What is it, and why do we need to know how it works?
Making good quality coffee depends heavily upon your machine’s brewing process. This includes things like what kind of bean and grind you use, how much water you mix in, how long the brew time is, and whether you press or froth the milk.
Some machines have very straightforward modes that are easy to figure out, but for the more advanced user, getting the best flavor can be tricky! That’s where all of these settings come into play.
If you want to take full advantage of the potential of your new espresso maker, you will need to learn about them. Luckily, we have some helpful information here! Read on to find out everything you need to know about every part of your machine.
Reminder: The paragraphs in this article may seem longer than usual due to the length of the terms used. Make sure to check out our handy cheat sheet at the end if you get stuck!
So, let’s dive in and talk about one of the most important parts of any cup of brewed coffee – the burr grinder. It’s what produces the ground up bits of material that make up your coffee. After that, what happens to those grounds really makes a difference in taste.
The process of making coffee
To make a pot of coffee, you first need to start with cold water. This is what makes the difference between having and not having a good cup of coffee!
The amount of water you use depends on how strong you want your drink to be. More liquid means more flavor, which is why most people agree that lighter brews are better than heavy ones.
Next, you need to add either cream or milk (or both) and sugar. These things contribute taste and texture to the finished product!
After that, you mix these three ingredients together in a vessel called a mug. A standard size mug for most people is 10 ounces – that’s just under two cups.
From there, you pour the contents into the boiling water and stir it up.
The equipment needed
To make a good cup of coffee, you need to start with high-quality ground coffee. Once it is ground into powder form, your brew time will vary depending on whether you are making espresso or drip style coffees.
The settings for each method should be familiar to anyone who has made a drink before. If you’re new to brewing, though, there are some things that differ slightly. For example, when creating an iced beverage like cold milk or ice cream, the setting you use to froth the liquid (called the “drip head”) will affect how much foam comes out and what kind of consistency you want.
There are two main types of brewers used for making coffee at home. The most common type is called a percolator, which uses boiling water to mechanically froth up the grounds in a vessel known as a basket. This process takes around ten minutes to produce one pot of coffee.
A second type is called an automatic machine, such as a pour-through brewer or vacuum maker. These don’t require hot water to work, so they run faster than the percolators. However, you still have to ensure the dryer does not burn off too much of the coffee’s flavor due to excessive heat.
This article will talk about some helpful tips for making the best tasting coffee at home! Read on for more information.
Popular types of coffee makers
All coffee is not made in a machine! That is, most people do not drink liquid hot beverages that have cream and sugar added to them. Some popular ways to make coffee are:
Make it in a pot or mug at home
Use a pre-packaged espresso powder and water mixture you mix yourself
Purchase a plain white plastic cup and add milk or cream to taste
Add cream and sugar directly into a glass container
Some machines include frothers to whip up an additional layer of texture for your drink
There are many styles of making coffee! Different equipment works better for different individuals though, so try out some of these recipes to see what works for you. 🙂 Keep reading to learn more about how some of the best coffee makers work.
Stainless steel pots
These contain brewed liquids that can be drunk right away without having to pour off any leftover material. Due to their durability, they are expensive, but worth the cost if you are buying enough to last.
Many have metal filters built into the top, which ensure no particles get mixed with the liquid. This could potentially cause health issues later such as digestive problems or asthma triggers.
B uttons can be removed if needed. Make sure to wash thoroughly afterwards!
Like the name suggests, these only hold liquid, and must be heated separately before use.
What to look for when buying a coffee maker
When you are looking to invest in a good coffee making machine, there are several key features that you should make sure have before you buy them.
One of the most important things to consider is how many cups of coffee you will get from a full batch. Most new machines only hold about half a cup’s worth of water, which can waste money if you brew more than one pot at a time.
Another big factor is whether the manufacturer gives away their machine or it comes with professional grade equipment. A lower quality brewer may work well enough, but won’t last as long or perform as efficiently.
This could be a concern since cheap models often do not have warranties.
Coffee maker tips
When you make your coffee, it is important to use appropriate equipment!
There are two main types of brewers that most people use for coffee-making. The more popular one is called a pour-through brewer because you can add water after putting in dry ground espresso or regular coffee.
This style of brewer works by evenly distributing the heat as it brews the milk and liquid coffee. Because this process happens quickly, there is an automatic flow of cooling at the same time.
The other type of brewer uses immersion heat which doesn’t distribute heat very well. This could potentially overheat the milk or even burn the drinker if they aren’t careful!
It is essential to know how your machine functions so that you don’t have to worry about potential safety issues. More importantly, you should know what temperature each part of the machine will reach while brewing so that you can prepare your drinks correctly.
We will go into some detail about both types of machines here but first, let us review some general coffee maker tips.
When to use a French press
The classic way to make coffee is with a pour-over method, using either a stainless steel or glass pot called a filter basket or plunger style brewer. Both have you start by mixing water with your milk of choice (usually cow’s milk) and sugar, then pouring this mixture into the top of the brew system.
The coffee comes from grinding up fresh roasted beans in a device known as a grinder. You can buy pre-packaged espresso grinders that do some of this work for you, but it is easy to add additional components to produce more variety in your drinks.
For example, most people enjoy adding cream to their coffee so they can mix it with sweet liquid and drink it. This is where having a good blender comes in! A decent blender will allow you to froth your milk and stir vanilla extract or cocoa powder into the mix.
Once everything is mixed together, you can pour the whole thing into your cup or carafe and drink. If you like thinner, lower strength drinks, you can just rinse off the extra liquids before drinking.
When to use a drip coffee machine
The most common type of brewer is what we call a drip-style maker. A drip style coffeemaker works by pouring hot water into a glass or ceramic brew basket, then adding milk and ground coffee liquid at appropriate temperatures.
Then you let the whole thing sit and combine those three liquids in your cup. That’s the easy part!
The hard part is getting that perfect start time for the grounds. Too early and there’s no flavor development; too late and the drink gets diluted. There are some tools to help with this, like an instant pot, but even using a timer can be tricky depending on how fast your machine makes its first pour.
That’s why having a good basic hand-pour technique is so important! Here tricks all professional brewers share.
When to use an espresso machine
While not every person enjoys drinking strong coffee, most people enjoy it at least a little bit! For this reason, there are many different types of machines for making coffee. Some only make black coffee while others have you choose between caffe latte or espresso. We will go over both in detail here!
If you ever need a quick cup of caffeine, then the first thing to do is pick up an inexpensive tea maker. These cost around $20-30 and usually include a mug, lid, brew basket, and water boiler. You can add milk to them if needed and sometimes they even have baskets that contain loose leaf tea so you don’t have to pack the baggie away.
These are great starting points as they create either hot tea or very weak espresso depending on your preferences. Both taste good and are totally fine to start with! If you want more flavor than that, though, you can always upgrade later.
Something important to note about these type of brewers is that they use pre-packaged teabags. This may sound like a bad thing, but it isn’t. Most companies that produce bags use filters that are dried fruit pieces and minerals. These help remove some of the bitterness from the tea leaves and give it a slightly smoother flavor.
Some people complain that this removes part of the flavor, but remember that you can always re-brew and refresh the drink after it has been made.