Coffee Equipment Tips

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How Do I Choose My Coffee Equipment?

Buying The Right Coffee Equipment

Choosing coffee equipment can be as challenging as deciding on any other kitchen appliance.

Do you live alone? You might want a single-cup machine. Have a family of coffee drinkers? You probably need a multi-cup brewer that makes 10 to 12 cups. Can't live without cappuccino or espresso? You can have your own automatic machine right on your countertop? For a throwback a more glamorous era, there is the French press.

Don't forget about the type of coffee you drink. If whole beans are your passion, you'll need a good grinder, one sized appropriately for your coffee drinking and serving habits.

How Do I Press A Great Cup Of Coffee?

Pressing Need For French Press

The classic, hand-pressed coffee maker is quiet, but is also pretty cool to use. It doesn't get more "hands on" than with a hand pressed coffee maker. There are many presses in a variety of sizes, looks and prices. For those concerned about shattering a glass press, Bodum makes the Eileen coffee maker – designed for busy cafes. It also has a stainless steel frame to protect the glass from bumps but still offers a glimpse of the freshly brewed coffee inside.

If you like to press on the go, companies including Nissan make portable thermal presses. For the ultimate in portable pressing, Bodum also offer to-go presses. Here are some additional tips:

First, spoon in the ground coffee, then pour water that just finished boiling. Set the lid in place and let the coffee steep for four minutes. When you, and the coffee, are ready, slowly press the coffee grounds to the bottom of the pot, pour the liquid into a mug and sip. This form of brewing offers more flavor because the mesh filter does not remove as many oils as paper.

Looking For A Cappuccino Maker?

Ready For Some Homemade Cappuccino?

If you're ready to invest in a cappuccino machine for your home, you will find that there are many pieces of coffee equipment out there designed to make the hot, frothy beverage. New high-tech machines will make your favorite brew without you having to think too much about what you are doing. But before you get to that point, it's time to thing about your cappuccino, and possibly espresso, preferences.

  • Do you want the machine to make one cup or two? How much of a kick do you want? New models will allow you to make a little 1-ounce cup or a whopping 16-ounce cup of java.
  • Check out the size of the water container. This will indicate how many cups of coffee you can make before refilling.
  • Want some control over aroma and strength? Some models give you barista power with push button controls.
  • Like it hot? Look for a model with more than one temperature setting.
Lastly, what models do you like for their looks? Let's be honest – this is one piece of coffee equipment that has some wow factor. How much wow do you want?

How do I choose a single serve coffee brewer?

Criteria for Selecting a Single Serve Coffee Brewer

Single serve coffee brewers are becoming more and more popular with each passing year. A few years back, there were only two or three brands from which to choose. However, as patents on the various technologies expired and as the market for single serve coffee machines expanded, many more companies entered am continue to enter the market.

The biggest issue most critics have always had with single serve coffee brewers is that the choice of machine limits your choice of coffee. Typically, each brand of machine uses a specific type of coffee pod, capsule or cup that does not fit into coffee brewers made by other manufacturers. Some brewers use the standardized ESE (Easy Serving Espresso) pod system, but many others use a plastic cup or disc that only fits into their own machines. Because of this, consumers should consider the coffee selection available when choosing a single serve coffee system.

When choosing a single serve coffee brewer, consider these criteria:

1. Does the brewer use a proprietary capsule or does it use a standardized system, such as ESE pods or Caffitaly coffee capsules?

2. Is there a good selection of coffee and drink varieties available for the brewing system?

3. Are the coffee capsules easily available or can you only purchase them from the company?

4. How much does the coffee cost per cup for the coffee brewing system you're considering?

5. Can you get a reusable coffee capsule for the system you're considering?

Single serve coffee brewers have become far more sophisticated in the past few years. They're convenient, easy to use and let you stock an entire coffee shop in your kitchen cabinet. Choosing the right machine will make a big difference in how pleased you are with your purchase.

What Should I Know About New Coffee Pots?

Replacing An Old Coffee Pot

Hopefully, your coffee maker is here to stay for awhile, but who knows about the coffee pot?

If you leave the burner on with little or no coffee in the pot, the pot could crack. Even if there is no irreparable damage, coffee can burn to the bottom of the pot and ruin the flavor unless you can get the pot totally clean. Also, glass pots can break through regular use, in the dishwasher or for a variety of reasons.

When looking for a replacement pot, you'll first want to ensure that it fits your coffee maker. Choosing a model that does not rest well on the burner or that is mismatched with the brewer will cause problems when you make a pot. After ensuring that pot and brewer are compatible, you have some flexibility in your choice.

How did the handle of your old pot feel? If it was not comfortable, look for something molded more to your liking. Did the pot drip when you poured? Look at models that indicate drip-free spouts.

One you have your new equipment, the National Coffee Association offers some tips to keep the pot in top shape:

  • Make sure that your equipment is thoroughly cleaned after each use by rinsing it with clear, hot water and drying it with an absorbent towel.
  • Check that no grounds have been left to collect on any part of the equipment and that there is no build-up of coffee oil. The residue can impart a bitter, rancid flavor to future cups of coffee.

Yearning For An Urn?

Yearning For An Urn?

If what you need in coffee equipment is a serving vessel that will brew and store enough coffee for a small army of people, and keep it at an acceptable temperature until the last steaming cup is served, you need a coffee urn.

Today's coffee urns can be elegant or industrial and serve from 10 cups to more than 100. They are perfect for parties and events, and the spout makes them ideal for a setting where people will be serving themselves.

If you are in the market for a coffee urn, a dripless spout is probably something to consider. Also consider getting one with a cover that locks. With coffee urns, speed in brewing the coffee is likely a concern, so pay attention to how quickly the urns you are considering brew coffee. Some urns have one temperature for brewing and another for the coffee after it is brewed. Some have an adjustable thermostat.

There are many options. As with any coffee equipment, think about what you want it to do and then read up on the models that seem to meet your needs.

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Guru Spotlight
Joe Wallace