- If you can run your tap water through a basic water filter, that’ll produce the best results.
- Bottled water works great too!
- Distilled water won’t do a great job, as your water does need some minerals to extract those tasty flavors.
Makes 6-7 Servings, Brew Time Varies
Coffee makers are literal hot beds for bacteria and yeast, which means that diligence in cleaning them is important. Luckily, it’s an easy process and, while coffee shops use commercial-grade cleaners on their equipment, you don’t need anything other than water and vinegar.
Pour equal parts white vinegar and water into your coffee maker, and start the brew cycle like you normally would. Let the water and vinegar combo go through the brew cycle, then turn off your coffee maker. Toss the solution (which will have snagged calcium deposits as well as bacteria and yeast) and run clean water through your brewer at least twice to remove any vinegar residue.
Clean your coffee maker this way at least once every three months, but make sure you’re cleaning all removable parts of the coffee maker after every pot. Soap and water work wonders in your carafe. Don’t overlook cleaning the basket! Coffee oils and residual grounds can quickly aid in bacteria production and impact the overall longevity of your coffeemaker.
When you make a pot of coffee, the first thing you do is fill the reservoir with filtered water. Inside, there is a section of tubing stretching from the bottom of the chamber to the top. At the bottom of the reservoir, there is a hole.
When you turn the coffee maker on, water is drawn into the hole at the bottom of the water reservoir. At the same time, electricity is delivered from the heating element to warm the hot plate (if yours has one) and to warm the reservoir water. The water travels through a one-way valve into an aluminum tube which wraps around the base of the warming pad. Inside the tube, the water is boiled with the same heat as the hot plate. Once heated, the water travels back up through the tube and is dispersed from a showerhead onto the coffee bed (this last bit of travel cools the water down so by the time it hits your coffee it’s no longer boiling, but rather around 200 degrees Fahrenheit). More sophisticated models disperse the water in timed pulses to aid in blooming and brewing at a consistent ratio.
From there, automatic drip coffee makers basically work just like manual pour over coffee makers. Water drips through coffee grinds and comes out as brewed coffee on the other side.
A coffee maker cannot make espresso, but brewing super-strong pots of coffee with them is totally possible! Espresso can only be made in an espresso machine that pushes the water through the coffee grounds at nine bars of barometric pressure. There’s no pressure system in the inner-workings of a coffee maker, so the water drips through the coffee grinds using gravity alone.
If you prefer a very strong brewed coffee, you can grind your coffee more finely than you usually do for a stronger extraction. You can also add more coffee grinds than you normally do to the coffee basket and use the same amount of water. Don’t add too much though — it’ll clog the flow of the water and create a muddy cup of coffee.