Top 5 Coffee Hacks

As a kid, I could never understand the appeal of coffee. But that might have been because my grandparents were always brewing up tar-thick pots of Folgers, the plastic tub of "coffee crystals" stored in the freezer where they absorbed other scents and smells. Or because my father, God bless him, was happy to drink gas station coffee from pots and machines that had likely never been cleaned. Coffee was something disgusting, bitter and smelling of dank spaces and grime.

And then I grew up and figured out how to make good coffee. And I was hooked.

These are my personal tips for making a great cup of coffee even better, but you may have your own. If so, I want to hear them in the comments section. We can all benefit from constructive tips on how to increase our caffeine intake, after all.

1. Start with good beans.

This is simple. Don't buy Folgers. You may think it's easier just to buy coffee by the tub, but it's just as simple to buy a pound of beans at the farmers' market, local coffee shops or even your grocery store and grind the beans yourself. The coffee grinder I use cost all of $15 and has lasted for more than 10 years. And don't grind the whole bag at once; just grind enough to get you through the week and store the ground beans at room temperature in an airtight container. Use the ground beans every morning and grind another batch on your lazy Sunday. Easy.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Katharine Shilcutt