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So, how many times have you left the house and wondered if you left on the iron or the coffee maker?
Several popular producers of coffee makers have added an automatic off feature to their machines, giving their customers one less thing to about which to worry. Whether you turned the machine off before leaving the house may concern you no more.
Some Black & Decker coffee makers have an automatic shutoff that activates after two hours. Braun coffee maker, at least some models, also come with auto shutoff.
Cuisinart coffee makers come with adjustable auto shutoff, which allows you to program the machine to shutoff in minutes up to four hours.
KitchenAid coffee makers automatically shut off two hours after brewing your coffee.
Krups coffee makers have a programmable off feature that allow you to choose the amount of time you want the burner to remain in heating mode. If you have a machine that uses a glass carafe, you can set the machine to turn off in one hour or four hours. For thermal machines, it can turn off in 20 minutes, because the thermal pot will keep your coffee warm.
This feature, regardless of what it is called, should give you some piece of mind as you start your day and give you one less thing about which to worry.
However, if you are a Keurig brewing system owner, you don't have to look for this feature. The one-cup machine by a Keurig automatically shuts off because there is no burner.
Choosing a home coffee maker can be confusing if you don't narrow your choices down. Here are some tips to choosing your home coffee maker:
New home coffee makers cannot actually wake you up, but they can do just about everything else to get you ready. They can grind your coffee beans and have your coffee ready on demand.
One of the best features in newer home coffee makers is the function that allows you to interrupt the brewing to grab a cup of coffee and then let it resume once you have a cup filled with your morning coffee.
Before this feature, many of us have had the messy experience of grabbing a cup while the pot was brewing, either because we couldn't wait for cup and thought a paper towel could soak up what came out while we were grabbing the cup, or because we misjudged when brewing was complete. Now, we don't have to do either.
Many of the major brands have their own take on the feature. Black and Decker coffee makers have a Sneak-A-Cup® interrupt feature, Braun coffee makers have the drip-stop/pause and serve feature, Cuisinart coffee makers have coffee-on-demand-one-cup, KitchenAid coffee makers have pause and pour and Krups coffee makers have a pause and brew feature.
Coffee equipment does not end with the coffee maker and the coffee pot. There are other pieces to the coffee equipment puzzle.
You cannot forget the filter. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters recommends SwissGold filters and uses them in the coffee company's corporate office. SwissGold is a permanent filter, so it does not need to be thrown away. If you prefer to use the basket that comes with the coffee maker, you will need regular basket filters that match the basket size.
How do you measure your coffee? A coffee scoop will give you just the right serving of grinds for the filter. Go for a long handle scoop to get right down to the bottom of your supply of beans or grounds.
If you want to bring your coffee to your guests and not make a bunch of trips to the kitchen, consider a carafe. Some new models are stainless steel and come without the glass liner, so they will not break.
If you like the foamy milk that comes with a cappuccino and espresso machine but don't want to upgrade your current maker, check out a frother such as the Bodum Frother. Dip the whip end into your milk, push the button and add the milk to your coffee.
For optimal brewing, it is important to keep your coffee maker clean.
The manuals of coffee makers recommend regular cleaning of the brew basket and carafe. For KitchenAid coffee makers, the recommendation is daily cleaning.
Some new machines come with cleaning needed indicators that alert you that it is time for descaling.
Descaling removes the calcium deposits, or scale, from water can build up in your coffee makers heat pump and can affect the quality of your coffee. Cleaning indicators sense the build up of scale.
To descale your coffee maker, KitchenAid says to ensure the brew basket is empty and then remove the water filter. See manual for instructions.
Run coffee maker through a brewing cycle using a full carafe of a descaling solution or a vinegar/water solution.
If your machine has an indicator, repeat this process until the light goes off.
Rinse the coffee maker by running two full brew cycles using fresh water.
Wash the brew basket and carafe with soapy water and rinse with hot water – or wash in the dishwasher if your coffee maker is dishwasher safe.
Reinstall the water filter. The filter should be replaced every two to three months for regular use.
According to manuals from a Braun coffee maker, using a water filter and exchanging it regularly might eliminate the need to decalcify. If your coffee maker takes longer than usual to brew, consider descaling.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|