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With patience, new coffee makers brew good joe

Posted April 14

Most coffee drinkers probably brew their morning joe with a drip coffee maker—it's the most popular style.

But now there are all sorts of machines to bring out the best in coffee. Consumer Reports tested a few specialty coffee makers to see if they'll really jump-start java.

The three new coffee makers tested promise better coffee, including one that only makes cold brewed coffee.

“Cold brewing is steeping the grounds in cold water for a long period of time," said Consumer Reports' Bernie Deitrick. "It makes coffee that’s less bitter and less acidic.”

The $50 Oxo Cold Brew is basically a filtered container on a stand. Fill it with water and grounds, and 12 to 24 hours later, the coffee decants slowly into the carafe. But testers wondered why you need it.

“You could also just use a simple glass jar, and pour the liquid off before you get to the grounds,” Deitrick said.

Testers also tried the Fellow Duo Coffee Steeper. It costs $100 and brews coffee hot or cold. The double filter promises to keep the gunk out of the bottom of your cup.

“We needed to use more coffee, and we had to steep it for longer than the instructions suggested," Dietrick said. "But the chamber’s really well-insulated, so we were still able to get a hot cup of coffee.”

For just $30, the Aerobie AeroPress brews both coffee and espresso, using an airtight plunger to force the coffee thru the filter.

The plunging part can be a little tricky–– but it does work quickly and the parts are easy to clean.

“Eventually, we were able to get a good cup of coffee from each of these, but not right out of the box," Dietrick said. "We had to vary time, temperature, amount of coffee, the grind.”

If the new wave of coffee makers is too much, several conventional drip coffee makers also landed on Consumer Reports' recommended list. Among the best: the Cuisinart Perfect Temp and the Kenmore Elite 12-cup from Sears. Both machines cost around $100.

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