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Coffee Makers

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Having a cup of freshly brewed coffee can be just the wake up call you need in the morning. While you could stop off at your local coffee shop before heading to work, it’s much more convenient to enjoy a cup of Joe in the comfort of your own home. Ready to make your morning as pleasant and energized as possible? Read on to discover some tips on how to choose the best coffee pot for your brew.

What types of coffee makers can I choose from?

There are a few different types of coffee makers you can pick from. Some less common designs for the home include a pour over coffee maker and vacuum coffee maker. However, drip, pod and percolator styles remain the most popular choices, and for good reason.

• Drip: Your traditional style of coffee maker, these can brew anywhere from 1 to 12 cups. A single cup coffee maker is perfect if you’re the only one who needs a quick cup before work. If your whole family needs a coffee break or if you enjoy more than one cup at a time, look for a higher capacity model. A drip coffee maker does require the use of coffee grounds. If you like to grind your beans right before you brew, you might consider purchasing one with a grinder included.

• Percolator: If you enjoy bold, flavorful coffee, you might try a coffee percolator. This old-fashioned design uses the pressure created by the boiling water to force it up into a chamber located above your coffee grounds. Once there, gravity pulls the water back down through the grounds and the process is repeated to create a rich flavor. Stovetop models must be closely monitored to make sure your coffee doesn’t become over-boiled and bitter. An electric model will automatically turn off after your coffee has fully brewed, making it easier to use — especially if you’re attempting to get ready for work or school at the same time.

• Pod: Pod coffee makers are gaining in popularity, and for good reason. These brew up a single cup of coffee at a time using a sealed pod containing your chosen flavor. With a pod coffee maker you won’t have to worry about messy grounds, and these machines are versatile as well. You can use them to brew iced coffee, tea, hot chocolate and many other types of beverages.

How do I clean my coffee maker?

From hard water buildup to mold, there are several reasons why your coffee pot should enjoy a regular monthly cleaning. Of course, you don’t want to stuff harsh chemicals like bleach through the plumbing. Doing so could present serious health issues — you are, after all, hoping to reuse it after its been cleaned! Instead of bleach and other harsh cleaners, grab some of the following and get scrubbing:

• Water
• Hot soapy water
• White vinegar
• Sponge
• Damp towel
• Dry towel

Step 1. Empty your coffee pot, dump out any leftover grounds and be sure to rinse off the filter.
Step 2. Fill the water chamber with equal parts water and white vinegar.
Step 3. Turn your coffee maker on and let several cups run through — this should take about half of the total time of the brewing cycle. Then turn it off and let it sit for an hour.
Step 4. After 1 hour, turn your coffee maker back on and let it finish the brew cycle.
Step 5. Discard the vinegar and water solution. Then put fresh water into the chamber and let your machine complete another brew cycle.
Step 6. Repeat the water-only brew cycle 2 more times, allowing your coffee maker to cool a bit between each cycle.
Step 7. Wipe down the exterior of your machine and wash the carafe and filter with hot, soapy water.
Step 8. Put your machine back together and get ready to enjoy a freshly brewed up of Joe.