Coffee brewing is a magical ritual, which the further, the more it becomes available to an ordinary person. There are a great many ways, conditions, and nuances of how to prepare the “right” drink, revealing its taste. We will not retell the rules and rituals of the coffee business, many other resources are engaged in this. In this review, we will describe the types and principles of operation of automatic devices for making coffee, their main characteristics, and tell you what you should pay attention to when choosing a model.
Several coffee machine tests have already appeared in the “Comfortable home” section. We tried to cover the main volume of the device market in order to get an idea of the possibilities and conditions of choice.
The history of coffee makers began in Europe, as is commonly believed, with the Turks (Jaz) and the preparation of a drink in Arabic. Turku was placed on the open fire. There are now professional and home electrical appliances of this type that make coffee on the sand.
In 1800, the French bishop Jean-Baptiste de Bellois accidentally invented the first drip, a coffee maker. In a brass container, he placed a cloth filter with ground coffee, through which boiling water was poured. Until that moment, Europe did not know a way to prepare a drink without the grounds.
After 19 years, the design was improved and again by a Frenchman: the tinsmith Morise invented a system of two inverting vessels with a filter in the middle. In 1827, Moriz’s appliance was transformed into a geyser coffee maker. And the first electrical devices with a drip and geyser principle of water supply appeared already in the 50s of the XX century.
In 1840, a new, dead-end branch of the coffee-making evolution arose. A Scottish engineer named Napier invented a vacuum device: hot water passed through a filter with coffee and returned back thanks to the resulting vacuum. The device was very bulky, difficult to handle, and sometimes exploded. In addition, the drink prepared in this way had a rather meager, unexpressed taste. This invention, due to its objective shortcomings, did not receive development but gave an impetus to the creation of coffee machines.
The first such machine was constructed in 1855 by a man named de Santa is. The device was striking in its performance: it made 2000 cups of coffee per hour. The grandmother of all espresso machines was a compression coffee machine, but very bulky and difficult to handle. The invention did not become widespread but contributed to the further development of coffee machines.
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Drip coffee makers
The device, first created in the 19th century, has not changed much in terms of basic principles and layout to this day. These are two vessels: one for heating water, the other for the brewed drink. The water, warming up, flows through the tube to the filter with ground coffee and slowly, drop by drop, is filtered through the filter into the second vessel. This process is called percolation: water, heating up to 87-90 ° C and gradually seeping through the coffee, slowly collects aromatic substances from the ground beans.
The modern electric drip coffee maker is equipped with a vertical heating tube, through which water rises along the body and drips into the coffee filter through a hole in the lid. The water container is usually located on the back or side panel, in some cases, the control unit is located on it. The coffee filter is located in the compartment above the flask for the finished drink. Modern devices are most often equipped with an anti-drip system that works on the principle of a garden washbasin – if you remove the jug from the stand, coffee stops flowing from the filter. Thus, the user can pour himself a cup of drink while the appliance is in operation.
The taste and strength depend on the speed of water passing through the filter and on the variety and grinding of the grains. Medium ground coffee powder is suitable for drip systems. A coarse grind will render the beverage unsaturated, and a fine grind may impart a bitter taste to the coffee. At best, there will be two preparation options: strong or soft coffee. This is possible if the model is equipped with an adjustment of the strength of the drink. Coffee made in drip devices is often called “Americano” and is served under this name in establishments. In fact, of course, they are two different drinks made from ground coffee beans. Drip coffee makers are usually chosen by people who like to drink a lot of weak coffee throughout the day.
Geyser coffee makers
This is a device with a similar principle of operation. In Russia, drip coffee makers are more popular, but, for example, in Italy, 80% of home appliances are geyser ones. There are coffee makers and electric coffee makers of this type. In this review, we have described the operation of geyser devices with both an internal and an external heating source.
The device resembles an hourglass in shape and consists of two vessels communicating with a tube. Water is poured into the lower vessel, the finished drink is collected in the upper one. Between the containers, there are two symmetrical funnel-shaped parts with a coffee strainer in the middle. Teng or an external source heats the water at the bottom of the device, liquid, boiling, it flows through a tube into a funnel with a filter, passes through the ground coffee, brewing it and pours out like a fountain from the tube in the upper vessel. By the similarity of this action with the process of eruption of water from a geyser, the type of device is named.
The classic geyser coffee maker is made of aluminum or plastic, its lower vessel has an octagonal shape. On electric models, the coffee jug is usually made of plastic, with a non-heating rubber handle and a hinged lid. The control panel is located at the front at the foot of the lower vessel. The regulation of the beverage quantity depends on the capacity of the coffee maker. Usually, geyser devices have an adapter for half the volume of the filter. In this way, you can prepare half a jug of drink if you pour half the water or a full jug of less strong coffee.
On average, a drink in a geyser-type device is prepared from 5 to 10 minutes. The cooking speed depends on the power, volume, and material of the model. Devices differ in material, useful volume of vessels, power, and additional functionality.
A completely stand-alone way of brewing coffee. The name of the method and device comes from the English verb pour over – to pour. Water with a temperature of 92-96 ° C is slowly poured through the funnel-shaped filter with ground coffee. Initially, this is a manual and time-consuming procedure – you need to pour water in a spiral, from the perimeter to the center, using a special kettle with a curved spout. It is believed that the drink brewed in this way retains all the flavor of the coffee bean and reveals it in the best possible way. The method also has another name – Hario, derived from a Japanese brand that produces special teapots for brewing coffee. The idea itself also came to us from the land of the Rising Sun – the pour-over as a way of brewing coffee originated from the tea ceremony.
Now, this method of preparing a drink is becoming popular in Europe and America. The first electric coffee makers appeared that brew coffee in this way, for example, the appliance under the KitchenAid brand. The choice of models and manufacturers of electrical devices of this type is still small: the previously released Bodum Bistro b. Over coffee maker has already been discontinued. The appliance heats up the water to the desired temperature and, using a watering can, slowly sprinkles the ground coffee in the strainer. From there, the finished drink flows into the jug. The KitchenAid Pourover has a warming disc under the flask to keep the beverage warm. The device has so far received little distribution in Russia – thanks, among other things, to its not very humane price – so it has not yet entered our test laboratory.
This is an even more automated way of making coffee, in fact, further development of the idea of pods. The ingredients for the drink (except water) are packed in an airtight capsule. The quantity of ingredients, the degree of grinding of the beans, the preservation of the taste and freshness of the coffee powder – all this becomes the concern of the manufacturer. The user has to choose the taste and amount of water per serving. There are capsules with different flavors, with different blends of coffee, hot chocolate, tea, cappuccino capsules with milk powder. If the appliance has a cappuccino maker, the possibilities for varying beverage recipes are expanded.
Capsule coffee machines appeared in the 70s. Now such devices are most often found in small offices and in households. This overview describes in detail the principle of operation of the capsule coffee machine and the structure of the capsule itself. In order to use the device, this information is completely optional, the device was invented in order to make coffee quickly and easily. The user only needs to buy capsules, press a button and take simple care actions.
The most important thing to look for when choosing a capsule coffee machine is the type of capsule. Devices of this type are produced under one of the brands of capsules and can only work with it. Some devices, however, allow the use of non-original capsules. This is also an important part of the choice – information about what consumables, in addition to “relatives”, the machine can work with.
Capsules from different manufacturers differ not only in taste, but also in types of drinks: in addition to espresso, manufacturers can offer you a cappuccino, tea, cocoa, and so on. There are also differences in price. The ideal situation is if you have the opportunity to taste drinks from different coffee machines with different types of capsules and make your choice based on this.
This overview is for those who want to get an idea of the coffee makers, their structure, functions, and basic characteristics. All described types of coffee makers, although they are designed for the same process, the principles of operation, and its result, are completely different.
Drip and geyser coffee makers are simple and relatively inexpensive devices for those who like to drink a lot of weak coffee. You can use the drip model as many cycles in a row as you like. With a geyser coffee maker, you will have to wait for the appliance to cool down after a cycle before starting the next one. Among both types of devices, there are models in which you can set a delayed start for the morning, putting the ingredients in the evening.