- posted 14 years ago
Back in March of this year, I ordered, from QVC, one of the alt.coffee group's recent favorite automatic drip coffeemakers, the so-called "Scandinavian-designed" Melitta Clarity 8-cup Automatic Drip Coffeemaker.
IN a post shortly after I received it, I mentioned some of the things I liked about the design, and some of the things I thought were definite negative points in the design of this model.
For about two months now, I have been using it as my everyday coffee brewing device.
All of the back portions of my little kitchen's counter space is civered by cabinetry above it with only about 18 inches, maybe about 450 millimeters of space between the counter top and the bottom framing of the upper ccabinets. This means that thanis to the Clarity's design, I must slide the beast toward the front in order to open covers to fill the water tank, and to load the brewing basket with filter and ground coffee.
ON one of these forward sliding operations, one of the plastic feet snapped off and I resorted to the use of an epoxy glu to re-attach it. Now, the machine rests on a shallow metal cooky sheet that is just long enough to hold the machine inside the sheet. This is definitely the first time in more than 35 years owning and using electric coffee brewers, whether percolators, drip brewers, of other types, that I have had one of the feet come off.
At any rate, the subject of this message is my attempt to measure the temperatures this unit produces while actually brewing a pot of coffee under real-world conditions.
The test victim is this Melitta Clarity we're discussing. The water was from the cold tap, straight from my kitchen sink. The coffee was A&P Eight O'Clock 100 Percent Colombian Arabica whole bean coffee mixed half and half with A&P Eight O'Clock French Roast Whole Bean coffee, ground in a two-year-old Solis Maestro Grinder. I used as much coffee as the Maestro would grind on a full wind of its spring-loaded mechanical timer. The water tank of the Clarity was filled to the top with water, beyond any cup markings, to the point where it was full to the top. The Coffee beans came out of the freezer, straight into the grinder, and then from the grinder's collection hopper into the old Krups Gold-Tone metal mesh filter and then into the Clarity's filter basket.
Temperatures are measured with what is advertised to be a restaurant-quality cooking thermometer which measures its readings on the Fahrenheit scale to within one-tenth of one degree, with its maximum capable reading being 254.0 degrees. The business end of the thermometer is a five-inch long probe about the diameter of a standard four-inch-long carpenter's nail. In addition to an LCD digital readout, this thermometer speaks its readings in a high-pitched, slightly Asian-accented female voice.
The time of the test was measured with a digital watch which has a stopwatch and count-up timer function, which has the ability to speak its output in a similar female voice to the one used by the Talking Cooking Thermometer.
As I begin the test, the air temperature in the room, within two feet of the Clarity was 78.1 Degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature of the water in the tank was 75.5 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Temperature of the cold ground coffee in the basket was somewhat cooler, 58.1 degrees Fahrenheit.
The machine was turned on and the probe remained inside the filter basket through the brewing cycle.
Here are the measured times counting up from the time the machine was turned on, with temperature readings at various points as the machine brewed its thing. A couple of mintes after the pump stopped, giving some time for the remaining water to drip out of the basket into the carafe, I measured the temperature in the carafe before turning off the warmer plate. I accepted a reading of air and water temperatures before brewing began, and of carafe temperature after brewing stopped, when I got three consecutive readings that were the same.
The switch was pushed at 10:43 PM.
7 seconds, 58.7 degrees 30 seconds, 115.3 degrees 44 seconds, 165.8 degrees 1 minute, 173.5 degrees 1 minute 19 seconds, 172.5 degrees 1 minute 37 seconds, 184.4 degrees 1 minute 50 seconds, 187.0 degrees 2 minutes, 187.3 degrees 2 minutes 13 seconds, 189.4 degrees 2 minutes 24 seconds, 191 degrees 2 minutes 38 seconds, 192.9 degrees 2 minutes 49 seconds, 195.3 degrees 3 minutes, 196 degrees 3 minutes 19 seconds, 197.2 degrees 3 minutes 37 seconds, 197.4 degrees 3 minutes 49 seconds, 197.9 degrees 4 minutes, 197.4 degrees 4 minutes 16 seconds, 197.6 degrees 4 minutes 28 seconds, 197 degrees 4 minutes 36 seconds, 197.5 degrees 4 minutes 44 seconds, 199.8 degrees 4 minutes 52 seconds, 200.9 degrees 5 minutes, 201.4 degrees 5 minutes 8 seconds, 201.7 degrees Five minutes 16 seconds, 201.5 degrees five minutes 25 seconds, 201.3 degrees five minutes 33 seconds, 201.4 degrees five minutes 44 seconds, 201.9 degrees five minutes 53 seconds, 202 degrees six minutes, 202.1 degrees six minutes 9 seconds, 202.4 degrees six minutes 25 seconds, 203.1 degrees six minutes 31 seconds, 201.3 degrees (brewing had stopped) six minutes 39 seconds, 201.8 degrees six minutes 49 degrees, 202.5 degrees seven minutes, 202.8 degrees Seven minutes 8 seconds, 202.8 degrees Fahrenheit.
Temperature insde Carafe after brewing: Eight minutes, 176.5 degrees 8 minutes 25 seconds, 176.4 degrees Fahrenheit.
About 30 minutes before I ran that test, actually brewing coffee, I ran the test with water only, no coffee in the filter basket. The highest temperature reading I got inside the basket with the water being allowed to flow out quickly and unimpeded was 190.1 degrees fahrenheit.
Now, I plan to run this coffee brewing test with some of my other automatic drip brewers, including the Presto machine I bought at the end of 2004, a Bunn BT-10B which I got at the 2004 SCAA convention in Atlanta, a Melitta IBS-10S which was bought late in 1998, and a couple of other machines I have hanging around here.
I must say that I found this particular test quite a bit reveling on several levels. It will be interesting to see what kinds of readings I get from some of these other machines. I might even toss the old 10-cup stainless steel Farberware electric percolator into the test ring for good measure.
Brent Reynolds, Atlanta, GA USA Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 1-404-814-0768