Listen. Tea is great. There are indisputable health benefits to drinking it. A lot of wildly successful people drink (or drank) tea: C.S. Lewis and Henry James, Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull, Audrey Hepburn and Helen Mirren. Politicians and priests drink it, and queens obviously drink it. Dads drink it, and yes ... moms drink it, too.
But not all moms. And contrary to popular opinion every Mother's Day, moms drink other beverages aside from tea. And they do things other than lie in bed while drinking tea. We're pretty sure there are some moms who even -- gasp -- drink coffee. Or perhaps whiskey. Maybe even whiskey mixed into a mug of coffee.
So why do we relegate moms into the tea zone every May? Aside from suggesting the occasional candle or spa treatment, gift guides everywhere are practically screaming at you to buy your mom some damn tea.
We can forgive the tea brands that create Mother's Day gift packages, because that's their job. But the media (including ourselves) focus so intensely on tea every Mother's Day that it's really hard to escape. There are Mother's Day tea party ideas, stories about the best tea houses to take your mom to, and instructions for DIY candles made out of tea cups. Entire Pinterest boards are dedicated to it.
Today, let's take a moment to forget about tea, and instead focus on the moms out there who dare to drink coffee. You love your mom, and she loves coffee. So let's do this.
Herewith, a ranking of nine popular types of coffee makers. Help your mom brew her best batch and be a renegade at the same time.
Crate & Barrel
Maybe it's the filters (which are specially made by Chemex to make a great cup), or maybe it's the genius of the doctor that created this coffee brewer, but either way people loved it: "Nice!""Strong and not too bitter.""Working-man's brew!" "Nice smell with a smooth, low-acid flavor."(Available at Crate & Barrel for $38.95.)
This beautiful piece of equipment will set you back some, but not without the reward of a great cup of coffee. Here's what people thought: "Full flavor!" "Best cup!" "I like this!" "A good stiff cup of Joe."(Available at Moccamaster for $329.)
The French press is a popular choice with coffee drinkers everywhere, and with good reason. Here's what the tasters thought: "Full flavor!" "Very drinkable!""Tastes like Starbucks."(Available at Bodum for $40.)
The Aeropress uses pressure to brew coffee, and it seems to be a smart way to do it
. Here's what people thought: "Obviously brewed with zest, care and attention." "Nice, but a little too acidic." "Strong and yet mellow."(Available at Kaldi's Coffee for $29.95.)
The coffee cone is the least intrusive and least expensive way to make coffee. And, it's a crowd pleaser. The general consensus was: "Not bad -- good and strong." "Diana Nyad
could swim through this."(Available at Amazon for $13.36.)
If there's one thing that's truly great about the vacuum pot it's the theatrics of it. There's something truly magical about watching it brew coffee. And, it makes a nice smooth cup though we found that most coffee drinkers want a little more "oomph" with their caffeine. Also, it's hard to clean. Here's what the tasters thought: "This one grows hair on my palms. It's some heavy voo-doo brew.""Really low acid." "Super mellow flavor." "Weak!" (Available at Bodum for $80.)
Automatic Coffee Maker
Just your run of the mill coffeemaker. No surprises here. This is what the tasters thought: "Okay." "O.K." "Too weak to tell." (Available at Mr. Coffee for $24.99.)
As much as we loved this coffeemaker, it just didn't win the people over. When following the manufacturer's instructions we got a weak pot every time. While we appreciate the sleek design and the fact that some tinkering could produce us a better cup, it didn't stand up next to the other brewers. Here's what our tasters thought: "Strong aroma, weak flavor." "No flavor." (Available at Amazon for $49.95. Visit the official Sowden website for more information.)
Sur La Table
This old-school style brewer will get you a strong cup of coffee, but it won't be the best use of your beans. The problem with most percolators is that you can end up accidentally boiling the coffee -- a sure way to get a bitter cup. We worked hard to make sure this didn't happen, but it still wasn't a crowd pleaser. Here's what the tasters thought: "This stuff will turn boys into men, and I don't mean that in a good way." "Metallic."(The one we used for the taste test is currently out of stock, but a not so similar one can be found at Sur La Table for $69.95.)