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Review: Kitchenaid Pour-Over Coffee Brewer
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Drip coffee makers are a thing of the past with the raise of electric pour-over coffee makers. Pour-over coffee has been done by hand in coffee shops for many years and now is making its way to your kitchen with an automated process. The newer machines take out the guess work of how hot you need you water, and the soaking process to create a perfect pour-over cup of joe. KitchenAid isn't the first name you think of when it comes to coffee, but they've hammered out an amazing electric pour-over coffee brewer. Let take a look at it.
We taste tested electric pour-over coffee from our top coffee makers to see which machine is best for you. Click here to see the comparison.
Everything you need to know about Pour-Over Coffee
- Goodbye Old-School Drip Method - Most all of the coffee makers out there are going to be drip style - a single steady stream of water runs through coffee grounds to make coffee. This method is fast and easy, but doesn't properly extract the maximum flavor from the beans.
- Hello Pour-Over Method - This method is more gentle and has more stages. The beans are soaked evenly with a shower of water and are given a short time to "bloom" or naturally release carbon dioxide. After blooming, another shower is poured over the grounds and then drained into the carafe container. This gets you the maximum flavor from your beans and makes a much smoother cup of coffee.
- SCAA Certified Home Brewer - Specialty Coffee Association of America has rigorously tested this unit giving this KitchenAid the seal of approval for proper brewing temperature, appropriate brew time, uniform extraction, and much more
- Perfect Coffee Bloom - Created a visible coffee bloom; KitchenAid is mimics the pour-over process perfectly extracting the maximum coffee flavor from the beans making this Chef Austin's Top Pick
- Simple One-Button Interface - Simply just press one button to start the brewing process. Watch the indicator lights to see what brewing step the machine is on
- Sometimes hard to judge how much water you are adding to the reservoir, the water level indicator has a delay making you wait to see how much water you've poured in
- No programmable wake-up timer to start coffee in the morning
Quick Specs: 8 Cup Capacity | Glass Carafe | 1-Year Warranty
Best For: Making the best tasting cup of pour-over style coffee, KitchenAid delivers the perfect coffee bloom and perfect cup of joe without Joe the barista.
Design & Construction
The goal KitchenAid has in mind is to precisely mimic the pattern and pulse of the manual pour-over method to evenly saturate and steep the coffee grounds for the best flavor possible. They've constructed their coffee maker to make this a simple, automated process you can do at home.
[head on shot of with labeled parts. The box shows this quite well- maybe pic of box?)
The KitchenAid is a tall towering unit with a large 8-cup water tank at the top, brew basket in the middle, and glass carafe at the bottom.
The top has a sliding door revealing the water reservoir on top. When filling it with water, their is an indicator on the side to let you know how much water is in there. The gauge works, but has a delay so it can be hard to judge how much water you are adding. Just a minor inconvenience.
On the side of the machine, you can see an indicator light showing you the exact step of the brewing proccess the coffee maker is on. The KitchenAid has a single power button to start brewing making the complex process of pour-over coffee as easy as the press of one button. The only drawback here is that you do not get a wake-up timer for your coffee to automatically start brewing when you wake up.
The KitchenAid provides a fine-mesh metal filter basket for your coffee grounds (it also accepts paper coffee filters for an even more filtered brew). The basket lives in the swing-out brew chamber above the glass carafe. - DOUBLE CHECK BREW BASKET TO SEE IF IT IS METAL
After brewing, the coffee will drip into the 8-cup glass carafe. There is a warmer plate that it sits on and will keep your coffee hot for one hour. (After one hour, the compounds in your coffee start to go sour and bitter, so it's recommended to drink your coffee within one hour of brewing)
To mimic the pattern of a manual pour-over method, two things need to happen: proper water temperature and a proper coffee ground soaking method. To do this, they've designed their coffee maker to heat water to a precise brewing temperature of 198-204° F which is key for extracting the proper flavor compounds found in your coffee beans. You can rest assured that the KitchenAid Pour-Over Coffee Brewer is doing this because this model has actually passed the rigorous testing by the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA). They have deemed the KitchenAid a Certified Home Brewer because it properly heats water, soaks the beans, and a does a slew of other test properly.
Other than the right temperature water, you also need to properly soak your coffee grounds the way a barista would at the local coffee shop. To properly saturate your coffee grounds, you must do an initial gentle soak of the coffee grounds to let the coffee "bloom" or release carbon dioxide in the grounds. Too much water at once or too harsh of a stream of water will break this bloom, negatively effecting the flavor of the coffee. After a few minutes of blooming, the grounds are again gently and evenly soaked with the rest of the water that drips down into your glass carafe. This delicate process extracts the maximum coffee flavor from the beans.
[coffee bloom inside kichenaid basket]
KitchenAid does this process perfectly. Their drip system that soaks the beans is what sets this coffee maker apart from the competition. The hot water is a very gentle rainfall that soaks the beans and does not break the delicate coffee bloom allowing for maximum flavor creation. The KitchenAid takes the right steps and proper steeping times for the coffee grounds to release the optimal flavor compounds. This perfect automated process produced a coffee-shop quality pour over coffee that was pefectly smooth yet complex in flavor.
The best part of this entire test drive was that I made the perfect cup of coffee with the press of one button. The KitchenAid has a single power button to start the process, so there is no confusion even on something as creating a multi-step proceess cup of pour-over coffee.
I usually don't think coffee when I hear the name KitchenAid but I quickly changed my mind after brewing in their Pour Over Coffee Brewer. Honestly, going into the review, I expected a just okay cup of coffee, but I was pleasantly surprised. The KitchenAid's brewing process actually does an excellent job of properly soaking and steeping the beans by alternately showering the grounds with water allowing the beans to steep. The gentle shower head properly "blooms" the coffee - releasing the carbon dioxide making the beans grow & rise - without breaking the fragile bloom. This is the one thing KitchenAid's coffee maker did better than all the others we tested! The KitchenAid's pour-over coffee was the smoothest and best tasting out of all five we tried in our blind taste test. If you're looking for the best tasting cup of pour-over coffee without all the manual labor, the KitchenAid Pour Over Coffee Brewer is the perfect addition to your kitchen.
If you're still deciding on the perfect cold brew coffee maker, we taste tested our top coffee makers to see which machine is best for you. Click here to see the comparison.
KitchenAid Pour-Over Coffee Brewer Review
About the Author:
Chef Austin Merath is Everything Kitchen's Culinary Wizard, Kitchen-Gadget Reviewer, and New-Product Tester. He studied under chefs in College of the Ozarks' Culinary Program. It's his job to make sure you choose the kitchen tools that are right for you by testing the best we have to offer. When not cooking, Austin is tinkering with computers or exploring the Ozarks with his wife Amy. Click here for his full bio.