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Old 11-02-2012, 09:03 AM   #1
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Help with coffee

I use a Cuisinart drip coffee maker and either Folgers or Maxwell House, whichever is on sale. That's where my tastes lie at the moment. The coffee was getting kind of bitter so I cleaned the machine and replaced the filter. Now it tastes like crap Using the same amount of coffee the flavor is too weak, like water. And one extra scoop makes it taste plain nasty. Not really bitter, just bad. Not like coffee at all. The fact that I've made a couple pots that taste very weak has me ruling out that it picked up some kind of taste from cleaning the machine, otherwise the bad taste should be even stronger. Plus I was very thorough in rinsing it.

I guess my next option is to open a new can of coffee and see if that helps, but I've never had coffee go bad before, so I have my doubts if that is the problem. I just wasn't sure if it could be something I overlooked. You've got hot water and you've got grounds, what more is there? Could the water be running through the machine too quickly or something? Do machines go bad without something noticeable breaking and they simply start brewing bad coffee?

And I am doing my best to not let this be the reason to jump into a fancier machine
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Old 11-02-2012, 09:26 AM   #2
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Quite a mystery!
Can't help you, I'm sorry. The only two coffee machines I used in the past were always consistent in the coffee they brewed. One was very good, the second just decent. And one day, they just passed away, I mean, I couldn't detect any degrade in the quality, just a sudden death of the machine.
I have to say that, using my moka, I do have different results, mostly due to washing it thoroughly or keeping it at rest for a long time and then using it again. But a moka is not a coffee machine...
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Old 11-02-2012, 09:30 AM   #3
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Does you machine grind the beans or use ground coffee? Try filling the water level only to the amount of coffee you want to make. Make sure the filter is placed correctly. For bitterness just add a pinch of salt to your grounds before starting the machine, this works wonders but I don't know why?!

Kenna makes great coffee, not sure if you get this brand.
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Old 11-02-2012, 09:36 AM   #4
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Sweet Maria pretty much covers it all-
Make Coffee | Sweet Maria's Coffee Library
We prefer to grind the beans ourself and use paper coffee filters.
I like to roast green beans but my wife is not supportive.
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Old 11-02-2012, 10:05 AM   #5
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You might try adding just half a scoop extra if a whole scoop is too much. I do that with my Gevalia coffee pot. It may also be something with the coffee. I also use Folger's and have found that in the last couple of months, I have to add that little extra to get the right flavor. If I don't add the half scoop, it's too weak and if I add a whole scoop it's too bitter. Maybe get a small can of a different brand or a dark coffee and see if that makes a difference.
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Old 11-02-2012, 10:06 AM   #6
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I wish mine had died a sudden death, too, Luca. Then the solution would be easy.
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Old 11-02-2012, 10:07 AM   #7
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That could be a possibility, jabbur! Maybe now that it's clean and brewing more efficiently one scoop extra is too much.
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Old 11-02-2012, 10:11 AM   #8
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Sounds like you are not getting the water hot enough for a good extraction.

Use a thermometer to take the temperature of the water coming out of the machine.

Ideally, the water should be 195-200. Most auto drip brewer pnly heat the water to 165 or so. If yours is below that the boiler is shot.

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Old 11-02-2012, 10:15 AM   #9
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I'll go measure the temp right now.
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Old 11-02-2012, 10:24 AM   #10
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177F seems to be the median. I honestly can't say if it was ever higher than that or not, unless 195-200 is the industry standard for all machines.
Maybe it's dying a slow death and I simply got used to drinking bitter and under-brewed coffee.
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Old 11-02-2012, 10:25 AM   #11
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I find it suspicious that your problem occurred right after cleaning the machine and changing the filter. I would look at those facts and strongly resist the temptation to upgrade your machine.

Until two years ago, I was still on the completely manual system of making coffee, always prepared for the usual power outages, but bought a Cuisinart coffee maker when I was having frequent house guests. I have decalcified the machine one time and changed the filter a few times now. I do use the 1-4 button each time, no matter how many cups I make, because the 1-4 button gives hotter water.
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Old 11-02-2012, 10:27 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forty_caliber View Post
Sounds like you are not getting the water hot enough for a good extraction.

Use a thermometer to take the temperature of the water coming out of the machine.

Ideally, the water should be 195-200. Most auto drip brewer pnly heat the water to 165 or so. If yours is below that the boiler is shot.

.40
And if it's too hot, it can burn the coffee and make it a bit bitter.

Maybe the coffee is to blame. Try making a cup of coffee some other way. If nothing else, you can boil some water, let it cool to 195-200 and just pour it into a cup with a spoon of the coffee grounds in the cup. Give it a stir and let it sit until the grounds have settled out.
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Old 11-02-2012, 10:27 AM   #13
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Only the really high end machines heat the water that hot. Probably not the boiler.

Try this:
Empty the water tank
Put in 1 cup of vinegar
Put in 1 cup of water
Use a filter
Catch the vinegar water mixture in the pot

Repeat at least 3 times- reusing the liquid

Once your done, flush the maker with fresh water.

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Old 11-02-2012, 10:29 AM   #14
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Beth, did your coffee stay consistent after cleaning or did it take a few pots to settle in?
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Old 11-02-2012, 10:39 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pacanis View Post
Beth, did your coffee stay consistent after cleaning or did it take a few pots to settle in?

LOL, I am not a good one to answer that one. Even though I need coffee everyday, I will drink any concoction with caffeine and don't pay much attention to the quality of the product. But I don't remember any significant change in the quality or any settling in changes. I only decalcified the machine because the "clean your machine" button came on.
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Old 11-02-2012, 10:43 AM   #16
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+1 for the completely manual method. Check out this thread...

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Old 11-02-2012, 10:47 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bethzaring View Post
LOL, I am not a good one to answer that one. Even though I need coffee everyday, I will drink any concoction with caffeine and don't pay much attention to the quality of the product. But I don't remember any significant change in the quality or any settling in changes. I only decalcified the machine because the "clean your machine" button came on.
I've been leaning towards wanting a better cup of coffee lately, especially seeing all those Keurig Vue commercials
I'm just not willing to spend 50 bucks/lb for coffee
Seriously, I would like a better tasting cup, but could probably accomplish that simply by buying better coffee.

Off to read links...
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Old 11-02-2012, 10:55 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pacanis View Post
I've been leaning towards wanting a better cup of coffee lately, especially seeing all those Keurig Vue commercials
I'm just not willing to spend 50 bucks/lb for coffee
Seriously, I would like a better tasting cup, but could probably accomplish that simply by buying better coffee.

Off to read links...
I would have said that Folgers in quite good coffee. It's what I use. But, this last container doesn't seem as good as the previous ones. It's hard to be sure, because I have just switched back to drinking mostly drip coffee instead of exclusively espresso allongé at home.
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Old 11-02-2012, 10:59 AM   #19
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Yeah, I always liked Folgers in the past.
I suppose I ought to run some vinegar water through it a few times and open another canister. That will be the telltale.

And I need something more automated than those Melitas and Chemex's. I can't see me boiling water and then pouring it into the brewing device. Not during the wee hours.
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Old 11-02-2012, 11:04 AM   #20
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If you find that you need a new brewer, check these out. Expensive yes, but it is one of the few appliances that heats the water to correct temperatures.

Technivorm Moccamaster Coffee Brewer With Thermo Carafe - Technivorm 9587: Amazon.com: Kitchen & Dining

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