Whether you're regular or decaffeinated, go for latte or a plain cup of Joe, coffee is a daily treat for many and a way of life for some. Coffee has evolved over the last thousand or so years to become the most popular beverage on the planet. Even if you don't drink it, you probably love the smell of roast coffee. Lowe's is happy to provide this information as a service to you.
Since the earliest incarnations, the quest to build a better coffee maker has never ended. The major initiative at first was to find an effective way to separate the grounds from the brewed liquid. Getting the most flavor from the bean was the other passion.
For the real coffee hound, the next best thing to living in a coffeehouse is a home coffee or espresso maker.
Since it's invention in the early 1900's the drip brewing system has grown to be the most widely used method of brewing. Prior to that, ground coffee was boiled or brewed in a percolator. Here's how the drip system works:
Drip coffee can be made with a simple manual coffee maker where hot water is poured over the filter. The automatic drip coffee maker, developed and refined in the 1960's and 1970's, heats the water and pumps it up and over the grounds.
Drip coffee is made by moving water around a basket of ground coffee beans. Espresso is different - water is forced under pressure through the ground beans. The highly flavored extracted oils give espresso its intense flavor. In simple terms, the water is heated by the machine to produce steam. The steam brews espresso in the same way a regular drip coffee maker operates. A frothing wand is attached to the unit for topping espresso with cream or whipping milk for cappuccino.
Grinding your own beans is more than chic, it's actually a way to get the best flavor from a coffee bean. It takes a little practice to get the right consistency for the brew you're after (for example, espresso is very finely ground). Also remember that grinding will not make inferior beans better, so buy quality roast coffee. There are two types of coffee grinders:
Your grinder should hold enough beans for a full pot. Because oils are released when grinding coffee, look for a grinder that cleans easily. Grinders can also grind nuts or spices. To avoid imparting coffee taste to these, you may want to own two grinders.