My Black and Decker SmartBrew.


Get a coffee pot


The contraption most commonly used to brew coffee at home is an automatic drip coffee maker. This can be attributed to the fact that, amongst the other options out there, it is the easiest to use. (So easy a cave man...if he had electricity...could do it.)


The automatic drip coffee maker my mother gave me is a Black and Decker SmartBrew that cost $18 at Walmart and has survived over fours years of nearly everyday use.


That said, if you're planning on buying new, go with either Black and Decker or Mr. Coffee. They are the two most-popular automatic drip coffee maker brands and you can find one for between $10-$30, depending on what size you want. (And make sure to keep the paperwork that comes with it, i.e. directions and warranties.)


As far as size goes, think of how much coffee you (and, if applicable, those you live with) consume daily. Unless you entertain large groups of people often, er on the smaller side. With drip coffee makers, the quality of the coffee is largely affected by the amount of time that the water is in contact with the grounds; therefore, using an 12-cup coffee maker to make only two cups of coffee will result in weak and poor-tasting coffee.


If you're planning on buying secondhand, thrifting is the way to go. Just make sure the store you're buying from ensures that it's appliances work properly (i.e. the Habitat for Humanity thrift store south of campus on 13th). Don't be discouraged by age (my toaster is over 30 years old and still kickin'!).


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Copyright 2008 Kelley Coggins-Anton