Equipment Review: Inexpensive Coffee Makers

Equipment Review: Inexpensive Coffee Makers

[Music] Last time we tested automatic drip Coffee makers we picked a winner that Makes amazing coffee but it costs almost 300 So do you really have to spend so much To get a decent coffee maker to find out We bought nine coffee makers priced from About twenty five dollars to about Ninety five dollars the high end of that Range was the best buy from our last Story the bonavita eight cup one touch Coffee maker we started out by brewing Different sized pots of coffee in each One 12 ounces 32 ounces and full pots Now as we did this we observed how easy The machines were to load turn on pour From and clean most coffee makers come With scoops and they usually recommend Using one scoop of ground coffee per cup Of water through years of testing we Found this ratio is typically too weak To give every machine a fair shot in Making great coffee and keep our testing Consistent we use the ratio recommended By the specialty coffee association And here’s where we ran into a problem Right away despite being billed as Making 8 to 14 cups of coffee there’s no Standard size cup they range from 4 to 6 Ounces none of them are a standard 8 Ounces like in the kitchen for one cup So most of our machines hold about 72 Ounces of water and that means you need

Four ounces of ground coffee using the Sca ratio that was more coffee than Three of these machines could handle Their baskets were too small they Overflowed once the hot water started Pouring in that made a mess of ground Coffee backflowing into the water tank a Huge pain to clean bottom line we Couldn’t make a complete pot of Full-flavored coffee in those three Machines the rest of these could hold Enough coffee Now we think it’s important that a Coffee maker should be simple to turn on And use especially first thing in the Morning Most of these were pretty good you add Water a filter and coffee and you press A button but a few are a bit annoying This mr coffee made us rotate the hot Water spigot away from the filter add The coffee and then rotate the spigot Back in place if we forgot the hot water Would flow back into the water tank Instead of over the coffee not a deal Breaker but it’s an extra step to Remember only one product was truly a Pain to use this one by hamilton beach Replaced the external coffee craft with An internal tank for the brewed coffee To fill a mug you hold it up to the Machine and you push a button to Dispense the coffee from a spigot the Trouble is it wasn’t tall enough to get

Bigger travel mugs under there and worse It had a ton of parts that were a Nightmare to keep track of now for Carafes we preferred insulated thermal Crafts over glass Glass crafts sit on hot plates to keep The coffee warm and that quickly Scorches your coffee we also like crafts That had responsive pouring mechanisms That made them easy to control our Favorite always started and stopped Pouring instantly In general we preferred coffee makers With simple controls Minimal components that were easily Accessible to clean and clear indicators Like lights or beeps that told us when That coffee was ready but most of all we Wanted a coffee maker that well made Good coffee besides the quality of the Water lots of factors affect how your Coffee tastes including the type of Beans how they’re roasted and how finely They’re ground we kept those factors Consistent by using tap water and the Identical medium roast beans freshly Ground in batches in a commercial Grinder that way we could focus on the Biggest two design features of coffee Makers that affect coffee quality brew Time and temperature now when hot water Streams through coffee grounds it Penetrates tiny channels in each coffee Particle extracting its flavor compounds

Some of these are delicious cocoy with Pleasantly bitter or floral notes while Others are excessively acidic with oily Or acrid notes brewing coffee is all About maximizing the good flavors and Minimizing the bad experts at the sca Have agreed on a set of standards backed By scientific research to ensure success The water should be between 195 and 205 Degrees fahrenheit when it reaches the Grounds and the brew cycle needs to take Between four and eight minutes for a Full pot of coffee Water that’s too cool struggles to Extract good flavor compounds and it Leaves your coffee watery and sour water That’s too hot extracts too many bad Compounds and that results in that acrid Burnt tasting coffee brew time that Lasts longer than eight minutes will Also extract bad flavor compounds but Too fast brewing is just as bad water And coffee need to spend a little time Together so we tracked the temperature Of the hot water as it entered the brew Basket and timed each brew cycle the Results surprised us only one of the Machines in our lineup met all the sca Standards to brew good coffee in fact Some of these machines spent zero time Of their brew cycle in the right Temperature zone and many others spent Less than 10 percent of the cycle there But our top model stayed in the zone

Between 195 and 205 for more than 70 Percent of its cycle we also used an Instrument called their coffee Refractometer and that measures total Dissolved solids we calculated the Brewed coffee’s extraction levels which Quantifies how much of those coffee Flavor compounds actually end up in your Cup again two low levels of extraction Give you watery sour coffee too high Levels give you harsh overly bitter or Burnt tasting coffee you want a range of 18 to 22 percent for a smooth balanced And full flavored cup of coffee only Three of the coffee makers got coffee Extraction into that range those three Had shorter brew cycles and they spent More time in the 195 to 205 degree Temperature zone the rest got as little As 11 extraction and that’s essentially Water with a hint of coffee water in the Machines that made wheat coffee never Got hot enough to extract the compounds That you need for good coffee flavor and Super long brew times pulled too many of The compounds that contributed bad Flavors to the brew some of these Machines took 20 minutes and that is Ridiculous both for practical and Quality reasons okay all those numbers Were good but what happened when we Tasted the coffee we held a blind Randomized tasting of coffee brewed in Each machine using a standardized amount

Of 51 grams of coffee to 920 grams of Water the sea recommended 1 to 18 ratio Our tasting results exactly echoed our Temperature time and extraction level Tests that same coffee tasted completely Different depending on the machine Models that brewed lower and slower Tasted watery and stale Machines that brewed hotter and faster Made smooth full flavored coffee our top Rated machine took only seven minutes to Brew a full pot with water that quickly Heated to 200 degrees its coffee was the Most robust and flavorful Now after all the brewing and measuring And tastings were done we had a winner The bonavita 8 cup one touch coffee Maker was our top inexpensive coffee Maker it was also that best buy in our High-end coffee maker testing and once Again it aced all our tests tasters gave Its coffee the top score it pours Beautifully and it’s simple to use this Machine was also the only one in our Lineup certified by the sca’s home Brewer program as meeting all its Standards at about 95 dollars it’s Perfect for coffee lovers who want a Premium product and a not so premium Price

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