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7 Frustrating Reasons Why My Broken Coffee Maker is NOT Working! Shoot!

Why is your coffee maker not working? Six coffee maker problems you might face: Answered

We answer your coffee maker questions, because coffee makers bring us so much joy and often not a few tears as we try to figure out how to get the best out of those darned suckers! Sometimes you wake up in the morning to the sad news that your broken coffee maker is not working anymore!

broken coffee maker
A broken coffee maker that looks like it just flooded!

Is this a broken coffee maker?

What a dismal way to start the day!

At PurelyCoffeeBeans, I’ve answered lots of questions over the years. You’ll find the questions and their answers scattered throughout the site! I’m always open to more questions, if you’re frustrated or curious, or you want to review a coffee, why don’t you drop me a line!

This week we welcome…!

Your Broken Coffee Maker Questions: Table of Contents

Q1: I have a Tim Hortons Coffee Maker and the coffee is not very hot.

I have a Tim Hortons Coffee Maker and the coffee is not very hot!
Do you think this is a broken coffee maker if it’s not working well?

57See the Tim Horton’s Coffee Maker by Bunn on Amazon

Thanks,

Lukewarm Coffee in US of A!

Dear Lukewarm in US of A!

I looked extensively for information about the Tim Hortons Coffee Maker, and couldn’t find much on the internet. I’m surmising that this coffee brewer isn’t a popular purchase.

General Feedback

Several reviewers commented on how weak the coffee was and noted that it brewed ‘fast’. They also noted that they had to add much more coffee to get a reasonable strength of brew. There were also issues with the hot plate not working properly. I’d consider returning it for repairs, or asking for a refund.

It is produced by a reputable company, called Bunn. So I reckon neither of these asks should be a big issue for them to fix.

Common Issue

I can only advise this is a serious issue with some coffee makers: the only thing you can do is use a coffee thermometer and test the water as it comes out of the heating unit and drips into the basket. Then test the coffee temperature in the basket before it drips into the pot. Lastly, test the ambient temperature in the pot itself to make sure the temperature is within an acceptable range.

911
This coffee maker, tested by the SCAA’s certified program, solves the problem of lukewarm coffee.
See it on Amazon.

Typical Temperatures

For brewing the water, you’d expect the water to come out of the hot water tube at around 90C. Don’t expect the water to be 100C, because searing the coffee grinds will only cause the flavor to decay. Once in the drip basket, I’d expect the water to be a little cooler because some of the water will have been there for a few seconds. I’d be looking at around 85C overall.

As it drips into the jug, I’d test the temperature again. I wouldn’t look at temperatures much lower than 80C in the jug, depending on whether the unit has a heating plate.

Find the source of the big temperature drop

It could be that the problem lies in one of these three places. Perhaps the water isn’t being heated to the optimal temperature range before dripping onto the grinds.

Perhaps the coffee isn’t dripping fast enough so the temperature drops too much while in the basket. Perhaps the coffee heating element in the base is broken or insufficient in a colder environment.

Cold cups and cold milk

Lastly, be aware that once you decant the coffee into your cup and add milk or cream, you’ll also easily drop the temperature one more time. I don’t have hard numbers on this myself, but I have found temperatures ranges from 65C ~ 75C by then. So keep your cup warm by swirling hot water in it, and consider warming the milk gently before adding.

Ultimately, the only real way to keep the temperature fairly high is to shorten the time between the water coming out of the hot water tube and going into your mouth! If your Tim Hortons coffee maker isn’t able to do the job, perhaps it’s time to get another one. It’s not a broken coffee maker, it’s just a crap one!


Best Wishes
Kenneth

Q2: Toddy Coffee: How long can brewed coffee be kept for?

How long can brewed Toddy coffee be kept for?

by Concerned Coffee Drinker from NY

1315

I have a jug of coffee I didn’t finish the day before sitting in the fridge. Is it still good to drink?

Thank you

As a fan of the aromas and taste of fresh brewed coffee, I cringe at the idea of storing coffee overnight. This dislike conflicts with my desire for iced coffee all summer long.

Storing Toddy coffee in the refrigerator is an acceptable method for those who like coffee for its taste and not specifically for the fresh brewed coffee qualities. If you find you’re a coffee aficionado, then coffee should be made for consumption within the first few hours of being brewed. After those few hours, coffee should be thrown away.

Still drinkable

If you are like most coffee drinkers, you simply like the taste of coffee and the idea of caffeine. Then you will not mind as much its having been stored and more than a couple of hours old. Coffee will not lose any of its caffeine through storage. What it will lose is its freshness and to some extent its taste.

Coffee from the refrigerator can offer the drinker a quickly re-heated cup of coffee or iced coffee. Brewing techniques as well as coffee brand both contribute to how long brewed coffee will last refrigerated and whether it will still taste acceptable.

A health threat?

There appears to be no real health threat to those who drink unrefrigerated coffee over a time frame of a couple of days. There are no real indicators as to when coffee spoils. How long you store coffee is strictly up to the individual and their preferred tastes and methods of coffee storage. Reheating in a microwave or on the stove is also a matter of individual taste. It is generally suggested however those if expecting company, brew a fresh pot of coffee.

Why does coffee slowly decay in flavor?

Due to the natural processes that occur to enhance coffee, we can enjoy wonderful coffee. However, some of those processes also will destroy the flavors we enjoy. The enemies of flavor are: time, temperature, air & moisture. Each of these will impact the coffee in both beneficial & unpleasant ways. The actual chemical compounds in coffee that create the sensory experience for our noses & mouths are very volatile and easily destroyed by these enemies.

Avoid adding cream or milk

The most important factor is to not add creamer to coffee that may be stored or may sit for later use. The creamer or milk will spoil, even if the weather isn’t particularly warm. In fact, fresh milk in a moderately warm environment should be out of the refrigerator for no more than 10 minutes at a time.

Don’t keep too long, and don’t add milk before storing

To enjoy the best flavors, I’d recommend you brew & enjoy your coffee as close together in time as possible, whether or not it is iced coffee. Even brewing cold brew coffee one can expect a deterioration in the flavor after a period of time.

If you’re planning to store your Toddy brewed coffee or leave it sitting, put in creamer or milk just prior to consumption. Hope that helps.

Samuel

Q3: Why does my coffee machine keep flooding?

Why is my coffee maker not working? Why does it keep flooding?

by Ian McCall Paisley, Scotland

1719Russell Hobbs Satin Take 2 Series #10881

I have the Russell Hobbs Satin Take 2 Series with the double cup! But I would love to know …
… why my coffee machine “Take 2 model #10881” keeps flooding all over the tray and my worktop?

It’s seriously annoying, messy and inconvenient!

Thanks,
Ian

This machine proves to be an attractive design, very practical & convenient for domestic use. But as you noted, it is prone to leaking all over the worktop. I suspect that there are different possible reasons for this.

So let’s see if we can’t diagnose the problem.

Step 1: What color is the liquid on your counter? If it’s clear, then water might be leaking from the water tank at the back or from the dripper before the water hits the coffee. If it’s coffee colored, then it might be leaking from the chamber that holds the coffee grounds or from the dripper unit. It could also be leaking from the cups themselves.

Step 2: When you see the liquid on the counter, what part of the machine seems wet? Is it the coffee chamber or the hot plate? If it’s the coffee chamber, check to see that there isn’t a crack in the unit. If there isn’t, then check to see if the coffee filter you placed in hasn’t allowed coffee & grounds to flow out.

Sometimes the overflow will allow grounds to get into the dripper and block the flow of water. This results in a huge mess usually, if it’s not discovered early enough.

Step 3: If everything up top looks okay, then take a look at the dripping unit. Your device is unusual in that coffee flows into two, not one, jugs. Look carefully and see if the unit has any hidden cracks in the top. Some users have reported that the coffee maker distributes coffee unevenly (due to blockages?) to each cup. This could result in a cup overflow problem.

Step 4: The last possibility is the cups aren’t aligned properly with the coffee flow, leaving coffee to drip (or pour) between the cups, and on to the warm plates. This would also mean that the bottom of your cups will be dirty, and could stain your clothes, bag or car!

General Advice: I would suggest that you run a mug of water through the system to check that the water flow is even. Just don’t add coffee. Then if you notice a problem, make sure that the unit is cleaned. Those finer coffee grounds can get just about anywhere in the machine.

Keeping your coffee maker in top shape will result in better coffee, cleaner machines & more efficient processing.

Oh, and a last tip: If you live in an area with water that has a lot of sediment (‘hard water’), then you may find that the furring from the deposits could be the reason it’s getting blocked.

Since this entire design (not just the model) seems to have been discontinued by Russell Hobs, replacing it might be the best option, especially if the warranty has expired. You will probably have to buy a different brand.

If you have had experience with messy coffee makers, how did you fix the problem? What advice do you have to share? And if you’d like to drop me a line, I’d love to hear from you!

Otherwise check out these top notch coffee makers:

Best Wishes
Kenneth

Q4: How much water for 100 grams of coffee? Let’s Answer Soh’s Question

I need to know how much water for 100 grams of coffee?

by Soh from Singapore

How much water should I use for 100 grams of fine ground coffee powder?

Thank you

Everybody loves their coffee made to perfection as many of us often rely on a cup of coffee to galvanize us into action in the morning. The secret behind a great cup of coffee is the freshness and quality of the coffee itself. But how much water do you need to brew your perfect cup of coffee for a 100 grams of fine ground coffee powder?

What method are you using?

Coffee dripping into a coffee jug v60. Sitting on a measuring scale
Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

The answer really depends on how finely ground the coffee is, and THAT depends on how you are making the coffee. So the answer will vary.

If you are making coffee in a drip pot, then you should easily make 7 cups of coffee at about 14g per cup. Finer ground coffee is the most suitable for making the best quality cup of coffee.

For espresso, you’ll probably get only about 3 or 4 small cups of espresso; but that is not likely the kind of coffee you are drinking. The volume of water used in espresso is much lower because the espresso is usually much stronger and destined for use in making cappuccino.

What kind of water?

Of course, you will need clean water but not particularly pure water. The coffee flavor goes best with some minerals to bind with it and bring out that distinct taste. The method you use to heat the water is up to you to choose from, but remember not to use boiling water if you’re making coffee by hand.

I don’t recommend using mineralized water… but if you live in an area with lots of sediment in your water from calcium deposits and/or your water isn’t particularly clean, running it through a water filter will help to balance and clean it.

How much water for 100 grams?

The finer coffee you grind, the more water will be absorbed by the grounds; expect to ‘lose’ some water due to absorption by the coffee paper, the coffee grounds, as well as some wastage due to water becoming steam. If you don’t have a standard coffee spoon, it’s a good idea to settle on one of these…


Useful Coffee Formula

For 100g of coffee, you should find that 200ml per cup is okay. So you’ll be looking at about 1.5~1.6 liters of water.

To work out how much water to use, here is a simple formula:

( coffee weight in grams / 14.5g  ) * 200 ml of water = how many cups of water.

Hope that helps. I would be interested to know how much coffee other people use. Commercial capsules, drip bags and coffee pouches, like the Nespresso system or Starbucks Origami series, only use 7~10g at most resulting in an unsatisfying cup of watery coffee if you don’t pay attention to how much water is needed.

Factor for the water!

If you are using a manual pour, you can always control the final amount of water for sure. In fact, I’d suggest that you heat at least 33% more water for the following purposes.

  • a little extra for evaporation… hot water evaporates! Who knew?
  • dousing the paper filter to get rid of the coffee filter flavor
  • coffee absorption (which depends on the coffee and can vary significantly from 12% to almost 20%)
  • warming the cups, esp. for colder climes where ambient temperatures can reduce the coffee temps in your cup

Larger Mugs of Coffee

Of course, if you’re like me, you prefer a larger mug of coffee, I’d estimate that you’d get about 4 full mugs out of 100g of coffee, using a slightly lower ratio of 24g per 400ml of water. Don’t forget that coffee grounds absorb water, so you will not get exactly the same amount of coffee out as water in!


Coffee:Water Ratio Websites

You can also use the Coffee to Water Calculator here to help you do the math. You can also use this website for calculation amount of needed water.

Coffee to Water Calculator

I typically use an electronic kitchen scale and cooking thermometer to measure both the coffee, the temps, and the water used. It helps a lot to standardize my coffee brewing! And don’t forget to experiment with the amounts of coffee used. I typically eyeball the coffee in the dripper to determine how much water can still go through.

Tip For Coffee Drippers and Manual Methods

If you’re using another way to make coffee, I suggest you have a little extra water on hand to add while brewing. With espresso makers, stovetop devices, etc. you’re already dealing with fixed inputs, so disregard that advice!

Good luck!

Q5: Are these coffee beans compatible with my coffee maker?

Are these coffee beans compatible with my coffee maker?

2325See more information about this coffee maker @ Amazon.com

I just bought a Saeco Odea Giro Plus fully automatic capuccino/expresso coffee machine and I would like to know if the Kirkland signature dark roast expresso blend coffee beans compatible with my machine?

Thank you

I’m sorry but I didn’t catch your name. Apologies for the delay in posting this answer, it was a little while in the making!

I had a look at the specifications of this machine. Since it doesn’t use any form of cupping system (a la k-cups), you should be able to use any brand or blend of coffee bean with this machine, without issue. That’s not saying you will get a drinkable result, though, every time.

With the kind of coffee you suggest, though, you are off to a reasonable start. If I may, I suggest that you get on my 3-stage training plan.

Step 1: Stick to Quality Brands

First, buy quality coffee. I particularly like Lavazza & Illy coffee for the quality of product, consistency & availability. You can buy them in whole beans easily. That way you will get to know espresso coffee much better. But they may not be the absolute best coffee you can buy. Once you can get the machine making reasonable coffee… it’s time to experiment.

Stage 2: Experiment with different roasts/grinds..

Buy some cheaper espresso coffee (1/4lb size) to practice pulling different shots of espresso. The settings on your machine will allow you to vary several factors (read the manual). Then go to a coffee store that sells really good coffee, and get the best espresso you can afford. Ask the baristas for advice on what to use, go home and experiment a couple of times. You’ll notice a qualitative difference between the expensive & cheap coffees: the flavors, the shot of coffee, the crema… note the differences. Note what you like/don’t like.

Stage 3: Avoid cheap coffee

Then when you learn the equipment, using a coffee like the one you suggest may produce the results you like. Perhaps not. One tip, though, don’t waste money buying unnecessarily cheap coffee. Otherwise you’ll really regret buying an expensive coffee maker, the coffee you get won’t shine.

It would be probably better to buy decent coffee and practice on that, so at least you can take some pleasure in what comes out. I seem to remember buying coffee once from Ikea of all places. They ended up ground to make anti-funky smell pods in the refrigerator. So I learned that the hard way!

Stage 4: Follow your machine’s maintenance guide carefully

Really, if you suspect the beans you’ve tried are clogging up the machine, you may want to double up on the cleaning regimen. Inspect, and monitor the quality of the coffee coming out; check the machine for regular problems.

The oils from the beans will slowly accumulate on the grinding mechanism, particularly. So you should pay much attention to checking these.

Thanks,

Kenneth

Q6: How do you remove coffee stains from a coffee maker hot plate?

How do you remove baked on coffee stains from coffee maker hot plate and
keeping your drip coffee maker spick and span?

by Donn Smith from Michigan

27
All coffee makers get stains on their hot plates! 

How do you remove burned on coffee stains from a hot plate on a coffee maker?

Thank you

PurelyCoffeeBeans reckons you won’t be able to remove those white coffee stains with anything. I think this means that the non-stick coating has already come off, and the underlying metal surface has been exposed. Vigorous scrubbing will only remove the remaining coating FAST! Be careful you don’t burn your coffee pot by leaving it standing on the pot.

Without a non-stick surface, you may find that the coffee pot burns easily, and may seem to ‘stick’ to the electric plate a little. Gently remove the jug from the coffee pot. If at any time you think the glass jug will break, stop! Don’t ever force the jug off… otherwise you may find that you end up pouring a jug of hot coffee and broken glass all over yourself.

If the non-stick surface is still intact, but dirty! Hey, it happens! Gently clean with a plastic scouring pad! If that doesn’t work, try some non-stick pot or oven cleaner (make sure it’s safe for non-stick surfaces). People have reported good results with bicarbonate of soda and vinegar applied with an old toothbrush.

Clean off with a wet cloth, then dry before using it again. You may find commercial solutions at Amazon, too. If the pot is still sticking, and you find it a problem, it might be time for a new machine!

Cleaning Tips for a Drip Coffee Maker

When you’re finished with your drip coffee maker, simply rinse the jug out using the same caution as you would a french press. You should also empty the plastic filter cone, and either rinse out the gold coffee filter or throw away the paper filter and contents. Don’t leave grounds in the basket for days as it will encourage mold to grow and put nasty stains on your coffee machine. It may even affect the flavor of your future brews.

Additional Cleaning

Wiping the unit down will help keep a clean coffee maker – just use a damp cloth. Never do this while the machine is plugged in or turned on, in case you electrocute yourself.

The filtering can be messy, so the drip unit at the top, the basket, the filter unit, and the hot plate will all need cleaning, too. Clean off the grounds and the stains after use, and you will find you brew a better cup more often!

If you spill coffee on the hotplate, don’t scrub the non-stick surface or you will find that the jug starts to stick to the surface, making it harder to remove and perhaps causing more spilling or accidents. The scrubbing action will remove the non-stick surface.

The used grounds can be dried and used for ashtrays to absorb the bad smells, and some friends have recommended using the grounds in their refrigerators for the same reason.

It’s a good idea to run through the entire coffee brewing process every few weeks using vinegar instead of water to get rid of excess deposits. A clean pot keeps the coffee flavor pure and fresh. After the vinegar cycle, run fresh water alone through the system, and you’ll be ready to go!

Maria Cleaveland Offers Her Tips

Maria Cleaveland of Equator Estate Coffees & Teas offers some practical tips on how to clean your coffee maker in this video.

Reddit Users often have useful things to say about cleaning coffee makers! User K8Seren asks: “How do I properly clean these devices so that I don’t damage them or impart any nasty flavors into the brew? Is Dawn dish soap fine? Should I wash with soap after every brew or less often?” Read the answer here…

Newb question – how often/how to clean coffee makers from Coffee

Hope that helps, but it may be time to look at a new machine if the stains are too serious to clean. If the coffee stains are on your clothes, you might want to look this article.

Q7. Why do oily coffee beans screw up my coffee maker?

Oily Beans Screw Up My Coffee Maker

by David
(United States)

We have an automatic espresso/coffee machine that requires dry (non-oily) beans. I cannot see the beans in the bags due to the opaqueness of the containers to see if they are non-oily.

Which of the coffees at Costco have non-oily beans? Oily beans screw up the mechanics of the machine.

Sorry to hear about your problem. Typically, the oils are only expressed in the later stages of darker roasting; so French Roast, and other dark roasts will have tend to have a coating, that appears ‘shiny’.

While medium roasts aren’t typical for espresso beans, they can make a decent espresso if chosen carefully. The definition of ‘medium’ does tend to vary a little towards dark with some roasters, like Starbucks Coffee.

Needless to say, medium roasts also make decent cups of coffee with more hints of the bean, and less of the roast. The darkest roasts tend to be inferior in quality of the coffee, so perhaps that’s why they are roasted so dark.

In short, I’d recommend simply buying beans that are medium roasted to avoid unnecessary oils and/or buy your coffee beans from a retailer where you can actually see the beans before you buy.

One coffee from Costco coffee that you may want to try (it’s not an espresso) is the Jamaican Blend from Magnum Exotics. It’s listed on my page. I’m not sure if they are suitable for an espresso maker, though.

And as a backup plan, learn to make coffee another way so if you do make a purchasing mistake, you can still enjoy the darker roasts!

Hope that helps.
Kenneth


Looking for new equipment, check out the coffee makers, coffee grinders, and bean roasters page.

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Coffee Brand Names in 2020 – #10 Victor Allen Coffee

What are the top coffee brand names in America today?

Disclaimer: When you buy through a link on this site, I earn commission
from any qualifying purchases as I’m an Amazon Associate.

I’m pulling data from Amazon for this, so a lot of assumptions are baked in, including whatever assumptions Amazon makes in its ‘Customer Review’ section. I specified a minimum of 4* plus, though the final data with scores of 3.7* got included. I also specified more than one coffee product had to be included in the basic data to qualify as a full brand.

Data was used on 4/21/2020 ~ 12am. Prices are listed as:

  • $ for under $10 per bag/carton,
  • $$ for between $10 and $20,
  • $$$ for over $20 and under $30
  • over $30 ranks a $$$$!

Top Coffee Brands 2020 (all parts)

In 2020, we’re ranking the top 118 brands of coffee, and creating our own list of Amazon’s Best Coffee Brands:

#10: Victor Allen

Our Coffee Brand Names Review Score: 88.5%  – Price $$$

Who the f**k is Victor Allen? I’d never heard of this coffee company until I started this review. As you can see the company didn’t score highly on its brand ranking review score. But the sheer volume of reviews and the presence of a number of products in the list suggested that enough customers cared. So who is Victor Allen Coffee?

32

Check the price of Victor Allen Coffee, Italian Roast,
K-Cup for Keurig (200 Count) on Amazon

A little research quickly showed up that Victor Allen is primarily a vendor of K-Cup coffee from Wisconsin. Yes that single cup coffee that many people rave about! Doing a quick search for their website, and information about them, strongly suggests that their primary sales are via Amazon with a few other stores that also vend their cups. They are now owned by Trilliant Food and Nutrition, also of Wisconsin.

With statements like “The vast majority of our beans are 100% Arabica coffee beans, which are known for their quality, taste and smooth flavor”(quoted), you’ll quickly realize that they’re not known for high quality coffee. Pity.

So let’s take a look at what customers are buying? They don’t seem fazed by the coffee double-speak. The popular products are all K-cup for Keurig 2.0 – 100% Colombian, French Roast, Italian Roast, Autumn Favorites Variety Pack and Hazelnut.



What are the best coffee brands, find out here!

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How do you grind coffee with a blade coffee grinder?

The blade coffee grinder is only of three types of coffee grinders, but only the blade grinders and the burr coffee grinders are electric. You also have a manual coffee grinder which can evoke a feeling of nostalgia when you see it!

How do you choose a blade coffee bean grinder?

bladegrindercoffeebeansA lot of the flavor of a good cup of coffee depends on how it was ground. In recent years, the simple blade coffee bean grinder has become quite popular as people begin to appreciate the value of a flavorful, fresh cup of coffee made from freshly ground coffee beans!

This is a typical coffee blade grinder sold by Kitchen Aid.

40

See the reviews & prices
for the KitchenAid Blade Coffee Grinder
on Amazon42

Rather than pay the exorbitant prices of a specialty coffee shop, many people bought their own blade coffee grinder like the one above. Assuming, though, that a box mill or manual grinder is too much trouble, we’re left with the important question.

Which kind of blade coffee grinder works best?

You have probably seen the first type with a propeller-like blade at the bottom of a container (like mine). These are called coffee blade grinders. The blades spin around very quickly, tearing the beans into little pieces.

These grinders are all well and good for people who want fresh coffee in the morning, but they don’t satisfy afficionados… Why? The heat emitted by the machine can affect the flavor of the beans. The grind also tends to be uneven in inexperienced hands, so you might not get the best flavor from your coffee.

You can get a better grind by filling the grinder cup only half full then grind the beans in short bursts, shaking between bursts to get the larger chunks to the bottom. These grinders are inexpensive and do the job quickly, if crudely.

Good coffee shops will NEVER use this kind of coffee bean grinder. The quality of the grind is uneven, the blades tend to generate heat that might affect coffee beans delicate oils and flavors, and there are no presets on most coffee grinders.

So why choose a blade coffee grinder?

  • They are significantly less expensive than burr electric coffee grinders
  • They have a smaller kitchen footprint, and can be easily stowed
  • A blade coffee grinder can be used for grinding spices in recipes

Some people find that having a blade type coffee grinder doubles as a spice grinder as well. Although the heat produced through this method of grinding your beans sometimes imparts a burnt taste in your finished coffee, it’s far better to grind your own coffee at home than to purchase pre-ground in cans.

So why avoid a blade coffee grinder?

  • They can grind unevenly by mashing the beans
  • They may create additional heat, affecting flavors in the cup
  • They can’t be used for grinding fine espresso coffee

If you’re looking for a higher quality grind, or already have a manual coffee grinder, then I recommend you upgrade to a conical burr coffee grinder. Don’t waste time looking at these grinders, because you will not improve your coffee any further by buying one.

If it’s your first grinder, then it’s a solid choice. It can do double duty, and is very affordable!

What are the best blade type grinders tips?

Coffee Blade GrinderPurelyCoffeeBeans knows, for most coffee drinkers discovering different types of coffee beans, the coffee bean grinder with blades are their first experience with grinding coffee. And it does provide a satisfying improvement over opening and using ground coffee brands!

This article provides some tips on using your first blade coffee grinder45: including ‘doing the shake’, watch your timing, not too long/short, and ‘feel its pulse’! Lastly, I’ll end with some things you should be aware of… SAFETY first.

How do you use a blade coffee grinder?

Typical coffee bean grinders are usually most people’s first choice as a grinder, as it was mine. Unfortunately, the blade doesn’t grind as such; it tears and slashes the beans into smaller pieces until the grind level is achieved.

You’ll notice when you first open the canister that the grind is uneven as the grind produces a finer powder-like granules towards the outside, with unbroken larger pieces left inside.

Grind and Shake

You can compensate for this by slightly shaking the coffee bean grinders as you press the switch. Don’t shake too much, or perhaps the cover will fly loose, creating a coffee cloud! I know it happened to me. By shaking the grinder gently, you will move the grounds around more and ensure a smoother grind overall.

Don’t grind too long

Another tip for using the coffee bean grinders with blades is to make sure that you don’t grind too long. The blades tend to create a little heat from the friction of blades on beans. This could be undesirable as the heat may impair some of the gentler flavors of the beans, and produce a less than optimal taste.

Feel the Pulse

To overcome this, I usually use pulses: I press the button for between 1-2 seconds at the most, then when the motion stops, I pulse again. Between pulses, I will shake the grinder a little to move the bean grounds around.

The longer the finer

If you are making coffee for a French press, then a coarser grind may be about 2-3 seconds. For drip coffee makers, you will need a finer grind, so experiment with changing the total grind time. You may be able to get a really fine grind with a longer time, but you will need to experiment with your grinder.

Hold on Tight

Always hold on to the lid, just in case it comes loose. While these units don’t tend to have this issue, a little carelessness may result in a messy accident. Some blade coffee grinders are pretty basic: in other words, the lids or covers may fly off spilling coffee all over the kitchen! If you have one of those, always hold onto the lid properly while grinding, don’t shake too violently up and down or it will fly off! Trust me!

These techniques work very well with smaller handheld electric grinders, but if the grinder you use is larger or static, or you have hand mobility issues, then these options may not be suitable for you. The larger machines may also have preset grind levels making this pulse, grind and shake ritual impossible.

Why is my coffee grinder not working? Be careful!

Uneven grind: if you are unfamiliar with grinding levels, you will have to experiment with the different coffee grinds for your equipment. So there’s a little learning curve.

Safety First: NEVER use a coffee grinder that can grind beans WITHOUT a cover on… Those blades will happily grind little fingers or anything else that gets put in.

Should you decide one day to upgrade your grinder, just clean the blade grinder and let it grind spices for you! Saves you buying a new machine, and your cooking will improve, too!

What is the best blade coffee grinder for home use?

The coffee blade grinders are a good entry point for making whole bean coffee. Have a look at blade coffee grinders45 at Amazon. Check through their user comments as they can highlight what the grinders can be really like.


Looking for new equipment, check out the coffee makers, coffee grinders, and bean roasters page.

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Coffee Brand Names in 2020 – Check This Shortlist of Popular American Coffee Brands: Part 2 of 5

Continuing our look at the top coffee brand names in 2020, this post will be shorter than part 1 and continue from #20 to #16. Will there be any surprises…? I don’t know yet…

Top Coffee Brands 2020 (all parts)

In 2020, we’re ranking the top 118 brands of coffee, and creating our own list of Amazon’s Best Coffee Brands:

coffee brand names
Champion’s Estate, Brazilian Yellow Bourbon

What are the top coffee brand names in America today?

Disclaimer: When you buy through a link on this site, I earn commission
from any qualifying purchases as I’m an Amazon Associate.

I’m pulling data from Amazon for this, so a lot of assumptions are baked in, including whatever assumptions Amazon makes in its ‘Customer Review’ section. I specified a minimum of 4* plus, though the final data including scores of 3.7* got included. I also specified more than one coffee product had to be included in the basic data to qualify as a full brand.

Data was used on 4/21/2020 ~ 12am. Prices are listed as:

  • $ for under $10 per bag/carton,
  • $$ for between $10 and $20,
  • $$$ for over $20 and under $30
  • over $30 ranks a $$$$!

#20: illy Coffee

Our Coffee Brand Names Review Score: 91%  – Price $$

illy Coffee is one of my favorite imported coffee brands for no other reason than they produce nice coffee, nicely packed. Whether it’s ground or whole bean, illy Coffee really try to impress. They ranked no less than 3 coffee products in the top 25 coffee brands, which is why they were ranked. Surprisingly they also ranked a K-cup product as well as their top choice.

You’ll find a range of products on illy coffee including whole beans, ground coffee, and K-cups and their own branded iperEspresso single serve system (which I’d never heard of). They also sell canned coffee, no idea why. For ground coffee, you’ll find 100% Arabica coffee (Etiopia, Brasile, Colombia, Classico, Forte, Moka). The other coffee undoubtedly includes Robusta, such as their Espresso roasts (like Espresso, Intenso, etc). The K-cups also follow this naming convention.

Their ground coffees are fairly affordable, just squeezing into the $$ category… but the K-cups they sell seem to retail at around $1 per cup on average (so look carefully for deals) and up on several retailers. If you’re a budget consumer, stick with the ground or whole bean coffee to get the best value. If you dote on K-cups, then be prepared to spend a bit more for the additional packing quality.

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57Check the price of illy Classico, Medium Roast,
K-Cup for Keurig (10 Count) Pack of 6 on Amazon

You can read more about illy Coffee here.

Entering at #19 we find Kirkland Coffee, one of my favorite brands that I’ve bought countless times. In some ways, I’m quite surprised since Kirkland coffee is primarily sold at Costco outlets. But you can find it on Amazon where it sells quite well, because it’s membership-free to buy and it has a good quality/price ratio.

What surprised me was how many products from Kirkland sell on Amazon’s top 25. I found over 10 separate products which covered mostly its whole bean coffee products rather than the K-cups: Colombian coffee, Colombian Supremo, Dark Roast, House Decaf, Medium Roast, and finally its Pacific Bold K-cups (not available in any other format).

I won’t go into any more detail about Kirkland coffee, because I have a major page that details all of their whole bean coffee products. I’m still working on the K-cups. But this is a brand that is outstanding in its quality and range. The bulk sizes tend to push up the dollar costs, but it really is a massive deal if you can use it all. I typically buy one can of this coffee, because it takes so long to use it!

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Check the price of the Kirkland Signature
Colombian Coffee Supremo Bean Dark Roast-Fine Grind
(2-pack) on Amazon

Don’t be overawed by Kirkland Coffee, it really does offer good quality beans at great prices.

#18: Jacobs Kronung Coffee

Our Coffee Brand Names: 94.8%  – Price $~$$

Jacobs Kronung is another imported coffee from the same owners as Douwe Egberts. I was surprised to see another European entry in the top #25 coffee brand names, but there we are. Jacobs sported 7 entries in total, but five were for the same product in different sizes from single packs of 500g (about 1.1lbs) to a 12 pack (13.2lbs of coffee!!!). Someone somewhere is gobbing down this brand. I also discovered that “Kronung” in German translates as coronation.

Jacobs Kronung Ground Coffee was followed far behind by Jacobs Kronung’s Entkoffeiniert Decaf Ground Coffee and Balance Ground Coffee. All come in the same size packs of 500g. Now the Balance Ground Coffee is the equivalent of 1/2 decaffeinated – 1/2 regular coffee. A nice touch if you want to cut down your caffeine but still prefer that ‘kick’. It won’t be exactly 50% reduction, but close enough. 

In Europe, there are a few other varieties available. Check out our article on Jacobs Coffee here in the section at the bottom on Jacob’s coffee. One day, I’ll upgrade it to a full page, I guess. Overall, Jacobs Kronung coffee offers a good deal with the 10% larger packs, the virtue of being sized as a metric! I’m adding ‘$$’ simply because the unit cost can sometimes be a little more. But if you’re buying 12-packs, you probably already know how to economize.

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Check the price of the Jacobs Kronung Coffee on Amazon

A little bit of ‘European’ flair at decent prices.

#17 Community Coffee

Our Coffee Brand Names: 95.8%  – Price $~$$

Community Coffee’s bright red packaging is quite unusual. One other brand uses red (Eight O’clock Coffee) but the design and ethos of this company are intended to attract both loyal customers and those who like its values: wholesome, American, patriotic, etc.. Its values ref

Founded in 1923 by Norman “Cap” Saurage in Baton Rouge, Louisisana, this coffee roaster roasts beans grown in Brazil, Colombia and Mexico. It is still a family-owned coffee business, but has expanded distribution throughout 22 South Eastern states. It’s now opened coffee shops in many locations, and plans on expanding distribution through many other channels. Over 100 years old, and still expanding, this company has remained privately held.

Their prices range from truly affordable to quite affordable.  You’ll find a wide array of roasts and blends in its products from whole beans to ground to K-cups. They even roast 2x blends of 100% Arabica coffee with twice the level of caffeine. You’ll find the biggest choice in ground coffee, though. Their top selling products in our report are eeither their breakfast blends or their dark roast.

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Check the price of the
Community Coffee Signature Blend Dark Roast
Premium Ground (4-pack) on Amazon

You can check their full range on CommunityCoffee.

#16 Bullet Proof Coffee

Our Coffee Brand Names: 88%  – Price $$

Bullet Proof Coffee was all the rage a five or six years ago, and it made it into the 2020 brands on Amazon with a couple of products that seem to be just coffee! Quick recap: a faddish diet product made with coffee, butter and coconut oil that made rather dubious claims but many people swore by. Now I’ve never tried it … perhaps because I suspect a high fat diet isn’t all that Dave Asprey claims.

The pricing isn’t ridiculous, but our brand score isn’t impressive by any means. It comes in 6th from bottom out of 25 brands with only 2 products, which is surprising since its peers are all mass-market brands at lower price points. Perhaps including it as a regular coffee brand is a mistake, given its health claims and the typical poor quallity of other ‘health’ coffee… can any ‘ganoderma’ and coffee and not laugh?

So the coffee: Bullet Proof’s store on Amazon sells a range of health products, not just coffee. You’ll find key products dripping with names like “Mentalist”, “Luminate”, “Kick”… all with the same focus on being “cleaner”, “toxin tested”, and “certified”. It’s unlikely I’ll be drinking this any time soon!

Well, Bullet Proof’s prime product is in fact its “Original Ground Coffee Premium Medium Roast Gourmet Organic Beans Rainforest Alliance Certified Perfect for Keto Diet Upgraded Clean Coffee“. Quite a mouthful to say between gulps of your Butter Coffee… in fact, you’d quite likely be finished your drink before you got to the end of the product name.

They try to hit all the right buzzwords with the ‘in’ crowd. Its top product is offered as clear upsell “premium”, “gourmet”, “perfect”, “upgraded” “Rainforest Alliance”, “Keto”, “Clean”. In reality, it’s medium grade, unexceptional coffee at a marked up price because of the ‘health perception‘.

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Check the price of the
BulletProof Coffee Medium Roast
on Amazon

Maybe you’ll find BulletProof Coffee tasty and helpful for you.  If you enjoy good coffee, you may be disappointed.

So that’s it for this week. Next week, we’ll take a look at #16~11 coffee brand names where we’ll see some regular brands and one or two newcomers!


What are the best coffee brands, find out here!

Signature of PurelyCoffeeBeans in calligraphic brush style

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What’s the difference between roast, region & style? I don’t know coffee so I am suffering serious coffee confusion!

What’s the difference between roast, region & style?
I don’t know coffee so I am suffering serious coffee confusion!

do you know coffee?
Can’t identify this coffee?

“I can’t tell the difference …” or …is it considered dark-roast, medium, light, Colombian, French?” I just don’t know coffee!

Disclaimer: When you buy through a link on this site, I earn commission
from any qualifying purchases as I’m an Amazon Associate.

This query was added to a recent Reader’s Question. I already answered that question, but I thought I’d better spend some time sorting out the real coffee confusion for you. Hope this article helps you.

In the world of coffee, terminology abounds making it difficult for consumers to know what they are buying or if they are buying decent coffee at all.

Let’s see if I help you know coffee a little more clearly. I hope I shed a little light on your coffee buying!

Table of Contents: If you want to know coffee, you need to know –

What coffee beans are they? Where do they come from?

There are many varieties of coffee beans grown in the natural world, but in the coffee drinking world, only two types have become prominent: Arabica and Robusta.

In short, Arabica is your first preference because the coffee is smoother, lower in caffeine and generally makes a better cup of coffee. Typically, Colombia grows the best Arabica coffee beans you can find on the marketplace.

However, Robusta coffee has long had a bad rap. It’s true. And for the most part, it’s deserved unless you’re specifically buying quality robusta. For us, though, this is not usually an option.

So, focus on 100% Arabica beans, unless you like Espresso Coffee. There are some 100% Arabica espressos available, but most add a touch of robusta for body and flavor reasons.

If you know coffee, tell me what origin? A blend or single origin?

Many coffee connoisseurs love to talk about coffee origins. Coffee origin refers to where the coffee beans are grown, so you’ll find countries, like Brazil, Ethiopia, Kenya, Colombia, etc. 100% of the coffee growing regions are within the tropics. So you’ll never find coffee grown in, say, France or Italy.

Some countries like Colombia focus on growing primarily Arabica coffee, the one you prefer; while others grow a mix of Arabica & Robusta, such as Brazil, or Kenya. There are indeed some champagne quality Robusta beans, of a very high quality; but most of the Robusta crop goes to making instant coffee, 3-in-1 coffee, or cheap mass market blends.

If you buy a bag of ‘Latin American Coffee’, you can expect to see coffee beans from any of a number of different countries in Latin America, though most likely it’s a blend of Colombian and Brazilian coffee. And most likely, it’s Arabica (but check!)

If you buy a single origin coffee, you’ll note that the coffee beans usually come from a single region or location. No blending of other country beans are included, however the price may be higher than you’d otherwise expect.

What roast did you say?

The last confusing aspect is … roasting names.

You’ll often here names like French Roast, or Italian Roast; even city or regional names can be used, such as Verona. While these names may sound like the origins we already mentioned, they only refer to a style of roasting, not to the origin of the coffee beans themselves. After all, neither France nor Italy actually grow coffee beans.

While the term ‘French Roast’ may actually denote a style of roasting where beans are roasted very dark, other names may be less than candid about what is actually inside. In short, pay attention to what is actually inside, don’t be fooled by branding names or ‘fake’ names. The term Colombian may refer to beans from Colombia, South American Coffee refers generally to the entire region and whatever bean is grown there.

You’ll even find marketing names, terroir names (like farm, mill, and estate names), flavored coffee, the mystery (usually very romantic) house blends, as well as a whole range of organic and coffee for charity names. Most big brands offer a variety to suit most tastes, preparation methods, and even budgets!

How can I tell good coffee? Help is at hand…

There are good guidelines to help you know coffee and understand what to buy:

  • Don’t pay too little for your coffee, don’t try to buy the cheapest, don’t look for a bargain (there aren’t many due to the costs of processing coffee)!
  • If you do pay too little, you’ll only get cheap coffee beans (and probably unknown roasting date/process/region) and a bad taste in your mouth, because they add too many robusta coffee beans to the mix.
  • Also, be aware that if a particular roast emphasizes vague qualities instead of origin, roast, type of bean… you’ll be looking at a more typical brand.
  • Dark roasts are more often typical of cheap coffee, simply because the roasting process homogenizes the flavor profile so mixing cheaper beans won’t be noticed.

Where can I learn about coffee?

How can I tell good coffee from bad coffee?

So you’re buying coffee beans in the market or coffee shop? Can you really tell good coffee from bad? Well, Dillon Edwards from Parlor Coffee thinks he knows in this video.

how to tell good coffee

He should because he’s spent much of his life working as a barista from Nashville to New York City. He’s also worked for some of the most famous 3rd Wave Coffee shops in the US, like Blue Bottle, Stumptown, and Pulley Collective. His experience shouts his ability to tell good coffee from bad.

Disclaimer: When you buy through a link on this site, I earn commission
from any qualifying purchases as I’m an Amazon Associate.

You can find him working regularly in his roasting company in Brooklyn, New York where he strives for coffee perfection. So yes, he can tell good coffee. And lucky for us, he has made this video to introduce some of his insights into buying the perfect coffee beans.

Coffee Expert Shows How to Tell Good Coffee from Bad

In the video, Edwards gives us a clear explanation of:

  • coffee processing & preparation techniques,
  • coffee roasts (dark roast vs light roast),
  • coffee varietals and regional sources
  • tips on appreciating your coffee

1. Equipment Used

I won’t give you the answers. But his education covers all the basics that you need to know about making coffee in filter. His equipment choices include the Kalita Coffee Cone, Baratza Coffee Grinder, and the Bonavita Gooseneck Kettle.

Obviously, he is using an electronic scale to weigh accurately both the coffee and the water.

2. Techniques used to know coffee

Pay attention to how he pours the water, both the volume, spacing and technique as he soaks the coffee grounds. Learning this kind of technique will enhance the natural flavors of your coffee!

Watch his technique for understanding the flavor profile of each of the coffees, too. That use of extra air can help to determine flavors! Try it in your next cuppa before you add sugar or cream.

3. Knowledge Used

Understanding where your coffee comes from, know coffee and how it is processed, and the relative importance of the cost as related (indirectly) to the quality means that you will be able to buy and appreciate better quality coffee.

I leave you with his thoughts about ‘gas station coffee’:

If you go to a gas station when you’re on a road trip and you have a really piping hot gas station cup of coffee, you could probably get half of it down without noticing it. But as it cools off and it’s sitting in your cup holder, it’s gonna taste awful coffee”.

Dillon Edwards, Parlor Coffee, NYC.

Now do you know coffee?

So now if you know coffee terms like these, you can understand what French Roast Colombian Single Origin High Mountain Blend actually means! Now, perhaps you can banish thoughts like “I just don’t know coffee!” a little faster! Who knows!? You do!

Now you can learn a little more with one of my favorite books about coffee: The World Atlas of Coffee! It’s a wonderful introduction to the world of coffee.


What are the different types of coffee beans, find out here!

Signature of PurelyCoffeeBeans in calligraphic brush style

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Learn how to use a manual coffee grinder

Don’t know how to use a manual coffee grinder? PurelyCoffeeBeans realizes those large coffee bean grinders in the supermarket are very tempting, right? If you buy your coffee in the bulk coffee bags, you will likely have the beans ground there, too.

Disclaimer: When you buy through a link on this site, I earn commission
from any qualifying purchases as I’m an Amazon Associate.

Those supermaret machines do a reasonable job, because their coffee grinder82 is more powerful and flexible. And the likelihood is their grinder is superior in quality to most cheap grinders.

But … and it’s a big but. If you grind all the coffee there, will you be able to use it all before the ground coffee loses its delicate, delightful aromas. If you can’t arrange proper coffee storage, what should YOU do?

Using a manual coffee grinder
Aerial view of a person making drip coffee with a manual coffee grinder! Thanks to Ake @ Rawpixel

The solution costs a little bit of money, you’ll be able to apply the solution to different coffee makers, and you’ll enjoy a fresher, tastier cup of coffee than you would ever believe. Simply, … buy a manual coffee grinder!

What I will learn… about how to use a manual coffee grinder?

How does a manual coffee grinder work?

PurelyCoffeeBeans reckons that just below you can see my first ever a manual coffee grinder? Most of us are familiar with the manual pepper mill in Italian restaurants, but if you have ever wondered how coffee was ground before there was electricity, the manual grinder was the only real option.

And it’s a wonderfully slow and affordable way to grind coffee beans, especially if you don’t know how to grind coffee properly. I recently acquired one that cost about $12, and it easily grinds better coffee than any blade coffee grinder. It’s great for parties, when people get to grind their own coffee… it’s a great talking point, too!

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So what is a box mill manual coffee grinder?

90After all, people have been drinking coffee for centuries and they would certainly need a way to grind it. They did this with manual coffee grinders that were usually either box mills or knee mills.

Traditional knee mills were identical to box mills but had indentations on each side so that you could grip the mill between your knees. Nowadays, box mills consist of five components:

  • the handle which turns the entire grinding mechanism;
  • a lid to stop the beans or grinds falling out;
  • an upper hopper that holds the beans;
  • an adjustable conical burr grinder that does the work; and
  • a bottom hopper that holds the ground coffee which pulls out to empty the grounds.

How long does a manual coffee grinder take?

It takes longer to grind coffee in a manual grinder, usually between one and four minutes depending on the grind you want. This issue of grinding speed! If you can’t grind fast enough, you may find that your cup of coffee has to wait! I find grinding in the manual coffee grinder a little slow but pleasurable, if I am not in a hurry!

Some people buy manual grinders and give up after the first few times grinding because of the effort it takes but others enjoy grinding their own coffee without an electric machine.

A manual coffee grinder is a beautiful complement to your kitchen as well as useful. You may be able to find one in an antique shop if you want authentic, old fashioned charm but there are several models available that are manufactured today.

Modern Yet Classic Styling

These grinders come in a variety of different woods such as walnut, beech and mahogany. The upper hoppers are the real eye catcher, though. Some are made of cast iron while others are copper or brass.

The handles can have big decorative knobs to grip or smaller ones. There are even some that have iron wheels instead of handles and these models can be quite striking. Bases and lower hoppers can be wood or porcelain.

If you are planning to use a traditional manual coffee grinder, you do need to know there are a couple of downsides: low volumes of coffee grounds, and occasionally some beans won’t be properly ground.

How much coffee can you grind in typical manual coffee grinder?

The actual drawer that sits below the grinder unit tends to be quite small in most units, meaning that you can only really grind a small amount at once. This makes using the grinder for all but the smallest parties useless. If you are making coffee for you and one other person, it might be okay, though.

A typical manual coffee grinder won’t take more than about 50g (or 2 oz.) of coffee beans. This should be about enough coffee for 2~3 fairly generous cups of coffee, between 200~300ml.

Of course, the obvious limitation is how much time you’re willing to wait to grind by hand.  But if you’re happy to wait, got a group of friends who enjoy the thrill, and appreciate the difference, the manual coffee bean grinders are the way to go! And they’re not expensive for good quality ones!

How do you adjust the grind on a manual grinder?

You can adjust the grind level in most box mills by adjusting the space between the teeth for finer coffee, like espresso or coarser coffee for the French press. This is done in different ways, depending on the grinder.

For some kinds of machines or coffee types, an even grind is almost as important as the grind quality. A few grounds that are larger than the rest or a partially ground bean would cause problems with certain espresso makers or the Aeropress. So you have to remember to remove those uneven bits. 

For true consistency, a manual coffee grinder cannot be beat. BUT, as the title suggests, it is manual… which means you need to supply the human power to get the grinding job done. Plan on spending a couple minutes grinding the beans manually with this type of coffee grinder per cup.

So what makes a good cup of coffee?

Manually grinding your coffee beans puts you in complete control of the outcome of your coffee. With a simple adjustment of the grind size knob, you can control the strength of your coffee and grind just the exact amount needed for one brewing. The better models have adjustable grinding burrs, so that you can adjust the grind size of your beans to suit your preference.

If you love being as close to the process of coffee making as possible, a manual grinder is just what you are looking for. Many experts feel that using a manual grinder really makes a huge difference in the quality of their coffee.

grinding-by-hand

Overall, though, you will find that the manual coffee grinder and the box mill both produce a good quality grind for your coffee beans, enhance your slower, more pleasurable lifestyle, make a great accompaniment to your coffee equipment collection, and give you something to share with your guests.

If your guests come and have coffee, you can ask them to help grind the coffee! It’s a great ice-breaker! And even if you don’t use it too much, a manual coffee bean grinder82 is still a beautiful accessory!

Now if you’re not enthused by the thought of a little arm-exercise in the mornings… consider other kinds of electric coffee grinders

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Cone coffee is no con-trick: Master the drip coffee cone!

Cone coffee is no con-trick: Master the drip coffee cone!

If you’ve ever worked in an office, you’d be forgiven for thinking that coffee only ever spooned out of a jar or served from an automated drinks machine. So learning to use a drip cone will yield a much finer cup of cone coffee in about the same amount of time.

how to make cone coffee image
Taken at the opening day of Nanjichang International Street Photography Exhibition, Taipei, on April 30th, 2016.

Table of Contents: What will I learn about coffee cones and coffee filter papers?

I. Learn about coffee cones and coffee filter papers

Drip cone coffee is a wonderful method for making coffee, quite similar to the drip bag, except the cone uses either a disposable or reusable coffee filter to hold the coffee. Drip cones come in a variety of sizes, styles and materials:

  • (one ~ four cups),
  • styles (flat bottom, V-shape), and
  • materials (plastic, metal, ceramic)

They are ideal for making coffee for one to four cups, and require little more equipment than the drip bags. You can use them over small cups (1- or 2-cup size) or larger jugs (2- or 4-cup size). 

Apart from the cone, you need a regular supply of coffee filter papers, available in bleached or unbleached paper. The bleached paper filters are white and the most common choice. The unbleached brown filters attract a more discerning crowd, but may add a weird note to lighter roasts, esp. fruitier flavors. 

If you choose not to use paper, then a reusable cloth, plastic or gold filter is available. Plastic isn’t the best material because it may leave faint unpleasant tastes. But the reusable cloth coffee filter doesn’t keep so long; the oils extracted from the coffee slowly stain and discolor the cloths. So perhaps gold filters are the best.

II. Master the Beans, Roast & Grind

The drip cone is best for cone coffee that are light to medium roast. If you are buying your own coffee beans, pay attention to the grind size to make sure the grounds are medium-sized: too coarse, you’ll end up with dirty-looking, watery coffee; too fine, the coffee sludge gets into your cup, especially if you’re using plastic or gold mesh filters. 

Grind to a level similar to seasalt, so you can feel the grains, about two tablespoons of your chosen coffee (25g). You may use less if you need, but the ideal ratio falls between 1:15 to 1:17 coffee to water. 

Additional Equipment 

A cooking thermometer helps monitoring the water temperature for cone coffee, while a kitchen scale standardizes the coffee weight, so you don’t have to rely on vague spoon estimates. Lastly, a jug or special kettle with a gooseneck will control the volume and speed of water pouring. It also cools the water. 

Don’t be a big drip!

You will need about 350ml of hot water plus about 100ml for rinsing the filter and heating the cup for EACH cup you’re going to make. Then add 10% to account for evaporation and absorption. Once boiled, swirl some hot water in each cup (about 50ml) for a few seconds, then toss that water. 

Fold the coffee filter along the seams to keep the filter against the edges of the cone. Now place the cone over the cup, then pour another 50ml of hot water around the coffee filter to soak the entire paper. Once the water has drained, add the coffee grains to the bottom of the cone, lightly press down with the coffee spoon. Empty the water again from the cup and replace the cone. Now is time for the bloom.

It’s blooming right!

The aim of blooming is to degas the coffee and start the extraction process. Removing the gas around the coffee grains allows the water to penetrate the coffee properly. So pour about 90ml of hot water into the center of the cone in a small circle. You’ll see the coffee rise a little as the gas tries to escape. You will note bubbles of carbon dioxide start ‘boiling’ in the cone, indicating that the coffee hasn’t been roasted or ground too long ago. This also warms the coffee and keeps the cone warm, too.

Pour over that coffee

Wait a little before beginning the second pour. This time pour in circles from the center to the outside covering the entire coffee. Don’t let the cone fill up too much with the water so pour slowly. When you sense it’s enough, you can stop pouring, then allow another 30 seconds while the water goes through the coffee.

You should repeat the process at least once more. Some recommend four separate pourings with timing between. Don’t be afraid of a few coffee grains in your cup either! 

III. Be Methodical and Make Variations of Cone Coffee 

At this point, you may have pretty much used up your 350ml of water, though some recommend even a fourth pour. I can only say that the more times you pour, the cooler your coffee will become because of the extended time, so I’d aim to complete within 3~4 minutes.

You will still find your coffee about 75~80 degrees, but pleasantly drinkable. If the body is too strong or dark or the volume is too little, consider adding 50ml of hot water. Drink and enjoy! 

IV. Tip: Check your Paper Filter Sizes for Coffee Cones

I’m always getting those wrong…  I thought you’d appreciate a simple guide, too. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve bought the wrong coffee filter size. So here it is:

Size #1 – is perfect for one small cup of coffee. It is the smallest size and makes about 200ml of cone coffee. It is tiny.

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Size #2 – is ideal if you prefer a mug or want to make two cups of coffee.

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Size #4 – is for small jugs of cone coffee, typically 3~4 cups of coffee.

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Size #6 – is for larger jugs of cone coffee, and is typically hard to find.

111113

I’ve included unbleached coffee filter papers, but you can also find the white papers if you prefer. Melitta isn’t the only coffee filter paper manufacturer, there are plenty of others!

Do make sure you buy the right kind! Some have a flat bottom, some a ‘V’ shaped bottom, and some are ‘square’… while some are for big coffee machines.

No matter which type of coffee cone you buy, match it with the right coffee filter paper. Then you can perfect your technique and make topnotch coffee quickly and easily! 

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Kenneth Dickson started drinking cappuccino at Luvian’s Coffee Shop thirty years ago, and hasn’t stopped drinking, making and writing about coffee ever since. Taipei is his coffee heaven. Now he writes at PurelyCoffeeBeans.com about his love of coffee. 


For more information and recipes on to our How To Make Coffee Page

Signature of PurelyCoffeeBeans in calligraphic brush style

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Death Wish Coffee: Twice the Caffeine, Twice as Strong?

Who’d ever want a cup of Death Wish Coffee? I was running through the clicks to my Amazon store to find out what coffee beans readers were actually buying, when I came across this rather oddly named blend.

Disclaimer: When you buy through a link on this site, I earn commission
from any qualifying purchases as I’m an Amazon Associate.

Turns out that a reader ordered Death Wish Coffee!

Death Wish Coffee, The World’s Strongest Ground Coffee Beans, Fair Trade and Organic!

I’d never heard it of it… the first thought that crossed my mind: will it kill me? I’m pretty sure I don’t want to die.

However, the reviews on Amazon suggested that imbibing the world’s strongest coffee did not kill the reviewers, so it wouldn’t likely kill me either. The story’s kinda cute, too.

death wish coffee
The World’s Strongest Coffee

So what exactly is Death Wish Coffee?

The blurb at their website says:

“Death wish coffee has double the amount of caffeine of a standard cup of coffee and it tastes amazing^We take pride in our beans being fair trade and organic^The beans are carefully selected and roasted to perfection in order to provide a bold, smooth and strong cup of coffee^We use numerous tests and record keeping to ensure that each batch is consistent so that you can always expect the quality that matches our standards.”

Have you tried it? What’s it like? What other coffees are similar? Do they boost the caffeine with the addition of robusta beans? How do you get “double the caffeine” from arabica beans?

So I asked someone who’d tried it to write a review. This is their review!

—-

Death Wish Coffee claims to be the “world’s strongest coffee”. It is sold in a 1 pound bag, 5 pound bag and in single serve cups. I tried the variety that is used in coffee makers so I could adjust the mixture according to how I make my usual brew. I take my coffee black so I can really taste the coffee and not the cream or the sugar so I did the same with it.

After tasting Death Wish Coffee, I must admit that it is indeed a rather strong blend. I don’t know if this is because I take my coffee black without cream or sugar or if it really is the strongest in the world. I do know that it is the strongest that I have had for a very long time!

It is definitely a dark roast coffee which is why it is rather strong but I did not expect it to have a smooth taste. I was expecting a burnt taste which is what I usually get from dark roast beans.

I also got quite a kick out of it which I really was not prepared for. This “kick” can be described as a pleasant surprise because I was really expecting coffee that can be used to power vehicles (in other words, coffee that tasted so bad and strong that it would keep you awake just trying to get the bad taste out of your mouth!). Instead, I got a great tasting brew that did not go south even when it got cold.

I love the packaging! It really displays what the makers want their customers to expect from it. For those who are used to strong coffee this will not be a disappointment. It is really strong but very delicious as well. Those who prefer their coffee in the designer range might want to skip it because there is no designer in the house from which it is made.

The strength of the coffee might give you an upset stomach so be careful with that. It did keep me alert and active for most of the day with just two cups so those who are easily affected by caffeine might want to keep their intake at the minimum.

Overall, it is a strong brew with a great taste. A bit on the pricey side but still affordable enough for those who like the taste. I didn’t try the single serve cups but I assume that these might have a milder taste compared to custom brewed.

How much caffeine? Could it kill you?

Is their claim verified? Well, turns out that someone already has done a little footwork on this issue. You can check out the source yourself to find out just how ‘dangerous’ it is.

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The only point that I should add: caffeine can kill in a strong enough form and amount. Called “caffeine toxicity”, an amount of approx 5-10 grams could easily be lethal. However, at normal strength coffee level, you’d be more likely to die from “water toxicity” (ie. consuming too much water) first.

A Warning

In short, don’t drink too much of this coffee or any form of caffeine. If you do, and you feel unwell, consult your physician immediately or go to the ER if it’s an emergency. And if you have any kind of intolerance for higher caffeine drinks of any kind, or you have been warned by your doctor, go decaf instead.

As a personal note, I do enjoy coffee for the buzz effect that can be found, but it’s the aromatic smells & flavors that make it a beverage that I love. Not the caffeine. But I prefer other brands of coffee with more flavor, and less ‘death’!


What are the best coffee brands, find out here!

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