**Coffee Makers and Brewers
When we hear the term "coffee maker" most of us think of the
drip style coffee maker. The drip maker has slowly replaced the
percolator over the past 20 years. Now the drip maker is being replaced
by the single serve coffee machine in some households because some
people only want one cup of coffee at a time. Now here is something
interesting, the French Press is making a comeback after being first
used over 200 years ago. Of course, the choices vary with the region in
which people live also.
There are the very popular filter machines, French
press and stovetop espresso coffee makers. There are glass carafe coffee
makers, thermal carafe coffee makers, some industrial sizes with two
pots that brew at the same time. If you are into espresso did you know
that there are three different types of espresso makers to choose from?
Steam, pump or piston. How about the coffee maker that makes you one
individual cup of coffee?
One type of coffee maker may be frowned upon in certain parts of the
world, while being quite acceptable in another location. Some types of
coffee makers are quite antiquated by todayís standards, but are still
being used by those who prefer the coffee produced.
We are going to discuss the different coffee makers
above plus some others that are in use.
Drip Coffee Maker
The most common method of
brewing coffee in the US with which most people are familiar
is the automatic drip coffee maker. Hot water is heated
almost to a boiling temperature, and slowly poured over the
ground coffee, which is placed in a filter, and allowed to
drip out the bottom into a coffee pot. Most electronic
models allow you to preset the brewing event on a timer so
you can conveniently wake up to a brewed cup of coffee in
The automatic drip coffee
makers share the same drawbacks as the manual drip method
(see above). In addition, while the convenience of an
automatic programmable coffee maker is appealing, they donít
always brew at the optimum temperature. Grinding the beans
the night before and placing in the coffee maker exposes
them to the air for at least eight hours, which will cause
some loss of flavor. Remember, to produce the best cup of
coffee, it is preferable to grind the beans just prior to
brewing your coffee.
Once the coffee is
brewed, most automatic coffee makers have a heating element
to keep the coffee warm, however, this will rapidly
deteriorate the coffee if it sits for any length of time. It
is best to use an air pot or thermos to keep the freshly
brewed coffee hot if you donít plan to drink it right away.
The French press or press
pot method of brewing coffee is another form of coffee
infusion. This method involves placing a more coarsely
ground coffee in a glass carafe (or ceramic carafe). Then
water at the desired temperature (195F to 205F is optimum)
is poured over the grounds and allowed to steep. When
brewing is complete, a tightly fitting plunger device with a
mesh filter is pushed down, pressing the grounds to the
bottom of the beaker, leaving the coffee liquor on top.
This method gives you
complete control over the coffee brewing and extraction
process. You can control the temperature of the water far
better than the automatic drip machines, and you can also
control how long the water stays in contact with the ground
coffee while it steeps.
The mesh filter is more
porous than the paper and cone filters, which allows more of
the flavorful coffee oils and dissolved (and some
un-dissolved) solids to pass through and infuse into the
liquor. The more porous filter does require a coarser grind,
which also requires a longer steep time, generally 3 to 6
minutes is best. Even with the fine burr grinder (necessary
to produce the coarser grind), some finer grinds are
unavoidable which make their way through the plunger/filter
and wind up in the cup.
This method is very
popular in Europe and is catching on in the US more
recently. While the French press may require more effort,
for many who favor a richer, more full-bodied flavor, this
is the preferred method of brewing coffee.
There are two types of percolator style
coffee makers, the stove top model and the electric
percolator. Both percolators work in the same fashion, which
is circulating boiling water over the coffee grounds and
through a metal filter repeatedly. Some argue that this
makes a good cup of coffee while others say this style
coffee maker makes the worst coffee imaginable. The
naysayers exclaim the percolator produces a bitter tasting
coffee no matter what brand or grind of coffee you use.
Today the espresso coffee and cappuccino coffee that were once
available only in restaurant or a modern coffee shop can be easily made
and enjoyed at the comfort of home with the help of a coffee making
add more here
Brewing a great cup of coffee depends on a number of things such as the
quality of the coffee bean, the quality of the water being used, the
type of brewing being done, and the grind of the coffee. Now quality of
bean and water is something you can easily take care. Just use good
quality beans and pure water. However the relationship between the grind
of the coffee and the type of brewing being done is more detailed and
could use a little explanation. Now we all know that we make coffee by
passing hot water over crushed coffee beans. However for it to really
work well we need to understand just how long the water should be
passing over the beans. The purpose of this article is to help you
understand how to match your coffee's grind to the type of brewing you
are doing in order to make the best coffee possible.
Generally speaking, the 'soaking' time relates directly to how coarse
the coffee is ground. This means that smaller coffee grinds need less
contact with the water, and coarser grinds need longer contact. Espresso
coffee is only exposed to water for 20-40 seconds and as a result is
made using extremely fine grind coffee. A French press coffee maker can
take as much as 4 minutes and uses an extremely coarse grind. If coffee
is left contacting water for too long for its grind size, unwanted
extracts emerge and make the coffee taste bitter. Of course if the grind
is too large and the water passes very quickly (like using French press
grind in an espresso maker), very little of the caffeine and flavors
extracted and will have poor flavor.
Of course filters play an important role in managing the balance between
over and under brewing your coffee. Not only do they keep the grind out
of your cup, but they also control how fast the water passes over the
grinds. Paper filters are the most common, but many people are also
using metal varieties. Paper filters are quite good. However they can
absorb some of the coffee flavors, and some people claim they can taste
the paper in the final coffee. Metal filters are normally made from
stainless steel or gold plated mesh. They have very fine weave and
filter out the coffee grinds very well. They also do not alter the taste
of the coffee at all. Metal filters are also more environmentally
friendly than the paper alternative.
Whichever you choose, be sure to buy decent quality. Cheap filters often
clog or not allow the coffee to brew properly. A decent quality metal
filter will last years and save money in the end.
Brewing a cup of coffee is not that hard. Brewing a great cup takes a
little more understanding, but isn't any harder. Start with fresh beans
and good clean water and then match your brewing style to the proper
grind and then mess around with the exact proportions and pretty soon
your be brewing killer coffee every time.
If you want a good cup a coffee, you will need to add some oil. Coffee
oil is very flavorful and improves the taste of coffee, but it is lost
during the normal filtered brewing process. Coffee made with a French
press doesn't pass through a filter so you donít lose those natural
aromatic coffee oils. Most coffee loverís agree that a French press
makes a superior cup of coffee.
A French press (sometimes called a coffee press) is usually a glass
cylinder with a plumber like device inside. You place your coffee grinds
inside and pour hot water into it. The water should not be boiling or
you will scald your grinds, which will affect the taste. 200 degree
water is the optimum temperature for a fine cup of coffee. If youíre
using a kettle to heat your water, remove it from the heat before if
starts whistling. Either that or you can let the water boil but let it
sit for a few minutes before pouring it into your coffee press. Remember
to leave at least an inch of space when filling up the French press.
Coffee beans that are ground too finely will clog the filter. You will
probably be okay with automatic drip coffee grinds but the best way to
enjoy French press coffee is to grind the beans yourself. Try to grind
the beans to a size a little bigger than automatic drip coffee grinds.
This may take some practice to get comfortable with your coffee grinder
but itís worth it. And remember that once you grind your coffee beans
they should be used immediately or kept in an air tight container to
keep them from getting stale.
Let the coffee steep in the water for about 4 minutes. Now itís time for
the press part of the French press. Place the French press on a no slip
surface and slowly and smoothly press the plunger down. Press too hard
or too quickly and in a worst case scenario, you could have boiling hot
water shoot out all over you. This step is how the coffee grinds are
forced to the bottom of the container and youíre left with delicious
fresh brewed coffee in the top chamber. You are now ready to pour and
The French press has undergone a makeover in recent years. Manufacturers
have added French presses to travel mugs and thermoses. As long as you
have hot water you can make a fresh brewed cup of coffee anywhere. And
most of these travel mugs and thermoses are insulated so that your
coffee will stay warm longer.
With coffee becoming such an important part of most peopleís days, isn't
it time that we pampered ourselves with a better tasting brew. The
French press is an easy and flavorful way to make a cup of coffee. So if
youíre tired of the brown water that comes out of coffee vending
machines in your office, then the French press is perfect for you.
Article finished and submitted to enine 2/12/11
The type of Coffeemaker you like and use is a matter of taste, time and
how much money you want to spend. Each type of coffee
maker will use different types of filters and different
amounts of coffee and size of the grind. Most drip machines
will use a medium grind. A drip maker will take about 4 to 5
minutes to make a full pot of coffee which is usually 10 to
12 cups of coffee.
On the other hand a percolator takes about 15 minutes.
drip machines need a much finer grind than percolators. May
I ad that percolators are not used very much anymore. They
were really popular back in the 50's thru the 70's.
Below is a list of common
coffee makers that are easy to find along with the size
grind you will want to use for each type.
French Press Coffeemakers
The French Press is the coffee maker of
choice among your gourmet coffee drinkers. The French press
is also called a plunge filter and provides the purest
coffee flavor of any of the coffee makers on the market.
This method steeps hot water mixed with coffee for 3 to 5
minutes and then presses the grounds to the bottom of the
pot with a plunger thus the name plunge filter. The end
result is a very good pot of coffee with a great aroma. The
oil from the coffee beans is usually seen floating on top of
the coffee (this is a good thing because of the added
flavor) because a paper filter is not used. The beans are
courtly ground for the French Press.
Automatic Drip Coffeemakers
Drip coffee makers are
the most common styles of coffee makers you will find in
homes across America at the present time here in 2011.
Automatic drip coffee makers have been around since the
1970's and are the easiest to use and some of the most
efficient at making a cup of coffee. It usually takes about
5 to 7 minutes to brew a 12 cup pot of coffee. These coffee
makers require a medium grind with the ground coffee
being placed in a filter basket or a semi-cone shaped paper
Some coffee makers use steel filters,
others use paper filters. Steel filters will allow more oils
to pass, making coffee that is headier and has more body.
Paper filters create cleaner, lighter coffee and little or
no oil is present in the coffee.
Hand Drip Coffeemakers
The process is simple. First you grind
your coffee a bit finer (medium fine)
than a press pot and fill the gold mesh
filter with the grounds to the level you
like for the strength you want. The more
coffee grounds the stronger the brew.
Heat the water to 195 to 205 degrees in
a kettle and pour over the coffee
grinds. At first, pour enough for the
bloom to form and soak all the coffee.
Stir, then pour the rest. The pouring
process should take about 3 to 4