Tuesday, December 13, 2011

How does a Coffee Maker Work?

Have you ever wondered how a coffee maker works? Today, we are going to find out just how these mechanical wonders make our delicious morning cup of joe.  We will talk about the standard coffee maker model, you know the one that can be found in the majority of kitchens. Drip Coffee Makers. So just how do they work?

A drip coffee maker consists of three main components:
  1. The Reservoir: this holds the water that is poured into the coffee pot. At the bottom of the reservoir there is a hole.
  2. The Tube: you will also find that there will be a tube (usually white or clear) that leads up from the bottom of the base of the reservoir. This tube carries the hot water to the drip area. 
  3. The Shower Head: In the majority of drip coffee makers, above the basket that you will put your grounds in you will notice (usually on the lid) that there is a piece that resembles the shower head in your shower. The tube that was mentioned previously carries the hot water up to the shower head so that the water can be sprayed over (or dripped down on) the coffee grounds.
Those three main components, while very important, would not be able to work with what you will find in the bottom of the coffee maker.  Inside your coffee maker is a heating element. This heating element heats water that flows through an aluminum tube. This is the same heating element that keeps your coffee warm once it is made.

Water moves through your coffee pot through the help of gravity, and the bubbles from boiling water. This is why coffee makers tend to be very reliable machines, there aren't any pumps that can wear down or tear up. A great simplistic design is what brings you your coffee from a drip coffee maker each morning.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Where does Coffee Come From?

Coffee comes from the beans of the coffee plant, Coffea arabica. This plant is the most used plant in coffee production.  The coffee plant is a tropical plant that is very bush like and can reach 10-12 feet in height.  The coffee plant is not a winter hardy plant so it cannot be grown in temperate climate zones.  Coffee requires warm weather and a lot of water, fertilizer, and it also prefers alkaline (basic) soils.  The coffee beans are the seeds of the plant, these seeds have caffeine in them which is the plant's natural defense against the insects and animals that eat them.  

Coffea arabica is considered to produce the best flavor when brewed in a coffee pot.  Other types tend to be to bitter and/or bold.  Cheaper coffee brands may have a mixture of Coffea arabica and a substandard species.  Typically, you will be able to tell the difference.  

The process of going from bean on the plant to roasted beans ready to put in your coffee brewer is this:
  1. Coffee is picked.
  2. If picked green it is ripened.
  3. Beans are dried once ripened.
  4. Beans are roasted.
Four steps sounds simple enough right? Well, each of those steps has a series of sub-steps that must be followed. For more information do a search on these process in the making of coffee.

The color of the bean determines the boldness of the bean.  If the bean is a darker brown it will have a more robust flavor.  Once the beans have dried they will be sorted into these different grades.  Darker roasts are bolder because they have less fiber content a more sugar.  Lighter roasts have a complex and stronger flavor. 

To store the beans, an airtight container must be used and placed in a cool, dark, and dry place.  This will help maintain the flavors of the coffee.  Ironically, the bags we often purchase coffee in are not the best method for storing coffee. 

If you think you would like to have a coffee plant in your house, go ahead and get one!  Although, you should not expect to grow any coffee beans on it unless you live in the tropics.  The flowers are beautiful though!  If you live in a climate that is warmer most of the year they make a wonderful ornamental plant.

Friday, December 2, 2011

How to Make Peppermint Coffee

Tis the season for all things warm minty and sweet. Peppermint is definitely a flavor that makes me think about the holidays, snow, presents, and just all the warm fuzzies that go along with this time of the year.

Peppermint coffee really embodies the holidays for me. And for just a standard peppermint coffee it is quite easy to make. Just make your coffee as you normally do, then add a drop of peppermint extract (careful a little goes a long way!)

For a more coffee bistro style peppermint coffee try the recipe below:

Chocolate Peppermint Coffee

  • Coffee made in your coffee maker
  • Candy Cane (small candy canes or the round hard peppermint candies also work)
  • Chocolate syrup
  • Milk
  1. Make your coffee as usual, but leave it black, don't add sugar or creamer.
  2. Crush the candy canes. 
  3. Fill your coffee mug about 1/4 full of the milk and heat in the microwave for about 30 - 45 seconds.
  4. Pour the coffee over the warm milk, pour in some chocolate syrup (to taste) and add your crushed candy cane. Stir up your coffee. (adjust chocolate and peppermint to taste)
  5. If you want you can also add whipped topping, drizzle with chocolate sauce and sprinkle some more crushed peppermint on top of the whipped cream.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

How to Brew Great Coffee in a Drip Coffee Maker

Drip coffee makers are the most used coffee makers in households. These coffee makers are popular because they are easy to use. However, the coffee they make doesn't always come out tasting like the coffee you would purchase at your local coffee house. But there are definitely ways to make your drip coffee better.

Here are a few simple steps for you to keep in mind:
  1.  Use a Coffee Grinder. Coffee that is ground right before you use it it has a richer flavor due to the release of oils. 
  2. Use quality coffee. The better the quality of the coffee you start with, the better the final product will be. Coffee that has been vacuum-sealed is better, the seal keeps the beans or grounds from getting stale as quickly as coffee that is left sitting out in bins.
  3. Keep your coffee maker and pot clean. You will want to wash out your pot and filter basket every time you make a pot of coffee and it is a good idea to clean the coffee maker at least once a week. Each month you will also want to descale your coffee maker and be sure to clean the part of the coffee maker where the water drips out into the filter. If your pot is stained you might want to read How to Clean a Coffee Pot.
  4. Paper coffee filters are best for taste. Many people prefer to use the permanent filters because of the environment, however, if you compost, most paper coffee filters can be tossed into the compost with the coffee grounds. Whichever method you decide to use is ultimately up to you, but for better flavor, the paper filters are recommended.
  5. Be sure that you are using enough coffee. You will want a full tablespoon of ground coffee for every 8 ounces of water. Speaking of water, the best water to use is fresh cold water.
  6. Do not use the brew pause. It will muddle the strength of the coffee.
  7. If your coffee is left on the warming plate it will continue to heat which will change the flavor of it. The best method is to pour leftover coffee into a thermal pot or big thermal mug. It is preferable to make just enough coffee for what you will drink in an hour, but sometimes that isn't ideal for your schedule. But keep in mind the longer coffee sits the more the taste will start to become bitter.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Holiday Coffee for the Guests

Ah, you know the holidays have arrived when friends and relatives are drifting through your home, stopping for family gatherings, general chit chats, and just to say hello. And, as any good host or hostess, we are sure you offer them something to drink, a little cup of refreshment to sip on while you while away the time catching up, or while you work side by side preparing for a big family dinner. On cold days, many people prefer coffee, tea, hot chocolate or some other similar beverage. So how do you accommodate so many different tastes without have to take a lot of extra time making all these drinks for your guests as they pass through?

One solution is a coffee maker that uses the K-cups. One type of those coffee makers is the Keurig Coffee Brewer or another is the Cuisinart Single Serve Brewer. With these types of coffee makers you can have a fresh cup of coffee in just a few moments. Your guest can choose their coffee flavor, or they can choose tea if they are not in the mood for coffee. Coffee k-cups come in many varieties of flavors, so you are sure to find something to suit nearly every taste-bud you come across over the holidays.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

How to Use a French Press

You may have heard people talking about how much they love coffee when it is made using a french coffee press and you are now curious about how to use one before making an investment. 

It is highly recommended that you boil the water before you start grinding your coffee beans. This helps to ensure that the water will cool down to the right temperature to help prevent the coffee from being scalded. To heat your water you can use a tea kettle to make pouring the water out easier once you are ready for it. Heat the water between 190 and 200 degrees.

While you are waiting on your water to heat you will want to remove the lid and plunger/filter assembly from your press. Pull the plunger unit straight up and out. To warm the glass of the press so that your coffee will stay hot you will want to fill the press with hot tap water. Once the water in the kettle has finished heating, pour the water out of your french press. 

While waiting on the boiled water to cool some, grind your coffee to a medium or coarse grind. It is recommended to use a larger grind so that you will not clog the mesh filter on your french press.

Most people use 1 tablespoon of coarsely ground coffee per 5 ounces of water, but you will want to adjust how much coffee grinds you use to your preferred strength of coffee. 

Put the amount of coffee grounds you desire into your french press. Slowly pour your almost boiling water from the kettle over the ground coffee, filling press to the desired level. Most of your coffee will float. To get the coffee grinds to sink you can gently, briefly stir the water.

Place the lid and plunger/filter assembly into the brew keeping the plunger just 2 inches into brew. Allow coffee to steep for about 4 minutes for a large pot or 2 to 3 minutes for a small pot BEFORE pressing.

After your coffee has steeped for the proper amount of time, hold the press lid with one hand and using slow, steady pressure, depress the plunger while keeping the rod upright. There should be some resistance, but not too much. If you press to quickly or tilt the rod you could ruin your coffee by letting the grounds escape from beneath the filter, or you could overflow the pot. If you overflow the pot you could possibly scaled yourself as excessive force can cause the liquid to shoot out of the pot.

Allow all the sediment and grounds to settle for 30 seconds before pouring your coffee.

Turn the lid on your press so that the pour spout is open. Now you can pour yourself a cup of coffee. To ensure that you do not spill coffee hold onto the lid of the press while pouring.

It is not advisable to let the coffee sit in the press for an extended amount of time. If you made a large pot of coffee to drink over a long period of time, pour the extra coffee into a thermos after you have brewed it.

Be sure to wash your pot after using to get rid of any residues or oils.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Upcycle/Recycle Used K-cups

Single serve coffee makers are great, convenient, and awesome in that you can use a different flavored k-cup every time. You aren't stuck to using the same flavor coffee until you replace the bag. But that is a lot of k-cups to throw away. Even if you just drink one cup of coffee each morning that is 365 a year that are thrown away.

So what can you do with those k-cups?

Here is one idea:

Use for starting small seedlings:

Perforate the bottom of the k-cup. Place in a tray of sand. Fill with soil and place one seed into each pod.

Reuse these guys.

Friday, October 28, 2011

How to Use a Reusable Coffee Filter with Keurig

If you own a Keurig Coffee Brewer, then you are familiar with the k-cup, a small plastic cup with the perfect amount of coffee in it. It is easy to use and it is disposable, but it is also plastic.  If you are trying to lessen the amount of garbage you throw out each week, then you are probably a little bummed about throwing away these plastic cups every time you fix a cup of coffee.

Luckily, Keurig is compatible with reusable single cup coffee filters. So how do you use these filters in a Keurig coffee maker?

  1. Grasp the filter holder lid. Turn it counter clockwise to open.
  2. Pull the basket filter out of the filter holder.
  3. Remove any packing material from your coffee filter.
  4. Wash it with warm soapy water and rinse with hot water.
  5. Dry your filter and place it inside the holder.
  6. Close the lid by turning it clockwise.
Using your filter for coffee:
  1.  Open the holder by turning the lid counter clockwise. Remove the filter basket.
  2. Remove the K-cup holder from the brewer.
  3. Fill the basket with desired amount of coffee. 2 Tbsp. of coffee per every 6 oz. of water is what is recommended by most roasters. Do not fill the filter basket past the mesh of the basket. Be sure that there are no coffee grinds on the top rim of the filter basket.After some debate on the filter on facebook, we tested the basket due to a customer having trouble with sediment in the bottom of her coffee. Be sure that the coffee does not come up to the edge of the mesh and that the coffee you are using is a coarse coffee. Fine coffees can leave a sediment and if the cup is too full a sediment can be left in the bottom of a cup as well. If you are still having trouble and you ordered your Reusable filter from us please call our customer service at 1-800-251-8824.
  4. Place basket in holder closing the lid by turning clockwise.
  5. Place holder into K-cup assembly housing in brewer (remember you must remove K-cup holder first)
  6. Lower handle and brew coffee as usual by select cup size button.
  7. Once brewing is done, lift the handle and remove the filter holder from machine.
  8. You may want to allow the filter holder and filter to cool before cleaning.
  9. To clean take off lid as explained above and remove filter basket. 
  10. Toss grounds and rinse out filter basket and holder. 
  11. Replace K-cup holder into Assembly housing.

Friday, October 7, 2011

How to make a Coffee Shake

Ever make too much coffee in the a.m. and have a cup or so left over that you just don't know what to do with?

If you are like me, you will never argue about sweetening up your coffee for a nice treat or dessert. So place that coffee in the fridge to wait until you are ready for a coffee milkshake.

Making your own coffee shake isn't that hard:

The Directions
This recipe makes two servings so if you need to make a bigger batch, just multiply the amounts of ingredients according to how many extra servings you will need to make.

First, make your coffee or espresso. Prepare your coffee as strong or light as you want depending on your personal choice. Let your coffee cool a bit as you will not want to melt the ice cream with it.

Next, get your blender and drop two heaping scoops of vanilla ice cream into it. Drop in a shot of espresso or a quarter cup of regular coffee along with a small handful of ice cubes. Blend these ingredients together on high until you see that all the contents are mixed together forming a thick and icy shake.

Now, take the cups that you will be serving the Great Coffee Shakes in. Decorate the inside of the cups with your preferred syrup, adding as much or as little as you desire.

When you are done applying the syrup to the inside of the cups, transfer the blended ingredients from the blender to your cups. Finish it off with whipped cream on the top, and you can even add more syrup on top of the whip cream if you wish.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Brrrr.....Chilly Mornings Made Better

Wow, Brrr is definitely what I've been saying these past several mornings. The summer heat fled and it fled fast. Here in SW Virginia our temps have been topping out in the low 60s these past few days. So what better way to jolt yourself into a better mood when your alarm inevitably goes off and you know you have to drag yourself out from under those warm covers?

What about coffee that is already waiting for you? There are many programmable coffee makers on the market. Programmable coffee makers have been out for awhile, but they really aren't talked about or bragged on as much as I had expected them to be. Thus far, I am really enjoying using mine. I set it to have my coffee ready after I have had time to get showered, dressed, and a bowl of quick oatmeal fixed. So why aren't you utilizing this great little early morning pick me up?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Coffee and Society

You need only search the term "coffee quotes" to see how coffee affects most people in today's society. So many use coffee to help them greet the day, socialize, get through energy lags at work and/or school. Coffee comforts, energizes, and is there.

 Many people do not even consider themselves to be fully human until they have consumed that first morning cup. And I will admit I am in that group of people.

I find the task of preparing my coffee maker each morning to be a friendly ritual that does not change no matter where my day may take me. It is a comfort when facing an exam in a college class, facing a move across several states, or starting a new job. No matter how new my day is, one thing remains the same in it, and that is my coffee prep. Measuring out the water and coffee grounds, then waiting patiently for the gurgle and steam that lets me know it will only be a few moments before I can have my first cup. Then measuring out my cream and sugar, and depending on the flavor of coffee, perhaps a little sprinkle of cinnamon or a small drop of vanilla extract.

Coffee and the preparation of my coffee is a little anchor to hold me in place, remind me of where I am, and that adjustments to new things can be made.

What is your anchor to calmness and sanity?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Coffee + All Nighters

For those of us who are still students, using coffee to study, to pay attention in class, and to get things accomplished becomes a way of life.

For others who have the fond memories of school days behind them, coffee is one habit hard not to love and not take into the future.

Summer is coming to a close and for students it's time to hit the books and for the working class vacation time is over.

We know you have it all under control now... But as the year progresses, when you've got a giant report due tomorrow or a business proposal to finish, you're going to work into the wee hours of the morning.

So how can you be the most productive? Optimize your time? Stay up late and be healthy? How do you treat you late-night coffee? It's time we answer those questions.

Here's how to pull off and all-nigher and live safely.

1. If you have a test or speaking engagement in the morning you should not stay up all night. Remember that you need your sleep to preform your best. Stay up for a good chunk of time but then you should get some rest - or all of your effort put in the night before will not pay off.

2. Get down to business. no getting side tracked - you need to prioritiee your time 50 minutes of work and 10 minutes of break. This will keep your mind busy and keep you on track.

3. On your 10 minute break - MOVE! Stretch, dance, do jumping jacks. This keeps your blood flowing, mind sharp, and above all keeps you awake.

4.When you make your evening coffee don't drink it quickly. Experts recommend taking one small sip every 20-30 minutes. This keep you awake without a crash.

5. Between coffee sips drink ice cold water - not only will the temperature keep you awake and focused you will have to urinate often. Going to the restroom will force you to be up and moving.

6. Always work in a desk and a chair. Never work in bed, a couch, or the floor because the temptation to fall asleep is greater.

7. Sit straight. If you find yourself slumping over your work - straighten up and you body will respond by becoming more alert.

8. Eat apples. Their sugars keep your blood levels steady and some say they are even better than caffeine.

9. Be positive! Think, "this is not that bad!" "i'm going to make a good grade!" "This presentation will blow everyone away!"

10. Keep the lights on.

11. Finish it all. lay out your clothes the next day, set your alarm for the latest possible time, and have your coffee maker preset to start so your ready to go in the morning.


- realize when you can't do anymore. It's better to get some sleep and finish in the morning than be daydreaming throughout the night and next day.

- Save pulling all-nighters for desperate situations. Planning ahead is, by far, best.

I hope you find this information at least, entertaining. If not mildly useful.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Fall, Pumpkins, Spices, & Coffee

Fall is just around the corner. And my all time favorite drink on a nice cool autumn morning is none other than Pumpkin Spice Coffee. If you have never tried this type of coffee before, it is delicious. But you must like the flavor of pumpkin pie and coffee together.

Curious? Here's a recipe to try out:

Pumpkin Spice Coffee
  • 1/4 c. ground coffee
  • 1 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 4 c. water
  • 2 tsp. half-and-half cream, or to taste
  • 1 tsp. white sugar, or to taste

Mix the ground coffee, allspice, and cinnamon in a small bowl, and place into the filter of a drip coffee maker. Pour 4 cups of water into the coffee maker's water reservoir, and turn on the machine. When coffee has finished dripping, pour into 2 cups. Stir in cream and sugar to taste.

*I sometimes top mine with whipped cream. Yumm!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

How to Choose a Coffee Grinder

Many people love the smell and taste of freshly ground coffee. They feel that it is richer and has a better flavor than the pre-ground, store-bought coffees. So, what do you need to know if you decide that you want to grind your own coffee? First you need to know about the different types of coffee grinders:

Burr Coffee Grinder:
In a burr grinder the coffee beans are ground between two burred plates. These plates can be either conical or flat depending on the model coffee grinder you have. One benefit of having a burr grinder is that it grinds the coffee beans to a uniform size of particle. This gives you a lot of flexibility in what size grounds you need. 

Blade Coffee Grinder:
Blade coffee grinders have a blade similar to that of a propeller that chops up the coffee beans. How fine you want your coffee grounds depends on how long the grinder operates (usually going by a built in timer). The longer this coffee grinder works the finer the coffee.

Manual Coffee Grinder:
Also on the market there are some manual coffee grinders, this type of coffee grinder is usually very aesthetically pleasing and looks like a gorgeous antique. But its exterior isn't the only benefit of a manual coffee grinder, the manual grinder allows you to monitor the grinding process so that you will wind up with evenly ground coffee beans every time.

Now that you know a little more about each type of grinder, you need to decide how much you can spend on a coffee grinder, how much time you can dedicate to using a grinder, and how often you will be using the grinder. Once you have all these things figured out, you will be ready to go shopping for your new coffee grinder!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Cleaning your Coffee Pot

If you are like me, you have high ambitions for coffee in the summer, but with the warm days, you end up drinking only 1 cup while the rest sits in the coffee pot waiting to be poured down the drain later. And while it sits there, do you know what that resentful un-drunken coffee is doing? It is staining. Yup, that beautiful glass pot is slowly becoming a  little grungier with each pot of coffee you make.

Ha, This pot will be STAINED!
So how do you clean off those stains? There are a few different tips around the various corners of the web, here are a few that I found:
  • Soak in a 1/2 Vinegar, 1/2 water solution. Let it sit for quite awhile, then rinse and wipe out with papertowels.
  • At restaurants they use salt and ice in the coffee pot after each shift to make it shine like new. To do this you need about two tablespoons of regular or chunky salt swirled around with ice in the coffee pot.
  • Using a foaming mix of Baking Soda and Vinegar to scrub off the stains (using a soft sponge don't want to get all the stains off just to scratch the pot in the process...)

    Friday, June 10, 2011

    Coffee Grounds and Gardening

    I've been hearing (and reading) a lot of talk about using coffee grounds on your garden. So I decided to delve into this topic a little further and share with you what information I can find.

    Coffee grounds are a great source of nitrogen for soil, however, as with anything too much of a good thing can be bad. To keep from overwhelming your plants with coffee, use coffee in your compost instead of directly on the plant.

    Now this isn't to say that coffee can never be used directly on a plant, you just have to be careful with it. Some sites recommend using coffee grounds as a mulch for fast growing vegetables such as tomato plants. You can also shred up the used coffee filters into this mulch.

    Sprinkling coffee grounds around plants that slugs love to munch on can help keep those plants safe. As it is believed that coffee grounds are poisonous to slugs. Unfortunately, I was unable to find out why (if anyone has more information on this please share in the comments).

    Coffee grounds can act as a great natural insecticide on tomato plants. Make your coffee double strength. Let your coffee cool down to room temperature before spraying on your tomato plants. You can even pour the coffee grounds on the leaves and fruit of the tomatoes. 

    What other garden uses have you found for coffee grounds?

    Friday, May 6, 2011

    Warm Months mean Camping Trips

      And what is a camping trip without coffee?

    Have Coffee while Camping
    Okay, I know, it is still a camping trip. But if you have a coffee lover (or coffee dependent person with you) it could be an unpleasant camping trip. So, just how do you make coffee when you are out in the wild with no power strip in sight?

    Well, honestly it isn't that difficult. Just a few easy steps:

    Materials you will need:
    Coffee Percolator
    Coffee Grounds
    Coffee cup/mug


    Step 1: Fill coffee pot/percolator just below basket.

    Step 2: Put the basket and stem into place in the pot.

    Step 3: Add your coffee to the basket. (Add as much or as little as you like but one guideline is 2 tablespoons of coffee per cup of water, but this way is a bit strong for me)

    Step 4: Place percolator over fire (it is best if you have a grill grate or something that it can set on vs. putting directly in fire, which I do not recommend).

    Step 5: Wait for the water to boil then remove the percolator and set it to the edge of the fire. Let it percolate slowly for about 5 to 10 minutes.

    Step 6: Remove basket and dispose of coffee grounds. You can now have a cup of coffee.

    Keep in mind that as with any campfire you will need to be very careful to avoid injury while making coffee with your percolator. Open flames definitely need careful and safe actions around them to avoid them spreading and to avoid being burned.

    Also for outdoor coffee makers, I personally would avoid using any percolators with plastic handles and knobs as it is hard to control how hot a campfire can get and these plastic pieces could overheat and start to melt.

    Hope everyone who is going camping this summer has a safe and fun trip! Don't forget the coffee!

    For more camping gear check out http://www.redhillgeneralstore.com/Camping-Gear.htm

    Thursday, March 17, 2011

    Making Iced Coffee

    With warmer weather up ahead, we felt that it was time to discuss iced coffee. It is something that is quite simple to make and can be quite refreshing when you need your caffeine on a hot day.  Here are the steps you will need to follow:
    1. Brew your coffee the night before (you may want to brew it twice as strong as usual since it will be diluted with ice cubes.
    2. If you want your iced coffee to be sweet, you will want to add your sugar to the coffee before it cools as it will mix better.
    3. Chill your coffee overnight, we recommend putting it in a pitcher in case you change your mind and want some hot coffee in the a.m. and if your carafe is in the fridge that might be difficult to do. Unless you have an extra or replacement carafe.
    4. When you are ready for your iced coffee fill a tall glass full of ice.
    5. Pour your cool coffee over the ice.
    6. If you want any creamer, milk, or flavoring add it to your iced coffee and mix well.
    7. Now your iced coffee is ready to enjoy.
    What is your favorite flavorings to add to iced coffee? Also do you have any tips on making this sweet cold treat?

    Friday, March 4, 2011

    Keurig, New at Coffee Maker Outlet

    We are excited to tell you that we are now offering the Keurig Premium Coffee Systems, along with their accessories, and a variety of K-cups.The Keurig Brewing Systems that we offer are:

    • Keurig B70 Platinum Brewing System - a full spectrum of features and impeccable styling.
    • Keurig B60 Special Edition Brewing - smart styling meets a range of brew features.
    • Keurig B40 Elite Brewing System - simplicity and ease meet the perfect cup of coffee.
    • Keurig B31 Mini Plus Brewing System - Small in size, big on variety, ease, and convenience.

    The accessories for your Keurig Brewing System that we offer include:
    • Keurig K-Cup Carousel - holds 27 K-Cup® portion packs with a Lazy Susan base. 
    • Keurig K-Cup Carousel Tower - holds up to 30 K-Cup® portion packs with a Lazy Susan base.
    • One All Reusable Single Serve Coffee Filter System - use your own gourmet ground coffee.

    And of course we offer 19 varieties of the K-Cup portion packs.

    Wednesday, March 2, 2011

    Red Hill General Store's Big News

    Our main company, Red Hill General Store, is opening a new location in Raleigh, NC. Everyone is really excited about it. The Grand Opening is this Saturday, March 5, 2011.

    At Red Hill General Store's new location they will offer many of the products of Coffee Maker Outlet, along with:

    • Carhartt, Columbia, & Life is Good clothing
    • Earthway products
    • Case Knives
    • Rada Cutlery
    • Burt's Bees Personal Care Products
    • Toys by Kikkerland 
    • Rainbow Sandals
    • Presto Kitchen Appliances, Pressure Cookers, Canners, & more
    • Lodge Cast Iron Cookware
    • Teas by The Republic of Tea
    • Preserves and supplies to preserve with
    And much much more. If you are in the Raleigh, NC area you should stop by and see the big event.

    Wednesday, February 16, 2011

    10 Coffee Filter Uses

    Paper coffee filters can be used for more than just filtering coffee.  Here are some uses and ideas that we have come up with for coffee filters.

    1. Kid's crafts - with some markers, paint, and a wood clothespin, you and your children can make some neat butterflies using coffee filters.
    2. Apply shoe polish. Lint free coffee filters will leave behind no lint pieces on your shiny shoes.
    3. Sprout seeds. Use a damp coffee filter, place seeds inside, put inside a zip lock bag and leave until they sprout.
    4. Out of cotton balls? They can be used to remove fingernail polish.
    5. Use to clean LCD screens.  Comes in handy if you have misplaced your lint free cloth that typically comes with these electronics.
    6. Use as a disposable spoon rest while cooking. No counter mess, and no extra dish to wash.
    7. Put baking soda in one, close with a twist tie, and use in closets, shoes, etc. to keep down odors.
    8. Use them in a plate to soak up grease from foods. (Bacon, Fries, Chicken Nuggets, etc.)
    9. Use while sewing as a backing for appliques, etc. It is easy to tear away when you are done.
    10. Cover dishes when microwaving food, no splatter to clean up!
    What other uses can you come up with for coffee filters? We would love to hear them!

    Monday, February 14, 2011

    Making Cake with Coffee

    Adding a little coffee flavor to something sweet is a winner every time. Ever tried coffee flavored ice cream? Delicious.  So the next time you are baking a cake, you might want to try substituting the water in the recipe with some left over coffee from your morning brew (black coffee).  This works especially well with chocolate cake. 

    To make the coffee flavor a little more intense you could mix a couple spoonfuls of instant coffee into the batter of the cake.

    What other recipes have you used coffee in? We would love to hear about them!

    Would you prefer to not have any coffee leftovers to worry about what to do with? Then you might be interested in the Cuisinart Single Serve Coffee Maker:

    Or you can keep in mind the Melitta Coffee Makers:

    Thursday, February 10, 2011

    How to Get Rid of Coffee Bitterness

    Have you ever sat down with a nice warm mug of coffee fresh from your coffee brewer just to take that first sip and it is too bitter to drink?  Well after a little bit of online detective work, it appears that the cure for the bitter in coffee is to add a small pinch of salt.

    Salt changes the coffee taste by dampening the bitterness.  By adding salt you will highlight the other flavor notes of coffee: the deep, dark woodsy taste of the bean.

    So not one to shy away from trying something new with coffee, I braved the salt in coffee effect, and added just a tiny bit to my cup of joe.  The bitterness of the coffee isn't as sharp, but it is still there, however, I may have used too little salt.

    So long as you are allowed salt in your diet, try this trick with your coffee and let us know how it worked for you.  We'd love to hear about your coffee experience.

    Wednesday, February 9, 2011

    Welcome to Coffee Maker Outlet's Blog

    Welcome to Coffee Maker Outlet's first blog.  We were inspired to start blogging in answer to our sister sites posting blogs of their own. (Pressure Cooker Outlet, Wood Stove Outlet, Bell Outlet, & Red Hill General Store)

    Our online retail store is owned and operated by Red Hill General Store.  Red Hill General Store is located in Hillsville, VA at 1035 Sylvatus Hwy.  You should stop by and see them sometime! They stock some of our products in their store.

    We will be keeping you updated with anything and everything coffee related that takes place in any of our retail stores, or on our websites.  Bookmark us and stop by while enjoying your very own cup of joe.
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