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
In the Beginning: The IbrikThe 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.
Taking the PlungeThe 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 MakersIn 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 Drip PotsThis 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.
A Variation on a Theme:
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.
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