Coffee pots are a standard hotel room appliance, but the phrase “hotel room coffee” doesn’t usually conjure up images of the perfect cup. For caffeine junkies on the road, however, using that questionable pot becomes inevitable. Luckily, it’s easy to hack your standard hotel coffee gear; just because you found a great deal on a cheap hotel doesn’t mean you have to settle for bad coffee.
Optimize the Coffee Pot
Run the pot through with clean water at least once before you brew. A first run cleans out any gunk in the pipes (you’d be surprised how much build up the average hotel coffee pot has). It also brings your pot’s heating element up to the optimal temperature for brewing coffee. Many coffee pots take a little extra time to get to full power, so preheating your pot can make a world of difference.
Upgrade Your H20
Water from the tap isn’t always the tastiest stuff, and coffee is only as good as the water you use. If you have it on hand, use bottled water to brew your coffee. Don’t want to pay a premium for better water? Most hotel ice machines use filtered water, so simply fill up the coffee pot or a clean ice bucket with ice cubes the night before. In the morning, you’ll have plenty of tasty water ready to brew.
Skip the Pot and Go for Cold Brew
If that coffee pot is looking a little gnarly, skip it and make a cold brew the night before. Just mix up coffee grounds and water (a 1:3 ratio works well) and set it in the mini fridge overnight. The next day, simply pour the mixture through a filter (or use a folded paper towel in a pinch). For quicker cleanup, use the bag method; tie the grounds up in a rubber band before you add water, and simply lift the bag out when you’re ready to drink. Add a little ice and you’ve got a refreshing, intense cup of cold brew.
You can hack your coffee to make it better, but the best way to get good coffee is to start with better beans. Hotels in San Francisco and other coffee-loving cities often feature beans from awesome local roasters or high-quality national brands. If you want to be sure you’re getting the very best in-room coffee experience, be sure to read the hotel reviews on Hipmunk ahead of time and keep an eye out for rave coffee reviews.