There are only a few things that feel better than a cup of freshly brewed coffee. The aroma of coffee in your house is enough to wake you up in the morning. Although everyone wants to brew their coffee like an expert, there are days you just want to press a button and have the coffee ready.
When you need that convenience in making coffee, you can always go for a coffee maker with a grinder. With this machine, you only need to add the ingredients, press a button, and wait, and you will have your coffee.
So, What is a Coffee Maker with Grinder?
A coffee maker with a grinder is a versatile appliance that grinds the coffee beans, warms water, and mixes the ground coffee with water. It has a filter that ensures the coffee served to you is smooth. It provides you with a simple method of making coffee anywhere. You can use it when you need to save time and when your coffee brewing skills are not so impressive.
Without a grinder or a coffee maker with a grinder, you can only use pre-ground coffee. The method of making coffee will be the same, but pre-ground coffee doesn’t have the flavor of freshly ground coffee.
Types of Coffee Maker with Grinder
Drip Coffee Makers
The design of drip coffee makers is one that automates the pour over method of making coffee. Instead of you using a gooseneck kettle to pour hot water over ground coffee on a filter, you will have an automated system that drips the hot water on the ground coffee.
When fitted with the grinder, the process is automated even more. These appliances use thermal pressure to boil water and send it up a valve to the showerhead. From the showerhead, the water drips on the ground coffee on the filter, and it extracts coffee from there.
Besides the grinder, there are other components that make up this coffee maker. These include a reservoir that holds cold water, a showerhead to spray water, and a heating element to boil the water.
Automatic Espresso Machines
Automatic espresso machines grind coffee beans and then tamp or compress them into the portafilter. These machines allow you to set a timer and then set the pressure you need for the coffee. Once you preset these parameters, there is nothing else you need to do as your machine does everything else.
There are more advanced espresso machines that grind your coffee, set the portafilter up, tamp the coffee for you, and can even pull the shot. Some even steam the milk for your coffee.
You will have control over the variables that make up your coffee. You can also consistently time your coffee, and you do not have to do so much once you have added the ingredients of your coffee.
Super-Automatic Espresso Machines
Super-automatic espresso machines are an advancement of the automatic espresso machine. They automate most of the functions from grinding the coffee beans and setting up the portafilter to steaming the milk. These are all-inclusive machines that should pull the shot for you once you add all the ingredients and preset the brewing conditions.
These machines are highly convenient, but you will have to spend more money than you would with an automatic machine. They offer hands-off operation and the coffee quality is consistent. However, you do not have as much control as you would with an automatic espresso machine.
Glass or Thermal Carafe?
Glass carafes are so common that you would think all coffee makers are made of glass. Most of these glasses are heat resistant, and they will not shutter under high heat. Some of the glass carafes may come with a heat plate that warms your coffee while on the countertop. However, the hot plate might make your coffee bitter if it warms for long.
The main advantage of glass is that it doesn’t hold smells and tastes. For instance, you can use your glass carafe to hold juice and the next time you brew your coffee it won’t taste or smell like juice. Your glass carafe is ideal for formal gatherings, thanks to its design.
Thermal carafes are a common component on expensive machines. They feature stainless steel construction and a double wall to keep your coffee warm for many hours. Between the two walls is a vacuum that ensures there is no heat transfer between the inner part of the carafe and the outside.
If you want a carafe that maintains the temperature of your coffee, a thermal carafe is you best bet. The only disadvantage is that you will spend more on a thermal carafe than you do with a glass carafe.
Cleaning and Maintenance
The easiest way to take care of your coffee machine is to use purified water. If you use poor quality water, the buildup of scale shortens the life of your coffee machine. Even if you have a whole-house water filtration system, you still need to filter your water and test for the softness of the water.
After you’ve used purified water, you need to flush the head group after the brewing process. This ensures there is no build up in the group head.
From there, flush the steam wand and perform a water backflush. You can wipe the rest of the machine to ensure everything looks clean.
After about two weeks or a month, you need to remove your coffee maker’s dispersion screen and the portafilter and soak them in water with a detergent or any other cleaner. Scrub them with a brush. After about six months, you need to detach the grinder and the steam wand and scrub them with a brush. The screen and the group gasket require you to replace them after a year of using the coffee maker.
What About Coffee Beans
You need to use freshly ground coffee beans for the best results. Pre-ground coffee loses its flavor, aroma, and its oils. As such, you need to use a machine that allows you to grind the coffee on the spot.
There are two varieties of coffee; arabica from high altitude areas and robusta, which is mostly from low altitude areas. The former is more popular with coffee aficionados.
There are also different coffee beans for different brewing methods. For instance, you can try these beans for espresso and these others here for drip coffee. The difference will be evident if you follow the process as it should be.
How do you like your cup of coffee? Black or white? How sweet do you want the coffee to be? Choosing the best quality of coffee beans and grinding them fresh will help you achieve the coffee quality you want.
Once you have the best coffee beans, you can go on and pick the best coffee brewing method from the ones above or pick a manual coffee brewing method. Making coffee is a simple process, but it requires care so that you never over-extract and brew a bitter cup of joe.