Coffee makers.Barista Guru - Talk About Coffee Makers

for a Quality Taste

Brewing Good Coffee is More Than Pot Luck

The method of brewing you choose changes the flavor of coffee you buy. Only you know what flavor pleases you most. Different brewing methods can be used for various occasions or moods. In no other process - other than perhaps the selection of coffee beans - is there more room for experimentation than in the selection of a coffee maker. Listed here are recommendations that will measure up to the finest brewing standards.


Ibrik maker.In the Beginning: The Ibrik

The original coffee brewer was the Turkish Ibrik - a brass or copper container that was slender at the top and wider at the bottom, with a long handle and a grooved lip for pouring. The ibrik, the father of all coffee makers, is still used in Middle East. The ibrik holds several cups of water. After the water in the ibrik is heated, extremely fine ground coffee is put directly into the water and is once again brought to a boil. This produces an extremely strong beverage because the coffee remains unfiltered. Sugar and cardamon have been traditionally added to Turkish coffees.


French plunger.

Taking the Plunge

The plunger method, also called the French press, is preferred by many Europeans and is gaining widespread acceptance in the United States. The plunger device consists of a glass cylinder with a metal rod extending through the center. Protruding from the top end of the rod is a handle and at the bottom end is a filter that fits snugly around the inside of the glass cylinder. Coffee grounds are placed in the cylinder and boiling hot water is poured over the grounds. After they are allowed to steep, the plunger is pushed down, separating the wounds from the beverage. This unique method adds a heavy body to complement the fine flavor of the coffee beans you selected. The plunger is an attractive way of preparing and serving coffee in the same device.


Drip coffee maker.Drip Coffee Makers

In this convenient method, coffee is made when water is dispensed through a reservoir. The water drips through the ground coffee and into a carafe below for serving.

The manual and electric drip brewers are comparable in cup quality. In electric drip brewers, however, water is heated in a separate container and then dispensed over the coffee grounds. In manual drip brewers, since the heating is not automatic, care should be taken to make sure that the water is hot enough for proper extraction (slightly below boiling).

Features of electric drip coffee makers include: the ability to heat and maintain a water temperature of 190-200 degrees Fahrenheit; spray heads for even dispersion of water over coffee grounds, and filter holders designed for high extraction. Holders (cones) for both types of brewers are available in one to six cup sizes. Since equipment designs vary between electric and manual drip brewers, ask your retailer for suggestions.


Neopolitan pot.Neopolitan Drip Pots

This is a three-section coffee maker; similar to other drip pots except that water is poured into the spoutless section. The coffee is added to the filter basket and a filter lid is put in place. The spouted portion is placed on top and the entire unit is heated. When the water comes to a boil, it is removed from the heat, the pots are inverted and the hot water filters through the coffee into the pouring section.


Moka maker.A Variation on a Theme:
Espresso and Cappuccino

Espresso coffee makers are exactly what their names imply - "quick brewers." The method involves forcing hot water and steam, under pressure, through the coffee grounds Cappuccino is made by topping espresso steamed milk.


Vacuum brewer.For A Dramatic Effect:
The Vacuum Method

The vacuum brewer consists of two glass or metal bowls. Neat first causes water to rise into the upper coffee bowl. when the heat under the glass bowl is removed, the reduced pressure causes a partial vacuum that draws the hot water through the coffee grounds and into the lower glass bowl. This method is great for brewing right at the table!


For A Change: Cold-Water Methods

Cold-water methods involve steeping a pound of ground coffee in a small amount - usually one quart - of cold water for about half a day to produce a coffee concentrate, which can be kept refrigerated for weeks. However, be careful to protect the concentrate from foreign odors when storing.

To make hot coffee, one adds about an ounce of the concentrate to a cup and fill it up with hot water. There are several cold water coffee makers on the market. Quality concentrated coffee, from this process, may also be used for cooking and making coffee liqueurs. Ask your gourmet shopkeeper for some suggestions.


Percolater.The Percolator

The percolator in the past has been one of the most popular ways to brew coffee because of its convenience and efficiency. Unfortunately, the design of many modern electric percolators can violate two miles of good brewing: never boil coffee and never pass brewed coffee back over the grounds. As a result, the growth in drip coffee makers has increased over the years.

The percolator method forces heated water up through a pump tube and into a filter basket that contains regular grind coffee. The end result is brewed coffee which drops to the bottom of the pot. This process is repeated several times.


A Word About Filters

In brewing quality coffee, a filter is necessary to separate used grounds from the freshly made brew. Paper filters make grounds easy to dispose of and the coffee maker easy to keep clean. There are three types of filters: paper, cloth and metal. Each type allows different flavors to filter through. It is the individual's preference that determines the filter type for each different coffee.


Coffee cup.What to Look For in a Brewer:
Consumer Tips

When brewing coffee in any of the coffee makers listed here, it is recommended that you follow the manufacturer's guidelines. When purchasing a coffee brewer, look into the ease of operation, types of grind and filter required, capabilities and capacity, energy source and safety features.


Coffee Servers: Airpot and Thermos

A thermos, vacuum thermal glass or stainless steel bottle is recommended for keeping the delicate flavors of fine coffee at their best for the longest period of time.

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