Leverage the Pause and Serve Feature

I think most people still use regular old drip brew coffeemakers. And that’s okay. Maybe you don’t like the amount of sediment you get in your cup from using a French press (ahem – just grind the coffee coarser using a burr grinder). Maybe the thought of brewing 1 cup at a time using a pour over dripper seems like too much of a hassle, especially if you need to brew large amounts of coffee.

Maybe you’re just not ready to move to the next level of your coffee journey just yet. Whatever the case may be, drip brewers are still one of the most common ways of brewing coffee in many homes. I’m not a big fan, since optimal coffee extraction really happens around 195-205 degrees and drip brewers just can’t get hot enough for that. Still, there’s a simple hack you can use to make your drip brewed coffee better.

Pause and serve

The pause and serve is a feature introduced back in ’86 by Mr. Coffee that allows you to sneak a quick cup before the entire brewing process is complete. It does this by stopping the dripping of coffee for up to a minute when the carafe is removed mid-brew. After pouring yourself a cup, and replacing the carafe back on the warming plate, the drip begins again.

The hack

If your coffeemaker has the pause and serve feature, you’re in luck. The hack is simple. In drip brew coffeemakers, the filter basket which holds the ground coffee, gets a continual showering of hot water. By design, the grounds never get fully submerged with water like they would if using a French press. We’re going to change that. Wait about a minute after starting the brew process and you start seeing coffee dripping into the carafe. Pull the carafe out of the coffeemaker, not to sneak a cup, but to allow the filter basket to fill up with hot water. Wait a good 60 seconds, then return the carafe to the coffeemaker. Give it a minute for the water in the basket to catch up and release into the carafe. Repeat 1-2 more times.

By doing this, you’re making that filter basket fill up with hot water so the coffee grounds can steep, fully submerged, much like a French press. This creates a full infusion of coffee with water and helps with extraction. I think you’ll be really surprised by the results. Coffee with a bigger body and richer flavor.

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