Coffee has been around for centuries, but is believed to have originated Ethiopia. There’s a legend there about a shepherd named Kaldi who discovered that his goats became hyper and danced late into the night after eating coffee berries. Today coffee is one of the most popular beverages and the most traded agricultural commodity in the world. Over half of all Americans drink coffee every day, many of them brewing it at home.
If you're in the market for a coffee maker you’ve got lots of choices to match your needs. The most popular coffee maker today is a 10 cup drip machine with a glass carafe. The brew basket flips out for inserting a filter and filling with your ground coffee. Then the heated water drips through the coffee into the carafe which sits on a warmer.
You might be thinking 10 cups would be a lot of coffee. A good thing to know is that a "cup" means 6 ounces so 10 cup coffee makers max out at 60 ounces. The average American actually has about a 9 ounce serving of coffee at a time, so 10 cups is actually a little over 6 servings. 10 cup models are perfect for a coffee drinking household.
There are lots of variations and accessories, too: metal carafes that keep the coffee warm without a heating plate, programmable timers so you can wake up to the smell of coffee brewing, built-in water filters and coffee bean grinders, and even permanent metal filters so you can do away with the paper.
Another option is to get a 4 cup version or even a travel-sized model. Lots of people feel that 4 cups brewed in a 4 cup coffee maker taste better than brewing 4 cups in the larger 10 cup size. They say that’s because the hot water needs to spend a certain amount of time with the ground coffee, and having fewer grounds in a bigger brew basket makes for a less quality cup of coffee.
For households who want different coffees or only have one person that drinks coffee a great options is a single cup "pod" coffee maker like the Keurig machine. With a Keurig you insert a "K-cup," which is Keurig’s version of a single-serve coffee pod, and the hot water is forced through that pod, yielding one cup. The big thing here is alternatives. Different types of coffee pods: dark roast, decaf, medium roast, donut-shop blend, even Ethiopian coffee pods to get you feeling hyper. There are lots of brands to choose from. You can adjust the amount of water to make your chosen brew stronger or less strong.
If you’re not much of a coffee drinker you can brew tea or even hot chocolate, the same way. Some people even brew tea directly over ice for instant, freshly made iced tea. Keep whatever variety of pods you like on hand at all times so everybody’s happy. You can even get biodegradable coffee pods so you can feel even better about that morning cup.