Choosing a good coffee maker is not a decision to be taken for granted. If you are going to spend money on your favorite coffee, you will want to make sure the coffee maker you choose is of good quality and has the features you want. The majority of coffee makers are generally quite good and you will notice no difference in the taste of your coffee from one brand to another. There are some basic features to look for when choosing a coffee maker and some luxury features that may give you a better tasting cup of coffee
The first decision you must make in choosing a coffee maker is what type of filter you would prefer. You can choose a basket type filter or a cone shaped filter, the difference in the two being different contact times between the coffee grounds and the water. A basket type filter seems to provide a longer contact time between the water and the coffee grounds, so if a basket filter is your preference, make sure you use coffee grounds that are fairly large. Cone type filters are generally less prone to spillage. If you are considering a gold tone filter, it will give your coffee a richer taste, but the upkeep may not be worth the small difference.
The color of your coffee maker is not a major concern, but keep in mind that if you choose a color that is pleasing to you, your coffee will seem to taste better. The only real issue involved in the color of your coffee maker is to remember that white stains easily and tends to look old rapidly. A dark color will look new a lot longer than a white coffee maker. Coffee makers with a pot that has a long neck will be harder to clean. If you cannot easily wash the coffee pot with soap and water, your coffee will taste stale over time due to the build up of residue that cannot be cleaned easily. Make sure your entire hand can fit inside the coffee pot to make cleaning easy.
Other than the basic features, which include color, filter, ease of cleaning, etc., there are some additional features that you may want to consider. If you don't mind your coffee grounds being exposed to air overnight, a timer is a wonderful thing to have. Timers will allow you extra time in the mornings and if you choose a coffee maker with an attached grinder, the noise would probably eliminate your need for an alarm clock. A feature that is often overlooked is the shape of the housing around the coffee pot. Many manufacturers are making the housing larger so that the coffee in the pot stays hotter. The housing area in any good coffee maker should cover at least half of the coffee pot, the keep heat in.
In general, coffee that is freshly ground tastes better. Grinders that are attached to coffee makers are a bit of a hassle. They make the coffee maker harder to clean and the coffee beans are not always ground uniformly. If you want a coffee maker with an attached grinder, look for a burr grinder rather than a blade grinder. You may also want to look into a coffee maker with a built in water filtration system. Filtered water does tend to make the coffee taste better, but purchasing distilled or purified water can serve the purpose just as well as a built in water filtration system.
For the perfect pot of coffee, the water temperature needs to be around 200 degrees Fahrenheit. In general, the less expensive coffee makers do not reach this temperature. Most of the better brand names will advertise the temperature you can expect your coffee to reach while brewing. Choosing the right coffee maker is not easy. Make sure you purchase from well-known manufacturers. You will be able to find replacement parts and will be assured of an acceptable level of quality. Choose a coffee maker that meets your basic needs and any has additional features you desire.
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