We are a family of coffee drinkers.
It’s not unusual for my wife and I to start our day sitting at our kitchen table eating our breakfast over matching cups of coffee. It’s also more often than not that you can find us in the late evening sitting out on our porch with matching cups of coffee.
I guess you can say I’m somewhat of a coffee connoisseur.
If you take a quick glance at my kitchen counter tops or rifle through the basement closets filled with forgotten appliances — you will find a theme. Coffee. Milk frothers, espresso makers, dual blend coffee pots and single mug makers, 12- and 14-cup coffee makers, coffee grinders, machines that use pods, and those that use k-cups, kettles, French presses and urns. There is no lack of choice when it comes to finding something in our home to brew yourself a cup of Joe.
I’m always keen to take a new coffee maker for a trial run and see if it can win coveted counter space in our kitchen. Recently I received the Cuisinart Extreme Brew 12-Cup Coffee Maker from Canada’s leading electronics-focused e-retailer Newegg At Home.
For a coffee maker to ‘make the grade’ in our kitchen it has to be versatile. Sometimes we are in a rush and grab a cup as we head out the door. Sometimes we are leisurely and grind our own coffee beans. Sometimes we are one; sometimes we are many. My coffee maker needs to be as flexible as my busy lifestyle.
One tip for when choosing which coffee-maker: Don’t let big words and fancy gimmicks sell you on a coffee maker.
Based on the aforementioned treasure-trove of coffee makers in our household, here are my sure-fire 5 Must-Haves To Look For When Buying A New Coffee Maker.
Coffee lovers know that temperature is critical when it comes to brewing coffee. Generally between 195 F and 205 F (The closer to 205 F the better). If you go higher to the boiling point you will end up burning your coffee. If the water is not hot enough, it will not extract the coffee from the ground beans properly. However, once the coffee is brewed the temperature is purely a matter of taste.
The Extreme Brew has a unique three-setting heat option giving coffee drinkers a choice of keeping the carafe regular, hot and extra-hot, for the perfect temperature mug of coffee.
For a while, I had an espresso maker in the kitchen and thought it would be the thing of dreams. I’d wake up on weekend mornings and make us cups of cappuccino or lattes and we’d sit around enjoying our custom drinks. What a laugh. I never have time to grind beans, steam milk, press coffee, clean and repeat. I need coffee. And I need it fast. Even a lot of coffee brewers can take what seems like half the morning just to brew a pot.
This coffee maker is 25% faster for those mornings when you just can't wait to get out the door. Also, the brew pause lets you pause brewing to enjoy a cup before brewing is done.
I could literally list dozens of options that you can find on coffee makers. Really though, it’s about finding the options you need without going overboard. The more complex the coffee maker, the more expensive it will be. Critical on my list:
This coffee maker has all four of these controls without going too far overboard with costly bells and whistles.
While this is technically a control, I weigh strength as a category all its own. Depending what time of day it is or what day of the week, I’ll often change my mind on the strength of coffee that I’m brewing. The brew strength allows me to control the intensity of coffee flavour I prefer and my coffee Regular or Bold.
The Extreme Brewer allows me to make those changes and it means without changing the coffee beans I’m using I have the ability to modify the flavour that fills my cup.
Filtering is important for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the coffee we drink is mostly made up of water. This means that the purity of the water impacts the quality of the end cup. A water filter helps reduce flavour altering impurities that might be in your drinking water. The second important filter is the coffee filter. Disposable coffee filters don’t cost too much but the cost adds up when you have to use a new one for every new batch of coffee. They can also be flimsy and allow coffee grind to leak into your coffee. They also tend to stop the precious coffee bean oil from passing through. Gold toned filters allow these essential oils through adding additional flavour.
This coffee maker comes with a charcoal water filter and a permanent gold tone coffee filter. A great indicator that my cup of coffee is going to be as flavourful and top quality as I’d expect.
When you find the coffee maker that has all of these necessities, make sure it finds its way front and centre on your kitchen counter. The Cuisinart Extreme Brew 12-Cup Coffee Maker might just make its way to work and on vacation with me too!