Automatic Drip Coffee Maker

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Automatic Drip Coffee Maker

Postby Howie Hart » Wed Jun 19, 2013 8:40 am

I've used various models for several years. One had a spring-loaded plug at the bottom of the basket, designed to close if you pulled out the carafe to steal a cup before brewing was finished, but on more than one occasion, it never opened during brewing, causing the entire batch to fill up and overflow the basket, getting grounds and coffee all over the counter, down the sides of the cabinet and onto the floor. So, I never bought one like that again until last year. I was using a Proctor-Silex and broke the carafe, so I went to a few stores to look for a new carafe and couldn't find one. I went to one of the Dollar stores and the had a Continental Electric drip coffee maker (cheap - make in China) for $15, about the price I was expecting to pay for the carafe only. It has plug in the bottom, which works flawlessly and came with a fine screen basket, which I've never had. I didn't use it, going with the paper filters and a fine grind from my burr grinder instead. About a month ago, I watched an old Alton Brown "Good Eats" show about making coffee and it got me rethinking my technique. First, I fill the carafe with water for the amount I need. Then I almost fill the basket with water from the carafe and pour that water into the coffee maker, reserving the rest of the water in the carafe. I switched to a very coarse grind and put it in the screen, place the screen in the basket and turn on the coffee make, with no carafe in place. When that water is gone and the coffee maker starts the gurgling sound, I turn off the coffee maker for about a minute. Then, I add the rest of the water from the carafe, place the carafe under the basket to allow the coffee to drain and turn the coffee maker back on to finish brewing. This soaking in the screen basket with coarse grind is almost like using the French press. While there are a few fine grounds that get through, the coffee made like this is superior to what I had been making using fine grind and paper filters.
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Re: Automatic Drip Coffee Maker

Postby Jon Peterson » Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:42 am

As I read your post, I was thinking that it sounded like the French press technique, which you confirmed near the end of the post. I might give it a try.
We've been using a Krups for about 20 years and have been very happy with it. When purchased, it was highest rated by Consumer Reports.
(Coincidentally, Howie, there was a Clive Coffee ad at the bottom of the page when I looked at your post.)
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Re: Automatic Drip Coffee Maker

Postby Mark Lipton » Wed Jun 19, 2013 1:10 pm

You describe and interesting approach. I don't use automatic drip coffee makers because: a) I only brew one cup of coffee per day and b) those machines never get the water hot enough for a truly good cup. At home, I use a Melitta filter and at work a French press. For a flat bottom drip basket, you do need a fairly coarse grind regardless, but for the long steep time in your technique you'd want the coarsest grind (suitable for French press).

Happy brewing,
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Re: Automatic Drip Coffee Maker

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Wed Jun 19, 2013 3:40 pm

I've seen this technique reported on Coffeegeek's website. People there seem to consider this the best way to get a great cup of coffee from an automatic drip maker. I've not tried it myself.

The basket on our machine has a little level that you move into the down position to stop flow, the up position to get full flow, and an intermediate partial flow position that they recommend for making three cups or less. That sounds like it might provide similar results to what you're doing, Howie.

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