Has your freshly brewed coffee begun to taste a little less than, well, fresh? Maybe you already know how important it is to keep the brew pot clean and descale the machine regularly — but something is still off. You can't quite put your finger on it, but your gourmet grounds have begun to taste like they were filtered through a dirty sock. What could have possibly gone wrong?
If you're using a reusable coffee filter, not keeping it clean enough could be to blame. As with the rest of your coffee maker, bacteria can build up in spite of the high temperatures used in brewing. But that doesn't mean that you need to switch to single-use, disposable paper filters. Not at all! Rather, you just need to give the reusable filter the same attention to cleanliness that you give to the rest of the machine. After all, it is one of those commonly forgotten kitchen tasks.
Squeaky Clean In No Time
Depending on how long it's been since you've cleaned your reusable coffee filter there are a couple of different ways to go about it. The easiest and quickest way is to wash it with hot soapy water and then give it a good rinse. The dishwasher is another good option as the heat will kill any germs that have built up. Just be sure to put it on the top rack, especially if it contains plastic that could potentially melt.
On the other hand, if it's been a while since you've cleaned it, it might be time for a good soak and scrub. Simply soak the reusable filter in a vinegar solution (one part white vinegar to two parts water) for a few hours and up to overnight. If that doesn't quite do the trick — or if you would prefer to scrub it right away by hand — then you can scour the filter with baking soda. But stay away from metal brushes or scrubbers when you do so.
Whichever method you choose, rinsing is key. Your next batch of coffee will certainly be ruined by any remnants of soap or vinegar. So, be sure to give the filter an extra rinse before you put it back in the coffee maker.
Frequency Is Important
At the very least, you should rinse your reusable coffee filter after each use. But washing it daily will definitely keep it cleaner and prevent build-up. How often you deep clean the filter will depend on how often you brew coffee and how hard your water is. As long as you wash it regularly you shouldn't have to do a deeper clean very often. Consider giving it a deep clean when you descale your coffee maker.
As long as you take care of your reusable stainless steel coffee filter and keep it clean, it shouldn't ever need to be replaced. This is a great reason to invest in one if you are currently using disposable filters. In the end, it will save you money, and be better for the planet. You'll never wake up craving a cup of coffee only to realize you used the last filter the day before. Just remember, in order to keep enjoying your best coffee recipes — you've got to stay on top of keeping both the coffee maker itself and the reusable filter sparkling clean.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.