Best in brew

HOUSTON Consumer Reports devised new tests to measure the brewing temperatures of many top-selling coffeemakers. To get a good cup of coffee, brewing temperature should be between 195 and 205 degrees. Lead tester Bob Karpel discovered that not all coffeemakers get hot enough to extract the best flavor from the beans that avoids a weak or bitter brew.

"We found during our new brewing tests that many coffeemakers, even some costing more than $100, didn't perform nearly as well in these brew tests as others costing half that price," says Karpel.

In all, Consumer Reports tested 34 coffeemakers and found one of the most convenient models that reaches an excellent brew temperature is the Michael Graves 12-cup coffeemaker available at Target. For $40, it's rated a Consumer Reports Best Buy.

The programmable feature "allows the coffeemaker to start up in the morning before you wake up so that you have coffee when you get up," says Karpel.

Single-serving pod machines let you simply drop in a sealed packet of coffee with no grinding, no scooping, and no mess. But Consumer Reports found the coffee itself to be pricy at 25 to 50 cents per pod. That's four times as much per cup as drip-coffee using supermarket brands.

Instead, we recommend taking a look at the Melitta Take2 which costs just $25 and brewed a superb cup of coffee quickly.

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