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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

Sunday, July 05, 2009

What Coffee Maker Is Best? Yours Should Fit Your Lifestyle.

Today, the array of techniques used to brew coffee ranges from simple and easy to technical and artistic. When you buy your next coffee maker, you will want to find the one that suits your lifestyle rather than chosing the most popular, least expensive or most modern appearance.

Is drinking coffee a morning ritual or a grab and go experience? Do you prefer an uncomplicated cup of black coffee or an espresso with a light crema layer? To help you decide on the ideal brewer for your lifestyle, here are some of the characteristics and functions of some of the most popular coffee machines, from single cup Keurig coffee makers to the more elaborate espresso makers:

Drip Coffee Maker

You can’t get more traditional in your approach to coffee brewing than by using a drip coffee maker. Introduced for home use in the 1970s, these machines work by letting water pass through coffee grounds held in a paper filter or plastic filter. The clear, light-bodied coffee then collects in a brew pot.

Drip coffee machines range in size, but typically brew eight to twelve cups at a time. Many models have a heating element which keeps the pot warm. Coffee left sitting in the heated pot for too long may develop a burnt or bitter taste.

Benefits: Ease of use. Brew multiple cups in a single pot.

Drawbacks: Moderate brewing time. Need to clean up used grounds and coffee pot.

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Single Cup Coffee Maker

Single cup coffee machines are among the newest trends in coffee brewing. These machines use individual portion packs of coffee to brew one cup at a time. Simply fill the water reservoir, pop a portion pack of your favorite coffee in the holding chamber, and press the brew button. In under a minute, you’ll have a fresh cup of gourmet coffee.

While the most common type of portion pack is the coffee pod – a paper filter containing coffee grounds – some brands of single cup coffee maker call for the use of their own proprietary portion packs. For instance, single cup brewing systems from Keurig coffee machines use K Cups and the Tassimo coffee maker uses Tassimo T-Discs.

Prices for single cup coffee makers range from less than $50 to more than $300, depending on the size and model. Many models can brew tea and hot cocoa as well as coffee. Some high-end models are capable of producing coffee with a crèma layer. A single cup coffee maker is a great choice for someone who’s always on the go.

Benefits: Quick brewing time. Minimal clean up.

Drawbacks: With the exception of some high-end models that take loose ground coffee, you must use portion packs designed to go with the individual coffee machine.


Coffee percolators are a type of drip brew coffee maker. Highly popular in the early twentieth century, percolators have resurfaced as a nostalgia item in many homes.

What distinguishes percolators from standard drip brewers is the way water moves through the percolator chambers – boiling first in the lower chamber, bubbling up through a vertical tube, then percolating down through the coffee grounds before re-circulating. This process gives percolated coffee a unique taste. If heated for too long after the percolating process completes, the coffee may develop a bitter taste.

Benefits: Characteristic “perking” action. Non-electric and electric versions available.

Drawbacks: Slow brewing time. Diminishes natural flavor of coffee beans.

Espresso Machine

Espresso machines offer coffee with a more European flair. The machines operate by forcing hot water through finely ground coffee beans. This process results in espresso’s characteristic crema layer. Espresso typically has a thicker consistency than drip brewed coffee and contains more sediment from the coffee grounds.

The flavor of espresso is much more concentrated than drip brewed coffee, making it the perfect base for lattes, mochas, macchiato, and cappuccinos when mixed with varying amounts of frothed milk. While espresso is higher by volume in caffeine than drip brewed coffee, the customary small serving size means that most espresso drinks contain less caffeine than a mug of coffee. This is a true luxury item.

Benefits: Trendy. Quick brewing time. Produces a variety of espresso drinks.

Drawbacks: More complicated to operate. Espresso flavor degrades quickly after brewing.

As you suspected, not all coffee makers are created equal. Once you’ve decided which type of coffee machine best suits your lifestyle, making a purchase becomes a matter of deciding your price range and desired features. If you take your time and research all the options, you’re sure to find a coffee maker that will perk up your mornings for years to come.

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