Modern life is busy. But drinking a cup of coffee is not. Maybe you don’t have time for a cup of French Press coffee and you just want to spend only 1 minute of your morning for a cup of coffee. I guess you will just go for a Drip Coffee Maker.
Its design is simple. However, you can still get a rich taste from it if you perform it well. Brewing coffee is an art but also a science. Even though you can’t control all the aspects of the modern drip coffee maker, you still have some programmable parts of it, like the brewing time, the fineness of the ground coffee beans. Now let’s dive into it.
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The Phases of Coffee Brewing
There are 3 phases for coffee brewing. Namely, wetting, dissolution, and diffusion. If you have already read our guide on French Press or Siphon Coffee Maker. You can just skip this section. These 3 phases drive the ground coffee beans into a cup of brewed coffee.
As discussed in the roasting process, CO2 will be ingested into the coffee bean cells. The wetting process will help to draw these CO2 out of the cells. So why we need the CO2 to be out of the cells? The answer is simple, it is for better dissolution of the substance of the coffee. You shall give your ground coffee beans 30 seconds for the CO2 to release from the CO2.
Dissolution is a process to let the solubles in the beans’ cells to be dissolved. The pleasant substances in the coffee cell are easier to be dissolved in the water than the unpleasant-tasting substances. So the timing to stop the brewing is very important. Brewing for too long will give you a bitter and gritty taste of the coffee. It is an art and science.
This process could also be called osmosis. It is a way to drive the substances out of the coffee cell. The coffee cell is a permeable membrane, The osmosis pressure of the two sides will be inequal after dissolution. Hence the solutes will be taken from one side to the other side.
Modern Design of Drip Coffee Maker
The modern design of the drip coffee maker has evolved so much. Different iterations of the drip coffee maker have been invented and improved. Nowadays, you will have many choices regarding the design. But to grab a cup of coffee you like, you need to take the below into considerations.
Metal Filter Or Paper Filter
Laziness is the driven force for technology to evolve. While people were struggling at the paper filter and the ground coffee beans, the technician had developed the metal filter with a ground collector to collect the used coffee grounds into a single box. Therefore, you can simply pour the coffee grounds into the rubbish bin.
However, there are some disadvantages of the metal filter despite its convenience.
The first one is that if you are going to use some finely ground coffee beans to brew your coffee, it will be easy for the ground coffee beans to go through the filter. To brew a rich taste of coffee, you will need the paper filter.
The second disadvantage is that you need to clean the metal filter regularly to ensure it is clean. Otherwise, bacteria will grow.
For the paper filter, the most disadvantage is that is it not convenient. But it is up to you to choose the right one for you.
With Grinder Or Not?
Some of the drip coffee makers come with a grinder. Personally, I prefer the one with the grinder. The reason is simple. To brew a cup of good taste coffee, you need fresh ground coffee beans. It is not recommended to ground a few days before the brewing process is performed. You will have a bad flavor if you do so.
However, you also need to take care of the grinder type, if it is a blade one, the ground coffee beans will be uneven. It is hard for you to get a consistent taste of the coffee. Recall the dissolution process, coarse ground coffee beans will be hard to dissolve. The solubles will be hard to come out. If it is a burr one, then you have nothing to worry about.
If you choose the one without a grinder, you will need to buy a grinder yourself. Getting the coffee ground right before you want a cup of brew coffee will ensure you are drinking a freshness of it. Don’t buy the ground coffee beans directly. They will lose their freshness in just a few hours.
A separate grinder will not be as convenient and the combines one. Because you need to pour the ground coffee beans once the grinder finishes working.
In sum, a burr grinder with the coffee maker is a must.
Programable Or Not?
Programable drip coffee is like magic. You can preset the magic into it and it will spell it for you. You don’t need to worry about what you have tested before, like the fineness, the brewing time and etc. Even though the drip coffee maker is simple, you still need to test with different preset to make you a good cup of coffee. Sometimes you may forget the fineness of the ground coffee beans and you will end up with an underdeveloped taste. So programmable is preferred.
Another aspect is that you need to tune the brewing time. Recall the wetting, dissolution and diffusion process, time is important here. You need to time to control the brewing. A longer time may give you a bitter taste. A short time may result in a light taste. It is very important that you can tune the time.
Important Aspect When Brewing
Since you can’t control every aspect of the drip coffee maker, you shall at least try to control the brew time if your machine has this option. Wetting shall take enough time to let the CO2 come out. And the dissolution to let the solutes dissolved. Because the pressure of the water is fixed, the diffusion process will hardly be controlled.
The fineness of the Ground Coffee Beans
Fineness matters in most of the cases. Fine ground coffee beans tend to give you a rich taste while the coarse one will give you a light taste. Everyone has his/her profile of tasting. To ensure you get your taste, you need to grinder the right fineness.
Besides, if you happen to have a metal filter machine, you need to make sure that your ground coffee beans are not too fine. Otherwise, you will be drinking a cup of grounds.