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21 Coffee Hacks To Step Your Game Up Immensely

No one deserves less-than-stellar coffee.

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1. Stop storing your beans in the freezer.

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Fun fact: Keeping your beans or grounds in the freezer keeps them cold, not fresh. You want to keep beans (or grounds) away from heat, light, air, and moisture. Choose an airtight jar like this one from Amazon ($9) and keep it in a cabinet away from direct sunlight and the stove. Better yet, get an opaque container like this one from Amazon ($21).

3. Or add some cinnamon to your coffee grounds.

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The quickest and easiest way to breathe new life into coffee that's not the freshest, or is just kinda low-quality to begin with, is to add a pinch of cinnamon to the grounds (before you add water).

Or get more adventurous by adding cloves, nutmeg, and/or cardamom.

5. Make some smooth and delicious cold brew for drinking iced or hot.

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Did you know: Cold brew describes a no-heat brewing method, not a coffee that you must drink cold/over ice?

Cold brewing involves letting grounds steep in water for a loooong time (at least 12 hours), which results in a very smooth brew. All you need is a jar, water, and coarsely ground beans. (Here's how to do it.) Once you brew, you'll have a concentrate that you can drink straight if you dare, or add ice, water, or milk to. And you can heat it up if you want to drink it hot. The world is your oyster.

6. Skip the store-bought stuff and make your own flavored creamer.

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Store-bought creamer has added sugar and oils, some of which can contain trans fats (which are pretty bad for your health).

To make your own, just add a drop of vanilla or almond extract to your cream along with a bit of your favorite sweetener. You can also use sweetened condensed milk for something richer. Here are some recipes for that.

7. Or, if you're more of a non-dairy drinker, try your own vanilla cashew milk.

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Not all non-dairy milks are to be scoffed at when it comes to coffee. Making your own cashew milk or cream is easy and the result is creamy and de-freaking-licious. Here's a recipe for vanilla cashew milk.

8. Make ice cubes out of coffee instead of water.

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Iced coffee season is year round; don't let melty cubes water down your brew! Just make coffee, pour it in ice cube trays, and freeze.

10. Make a timer out of two cups so you can track how long a pot has been sitting there.

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Never again pour a mug of mud from a pot that your roommate brewed a zillion hours ago. You can also buy a timer, like this one from Amazon ($10).

11. Add warm, frothy milk to your coffee by shaking it up in a mason jar before microwaving it.

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Warm milk > cold milk. And if you put the milk in a covered mason jar, shake it up, remove the cover and microwave it, you'll have yourself some DIY frothy milk.

12. Blend butter and/or coconut oil into your coffee.

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Butter coffee (aka Bulletproof coffee) is coffee that's blended with grassfed butter and coconut oil or a coconut oil derivative. It's a frothy, deliciously fatty, and filling way to start the day. You can read all about how to do it and why you'd want to here.

13. Get a really good travel mug.

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Invest in a spillproof travel mug that will keep your coffee hot for hours, like this one from Amazon ($25).

And get the travel mug pictured above from David's Tea ($32).

14. Scrub the inside of your coffee mugs with baking soda.

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Baking soda + water + the rough side of a sponge will remove coffee stains, even on old AF white mugs.

15. And generally just keep your coffee-making stuff clean.

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When sediment from water builds up inside your machines, or the oils from beans get rancid inside your grinder or machine, you're going to start tasting some pretty funky coffee. Exorcise the ghosts of brews past with some simple cleaning techniques you can do every once in a while. Everything will just taste (and look) so much better.

• Clean stainless steel travel mugs, thermoses, and carafes with baking soda, white vinegar, and a scrub brush.

• Clean auto-drip machines by first running a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water through the brewing process. Then run plain water through it.

• Clean your coffee grinder regularly with a brush like this one from Amazon ($10), and every once in a while grind up white rice in there to absorb the oils.

16. Reheat your coffee over low heat on the stove.

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Nuking your coffee in the microwave makes it taste nice 'n' stale. Putting it over a high heat burns the shit out of it. Heat it slowly over a low heat and it'll be warmer and not gross. Win win.

17. But actually let your coffee cool off for a bit before you drink it.

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Obviously tepid coffee is a punishment created by Mephistopheles himself. But it turns out that piping hot coffee doesn't taste as good as coffee that is slightly less scalding. A couple different studies have shown (and professional coffee people agree) super hot coffee can taste stronger and more bitter, while coffee that has cooled a little has better, more complex flavor. So, basically, chill for a couple minutes after you pour.

19. Pair your coffee with a quick nap.

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Did you know that drinking a cup of coffee or a couple shots of espresso and immediately lying down for a 20-minute nap can turn you into the most awake superhero? Read all about it here.

20. Choose just one part of your home brewing process to improve.

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You can get better or fresher coffee, or start grinding your beans at home, or try a different brew method to see if you like the taste better. You can try different roasts. Shit, you can really lean in and roast your own beans. BUT you don't have to do all this stuff all at once. Choose one part of the process to hack and go from there.

To get started, here is a really great (if dense) explainer on all the factors that affect the quality of your brew. Here's a bunch of top-notch coffee accessories (along with more affordable alternatives). And you can learn about brewing methods here. Read up on the difference between light and dark roasts here.

21. And, finally, collect mugs that make you feel something every time you reach for them.

ThriftBoxUK / DoodleDeeTees / Via etsy.me

Maybe you're anticipating major drama coming your way and you need a mug that reminds you to say "Not today, Satan." Or you have a ton of work to get done and you need to get through it the way the tireless Leslie Knope would; by visualizing the waffles at the end of the tunnel.

(Get both mugs on Etsy: the "Not today, Satan" mug here and the JJ's Diner mug here.)

The point is, your mug should help you channel the energy you'll need to get through the day, which is something that happens according to science that I just made up. So, choose wisely.

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