Coffee, what am I doing wrong?

Ok, I’m having trouble with brewing coffee. Normally, I buy standard coffee in a can, and brew up a cup in a Cuisinart drip 1-2 cup coffee maker. Standard can coffee, store brand paper cones, generally, this works quite well.

Enter some Starbucks coffee, ground at the store, and stored in my freezer. I put in 4 scoops to make 2 large cups, add the water and hit the button. Lo and Behold, it doesn’t drip properly, the water overflows the paper cone, grounds get in the cups, the filter basket gets clogged, and coffee winds up on my counter.

The Starbucks coffee seems to be a finer grind than my normal coffee. I’ve even gotten a new bag reground for paper cone drip, but I have the same problem.

This has never happened to me before, regardless of the coffee type, coffee maker, or filter type, any thoughts?

I had this happen once. It looked like some grounds escaped the filter and got into the plastic assembly that holds the filter. I had to wash that out including the little spring loaded valve assembly that controls the transfer of coffee nectar from the filter holder to the pot.

I also drink Starbucks, but use a different coffee maker ( I’m a fairly normal guy so all my kitchen appliances are made by Black and Decker ). I would suggest a thorough cleaning, if this doesn’t help then I would think that either the coffee is getting packed in the filter and hindering the flow of water or the water flow is simply too fast for the finely ground stuff.

Starbucks coffee is evil and your coffee pot recognizes this. :wink:

I suggest Eight O’clock coffee (Colombian in the brown bag, about $3.50) and getting a Braun (or similar) coffee bean grinder at Wal*Mart or Target - they’re only about $15. With your own grinder you can control the coarseness of the ground beans. And besides, freshly ground coffee tastes better.

Ook. 8 o’clock.

Stick with the Starbucks. But if you got a coarser ground and it’s still happening, I’d side with Carcosa; it’s probably the machinery, just coincidentally going whacko at the same time. (Maybe starbuck’s IS evil! but it’s gooood, too.)

Cheap but messy but DELICIOSO alternative: french press, or plunger pot. At Starbucks: $30. At KMart, or Fred Meyer, etc.: $15.

That’s what I use. Bitch to clean but you get used to it. Makes the best coffee.

I think it’s over roasted and almost has a burnt taste to it -
as always, YMMV.

I’d try a coarser ground. Better yet, if you’re only making 1-2 cups, get a Melitta #4 cone filter (about $3, the kind that sits right on top of the cup) and some unbleached filters. Put in your fine to medium grind coffee. Boil water on stove. “Sweat” the grounds by putting on just enough hot water to wet them down well. Wait 30 seconds, then fill the Melitta filter with the desired amount of water.

Best cup of drip ever.

A French press isn’t all that hard to clean. Just have to get a nice wooden spoon to get all the gunky grounds out.

I have a personal French press and it makes tremendous coffee.

I named my French Press Le Monde.

I named my French Press “Le Monde.”

I agree with the French (oops, “freedom”) press. But I don’t understand why it’s a problem for you to clean. I dump the grounds into a trash bag, squirt a little dish soap into the carafe, add water, plunge vigorously and rinse. Voila, everything clean.

Next time you make coffee, try using your standard store bought stuff in a can. If it works fine, your Starbuck’s grind is too fine and your pot is brewing faster than the grounds can filter.

Most of the coffee we drink at home is whatever was on sale, Folgers, Maxwell House, etc. but we also get a lot of coffee from Gevalia for when we want a really good cup of joe, and for a REALLY good cup, I pull out the Cafe Du Monde.

For our french press, I use a baby bottle cleaning bruch. Works like a charm and it’s clean in about 5 seconds.

Finely ground coffee shouldn’t be causing water to overflow. At worst, it may brew coffee that’s too strong and perhaps bitter and “muddy”. If you live in a place where the water is “hard,” it could be that the opening from which the brewed coffee drips into the carafe is clogged. Clean it with vinegar (you should do this every so often anyway) by pouring white vinegar, full strength, into the water reservoir, then turn your coffee maker on. Then rinse it by doing the same thing twice, but with plain water to remove the vinegar taste and smell from your coffee maker.

And good for you for switching from canned crap to Starbucks! Life is too short to drink shitty coffee. Treat yourself to some Peet’s sometime. It’s out of this world and you can order it online.

Second-best coffee. Moka pots make the best coffe short of using a proper espresso machine, IMO.

I would second the French Press, but make sure you don’t get the coffee ground too fine. You want it ground rather chunky for a French Press.

You also don’t want the water boiling; rather, it should be just off the boil. Bring it to a boil, remove from the heat, let it rest for about 30 seconds, then pour a little bit of it over the grounds (just enough to cover them), let them swell up a bit, then pour the rest of the water over, let it steep 4-5 minutes, push down the plunger and enjoy.

The taste difference between coffee made in a FP and a drip maker is amazing. And a decent FP can be purchased at Target-type stores for about $20. Bodum makes a good one.

As Rainbowthief said, the Peet’s coffee is great. I love the Major Dickason’s Blend.

I think this has to be it. I actually got a bag of 8 O’Clock coffee, and ground it a bit on the coarse side, and it works fine. It must just brew too fast for this grind, and the problem gets worse when I brew 2 cups at a time.

What I like about this maker is the simplicity. Like the Melitta units, it brews directly into the cup, but it’s automatic instead of manual. For my morning cup of coffee, brew in the cup is the only way to go.

Thanks all for the responses.

Cafe du Monde is good, but the cheap local Louisiana coffee, Community Coffee, is one of the best I’ve ever had and costs about 1/4 what all the fancy ones do. Comes in a variety of roasts, including a chicory version. And it’s all fairly coarse ground so you don’t need to use fancy coffeemakers to brew it up.

If you get the right coffee with the right grind, you shouldn’t have problems. Many automatic pots probably go too fast for the fine grinds. I agree with the suggestion of a French press. Or else find you some good Community Coffee (preferably the New Orleans blend, that will put hair on your chest but tastes soooo good) and don’t worry about it since it’s ground for a normal coffeemaker.