A good cup of coffee is a great way to start the day or it can be the perfect end to a wonderful meal.
What are some of the different coffee-making appliances to make that awesome cup of joe? We’ve listed some popular choices below.
But first, let’s talk about the grind. Whether you buy pre-ground coffee or opt for beans that you grind yourself, the grind size is important to ensure that the coffee is neither too weak nor too bitter. Some trial and error is to be expected when experimenting with new brew methods and you’ll want to adjust the grind or amount of coffee to suit your palette. Grind sizes are:
- Very Coarse (peppercorn texture)
- Coarse (sea salt texture)
- Medium-Coarse (rough sand texture)
- Medium (smooth sand texture)
- Medium Fine (a bit smoother than sand)
- Fine (powder-like texture)
- Very Fine (flour-like texture)
Pour Over Methods
The Basic Pour Over
One of the oldest (going back more than a century), simplest, fastest and cheapest ways to brew coffee is the drip method using a coffee cone and paper filter.
Place medium or medium fine grounds in a cone shaped funnel with a filter. As the water filters through the grounds, it empties into a single cup or carafe, resulting in a rich, full-bodied cup of coffee.
- Inexpensive and simple
- Easy to clean
- Makes a rich, full bodied cup of coffee
- Since it’s low tech, there are no electronics to break down over time.
- Can be a bit more time consuming than some other methods, especially if making coffee for several people at a time
Auto Drip Coffee Makers
Drip coffee makers are an easy, familiar way to make coffee. They can brew a single cup of coffee or up to 14.
Flat Bottom Filters: Medium grind
Cone Shaped Filters: Medium/Fine grind
Gold/Plastic Permanent Filters: Medium grind
Cold water is added to the reservoir, and ground coffee is added to a filter. Water heats up and passes through the beans through what looks like a shower head. Brewed coffee is then dispensed into a glass carafe that sits on a hot plate, which keeps the coffee warm.
- Big volume ability, good for entertaining large groups
- Fast setup — add water, press a button and you’re good to go
- Widely available in many different sizes and styles
- Less control over water temperature
- Cleaning and descaling are very important
- Warming plate can burn coffee if left on for too long
A French press works by gently steeping coffee grounds in just-boiled water to make a full-bodied cup of coffee. The longer you steep the coffee, the stronger the flavor, although four minutes is the recommended amount of time.
Combine coarse to medium-coarse ground coffee with just-boiled water, and add the lid to the carafe so it can steep. After a few minutes, slowly push down the plunger (equipped with a mesh filter) to move the grounds to the bottom of the carafe.
- Coffee brews just below boiling, which prevents over-extraction
- Brewed coffee is rich and flavorful
- No filter is needed
- Steeping time can be easily controlled
- Fussy to clean, mesh filter needs thorough cleansing
- Coffee cools quickly
This device, designed by a Stanford University professor in the early 2000s, is very popular among certain coffee enthusiasts. After heating your water, it takes under a minute to prepare, in comparison to a French press which works in a similar fashion.
The Aeropress consists of a cylindrical chamber, and a plunger with an airtight silicone seal, similar to a syringe, and is generally used with a fine grind. Ground coffee beans and water are steeped inside, then forced through a filter by pressing the plunger through the chamber. It can brew highly concentrated coffee (espresso, and Americano) but can also be used to brew filter strength coffee, or even cold brew coffee. Different strengths of the coffee drink will depend on coffee to water ratio, grind size, the particular roast of coffee beans and length of brewing.
- Versatile; it makes various coffee strengths
- Easy to clean
- Portable, a favourite among campers
- Need to purchase specialty filters
- Can make only one cup at a time
Syphon Coffee Maker
A vacuum coffee maker brews coffee using two chambers where vapor pressure and gravity produce coffee. This type of coffee maker is also known as a vac pot, or syphon coffee maker, and was invented in Berlin in the 1830s. These devices have since been used for more than a century in many parts of the world.
This is a gentle way of making coffee since the water is not quite at a boil when it combines with the grounds. The lower temperature means the coffee brews more delicately, which doesn’t over-extract the flavor.
Water is heated in the coffee maker until it turns into vapor and passes upwards into a round carafe filled with coffee grounds, usually a medium-coarse grind. Once the vapor turns back into water and combines with the grounds, it releases back into the carafe used to heat the water and creates a vacuum, which strengthens the coffee’s aroma and flavor.
- Flavor is mellow and delicate
- Can produce several cups of coffee at a time
- Finicky to clean
- Delicate and hard to store
- Requires a candle or butane burner (unless it has an electric heater)
- Needs specialty filters
Your major appliances are an important investment. You can rely on C&W Appliance Service to protect that investment. Call us at (855) 358-1496 or contact us online for all your repair and maintenance needs.