Coffee Talk: Why cafe coffee tastes better

Last summer, I sat down with Cole Cuchna, a lifetime Sacramentan and the Director of Education at our local favorite, Temple Coffee. We were together to talk about how the business evolved after a leap of faith, but I had one other—unrelated—question: why can’t I get my cappuccinos at home to taste as good as the ones they make? What are the baristas doing differently?

Without skipping a beat he surprised me by answering…


“Cleaning is certainly not the only thing, but its the one people very often overlook so I always emphasize it, and it’s something people can do right now to improve their coffee. We are cleaning our machines constantly.”

Experts agree, clean and sanitized brewing equipment, no matter what type it may be, yields better tasting coffee. Wash brew baskets and small parts thoroughly with warm soapy water to remove oily residue. Check your owner’s guide for specific cleaning instructions for deeper cleaning tips, but for most machines, an effective solution is to occasionally run equal parts water and white vinegar through it. Follow up by running just water through a couple more times to remove any trace of vinegar.

P.S. More Coffee Talk, including how much caffeine is in your coffee and how to make iced coffee at home.

Thank you to Cole Cuchna of Temple Coffee and Nicolette Skidmore of City Scout Magazine.

Lower three photos by Susan Yee of En Pointe Photography for Hither & Thither; top photo is mine

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