Coffee Makers. Have You Found Your Favorite?

Asking the question, “which are the best coffee makers”, is asking for an imperfect answer. The best coffee maker would be the device or system which produced a consistent cup of coffee brewed to youCoffee UrnsCredit: tastes.

Just as everyone develops taste for different foods and drinks, the average coffee drinker has developed a particular taste that he or she expects from their daily coffee. That taste in many cases does not incorporate everything the perfect brew has to offer.

Brewing can be extremely simple or complicated depending on the product you intend to produce. Depending on the taste that you have developed, brewing a cup can be a simple as placing instant coffee grounds into a cup and adding hot water or as complicated as using a device that would be comfortable in a chemistry lab.

Instant coffee of course will not satisfy many coffee drinkers. In fact there are those who want nothing to do with instant coffee. To discover just how strong this emotion can be you might read about the problems that Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks faced when he decided to introduce an instant coffee blend into his company.

In his book, Onward, published in 2011, Mr. Schultz decided that because instant coffee accounts for about 40% of all coffee consumption with annual sales hovering at about $20 billion dollars, this was a market that he was adamant to enter.

This was not a simple decision for Starbucks and they spent years developing an instant blend named VIA. Even with all the background development and study there was much resistance within the company from the financial world regarding this decision. However Starbucks wisely publicized this coffee as ,Starbucks coffee in an instant, rather than the very unpopular term, instant coffee.

Once we move away from a discussion of instant coffee, we can look at the coffee makers which are available today. One early form of coffee brewing involved boiling coffee grounds in an open pot. Of course boiling actually damages coffee flavor because it vaporizes much of the coffee essence and extracts other bitter tasting chemicals.

Because of this coffee drinkers in France began sleeping their coffee rather than boiling. Actually most coffee experts maintain that water at about 200°F rather than boiling is the proper temperature.

Once the proper coffee, which has been roasted and ground, is acquired the next step is simply how to bring water in contact the grounds. Actually this can be a simple as heating water in a pot to the proper temperature and pouring it over coffee grounds. This is known as the open pot method. The problems with this method are obvious.

First of all consistency and then the removal of coffee grounds from the finished cup are always a problem. While sophisticated coffee drinkers might appreciate some residue in their cups to add flavor, swallowing a mouthful of coffee grounds with each sip is not counted as a benefit.

So let's discuss the actual commonly used coffee makers.

One of the most popular early models in United States was the percolator. Your grandmother or mother was fond of this coffee maker and many an early morning was spent reading the mPresto 02811 12-Cup Stainless Steel CoffeemakerCredit: Amazonorning paper while listening to the enchanting sounds developed by these coffee pots.

However comforting those gurgling sounds from a well tuned percolator were they were actually indications of a process that was destroying the coffee. These devices were in fact boiling the coffee which vaporized the delicate flavoring oils and sent so much of that beautiful coffee aroma up to the kitchen ceiling. A search of retailers such as Amazon will quickly show that although percolator's are still available they are definitely not one of the favored coffee makers.

Add A Piece Of Sculpture To Your Kitchen

The vacuum coffeemaker which is extremely popular in Sweden has found some acceptance in America. Using a vacuum coffee pot is more like a stage production then simply brewing a cup of coffee. There is no doubt that most of these vacuum coffeemakers are works of sculpture. They're reminiscent of college chemistry labs. To appreciate the process involved in brewing coffBodum Santos Stovetop Glass Vacuum 34-Ounce Coffee Maker(73295)Credit: Amazonee in one of these devices, read what the manufacturer writes to describe the process at Amazon.

"As beautiful as sculpture, as fascinating as chemistry, and as entertaining as
theater, this coffeemaker from Switzerland converts the ordinary process of brewing
coffee into an artful performance. And it makes six 5-ounce cups of full-flavored
coffee while it entrances. The coffeemaker fits together like this: water goes into
the carafe, a filter fits into the mouth of a tube in the top globe, ground coffee
goes into the globe (a scoop is included), the globe fits atop the carafe with the
tube extending into the carafe, and the carafe goes onto the stovetop with a trivet
or heat diffuser between it and electric or gas heat".

"Water boils up through the tube into the globe and brews the coffee. When brewing
is complete and the carafe has been taken off the stovetop and set into its
accompanying sculpted trivet, the coffee drains through the filter into the carafe.
The globe can then be lifted off the carafe and set on its stand, and coffee can be
poured from the carafe, which has a stay-cool handle. A stopper for the carafe
keeps second cups warm while the first cups are sipped".[1431]

Obviously brewing your days first cup of coffee with one of these devices involves much more activity than the use of the ever popular Mr. Coffee or other such simple drip type devices available in almost any department store and found in probably more American kitchens than any other type.

Automatic Drip Coffee Makers Can Be Found In Almost Any Home

The automatic filter drip coffee makers were introduced  to the world around 1973 and some 200,000 devices were sold. By 1974 the sales had reached upwards of 3 million. Obviously these devices have gained great appreciation. The method is simple. Place a paper filter in the filtMr. Coffee CG12 12-Cup Switch Coffeemaker, WhiteCredit: Amazoner cup with the proper amount of coffee grounds, pour cold water into the device, press the on switch and it completes the brewing process on its own.

There have been many developments to the devices to overcome such defects as the coffee being pushed to the side tof he filter cup by the water which in effect did not make use of a great portion of the coffee grounds. Some coffee drinkers complained of an aftertaste left by the paper filters. You'll find these automatic filter drip coffee makers in models from less than $10 to upwards of  $60. A quick review of the available coffee makers at Amazon would indicate that they have retained their popularity.

A device that has become extremely popular is the plunger or French press models. These devices have gained such wide acceptance because the process is simple yet it produces some of the best coffee flavor and aroma available in about 5 minutes. In the process a measured amount of coffee is added to the bottom of pot. Hot water is then poured over the coffee while stirring. The topBodum Chambord 8 cup French Press Coffee MakerCredit: Amazon of the pot which contains a plunger mechanism is added and the coffee is left to steep for about 4 minutes.

At this point it is only necessary to make sure that the coffee pour spout is facing away from you while you depress the plunger which pushes a filter plate over the coffee grounds forcing them to the bottom of the pot and out of the coffee. This process offers a full flavored, full aromatic coffee and makes full use of your favorite coffee grounds.

Zojirushi EC-DAC50 Zutto 5-Cup Drip CoffeemakerCredit: AmazonA process not seen in an average home is the flip and drip coffeemaker. This is a simple process in which a two-piece coffee pot is used which resembles two identical pots stacked one upon the other. In the bottom pot coffee and water is placed and allowed to steep. Once the process is complete the complete unit is reversed placing the unit with the coffee and grounds on the top and allowing the coffee liquid to drain down through a filter into the bottom pot.

One of the more complex brewing systems is the middle eastern or Turkish coffee maker known as the Ibrik. To properly use this device a hand coffee grinder is also needed. This process actually intentionally leaves some of the coffee grounds in the finished cup which are drunk along with the coffee. Because of this you need a very fine uniform grind almost a dusty powder. This iTurkish Coffee Pot (cezve/ibrik)Credit: Amazons best accomplished with the hand grinder.Bodum Santos Stovetop Glass Vacuum 34-Ounce Coffee MakerCredit: Amazon

Part of this process is designed to add a thin head of brown foam quickly covering the coffee surface. The Ibrik pot is filled only half-full which allows room for the foam to develop. This actually resembles the open pot method. Were coffee grounds are added and usually sugar and in some cases spices and then the hot water is poured over the coffee while being stirred. The coffee is allowed the boil which produces the foam. When the foam reaches the top of the pot it is removed from the flame and gently poured in the cups so as not to disturb the foam.

Your Choic Of Coffee Makers May Change Over Time

So which of the coffee makers is best for you? Only you can tell. Is the ritual of producing your coffee important or are you only interested in a simple, quick method which consistently produces a brew which you have come to appreciate? You may find your chosen method change if you decide you want more flavor and aroma.

Check these other Infobarrel articles for more tips and suggestions:

How To Make French Press Coffee

Buying The Best Coffee In the World. What Are All Those Coffee Names?

What's That Strange looking Stuff In Your Coffee Cups?

The Joy Of Perfect Coffee--Coffee Grinders