All About Coffee

Coffee Maker Glossary

Coffee has a language all its own. Here are a few of the frequently used coffee maker terms.

Auto Frother: device that automatically froths milk for cappuccinos and lattes.

Automatic Drip Coffee Maker: machine that automatically heats water and filters it through the coffee.

Automatic Espresso Machine and Coffee Maker: an espresso machine featuring controllable, programmable coffee dosing.

Bean to Cup: fully automated coffee making process. Machines with bean to cup capability do everything from grinding the beans to filling a cup with coffee.

Boiler: steam machine inside coffee maker. Machines with larger boilers usually are more powerful and produce more hot water for beverages.

Boiler Element: electric element that heats boiler in electric espresso coffee makers.

Cappuccino: Italian espresso based beverage.

Cup Warmer: metal portion at top of espresso coffee maker where cups are placed for warming.

Dosing: refers to either the number of grams of coffee per cup or the amount of brewed coffee per cup.

Drip Tray: Part of espresso coffee maker where coffee cup sits for filling.

Espresso: Italian black coffee which preceded specialty coffees. Rich black coffee.

Filter Basket: Metal filter where grounds are placed for brewing.

Filtered Method: process of brewing coffee with a filter, coffee is separate from the water.

French Press: aka plunger pot. A cylindrical coffee maker in which ground coffee is steeped then filtered. Coffee grounds are pushed to the bottom of the pot with the plunger. Coffee stays in the top of the pot.

Fully Automatic Espresso Machine and Coffee Maker: machines which automatically manage the brewing process from coffee bean to fresh cup of coffee.

Grind: process of preparing coffee beans for coffee brewing.

Group: Portion of espresso coffee maker that brews coffee.

Group Handle: Portion of espresso coffee maker that holds the filter basket that ground coffee goes into.

Heat Exchanger: heats water for coffee without taking water from the boiler.

Hopper: portion of grinder that holds coffee beans.
French Press coffee maker:

Knock-out Box: container used to knock the used coffee grounds from group handle.

Latte: Hot beverage made with one quarter coffee, three quarters of steamed, hot milk with little froth.

Mocha: term used to describe hot beverage made from espresso, chocolate and milk.

Moka Pot: Classic Italian espresso-maker used on top of the stove.

Percolator: coffee maker that continuously runs water through the coffee grounds to make coffee.

Pod: a self-contained, single serving unit of ready to use coffee.

Pour/Pour Speed/Pour Time: the amount of time required to pour coffee from group into cup. Should be 25 to 30 seconds for espresso.

Pump: device that moves water through the coffee maker.

Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine and Coffee Maker: machine without pre-set dosing capability.

Steam Arm/Wand: metal tube delivering steam to froth milk.

Super Automatic Espresso Machine and Coffee Maker: machine which automatically manages brewing process from coffee bean to fresh cup of coffee in addition to other features such as a water filter.

Tamping: act of pressing ground coffee into filter basket.

Vacuum coffee maker: machine using vacuum process to make coffee.

Traditional espresso coffee maker: machine that is not a bean to cup automated model.

Water Filter: filters contaminants from water for better coffee taste.

Water Font: nozzle used to dispense water from machine boiler.

Water Softener: filters lime and minerals from water, preventing build up of scales in the coffee maker. This is a must have for anyone using hard water.

Coffee and Tea Machines

Tips for Choosing a Coffee Maker

Coffee makers have come a long way. From yesterday’s cowboy pots boiling coffee over the coals to today’s sleek gourmet brewers, there’s a coffee maker to fit every taste, every lifestyle, every budget and every counter space. So where do you begin finding the coffee maker of your dreams?

Before you head for the appliance aisle at your favorite store, do a little homework. Consider what kind of coffee you prefer, how often you drink coffee, how much space you have for a coffee maker, how much you can afford to spend on a coffee maker. These are the issues involved in deciding whether to purchase an espresso or a non-espresso coffee maker.

Choosing a Coffee Maker: Espresso or No Espresso

Espresso coffee makers are fancy. They cost more than other coffee makers (some cost thousands of dollars) and make a variety of coffee types including cappuccino and lattes. Espresso machines often make only one cup of coffee at a time and require cleaning after each cup. The coffee is stronger than that brewed by other means.

True coffee aficionados often prefer to use the espresso coffee maker, especially the super automated models that do everything from grinding the coffee to pouring it into the cup.

Typical coffee drinkers who prefer to have a pot of coffee available at all times and aren’t interested in lattes or other versions of coffee tend to prefer non-espresso coffee makers. Non-espresso coffee makers work well for people who like to start the coffee brewing and go on about their usual activities while it brews. They buy coffee already ground and don’t bother with beans or grinding.

For coffee drinkers needing large quantities of coffee, non-espresso is the way to go. Large percolator type coffee urns can be used to make more than a hundred cups of coffee at one time.

They also prefer returning to the coffee pot time after time and refilling their coffee cup over making only a cup at a time. Non-espresso type coffee makers are much less expensive than espresso machines.

Choosing a Coffee Maker: Non-Espresso

These coffee makers are available in drip, French press and combination models. Drip machines often make 6 to 10 cups of coffee at a time. For those who need a lesser quantity, it’s better to buy a model that makes 4 cups (or less) at a time. Drip coffee makers are inexpensive and easy to use.

There are pod coffee makers available which use single serving pods to brew coffee. Pod coffee makers can be inexpensive but the coffee itself costs more than standard cans of pre-ground coffee.
French Press coffee makers are great for a few cups of coffee at a time. Combination coffee makes featuring both espresso and non-espresso coffee makers in one machine are also available. These machines give coffee drinkers the best of both worlds.

Choosing a Coffee Maker: Espresso

Espresso coffee makers come in semi-automatic, fully automatic and super automatic models. These machines make fewer cups at a time and may require more time and attention that a standard drip coffee maker.

The more automated an espresso coffee maker is, the more features it will offer. Some take care of everything from grinding the coffee beans to filling the cup with coffee and ejecting the used coffee grounds.

The more features the espresso coffee maker offers, the higher the price tag attached to it. These coffee makers can cost anywhere from hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars.

The first decision to be made in choosing a coffee maker is the need to determine whether an espresso coffee maker or a non-espresso coffee maker is needed. Coffee preferences, budget and quantity of coffee to be made are factors that affect the decision making process.

The History of Coffee Makers

Coffee has been used as a drink for well over 2000 years.  The first methods of brewing coffee were pretty crude but they have advanced greatly over the centuries.  People used to just chew the cherry that came off the coffee tree to get a stimulant effect.  Inside the cherry was the coffee bean.  Over time with experimentation, people started to roast and then grind the beans for better flavor.

As early as the the late 1700s, coffee makers began showing up.  This made it easy for people to brew coffee and not worry about getting grounds in their cup.  This was expensive and not many people had them.  The basic design is similar to coffee pots of today.  There was a pot on the bottom with a place to put your ground coffee on the top.  This was connected to a chamber on top where you poured in your boiling water.

People tried many different types of keurig coffee makers review throughout the years since then.  There have been percolators, vacuum coffee makers, and drip coffee makers.  Percolators use a pot over a heat source that forces the water into an upper chamber where the coffee grounds are.  The water drips through the coffee and back into the lower pot.  You know it is ready when it stops making percolating noises which are easy to hear.  Then you remove it from heat before it boils.  Vacuum coffee makers use what looks like two pots, one upside down on the other.  As it is heated, the pressure forces hot water up into the top chamber where it infuses with the ground coffee.  When you remove it from heat, the pressure is reversed and the coffee goes back to the lower pot ready to drink.  Drip coffee makers are the kind we are all used to.  Whether automatic or manual they work by dumping hot water over coffee grounds that sit in a filter.  It strains through into a pot and is ready to drink.

With the advent of electricity, coffee makers became very popular and a little cheaper.  In the early 1900s coffee makers really started to boom and by the 1970s almost everyone had a coffee maker in their home.  These were usually of the automatic drip variety as they were the easiest to use.  Today’s coffee makers have many features.  They have timers that allow you to specify when you want your coffee maker to turn on, have built in grinders, storage areas, and much more.  You can buy home espresso and cappuccino machines also.  Coffee makers today range from the single cup variety to commercial units that make gallons at a time so no matter what your need, you can usually find it.

As more and more people start to enjoy different kinds of coffee, coffee makers become easier to use and offer more features.  Many combine espresso, cappuccino, and coffee all in one machine but it is rather bulky still.  Look for these to shrink in the near future.

Traditional Coffee Cake

Coffee cake is usually a single layer cake that is eaten with coffee or hot tea. It may have coffee as one of the ingredients but it is not required. The cake itself is often flavored with seeds, sweet spices or nuts and the texture is more like bread then a true cake that has layers and frosting.

Coffee cake actually began as a way for people to have some quality snack foods that were quick and easy to eat with the fingers during a coffee or tea break. Tea was a bit more complex in the old days, with a high tea something that was suitable for a meal, while afternoon tea was a small meal that would tide over the family until the late evening meal was completed.

Today we typically snack after school or work for the same purpose, but traditionally do not use the name teatime, although English people often use the name tea to describe the late evening meal.

The toppings for coffee cake can be either a streusel type topping or a light white glaze made from powdered sugar and water. Traditionally, these cakes are very similar to the types of cakes served with the tea, an English tradition. The main ingredients are very common and easily put together to make this quick coffee cake that is just right for a snack with a hot cup of coffee.




Coffee Cake:

Dry Ingredients:

2 ¼ C. Flour

1 C. brown sugar

¾ C. white sugar

1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon allspice

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ Cup slivered or grated almond, walnut or pecans if desired

Wet ingredients:

½ Cup butter

1 Cup buttermilk

1 egg, beaten


Grease 13x9x2 baking pan

In separate bowl, mix brown and white sugars, flour, and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, salt, allspice. Add butter and mix with a pastry blender until mixture resembles very coarse crumbs. Reserve ½ cup of this mixture. Add baking powder and baking soda to the remaining flour mixture, be sure to mix well.

Using a smaller bowl, combine the buttermilk and egg. Add this to the flour mixture stir to moisten then spread in greased pan. Spread batter evenly then add the reserved crumb mixture with other spices and nuts.

Bake at 350 degrees F. for 30 to 35 minutes. This is best when served warm and makes twelve servings.

Raspberry Coffee Cake

It is sometimes difficult to choose from so many coffee cake recipes that you can stumble upon. A raspberry coffee cake is an excellent companion to a coffee with friends on a Sunday afternoon. The irresistible flavour of raspberries goes perfectly with the scent of the coffee and will make your guests help themselves with yet another piece.


For the almond biscuits

20 g flour

30 g sugar ice

50 g almond powder

2 eggs

2 egg whites

20 g sugar caster

For the coffee punch

50 ml strong coffee

5 to 10 g sugar (to taste)

For the cream-based coffee mascarpone:

A cup of espresso coffee

125 g mascarpone

10 cl cream

50 g sugar

For the raspberry punch:

10 ounces water

50 g sugar

A few raspberries or 1 tablespoon of syrup raspberries

For the chocolate topping:

100 g dark chocolate

100 g full cream

Chip Raspberry

For the icing:

100 g dark chocolate

50 g cream

25 g glucose


1. Almond Biscuit

Preheat the oven to 200 ° C (thermostat 6 / 7). Mix the icing sugar and 2 eggs until frothy and doubled in volume. Add the ground almonds and flour. Mix the 2 egg whites with the sugar, add them to the almonds powder and mix gently. Spread on a baking sheet covered with baking paper and bake for 10 minutes.

2. Coffee Punch

Prepare the coffee and sweeten it. For the cream coffee made from mascarpone: mix the mascarpone with the sugar then add the whipped cream and coffee.

3. Raspberry Punch

Boil the water, sugar and raspberries (if using raspberry syrup, add it after removing from heat).

4. Chocolate topping

Heat the cream. Remove from heat, add the chocolate broken into pieces and let it dissolve for 5 minutes. Mix until chocolate is smooth. Add the raspberry chip. Mix again and set aside.

5. Frosting

Heat the cream and chocolate. Smooth well and add the glucose or 1 tablespoon of oil for shine.

6 Assembly

Cut the almond biscuit into three equal parts. Place the first one on a plate and then add the raspberry punch with a brush. Cover with half of the chocolate topping. Place it in the refrigerator for 45 minutes to 1 hour or freeze 15 to 30 minutes. Place a second cookie on top and brush the coffee punch. Cover with coffee cream. Arrange the last cookie on the cream and glaze it with the chocolate frosting. Place in the refrigerator for several hours before serving.

Quick and Easy Coffeecakes

Quick and easy coffeecakes are a modern home-keepers delight. If you’ve been searching for no fuss recipes, which provide a scrumptious treat for the family, you’ll love our quick and easy coffeecakes.

Here’s a southern home-keepers secret: Find a basic pattern for any food you want to create and add your own personal touches, flavorings and toppings.

To begin, let’s create a pattern, for basic coffeecakes!

Basic Coffeecake Recipe

12 uncooked biscuits

¼ cup melted butter

½ cup sugar

½ cup chopped pecans

1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

Mix sugar, pecans and cinnamon in a small bowl. Put melted butter in another bowl. Lay biscuits on a clean cutting board and cut each biscuit into 4 pieces.

Dip biscuit pieces in melted butter and then in dry mixture. Arrange coated biscuits in a 9-inch pie pan. Bake at 450 degrees F. for about 8 minutes or until they are golden brown.

Tips: For a healthier version of the basic coffeecake make biscuits with Heart Smart Bisquick®. However, if you’re in a great hurry, use the canned variety of biscuits, along with a healthy sugar substitute.

Stevia is derived from an herb. You can find it at your local health food store. You’ll need to adjust the amount of Stevia vs. sugar, as it is super sweet.

Creative touches to enhance quick and easy coffeecakes: top with canned apples; substitute walnuts for pecans; cut the cinnamon and use nutmeg.

Brunch is a handy-dandy idea on “big dinner” holidays or when you’re entertaining weekend guests. Mingling aromas of coffee and cake will summon even the sleepiest of your guests to brunch.

Another secret about southern cooking: If the dish doesn’t contain corn meal and/or sugar, it’s simply not southern!

Down-in-Dixie Coffeecake

Sift together: 1 ½ cups sifted all-purpose flour, ¼ cup sugar, 4 teaspoons baking powder and ½ teaspoon salt.

Stir in: ¾ cup corn meal. Add: ¾ cup milk, 2 slightly beaten eggs and ½ cup salad oil. Pour: into greased 9x9x2 inch baking pan. Bake: for 15 minutes in 400 degree oven. (Leave oven on.)


Blend: ½ cup brown sugar and ½ cup peanut butter. Add: 1/3 cup milk very slowly and beat the topping mixture to fluffy stage. Spread: topping on the coffee bread cake. Sprinkle: ½ cup coarsely chopped pecans evenly over coffee bread cake. Bake: an additional five minutes.

Serving Ideas

A big bowl of steaming scrambled eggs and individual serving dishes of mixed fruits make perfect accompaniments for the celebratory brunch.

Serve hot oatmeal with quick and easy coffeecakes to put a stove in your kid’s tummy that will last until lunch.