Manual Coffee Makers
Manual Coffee Makers are still one of the favorites and are recognized as a time honored custom by many.
Also known as a filter coffee maker (in Europe) and manual drip coffee brewers, it's one of the easiest ways to prepare coffee whether you want a single cup or several cups.
If you're anything like me, I like to be able to control the taste and strength of my coffee. I don't like it real strong or weak. You can get the taste you want using manual drip coffee brewers and its pure simplicity all the way around.
If you're short on kitchen countertop space you may prefer this over automatic drip coffee machines as it takes up very little space.
Using manual drip coffee brewers eliminate the chances of burnt coffee because it's never exposed to an open heat source.
How Manual Coffee Makers Work
The parts consist of a carafe, a cone filter holder, and some have a lid for the carafe. The carafe is normally made of heat-resistant glass, but you will also find porcelain carafes.
Some of the carafes have a plastic handle, others have a wood or rubberized collar to grip. Some of the carafes are dishwasher safe, be sure to check the one you buy before putting it in the dishwasher. They range in size from one up to ten cups.
Most commonly paper filters are used, but you may prefer to use a gold-tone filter. Some brands come with the gold-tone filters. I like both types of filters, but I also hate shopping, so using the gold-tone filters I make sure to never run out! Paper filters do have the advantage of lifting them out with the grounds and throwing them in the trash which makes for easy clean up.
The Basic Instructions for Manual Drip Coffee Brewers
Place your coffee grounds in the filter. I use finer grounds for the manual drip coffee brewers, but not as fine as you would use for an espresso. I heat my water in a teapot with a fairly long spout versus a short spout. This eliminates some of the splattering of water as you pour it into the grounds. I heat the water almost to boiling.
Add enough water to cover the coffee grounds and allow the grounds to bloom. (This looks like the grounds are bubbling or foaming). Once the water disappears into the grounds, add your water slowly to keep the level slightly above the grounds. Brewing the coffee this way makes a stronger cup.
If you prefer weaker coffee, you can eliminate the blooming time. Saturate the grounds and then continue to add the hot water. But be careful, this can end up messy if you add the hot water too fast. If you don't consume the coffee immediately, you can use a trivet over very low heat to warm it, or you may want to consider using an insulated carafe to keep your coffee warm.
Melitta, Chemex, Yama, and Bodum are well known manufacturers of manual coffee makers.
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