Is your Mr. coffee maker a good coffee maker?
It makes coffee so I would say that it’s a good coffee maker!
Am I right?!
But seriously, What’s with all these fancy machines out there?
Coffee is simple, you pour the water on the grounds it drips through.
While coffee might seem pretty cut and dry it might not actually be that simple.
Have you ever wondered why some places have better tasting coffee than others?
Cracker Barrell has some pretty delicious coffee.
While the convenient store coffee tastes a little bit like mud.
The coffee beans they are using could cause a difference.
But the machine they brew with may also have something to do with it.
There are lots of different brewing methods out there. All offering a different tasting coffee.
By far, the easiest to use and most convenient method of brewing coffee is the drip machine.
It’s what most of us here in North America use on a daily basis.
It makes us a fast cup of coffee in the morning right when we need it most.
We need our caffeine fix so that we can stay somewhat sane in this crazy world!
But a lot of our coffee machines are leaving precious flavor still inside of the beans by not adequately heating the water or distributing it evenly.
These are two insanely HUGE factors when it comes to making a good cup of coffee.
Have you ever had a cup of pour over coffee?
If you have then you know that the flavor in that cup is a lot more alive than the flavor out of the standard drip machine.
I would say a good pour over even speaks to your soul.
The purpose of brewing coffee is to extract the flavors in the beans.
But the brewing process can get pretty scientific if you really want to look into it.
There are different chemicals being pulled out of the coffee bean during the process.
The acidity and the sweetness that the bean has to offer is grabbed on to by the water and pulled out first.
The other chemicals that give coffee its bitter flavors are pulled out towards the end of the brew.
The temperature of the water has an effect on the brewing process as well. If the water is too hot it pulls out all those eye squinting, let me add another shot of creamer to this cup kind of flavors.
Water temperature is an important factor to making a great cup of coffee.
Water that is too cold is just as bad as water that is too hot.
Imagine as if you were cooking something in the oven.
If you don’t preheat the oven to the required temperature to cook that Thanksgiving turkey then you are gonna have an undercooked bird and probably some sick Family members!
It can go the other way too, obviously.
You could have a blackened bird burnt to a crisp and an upset, hangry family.
When it comes to brewing coffee the perfect water temperature is 195°F- 205°F according to the National Coffee Association.
Fortunately for us, brewing coffee with water that is not hot enough will not make us sick like undercooked food but it will give us an unpleasant cup.
Water that is too hot, just like an oven that is too hot, will give you burnt tasting garbage.
If you feel like you absolutely must put creamer and sugar in your coffee before drinking it it’s possible that your coffee maker is doing you an injustice.
Water temperature without a doubt affects the extraction of your coffee.
That’s a super important step to leave up to a cheap machine because I can almost guarantee you that unless you have a really good coffee maker your water temperature is not falling within that ideal range.
How Do Drip Machines Work?
You can see from the video above that the way in which most of these brewers work is by boiling some of the water so that pressure is built to generate enough force to push water up a tube to the spray head.
Gail and the team at seattle coffee gear made a nice video demonstrating the temperature differences between a lot of the more common auto drip machines.
Most of the machines brewed with temperatures that are way below the recommended brewing temperature.
Some down in the 160F range, which is pretty far off from our optimal mark.
Leaving all sorts of good flavors still in your “undercooked” cup of coffee.
There were, however, some drip machines that were hitting that perfect mark which we will talk about in a few.
Lots of the “shower heads” on coffee makers today only dump water into a small spot of coffee grounds.
This causes a channel to be made.
one that water will flow through easily.
This can be problematic because water goes to the path of least resistance.
Water will eventually make its way to the other grounds in the basket but a doorway has already been open.
Water passes through this wide open door way much faster compared to other spots in your basket.
This causes an uneven extraction.
Some of the coffee grounds have been over extracted while others have been under extracted.
One of the reasons that a pour over tastes so much brighter than a drip machine made cup is because of the amount of control you have over distribution.
You can make sure that every ground of coffee is covered evenly.
There are some good machines out there that tackle this problem.
It’s not rocket science.
Just make the shower head bigger.
A simple fix.One that is often overlooked but makes a powerful difference in taste.
What Makes A good Coffee Maker?
How do we know if our coffee makers are meeting these requirements of even distribution and water temperature?
You can never trust the boxes. They always promise a perfect cup of coffee.
However, There are organizations out there that completely nerd out on coffee.
They are 100% dedicated to making coffee better.
One of these organizations is the Specialty Coffee Association Of America.
They dive deep into coffee. The SCA delves into things like measuring the TDS(Total Dissolved Solids) of cups of coffee.
Told you, they nerd out.
There are a specific set of standards that must be met in order for a drip machine to achieve certification.
At the very least,a good coffee maker will pay attention to:
Water Temperature And Water Distribution.
This is the most reasonably priced certified machine on the market.
It comes in two sizes; a 5 or an 8 cup model.
This is a good coffee maker.
It pays attention to the things that matter.
If you brew just enough in the morning to fill up a large mug and run out the door than just get the 5 cup maker.
But if you’re more of the type that says I’m going to sit down and enjoy at least 5 heaping mugs of coffee today than get the 8 cup version.
If you found this article helpful at all please feel free to pass this information along. I think everybody deserves to be drinking better coffee. If you want to talk about what kind of coffee you’ve been brewing join in on the conversations via facebook, Instagram and twitter, even right here on the blog if you want!
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