Many people simply cannot make it through the day without their cup (or several cups) of coffee. When you really love your coffee, you may spend a great deal of time selecting just the right coffee maker. It is also important to know the best methods to clean a coffee maker so that it stays in good condition.
Coffee makers are available in many prices, so it can be challenging to find just the right one that fits into your budget and still looks great with your décor. There are also many features, styles, and colors to choose from and which may influence price.
Considerations Before Buying
The first thing to consider is what type of coffee maker you like. You can select from a standard drip or single pod model, or buy a specialty machine like a cappuccino or espresso unit. There are also combination units which brew both regular and specialty coffees. You may also like an old-style percolator or a space saver unit that fits under a counter or cabinet.
Another consideration when selecting a coffee maker is how much space you have. Some units take up more space than others. For example, a space saver unit will fit under a cabinet, while a cappuccino or espresso unit may take up a lot of counter space.
The next thing to consider is how much coffee you will be making. Do you plan to brew one cup at a time or several cups daily for the entire family? Coffee makers come in a variety of brewing sizes, including eight, ten, or twelve cup models. The most popular are the ten and twelve cup units.
The right size coffee maker depends upon how many people you will be serving. If you give many parties or have a large family, you will want to consider a larger capacity unit or even purchasing a second one. There are other sizes available such as a four-cup coffee maker or even a single person unit.
The countertop model is the most popular style, although many people like the space-saving models that mount under the cabinet. These are especially nice for small kitchens. Another good choice when you are limited on space is a combination unit that contains both a small coffee maker and a microwave. Another idea is a built-in unit. These can be expensive, but are easy to do in a newly built home.
The coffee maker may also blend with your kitchen’s interior and other appliances. Do you want a modern or more retro style and what is the best look: stainless, black, white, or another color? The coffee maker should also be easy to clean and maintain.
There are certain features which are important to consider when purchasing a coffee maker. A coffee maker with a thermal carafe keeps the coffee warm and tasting fresh for longer. There are also units which brew the coffee and then drip it right into a thermal travel mug.
The coffee maker should also have an auto-off feature. This is an important safety element and should be on all coffee makers.
Another important feature is the ability to program settings. This allows you to set the coffee maker to begin brewing early and have the coffee ready by the time you get up. Brew interrupt allows you to pour coffee while it is still brewing, while the brew selector lets you choose how strong you want your coffee.
Some features are more about convenience. These include a permanent filter basket or a water filter, hands-free serving, a handle that is designed for comfort, a water indicator located on the outside of the coffee maker, and a well-defined or wide spout on the carafe for pouring the coffee. It is also good if the coffee maker has some type of audible signal when the cycle is finished.
Once you have selected the right coffee maker, it is extremely important to clean it regularly. This helps keep the coffee maker working well for as long as possible. The two best methods for cleaning a coffee maker are vinegar or baking powder. These are commonly found in the home.
Even the nicest coffee makers will need regular cleaning to maintain a good flow and fresh-tasting coffee. Also, coffee oils can stain the exterior of the coffee maker and cleaning helps restore the original look and keep it nice.
Coffee makers also develop built-up deposits from hard water and oily coffee deposits during brewing. This can alter the flavor of the coffee, however a monthly cleaning will remove these deposits. Here are the best methods for how to clean a coffee maker.
Vinegar is the least expensive and most popular method for cleaning a coffee maker. It does not contain toxins and its acidic properties readily dissolve the oils and mineral deposits created during brewing.
To clean a coffee maker with vinegar, mix equal amounts of water and vinegar together. Pour this mixture into the coffee maker’s water reservoir. Turn on the coffee maker and run several cups through.
Next, turn off the unit and leave the mixture in the coffee maker for an hour. Start the machine again and allow it to brew an entire cycle. Once this cycle is finished, pour out the carafe and then fill it with plain water. Pour this into the coffee maker and let it run through several cycles. Do this until there is no longer a vinegar odor. Wash both the carafe and filter basket either by hand or in the dishwasher.
Cleaning with baking soda may be done as often as once a week. First, clean the carafe’s plastic lid and the filter basket with dish detergent and rinse thoroughly with clear water. Place the filter basket back into the coffee maker and fill halfway with tepid water. Add five to eight tablespoons of baking soda and mix well.
Using this mixture, clean the filter basket and carafe. Then clean the brewing apparatus with the same mixture. You can use a cloth dipped into the mixture to wipe everything down. Once the unit is thoroughly cleaned, rinse everything with clear water. Fill the clean carafe with clear water and run it through a brew cycle.
There are also commercial products for cleaning a coffee maker. These are typically effective, but cost more than using vinegar or baking soda.
Selecting the right unit and then learning how to clean a coffee maker are very important to getting a good cup of coffee. Spend some time and choose the right unit for your home. This will ensure you have a great cup of coffee every morning.