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Coffee Connoisseur's Secrets

Coffee is far more than simply the brew that wakes people up in the morning. Coffee shops dot the city streets around the world with specialty coffee drinks drawing lines of customers. We will share the nuances of coffee from how to select the roast that suits your palate, to secret recipes of your favorite specialty drinks. We even have some marvelous recipes using coffee as a flavoring or spice to add a very special touch. If you love coffee, you will love these secrets. affiliate

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The Coffee Connoisseur's Secrets

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Brewing Coffee 101; How To Select The Right Kind Of Coffee Maker


There is a myriad of ways to brew your favorite coffee and for the most part it all begins with a simple introduction: Exactly what kind of coffee do you like? Are you after a thick silty morning mug? A thinner brighter brew? A full bodied but smooth sensation? Once you have this part down, you’re ready for the facts.

About 70% of the coffee made in this country is brewed with paper filters, a method that produces what some refer to as the classic American style: light-bodied and clear, free of oil or sediment. Due to the popularity of the drip method, the brewers out there are constantly being improved. Gone are the accidents, the errant grinds, the unpredictable water temperatures.

One improvement is the “gold” filter which allows more oils and organic compounds to get into your cup. With a washable filter you eliminate the slight papery taste due to the disposables, and you get a fuller-bodied brew.

With an auto drip brewer you can usually get peak performance with even the most inexpensive of machines. Any more money you spend will go towards whatever bells and whistles fit your fancy. Of course, the folks at GMCR have their preferences:
Capresso Thermal Coffee Maker

Capresso CoffeeTEAM Brewer

Single-cup brewing is the latest step in the quest for great coffee. GMCR stands behind the line of Keurig brewers which offers easy, fast, personalized coffee – and total satisfaction. That is, of course, if you are using the right coffee. Luckily, they make this part easy; the Green Mountain Coffee K Cups live up to our standards of great coffee, and ensure that your morning mug will live up to yours. For more information on single-cup technology, go to and check out the options from Keurig.

For more information on single-cup technology, go to thesingle cup page and check out the options from Keurig:
Keurig B40
Keurig B60

Keurig B70

Developed in Italy in the 1930s, the coffee press is most often associated with France and most commonly known as the “French Press.” Its sophisticated design belies the simplicity of the concept - manual filtration. The coffee press itself looks like an elegant beer mug wearing a cap. Coffee and water are added to the glass and allowed to sit for around four minutes depending on taste. Finally a plunger (a mesh filter on a stick) is pushed from the top of the mixture to the bottom, pushing the grounds to the base of the contraption and readying the clarified coffee for pouring. The result: A much heavier, grittier, richer taste than the above-described creation. This difference is due to the presence of sediments, oils, and a gelatinous substance called colloids, most of which are eliminated in the drip method. Lately, there has been a proliferation of research findings that indicate that coffee made via the french press method contains elements that are not good for us. We would encourage you to do some research of your own to determine the accuracy of these statements. None the less,Coffee press users: Make sure to grind your coffee on a course setting as even the biggest grounds have been known to find their way through this filter. Coffee press novices: Here are some french press suggestions.
Chambord Coffee Press
Eileen Press

Bodium Travel Press
Thermal French Press

Also known as a stovetop espresso maker, the modest metal moka pot creates a thick dense brew that rivals the real stuff. The moka pot consists of two reservoirs and a filter that separates them. Water is poured into the bottom bucket, coffee grounds are spooned into the filter basket, and steam-produced air pressure forces the not-quite-boiling water through the coffee and up into the top reservoir. Presto, a perfect little cup. Our experts suggest using finely ground beans for this one. Bodum Mocca Pot

No, this is not a nightmare; you are not back in your high school chemistry lab. This crazy contraption is actually a coffee brewer, and a good one at that. Similar in concept to the moka pot, the vacuum pot consists of two glass globes that attach to either side of a filter. Water is poured into the lower globe, the lower globe is set on the stove. As in the moka pot, the increased air pressure (see? chemistry class was relevant!) forces water to escape through a tube, through the filter, and into the upper compartment. Hot coffee then cools and is sucked back down to the bottom globe via yet another imbalance of air pressure. No papery taste, rich but without the sediment of the french press. Check this one out here...Bodum Mini Santos

As its Italian name implies, Espresso is pressed coffee. Even if you are loyal to your drip brewer, you have no doubt seen the giant espresso machines in coffee houses, the tampded-down grounds, the slow trickle of the dark rich liquid into delightfully delicate receptacles. You have heard the hiss of steam as it makes the coffee and is used to steam the milk, and you have smelled the luxurious aroma. This is espresso, and to many people, having a machine in the house that will create this thick, dark, “crema”-topped coffee is well worth the effort and expense.

What the espresso machine basically does is force water through a compacted cake of finely ground coffee with pressure and heat high enough to emulsify the oils and organic compounds that are left out of regular gravity-brewed coffee. Beans should be blended especially, roasted accordingly, and ground into a fine powder.
Jura Avantgarde S9 Espresso Maker
Impressa F9 Espresso Maker

Therein ends the Coffee Brewing 101 lesson. Now you can make an educated decision when deciding which coffee maker is right for you.