Save money by brewing your own coffee

Every coffeemaker promises a pleasing Cup of Joe, but not every machine delivers.

Consumer Reports devised new tests to measure brewing temperature. To get a good cup of coffee, brewing temperature should be between 195 and 205 degrees.

Lead tester Bob Karpel found that not all coffeemakers get hot enough to extract the best from the beans and avoid a weak or bitter brew.

"We found, during our new brewing tests, that many coffee makers - even some costing more than $100 -- didn't perform nearly as well in these brew tests as others costing half that price," said Karpel.

In all, Consumer Reports tested 34 coffeemakers, and found one of the most convenient models that reaches an excellent brew temperature is the Michael Graves 12-cup coffeemaker, available at Target. For $40 it's rated a Consumer Reports Best Buy. It's also programmable.

"The programmable feature is a really nice feature. It allows the coffeemaker to start up in the morning before you wake up, so that you have coffee when you get up," said Karpel.

Single-serving pod machines let you simply drop in a sealed packet of coffee with no grinding, no scooping, no mess. But Consumer Reports found the coffee pricey, 25 to 50 cents per pod, four times as much per cup as drip-coffee using supermarket brands.

Instead, take a look at the Melitta Take 2, which cost just $25 and brewed a superb cup of coffee quickly.

Consumer Reports also found that trading the usual paper filter for a permanent metal one, which typically costs between $5 and $10 and can pay for itself in as little as a year.


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