With the rise of gourmet coffees, many people have started paying more attention to not just what they drink but how they make it. Pre-ground filter coffee and classic automatic machines are still popular, but new types of coffee makers seem to be developed every day. If you're looking to step up your office's coffee brewing skills but aren't sure where to start, read on to discover some of the most popular methods.
The Classic Coffee Maker
When you think of brewing coffee, there's a good chance you think of the classic auto-drip machines. These models are quite popular due to the ease of use and relatively fast brewing time, although some don't make the best-tasting brews. Some of them also use paper filters, which can be a bit wasteful in an office setting. However, for many offices, the convenience is hard to beat. As a bonus, they're compact enough for smaller break rooms. Consider keeping an eye out for units with a shower-head nozzle for better saturation and customizable brewing cycles to help make the most of your gourmet coffee.
Drip to Deliciousness
Auto-drip machines may be the classic choice, but manual drip brewers have become a fast favorite among coffee connoisseurs. All of these models essentially work by having you put your grounds directly into a filter, which attaches to the top of a carafe or jar. When you're ready to brew, you simply slowly pour hot water over the grounds by hand. Manual drip brewers have a reputation for bringing out the unique flavors and aromas of each roast. However, most only create one to three cups of coffee at a time, and it does require a little more work. You can also get models that are ideal for cold-brewed coffee, but those can take up to 10 hours to brew.
Putting the Pressure On
Pressure brewing is another fairly broad category, but perhaps the two most popular types are the espresso and the French press. Espresso machines are ideal if you want to get caffeine in a concentrated form, or you can mix it up with milk and other beverages for a gourmet flavor. One of the biggest drawbacks for the average business is the price, although you can find consumer models suitable for smaller offices for just a few hundred dollars. Espresso machines also require a little more skill to use and clean.
The French press is about as simple to use as it gets. All you have to do is add your grounds, pour hot water over them, then let them steep for a few minutes. Next, you press the filter down over the grounds to force the water through them. The result is a solid, delicious cup of coffee. However, like other manual brewers, most French presses can only make a few cups at a time. They also need to be taken apart and cleaned after each use, and they tend to leave a bit of residue at the bottom of the brewed coffee that some drinkers may find unappealing.
Percolate to Perfection
These classic contraptions get a bit of a bad reputation in coffee connoisseur circles, but there's a reason they're a popular choice for restaurants and busy offices. All you need to do is add your hot water to the base and your grounds to the top, then the percolator does the rest. They work by recirculating the water back up through a tube then letting gravity draw it back down through the grounds and filter. Most modern percolators feature a built-in heat source to make sure everything stays hot. Unfortunately, these high temperatures can cause the coffee to develop a more bitter taste, though most high-quality ones automatically sense and adjust the temperature to reduce the risks.
Each brewing style has its benefits and drawbacks, so there's no one-size-fits-all answer. If you spend a little time talking to your staff and shopping around, you can find a coffee maker that fits your office's unique needs.
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