Frequently Asked Questions
Drip coffee makers are becoming increasingly popular in kitchens across the nation. With many thousands of these machines sold daily there are clearly a lot of choices. Of course being spoiled for choice invariably leads to a number of questions people tend to ask before buying. So we thought we would try and answer some of the more common questions for you in this short article.
Q. What is the ideal temperature for brewing coffee?
A. Most experts agree that 192 degrees Fahrenheit (89 degrees centigrade) is the best temperature for brewing coffee. Many restaurants do not allow the temperature to get that high because of liability issues should a consumer spill coffee on themselves and get scalded.
Q. What affects the quality of a cup of coffee?
These several things can affect the quality of brewed coffee:
- the cleanliness of the brewing equipment
- the quality of the coffee beans
- how long it has been since the beans were roasted
- how long it has been since the beans were ground
- the quality of the water used in brewing.
… these all contribute in some measure to the quality of the coffee you brew.
Q. Why does my coffee maker brew slower than it used to?
A. Your machine might require cleaning to remove mineral deposits that build up over time.
Q. Why might my coffee taste horrible?
The coffee may taste horrible for these reasons:
A1. The age of the coffee beans affects its taste. Old coffee may taste stale. The coffee will taste best if you use freshly ground beans.
A2. The quality of coffee beans and type of water you use will have a major impact on the taste of the coffee.
A3. The cleanliness of your coffee maker. Be sure to clean your machine regularly in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommended cleaning schedule.
Q. How often should I clean my coffee maker?
A. Generally, coffee makers should be cleaned at least once a week. Some experts questioned suggest using dish detergent and water. Other experts recommend running a home-based cleaning mix of 25% vinegar to 75% water through the brewing cycle a time or two followed by running plain water through the cycle. This removes hard water deposits and other buildup debris.
Q. Why is my coffee maker leaking from the base?
A1. Make sure the filter is properly in position and that the brew basket is fully closed.
A2. If the coffee maker is equipped with a removable water reservoir ensure that the reservoir is properly installed.
A3. Avoid overfilling the water reservoir. The coffeemaker is usually equipped with an overflow slot near the top of the water reservoir. If too much water is added it will flow out of this slot and collect near the base of the unit.
A4. If you have checked all of these items and your coffee maker is still leaking from the base, contact the manufacturer or supplier.
Q. Can Espresso beans be used in drip coffee makers?
Q. What is the origin of the term ‘cup of joe’?
A. One school of thought is that Admiral Josephus (Joe) Daniels once banned alcoholic drink on board ships, thereby making coffee the most used beverage, hence the ‘cup of joe.’ While others believe that the term comes from ‘Joe’ a 19th century slang term for coffee.
Q. How do you clean a clogged coffee maker?
A. If your area has very hard water, you may want to run a vinegar mixture through the coffee brewer every month rather than 2 months.
To make your own cleaning mixture, use 1 part vinegar and 2 parts water (a 12 cup machine would have 8 cups water and 4 cups vinegar) and fill the coffee maker to its capacity.
Q. How do you get the plastic taste out of a new coffee maker?
A1. Simply mix distilled white vinegar and water at a ratio of 2 tablespoons of vinegar for every 5 oz. cup that your coffee maker’s water reservoir holds.
A2. Run the mixture through the coffee maker.
A3. Repeat the cycle if you want, but mix a fresh batch of vinegar/water.
The beauty of these inexpensive, automatic drip coffee makers is they enable coffee lovers to indulge their taste and smell senses whenever they please – which is a lovely thought to close on!