Testing Equipment for Drip Coffee Maker Reviews

We have all wondered what is the difference between a $30 and a $300 coffee maker. We are getting the testing equipment together to find out.

Steven Johnson
by | Posted: December 11, 2013 | Updated: April 2, 2014

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First let me say I am finally puting Chemical Engineering Degree from Georgia Tech to good use.


Coffee Maker Roundup

We are assembling a wide range of drip coffee makers and putting them through the paces. We want to know exactly how hot does the water get, how much time does is spend in the the 195 to 205 temperature range and how long does the maker take to brew a full pot.

Starting at the bottom with a 15 or 20 year old Braun, then work through Cuisenart, Melitta and up to Bonavita. We are hoping to get a Technivorm in time for the first round of reviews.

These reviews and testing will not be your basic by any means. We purchased some very accurate recording hardware specifically for this task. 

After we go through the technical aspects, the same machines through blind taste tests. The coffee will be brewed according to the manufacturers instructions and then again at what ever settings create the best cup.

We will see first hand who is naughty and who is nice.


Testing Equipment


Sounds pretty technical right? Don't let the word scare you it is pretty much a fancy word for Thermometer. Yes there are some technical differences but essentially they get the same result.


Man are there a lot of these things and they all seem very similar.  J-Type, K-Type, T-type, E-type, different connector interfaces, different degrees of accuracy, and all with these long complicated partnumbers.

After much research I determined that the best type for our is type T. Is has a range of -200 to 350 Celcius which should be plenty wide for our applications. It is made of copper. It will probably be best not to drink any of the coffee we test but we will know exaclty what that coffee makers temperature profile looks like.

The thermocouples we purchased: http://www.omega.com/pptst/sa1.html

Want to learn more?


Data Logger

We were looking for something that is portable, good features, will show the temp real time either on a display or connected to a computer.


There are several options available, we opted for the Measurement Computing USB-5104 logger. 


It met all the conditions and has 4 channels so we can read several temperatures at once. The added bonus is the software works with a Apple.



Logging Software

Not as much research went into this, since the logging software came with the logger that we purchased. 

I will say it seems like almost all software is Windows only. We could have gone that way if we had to but the Measuring Computing software will work on a Mac.


Once we get to the reporting phase I will have a better idea of the software features needed. Hopefully all the info we are after is not to complex and the package we went with wil handle it.

We went with the USB-5100 Series Software 




I think we have some really solid gear to do some testing and temperature profiling for the different coffee makers.

Very excited to see what results we come up with.

Questions / Thoughts?

Feel free to use the comments below


Steven Johnson

Steven is a web developer and big coffee enthusiast. He lives in Atlanta, with his wife and two little girls.

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