Possibly the simplest method of concocting a good cup of coffee at home, or brewing enough coffee to suffice for a dinner party without the need for frequent kettle boiling, is through the usage of a coffee maker. The selection of coffee machines is vast, with choices depending on the specific type and volume of coffee desired.
Whether you want one strong espresso in the morning, or you want to create 12 cups of coffee for your friends, there is a coffee maker for every occasion and the good news is, most of them are remarkably simple to use.
The secret to good coffee isn’t really the coffee maker, it’s about buying the right blend and roast of coffee and getting the right water to coffee ratio to make it exactly right for your personal tastes. But if you are going to use a basic coffee maker, here is what you need to know.
What Kind of Coffee Maker Should I Use?
Most people who need to make more than one cup of coffee at a time, tend to go for a standard drip coffee maker which uses a paper coffee filter, although these can be replaced with mesh ones to save money and the environment.
These drip coffee makers largely all work in the same way, with a water reservoir, a coffee basket where you add the filter and the ground coffee, and then a coffee pot which the final drink drains into.
The first step in using a coffee maker is to add the water. You generally add cold water to a coffee maker as the machine heats it up internally. You can use filtered tap water or bottled water if you want to prevent limescale buildup in your coffee maker.
Most coffee makers will have marks on the reservoir to tell you how far to fill it up, so simply fill it to the desired amount, depending on how many cups of coffee you are planning to make, and then close the water reservoir lid.
You will need to take out a paper filter and place it in the right section of your coffee maker. If your coffee maker uses a reusable filter of mesh or metal, then make sure it’s been cleaned since the last use and place it in the machine.
If you are going to grind coffee beans yourself then you need to grind up the beans next, to the type of ground which your machine works with. It’s worth noting that some coffee machines need a coarse grind as finer powders will just flow straight through the filters.
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If you are using ready ground coffee then add it into the filter, to the level that you require. When you first start using a coffee maker it might take some trial and error to work out exactly how much coffee and how much water is required to get your perfect brew.
Once you have completed these steps all that remains is to turn on your coffee maker and let the machine do its magic while you enjoy the wonderful aroma which will no doubt fill your kitchen as it works. Once your coffee is ready you simply need to serve it and enjoy it.
What Types of Coffee Makers are There?
It might be that a drip coffee machine isn’t the one you want to use but don’t worry as there are many other different types of coffee makers, from single-cup machines to espresso makers and those that make large pots. So, let’s take a look at some of the different machines.
Pour Over Coffee Maker
A pour-over coffee maker works by putting the coffee into a funnel that is flanked by a filter. The hot water is then poured through the grounds gradually, and the coffee is captured in a cup underneath. These can be either a single cup or a full carafe.
Single Serve Coffee Maker
These work by using a pre-made coffee pod. They work in a similar way to a drip coffee machine and can be filled with water, then just used to create one cup at a time using the pods. Each pod is single-use only and is thrown away afterward. No messy filters or coffee grounds to deal with.
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Arguably the simplest coffee maker to use, with a French press you simply add the coffee to hot water within the body of the press, leave it to brew for a few minutes and then press the plunger down to filter out the grounds.
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This press works in a similar way to a French Press except you can use it to make espressos as it works with finely ground coffee. The French Press requires coarse grounds otherwise you will get grit left in your drink, so if you want to use fine coffee and create espressos quickly, the AeroPress is the coffee maker for you.
Stovetop Coffee Maker
These small metal pots work well when you want to make a strong dark coffee. They work by being placed directly on a heat source so are the perfect coffee maker for if you are going camping or traveling and want to take something portable and small with you for your morning brew.
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If you are looking for a more luxury end of the market, then an espresso machine that uses a pod system to create the perfect coffee is probably the ideal purchase. There are many different types out there, but they all work in a similar way, brewing using pre-filled espresso pods which can then be thrown away after use. Although many manufacturers are now also offering reusable pods as a more environmentally friendly option.
Whatever type of coffee you want to create in the comfort of your own home, there is a coffee maker that will do that for you. And with the development of reusable filters and pods, it doesn’t have to be an expensive investment either.