Five Office Coffee Hacks

The coffee station is the destination of choice for many employees—there’s nothing like America’s favorite hot beverage to soothe a troubled employee’s mind—unless, of course, there’s a problem with that coffee station. All too often, the pot of coffee was made hours ago and has acquired a decidedly bitter flavor; or perhaps it hasn’t been cleaned in awhile. Seemingly minor issues such as these can seem like brick walls to the overwhelmed office worker just looking for a quick cup of coffee to get through the afternoon.

Clean The Pot

Fortunately, while cleaning the coffeemaker may sound involved, the solution is actually quite simple. Vinegar is the liquid of choice, as it not only sterilizes what it touches, it also does the necessary work of decalcifying the coffee machine parts caked with mineral buildup from tap water.

Steps to Sanitize A Coffeemaker:

  1. Fill the coffee maker’s water chamber with equal parts white vinegar and water and brew, using a paper filter, until half the chamber is empty.
  2. Turn the coffee maker off and let it sit for 30 minutes, then finish brewing.
  3. Use new paper filters to brew two pots of clear water, which rinses the machine.

Timestamp The Pot

While a thorough cleaning of the pot works wonders, it doesn’t solve the problem of brewed coffee’s short shelf life. Fortunately, a fresh pot is no chore. But who knows how fresh it already is? Timestamping the pot is an easy hack that lets everyone at the office know just how fresh the coffee is, and might provide incentive to brew another. Simply make a note of when the last pot was made, and make sure it’s visible.

Go Iced

Iced coffee at the office, particularly at the height of summer, can create a refreshing new way to perk up your employees. It requires mastering some basic skills, but nothing too daunting. To really communicate to employees that they are valued, consider brewing cold press coffee for the office—twice as labor-intensive than iced coffee, but at least four times more delicious.

Go Local

When it comes to coffee beans, freshness is key. Airtight containers to store the beans are an easy way to seal in the flavor for as long as possible.

Use Filtered or Distilled Water

Coffee is 99% water, so the quality of that water is largely going to determine the quality of the coffee it makes. Tap water, no matter how pure, always carries a flavor (and an undesirable one more often than not), and the coffee will know it. Happily, distilled or filtered water is readily available and cheap—use that to fill the coffeemaker, and taste the difference.

Bonus:  One last easy hack: an office fridge stocked with fresh milk and cream can help your employees customize their drink!