There are so many appliances available nowadays to make coffee. What is the best way to brew coffee in order to get the best flavor?--Sylvia
If you like a smooth well flavored coffee without a lot of bitterness, then you want to use water that is just off the boil, somewhere around 200°F (93°C), give or take about 5°F (3°C). Much cooler and the flavors aren't extracted from the coffee; much warmer and too much tannin and other compounds are extracted, making the coffee harsh.
Drip coffee machines typically heat the water from the reservoir in a pipe built into the heating pad under the pot. Steam from the heated water pushes it up a tube and into the basket containing the coffee grounds. Depending on the make and design, some of these may work well, but with others the water may be far too hot.
The traditional coffee perk, which pushes water up a central stem where it flows over into the basket holding the grounds, has two major faults. First, because of the closed design the water is far too hot when it comes into contact with the grounds, especially toward the end of the brew cycle. Second, because the water is recirculated, the already brewed coffee is returned to the boiling point repeatedly making the final product more bitter.
My personal favorite for making coffee is the French Press. Ground coffee is placed into the container of the press and water that has been boiled and then allowed to cool slightly is poured over the grounds. The mixture is stirred to make sure the coffee is fully in contact with the water, and then the cover is put on. Built into the cover is a plunger. After the coffee has sat for two to four minutes, the plunger is slowly pressed down, forcing the grounds to the bottom and extracting the brewed coffee which is poured immediately. The result is a very smooth and flavorful cup of coffee.