Automatic Coffee Makers

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Automatic coffee makers help boost workplace morale and keep everybody hopping in the office, no matter how early in the morning they start or how late in the evening they stay. With a simple, no-frills machine in the break room, any employee can brew a pot of coffee on a short break or during lunch as a quick pick-me-up for everyone. More sophisticated coffee makers offer a suite of features for both safety and convenience, which allows for set-and-forget brewing.

Automatic Coffee Maker Varieties
Drip coffee makers are among the more common varieties. These slowly run heated water over coarse grounds, usually held in a filter or a fine-mesh basket. They're popular for their mechanical simplicity and the relatively low serving temperature of the coffee, which may be sipped almost immediately after brewing. Percolators use an older design to boil water and send it up through a central pipe to the grounds basket. These models are most popular among coffee aficionados who prefer higher temperatures for their coffee.

Specialist coffee presses add to the variety. Cappuccino and espresso machines make very strong coffee by the cup, which can then be had straight away or mixed with flavored syrups and cream to make dozens of specialty drinks that may be prohibitively expensive at a coffee shop. Finally, though not strictly an automatic coffee maker, the French press lets brewers instantly strain water through free-floating grounds to whip up a pot of coffee in just seconds.

Safety Features of Automatic Coffee Makers
Safety counts in any office, and coffee makers are no different from other machinery. Modern coffee makers have a suite of safety features, such as thermal cutoff switches that shut them down when they get too hot. Timers can be programmed to switch on the machine at a set time, such as five minutes before a break, and to shut down after warming the pot for a few hours to keep from boiling off all the liquid inside the pot.

Accessories and Automatic Coffee Maker Attachments
Coffee is just the beginning for some machines. Many coffee makers feature built-in steam nozzles for frothing milk, which makes a cafe au lait with a delicious, frothy head in the cup. Some machines have large hoppers on top for holding several ounces of coffee beans. When switched on, these hoppers dispense a measured amount of beans for grinding immediately before brewing, preserving the flavor and strengthening the coffee.

How Do Automatic Coffee Makers Work?
Automatic brewers work by heating water in an internal tank until it's close to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, and then pumping it into a mixing tray full of ground beans. The beans seep essential oils into the water, which then filters out and into the pot.

What Kind of Grind Is Suitable for Automatic Coffee Makers?
The ideal grind depends on the desired strength of the finished product. Finely ground beans are ideal for espresso because they make a very strong brew; drip machines work best with coarse grinds because water flows more easily over the grounds.

How Do Automatic Coffee Makers Differ From Espresso Makers?
Both are types of automatic machines, but espresso makers tend to heat the water to a somewhat higher temperature and then force it through the grounds, which are usually contained in a small metal cup that can stand the pressure. Staples also carries a wide selection of coffee types, including pods, K-cups, and more.