How does a coffeemaker cook up the morning's brew?

With the most common coffeemaker, the drip coffee machine, hot water drips down freely onto ground coffee beans to make coffee. The water inside the machine’s water bucket is heated as it passes along a heat-resistant tube. The tube goes into the drip area and releases heated water, just below boiling temperature (212 degrees Fahrenheit [100 degrees Celsius]). The water is heated by a heating element (a resistive heating coil that gives out heat when electricity is passed through it). The heating element has direct contact with the water inside the water bucket, and also heats the heating pad on which the glass coffee container is rested. Today, most models of coffee machines are either semi-automatic or automatic. Buttons and switches have replaced the manual coffee straining and lever-pushing of espresso machines. And some machines now have special features, such as built-in coffee bean grinders and froth makers.


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