On one hand, some consumers regard the act of brewing coffee to be simply a basic task they have to do in the morning, and they can complete that task almost without opening their eyes.
On the other hand, true aficionados view making coffee as a sacred rite or a type of art, a labor of love that should be done carefully and piously each time. Whatever your attitude happens to be, you will need to take the time to choose a suitable coffeemaker, whether it is an automatic drip style, a French Press, or a single-serve machine. It’s time well spent to read user reviews and do product research. It is recommended to find a proper coffeemaker that meets your own unique preferences, and that also requires a basic knowledge of coffee and coffeemakers.
A Brief History of Coffee Preparation
It is believed that an Ethiopian shepherd was the first person to recognize the energizing effect of the coffee plant after witnessing the effects on their livestock after the animals ate the beans. Later monks were inspired to produce a special drink with coffee beans that had been soaked in water. Since those times, coffee spread throughout the world, far and wide to every country and people group.
From its humble origins in the distant past, coffee has basically been prepared by the simple combination of boiling water and ground beans. It was not until the early 19th century that the first type of coffeemaker appeared, which was a rudimentary type of percolator. The percolator was patented in the late 19th century, and enjoyed a loyal following until the 1970’s. Electric varieties emerged in the early 20th century. Although some consumers stayed true to the traditional percolator, many abandoned it when the automatic drip coffeemaker appeared on the market. To date, the automatic drip is still the brewing method of choice for most coffee drinkers.
In the big picture, the four basic methods to make coffee beverages include pressure, steeping, filtration, or boiling. Today, consumers have many other types of coffeemakers besides the percolator and the automatic drip style from which to choose.
Examples of these may include the French Press (steeping), the Chemex® pour-over system (filtration), the Moka pot (pressure), and espresso machines (also a pressure method). Each of these vastly different methods has their own set of adoring fans, and each method makes a uniquely different beverage.
Take a look at some comparisons between varieties of coffeemakers here. It’s a fun experiment to try a variety of methods in order to find the flavor you most enjoy.
Elements of Quality Brewed Coffee
There are several elements that have an influence on the taste of coffee. You are likely to brew coffee with a better flavor if you get familiar with following elements.
Bean variety and roast
The taste of coffee is not only affected by the variety of beans, including the origin and plant species, but it also greatly depends on the roasting method of the beans. For example, dark roasts produce coffee with a richer and stronger taste than coffee made with a light-roast bean.
Extraction occurs when water, oils, and flavors are extracted from the grounds when hot water comes into contact with the beans. The weight of the grounds dissolved in hot water equals the extent of the extraction.
The strength of brewed coffee refers to the amount of dissolved particulates in the liquid, which is also called the concentration of coffee. It ranges from watery/weak to strong.
The brew ratio refers to the proportion of coffee grounds to water. The relationship between the above three elements is shown below:
Strength = Brew Ratio x Extraction
Which kind of Coffee makers are right for you?
Only high-quality, well-tested, proven coffeemakers are designed to produce the most delicious coffee by fully extracting the flavor from the beans. Therefore if your beverage really matters to you, it is crucial to choose a quality coffeemaker.