Coffeemaker

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An appliance or piece of kitchenware that typically accomplishes the task of brewing the popular drink produced from ground cocoa beans. Made to operate with or without electricity, Coffee Makers are available in a variety of different models, some brewing only coffee while others are built as multipurpose brewers with multiple functions. The multipurpose coffee makers not only brew traditional coffee, but may also be built to brew espresso coffee, lattes, cappuccino, and other similar drinks.

Single purpose coffeemakers may consist only of stovetop pots, brewing glassware, such as a French Coffee Press, or a fully electric makers with brewing stations for single cups or a pot. Stovetop pots for making coffee or tea only are configured with a perculator and drip basket that fits into the pot so the coffee grounds can be held in the basket while the water in the bottom of the pot is heated, forced up the percolating tube into the basket, and then allowed to filter through the grounds as it drips back to the bottom of the pot. This type of coffeemaker may also be referred to as a stovetop drip coffeemaker. Similarly, stovetop coffeemakers can be purchased for making cappuccino, latte or espresso coffee. Water is placed in the lower section of the coffeemaker and the ground coffee is added to filter basket. A pitcher situated at the top can be filled with milk so as the water is heated, the pressure of the steam not only brews the espresso but also mixes or infuses the beverage with eitehr frothed or steamed milk.

Brewing glassware such as a French Coffee Press are built to hold grounds in the bottom of the container. Hot or boiling water is added to the container holding the grounds, allowing the grounds to rise up toward the top of the water. Unlike a drip coffeemaker with a purcolator, the plunger mechanism (the Press) is manually pushed downward so the grounds are slowly moved through the water to make the coffee and then are held in place at the bottom of the glassware container so only the rich coffee beverage can be poured. Single purpose coffeemakers that brew a single cup or a pot of coffee are common for those desiring only tea or coffee without other beverage options. Single cup brewers are best for making individual servings quickly and easily with a mininum of effort. Disposable packets of premeasured amounts of coffee or tea can be added to the brewing basket as well as fresh coffee grounds. Most often, single cup coffeemakers have dial settings that allow for variations in water volume for smaller or larger cup sizes.

Many multipurpose drip coffeemakers are built with only simple functions that may include simple sets of timers or clocks for functions related to the clock. However, other features of coffeemakers can be more extensive which may include some of the following features:
  • Programmable timers to automatically turn on or off at designated times
  • Strength settings for ligher or stronger flavored brews
  • Temperature control for settings to alter the intensity of the heat
  • Monitors to advise when maintenance such as cleaning is required
  • Removable grounds container
  • Steel mesh filter baskets that eliminate use of paper filters
  • Serving settings for 1 to 12 cups which adjusts heating for fewer cups
  • Drip interrupter switches for removing pot to pour coffee during brewing cycle
  • Water filters that serve as filtration systems to purify the water
  • Built in bean grinders
  • Thermal carafes that keep beverages warmer than glass containers
  • Removable water containers instead of self-contained water holding tanks
Some of the features of coffeemakers with capabilities to make espresso, cappuccino and latte may include many of the features listed for traditional coffeemakers as well as the following:
  • Combination drip coffee and espresso makers (cappuccino and latte also) so both can be made simultaneously
  • Internal coffee bean grinders with grind settings from coarse to fine grind
  • Frother mechanisms that swivel for steaming and frothing milk when making cappuccino, latte, or hot chocolate
  • Frother chamber to hold milk to be mixed with steam for frothing
  • Pressure safety valves
  • Removalable grounds container
  • Warming plates to preheat cool or lukewarm coffee cups and mugs
  • Heat controls for maintaining ideal temperatures
  • Automatic shutoff after 2 to 3 hours of use
  • Cleaning indicators to alert when machine needs to be decalcified

Since there are many different models with numerous features, before a purchase decision is made it is always best to consider the types of beverages desired and the features that are of the most value for ordinary daily use. Coffeemakers that simply make single cups of coffee to machines that perform a wide variety of functions, each has its purpose and will provide years of good use when properly maintained.

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