big mistake you’re likely making when you brew coffee — and the easy $15 solution

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You can have coffee-shop quality coffee at home — if you know how to do it.

Two-thirds of Americans drink coffee each day, according to a survey released last year — and of those, about 80% said they drank it at home. But experts say that many of us aren’t getting the most delicious cup of coffee at home because we’re not preparing it right. Here are four products you should buy — like the Hamilton Beach 12-cup Programmable 49465R, a Consumer Reports 2019 best pick, for just $29 on Amazon — to make a better tasting cup of joe.

Mistake No. 1: Your coffee maker doesn’t get the water hot enough, or makes it too hot.

Solution: Hamilton Beach 12-cup Programmable 49465R — a Consumer Reports 2019 best pick — $29

“Your brewer should maintain a water temperature between 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal extraction,” the National Coffee Association reveals. “Colder water will result in flat, under-extracted coffee, while water that is too hot will also cause a loss of quality in the taste of the coffee.”

Consumer Reports recently reviewed coffee makers that got water to just the right temperature and were convenient to use. Their best-priced, best-reviewed option? “The unassuming, inexpensive Hamilton Beach 12-cup Programmable 49465R might be easy to miss, but it can brew a mean cup of joe at a fantastic price,” Consumer Reports reveals, adding that “it has the essentials—it’s programmable, as its name suggests, and offers auto-shutoff—and it offers solid brew performance and can make a fresh pot in just 10 minutes.”

Mistake No. 2: You leave your coffee beans in the bag on the counter — or in a non-airtight container

Solution: Airtight Coffeevac Vacuum Sealed Coffee Container, roughly $15

“Whenever possible, use coffee that was roasted in the last 30 days and store in an airtight container in a dark cabinet,” Laura Sommers, President of Bonavita, which makes coffee brewers and kettles. With nearly 2,000 reviews — 70% of which are 5-stars — the Coffeevac 1 lb – The Ultimate Vacuum Sealed Coffee Container comes in more than a dozen colors and seals coffee into its airtight space to keep it fresh longer.

Mistake No 3: You grind your beans wrong.

Solution: JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder with Conical Burr Mill, roughly $23

Not only should you “grind your beans as close to the brew time as possible for maximum freshness,” you need to use a certain kind of grinder to do it, according to the National Coffee Association. “A burr or mill grinder is best because the coffee is ground to a consistent size,” the association recommends, while adding that “a blade grinder is less preferable because some coffee will be ground more finely than the rest.”

One of the best-reviewed burr grinders — it has nearly 6,000 reviews, more than 70% of them are 5-stars, on Amazon AMZN, -0.83% — is this JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder with Conical Burr Mill, Brushed Stainless Steel, for about $23.

Mistake No. 4: You use tap water.

Solution: A Brita water filter, roughly $19.

“A surprising part of making quality coffee at home is using filtered water. If you don’t use a filtration system on your drinking water, opt for a Brita countertop water filter to elevate your coffee,” says Craig Conner, owner of Pablo’s Coffee in Denver. “Filtered water will lead to brighter, more delicate flavors in your coffee that are flattened out by the minerals in non-filtered water.”

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