Ask the Roastmaster (Part 2) – Home Coffee Makers
by Mike Singletary
Have you ever visited a local coffee shop, ordered a cup of coffee, loved it, took some home to brew, and then wondered why it didn’t taste as good at home?
Even though manual brewing methods, such as French press, Chemex, etc., are growing in popularity, drip coffee (coffee made from an automatic coffee maker) is the most common method of brewing coffee at home. While there is a convenience factor to using a drip coffee brewer, most of the machines that you would find at your local department store are not really up to par for properly brewing coffee.
One of the key factors in brewing coffee is the water temperature. Ideally, when brewing drip coffee, you want the water be around 200-205 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything under 195 degrees is not hot enough and will not fully extract the flavors from the coffee. Anything hotter than 210 degrees will be too hot and will scorch the grounds, resulting in a bitter-tasting cup. So a key component to look for in a home coffee maker is strict water control. The majority of home coffee makers do not have this. Most of them actually heat water to about 185 degrees.
This would be the reason why a cup brewed on the commercial brewer at your shop tastes different from the pot you brew at home. Now, there are other factors that play a role here, such as the freshness of the coffee and the quality of the grind, but even with fresh coffee and a good grinder, if you are brewing it in a sub par machine, the results are not going to be as good. Imagine all of the care taken to grow, sort, and process excellent coffee beans, and the intricate process of roasting the beans to produce the ideal profile for that coffee, all lost and dulled because of a machine that could not produce the proper water temperatures.
The good news is that there are home coffee makers out there that do meet the criteria for brewing a great pot of coffee. The one that we use here in our office, and many of our staff actually use at home, is the Technivorm Moccamaster. This machine has a beautiful, handmade design and very strict and consistent water control. In fact, it is one the few home brewers that is certified by the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA).
If you are interested in nerding up your kitchen or office counter, and having a machine that will brew an excellent pot of coffee, we currently have these brewers available to order here on our website for a limited time.
Drink Coffee. Do Good.™
- Mike Singletary (Director of Production and Roasting)
If you have a coffee question for our “Ask the Roastmaster” series, you can send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.