Writers everywhere are popping up with their great coffee tip lists, and most of them are somewhat similar with overlapping hints. Occasionally one grabs the attention with a unique secret for great coffee. Katharine Shilcutt is an example of this with her article this week, “Top 5 Coffee Hacks”. An extensive comment section offers even more pointers from readers. The first two tips deal with beans and clean. It’s crucial to start with good beans, and this means whole beans which you should grind yourself, a little at a time as needed, or at most a week’s worth. She recommends storing the beans in an airtight container in the fridge, not the freezer, and the ground coffee at room temperature in an airtight container. While it’s obvious coffee makers should be cleaned regularly, as oils build up over time and interfere with the taste, it’s an oversight made by many a procrastinating coffee lover. In case you’ve forgotten the vinegar method, Shilcutt has included it for you. Just fill the machine with water and add a tablespoon of white vinegar; run it through a complete cycle. This will clean the machine including all its parts. Run the machine a second time with only clean water to remove the vinegar. That wasn’t so bad now, was it? Shilcutt prefers a French press as a brewing method because it’s portable and she can make her own coffee at her desk at work. And her biggest secret? Add a pinch of Kosher salt - the kind that comes in large crystals - to the coffee grounds. She states that this adds a new dimension to the flavor, as it does when added to sweets. Many people sprinkle salt on watermelon to bring out the sweetness, so maybe it works the same for coffee. Now that you’re cleaning your pot regularly and adding salt to the grounds, your delicious coffee might be calling for some homemade ice cream. One of the comment writers shares their simple recipe. Take two coffee cans, one small enough to fit into the bigger while leaving plenty of space all around it. Fill the small can with your cream and sugar and any other flavorings. Seal tightly and place it in the big can, stuffing ice and salt in the space between the two cans. Seal the large can and roll it back and forth on the floor. This gives you something to do while you wait for your coffeemaker to go through two complete cleaning cycles. But ummm, what a reward awaits: sparkling fresh coffee and homemade ice cream. Does it get any better than this?
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