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You may notice that as it sits on the warming plate, the flavor of brewed coffee deteriorates. Some call it burned coffee.
Owners’ manuals state that coffee can sit on the warmer for up to two hours. But we say don’t let it sit for more than 30 minutes—the standard observed by good restaurants and coffee shops.
If your coffee ends up with a scorched or burned flavor, the obvious answer is to make fewer cups. The industry measures “cups” in six ounce portions, so four cups fills two large mugs.
But if you like to hedge your bets and make a larger amount of coffee, here are other options:
Thermal Carafe. Get a coffee maker that has a thermal carafe instead of a glass carafe (shown in the photo). There’s no warming plate. The double wall, vacuum-insulated carafe (essentially, a thermos) keeps coffee hot for at least an hour, and warm enough to drink for up to two hours.
We like a coffee maker with a thermal carafe, like this Bunn Velocity Brew.
Unplug. If your coffee brews into a conventional glass carafe, unplug the appliance after 20 minutes. If you want a hot cup later, you can reheat it in the microwave for 15 seconds. If you use milk, first heat it for 30 seconds. Then combine the hot milk and the coffee. If this sounds like a lot of work, it isn’t: It takes just 45 seconds. Coffee purists recoil at the idea of reheating. But people who add milk and/or sweetener won’t notice a difference. We drink our coffee black, and it works for us.
Single Cup. If you only need one or two cups and repeatedly toss leftover coffee, consider a single-cup coffee maker. (Of course, there’s no need to toss leftover coffee. Pour it into a bottle and stick it in the fridge for iced coffee.)
French Press. Consider a French press. It’s a manual device that coffee experts believe makes the tastiest coffee. You can buy a three-cup press from Bodum that makes enough coffee for 1-1/2 large mugs. A French press enables you to use any coffee bean you like: You’re not limited by what’s available in K-cups and sachets.
Alternative Coffee Makers
Find everything you want to know about coffee in our Gourmet Coffee Section.
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