Auto Coffee Makers - First Cup the Strongest?
We've got a running discussion in our home about the first several cups of coffee that come out of our automatic coffee maker - are those actually the strongest cups that are filtered through to the carafe?
Seems silly to have a pause button if you should be waiting until the carafe is filled with the amount of desired coffee so that the strength is evenly divided.
One of us prefers to wait, based on that theory and one of us doesn't have the patience in the a.m. (actually any time) to wait for 4-6 cups to be brewed before getting a cup.
Love this site and glad we found it! Thanks – MMR
Here’s the short answer: Yes, if you interrupt the brew cycle and just grab the first cup or so that comes through, it will taste stronger than if you pour a cup from the full carafe after the cycle is complete.
Actually, you’ll get that stronger taste even if you let the cycle go about three quarters of the way before interrupting.
It’s just in that final quarter or so that you’ll see the coffee is noticeably weaker.
But there is a caveat here.
If you are just making a regular pot of coffee, by all means pause the brew to get that stronger cup.
But if you are brewing a quality coffee and want to enjoy all of its flavors, notes and subtleties, then you need to allow the complete brew cycle to finish.
How come? Because the extraction time makes a difference to the taste. In other words, to get all the finer flavors out of the ground coffee, it needs to be in contact with the hot water for 4 or 5 minutes.
Less than that, and you don’t get the full taste. Longer than that, and the coffee is over-extracted and tastes bitter.
So by all means, pause the brewer to get that stronger taste. Just keep in mind that you’re not getting the best taste.
Oh…and you are also messing up the balance of the coffee for anyone who waits for the cycle to complete!