The 8 Best 5-Cup Coffee Makers
8. Kenmore 80509
7. Coffee Gator Pour Over
6. Capresso Black
4. Holstein Housewares
3. Hario Technica
2. Aicok Quick Brew
1. Zojirushi Zutto
How to Choose The Right Accessories For Your Coffee Maker
The most important accessory for any coffee maker is a mug. Porcelain mugs are preferable to earthenware in that they insulate the contents better, keeping coffee warm for an extended period of time. Porcelain mugs are also smooth and durable, which makes for easy washing. China mugs, while appropriate for formal occasions, are generally considered too delicate for drinking coffee on a day-to-day basis. Sealed mugs are great for avoiding spills on the road, whereas thermoses are recommended for locking in several hours of flavor and warmth.
Flavor is a major concern when it comes to coffee, which is why aficionados tend to use paper filters as opposed to permanent ones. Whereas a permanent filter can effectively eliminate some minor costs, its built-in pores allow for individual grains, or drops of oil, to filter through. Bean oil tends to oxidize quickly and that, in turn, might brunt a coffee's taste. Paper filters are less permeable, and disposable, which leads to purer coffee, and less to wash.
Certain coffee drinkers are very particular about using milk as opposed to cream (or half and half), which is why it's best to keep both of these on hand. Cream is richer and more textured, but milk contains less fat. Powdered creamer might be preferable in any non-refrigerated setting where milk might curdle or go bad.
As far as coffee sweeteners go, a lot of artificial sweeteners contain fewer calories than sugar, but these sweeteners are also, well, sweeter than sugar, and a lot of them have been refined by way of non-organic processes. Sugar, despite its downsides, remains the devil that we know.
When it comes to stirring coffee, metal spoons are more appropriate for private settings or formal affairs, whereas disposable stirrers are more appropriate for a public setting or an office. Plastic stirrers are generally cheaper than wooden stirrers, but wooden stirrers are more sturdy and they can be recycled or composted.
How to Clean Your 5-Cup Coffee Maker
If you use your coffee maker on a daily basis, it's important to do more than simply wash and rinse the pot. A coffee maker's reservoir and basket can yield significant mildew and other bacteria if left unchecked for more than a month. The good news is that cleaning a coffee maker is easy. Doing so requires little more than a dish towel, a bottle of vinegar, some paper towels, and some running water.
First, empty out your coffee pot along with any remaining filters from the basket overhead. Use a damp paper towel to run along the inside of the reservoir, collecting any grime or individual grains that have fastened themselves to the reservoir walls. Once that's done, fill your coffee pot with an equal combination of white vinegar and water. Dump the solution from the pot into your coffee maker's reservoir, and then close the lid and turn the coffee maker on.
Allow the solution to run through, as if you were boiling a pot of coffee. Once the pot is full, dispose of the vinegar and water, and then repeat the process a second time. During the second run you're likely to notice that the solution is dripping down and through into the pot much faster. This is a result of the vinegar having eliminated some of the caked-on dirt that was clogging the filtration system and its tubes.
After you've disposed of the solution a second time, fill the coffee pot with hot water - and nothing else - and then run the hot water through the coffee maker to cleanse the reservoir and its tubes. Once you're done, rinse out your coffee pot and your basket, and then wipe down the walls inside the reservoir. Repeat this process once a month for the best results.
A Brief History of The Coffee Maker
Making coffee is simple. You roast some beans, you grind those beans, and then you boil those beans with water, allowing the flavor to seep in. For centuries, this was achieved with little more than a pot (or a pan) and a still-burning flame.
The process of brewing coffee by way of a drip filter was originated in France during the eighteenth century. Early filters were made of non-disposable materials, like burlap or cloth, with the only significant issue being that - over time - a ragged filter might negatively affect the coffee's taste. This problem was solved by a British physicist named Benjamin Thompson who invented the pumping percolator - a free-standing kettle which “perked” coffee by continually cycling boiled water through fresh beans.
Despite remaining a household item throughout most of the twentieth century, the coffee percolator became outdated during the 1980's - relegated to the catering tables of cheap hotels and banquet halls. This was a result of electric coffee makers arriving on the scene. These new coffee makers followed a similar brewing process, but they were sleeker, their pots were lighter (and transparent), and the majority of models featured an automatic timer, so a fresh pot could be brewing before a person even woke up from their sleep.
Today's coffee makers are largely electronic or even digital. Commercial coffee makers are capable of brewing more coffee, faster, whereas designer coffee makers are specifically engineered for brewing one cup at a time. The overwhelming lot of electric coffee makers are designed for simplicity. Their only goal is to brew a delicious pot of coffee almost instantly - very often with the touch of a button - and then to keep that pot of coffee warm.