Drip. Drip. Drip.

If you've been following along each week, you now know why and how to use great water with great coffee in the right proportions to make a great cup of coffee. Some of you have asked me about equipment, particularly brewers, that I'd recommend. Since we've been mostly discussing drip brewing at home so far, we'll stick with that. In a later post we'll talk about other types of ways to brew coffee that you might want to give a try. But for now, we'll stick with the traditional home kitchen counter drip machines.
In the past couple of years there has been a trend to add grinders to the brewing machine. That's fine for simplicity, but one rule I like to follow is if a machine is trying to do everything, it probably doesn't do any one thing great. So I like a separate grinder machine - but up to you on how you want to use your limited counter space just to make coffee. Another trend that has arisen is the focus on pourover brewing. The Chemex was a great way to make coffee, and still is if you have the time and patience. But some coffee makers now combine the benefits of a pourover with a traditional automated drip machine.

One thing about traditional drip coffee machines that doesn't help make a great cup of coffee is how the water is extracted into the grinds. Traditionally it's what the name implies - it drips into the middle of the grinds. That doesn't get all of the coffee brewed at the same rate or time. Newer machines have added what's called "shower" type drips that engulf all of the grinds in a shower-like fashion. Even better, brewers that "bloom" the coffee ground for a time before the full brew also make for a better experience. Blooming involves spreading hot water over the coffee grounds to get them wet and "wake them up" for a few minutes. Then the machine proceeds on to actually brewing the coffee like you'd expect.

Two brewers that do a great job with this are the OXO On Barista Brain Coffee Maker (my personal daily driver) and the KitchenAid Pour Over Coffee Brewer. One thing in particular I like about the OXO is that the pot is a thermos that doesn't have a heater to sit on. While a heater sounds like a good idea to have in a coffee maker, I really hate the smell of burnt coffee. This one holds the heat fairly well without the need to continue to "cook" the beautiful coffee you just made.

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