filter screen basket paper respite coffee

Buying Cheap Electric Coffee Maker

Buying cheap electric coffee maker is just that, you will get what you paid for: inefficient cheap parts. However, with a little know how on basic coffee brewing principles in relation to a brewer; we will try to help you get the best out of your money.

Your electric coffee maker has few parts. The switch (for on/off); water reservoir (with water level measurements, or “number of cups”); carafe (brewed coffee container, usually made of glass); hot plate (hot surface, heats carafe); and heating element (where water passes through, gets heated, and pushes hot water to the dispensing head). These parts you can not do anything about them. So focus your attention to the water dispensing head (where hot water comes out); and filter basket (where your filter sits). A screen type filter (which will contain ground coffee beans) is usually included with the brewer, but you can also buy paper filters.

Water Dispensing Head

CHOOSE THE BREWER WITH THE WIDEST DISTRIBUTION OF HOLES IN RELATION TO THE BASKET

Since your electric coffee maker is same with a manual dripper (like the cone). According to coffee professionals; it is best to pour water covering all the areas of the coffee bed (ground coffee beans in the filter-basket). This will promote “even extraction” of coffee for a better cup. Which means you should try to choose a cheap electric coffee maker; that has (water dispensing head) holes distributed wider (than just concentrated in one spot). It should look like it is covering more areas of the coffee bed, not just the center.

Filter Basket

Choose the ones that has round with flat bottom, or cone shaped with flat bottom (truncated cone) basket. These kinds have readily available paper filters, and are designed better (might help with “even extraction”). Those weird shaped filter basket looks cute; but they are not going to help you brew a better cup of coffee.

Hot plate is unnecessary, because it cooks your coffee. It is best to turn off the brewer after the brewing process. You can either transfer your coffee to a thermal carafe to keep it hot; or just brew enough coffee that you plan to consume within the hour. The heating element can not heat the water to reach an ideal temperature for brewing coffee; basically the heat is not extracting enough from your coffee beans. You can compensate by using a (little) less coffee than recommended. This will allow more water to extract more solubles from your coffee beans.

Lastly, always keep your brewer clean. Wash the filter basket and filter screen after every use. Wipe the water dispensing head with clean towel to remove coffee residue. Cheers to better coffee!

Basic Coffee Brewing Set Up

Covid19 pandemic caused an influx of interest in “home brewing.” These days, choosing a coffee brewing set up can be overwhelming; because there are too many, they are easily accessible and…expensive.

For most people, coffee brewing should be like a respite, more practical than fancy. Although, there are some drawn to become excessive, a bit “obsessive” (and snooty in the process of exploring “specialty coffee,” buying all the coffee things, judging all “other” coffees, it’s just a phase–maybe they’ll get over it, we did); but majority just wants to drink a good cup of coffee (brewed properly?) at home.

The most basic things you will need are (1) delicious water–clean, (2) good quality coffee beans–hopefully, but will ultimately depend on your preference, (3) the right coffee brewer–one that will cater to your specific needs. And some optional things that will base on your budget and chosen brewer: a (burr) coffee grinder, (at least 0.1g specificity) weighing scale, and (long spout) kettle.

Basic Coffee Brewers

12 cup regular coffee maker - basic coffee brewing set up

If you like your coffee without fuss, just get a regular brewer (an electric coffee maker, or auto drip) at your local grocery or department store. This brewer is convenient, but will not reach the ideal temperature for brewing coffee. To get the best tasting coffee, you can have your beans ground a little finer (finer than recommended for auto drip); or use less beans per cup of water to compensate. However, there are brewers that can reach 90+ degrees Celsius (consistently), they are expensive but worth your money.

2 cup french press - basic coffee brewing set up

If you have time to brew coffee manually (and learn about “basic coffee brewing,” just google it), you can either get a French Press or a Coffee Dripper (like a cone). French Press is a cheaper option, no special kettle needed, easy to use, and will (almost) always produce good coffee. While a Coffee Dripper (basically same with a “regular coffee maker” minus the electric), mostly use paper filters, long spout kettle needed (for pouring), and a little knowledge about “coffee extraction” to get a properly brewed coffee.

These brewers can make your “brewed coffee,” “black coffee,” “regular coffee,” or whatever you call it; while espresso (the base for americanos, cappuccinos, lattes) is for another post.

Optional Set Up

Grinders are important, and the good ones are expensive. Your local coffee supplier will be happy to grind your beans, but you lose freshness whenever you buy pre-ground coffee. If you have funds, buy a burr grinder: manual grinders are cheaper, best for those who will only brew for themselves and a friend or two; while electric coffee grinders are advantageous, especially if you like brewing for more people. Weighing scale will help you measure the amount of coffee and water, this is necessary when you decide to learn more on coffee brewing and extraction. Long spout kettle with temperature control is a good investment (otherwise a thermometer will do).

These things will help you tweak your recipe to get the best cup of coffee.

Finally, your brewed coffee involves two ingredients, ground coffee beans and water. This is why it is important to buy good quality, and freshly roasted (roast date nearest to your day of purchase) coffee beans. Then always use clean (no bad taste and weird smell) filtered water. Enjoy brewing!

Here is a list of our coffee brewing set up:

We’ve had all of these for the past 7 years, good quality things lasts longer (great value for money).

  • Automatic Coffee Maker: MarcoBru 1.8L
  • Manual Brewer: Hario French Press and V60
  • Coffee Grinder: Baratza Forte AP
  • Long Spout Kettle: Bonavita Variable Temperature Kettle 1L
  • Weighing Scale: Hario Digital Drip Scale