Think your local coffeehouse charges too much for a cup of joe? Take this quiz to learn about coffee and how to choose a coffee maker that has the features you want to make that perfect cup!
Traditional drip coffee makers are an easy to use and affordable appliance for brewing coffee.
In 1972, the Mr. Coffee company introduced the first automatic drip coffee maker.
Arabica coffee beans represent about 70 percent of coffee grown around the world. Robusta coffee is also popular, and both beans produce a tasty cup of joe.
The ideal climate for growing coffee is the equatorial region of the world, which has abundant rain, warm temperatures and rich soil.
Coffee experts caution against storing coffee in the freezer and refrigerator because their humid environments can deteriorate the coffee. Experts recommend buying only the amount of coffee you'll use in a week or two and keeping it in an airtight container away from light and heat.
A programmable timer makes it possible to brew coffee while you are still sleeping. Waking up to the smell of fresh coffee is a nice way to start the day!
The French press is preferred by coffee experts the world over because it allows for the most control over temperature and brewing time.
Drip coffee makers should take about five minutes to brew a pot; a French press's brew time should be about four minutes.
The perfect temperature range is 195-205 degrees F (91-96 degrees C). Water that is too cold can produce a flat, weak-tasting coffee, while water that is too hot can result in a bitter and burnt taste.
An electric heating element with an aluminum tube heats the water. A more complex machine may regulate temperature better.
An automatic shutoff feature will keep you from worrying whether you left the coffee maker on and save you running back to the house to check.
Rapidly boiling water releases lots of noisy bubbles.
The reservoir holds the water. A clean machine filled with good-quality water is important for brewing tasty coffee.
Sensors regulate the temperature of the coffee maker. When it gets too hot, the sensor turns the machine off and then back on again to maintain proper temperature.
Some coffee makers have a little showerhead, which sprays boiling water over the grounds to brew the coffee.
The Seattle-based Coffee Equipment Company developed the Clover machine in 2005. Starbucks bought the company in 2008.
A Clover drip coffee maker brews one cup at a time. A standard drip machine can fill a pot in a few minutes.
The Clover goes for $11,000. A standard drip coffee maker costs around $30.
Inexpensive drip coffee makers are unable to heat the water enough to extract full flavor from coffee grounds. You get what you pay for.
Tubes in the coffee maker get clogged with calcium from water. Brew a few cups of white vinegar, followed by two full batches of plain water, and your coffee machine will work like new.