I recently came into possession of a used Bunn coffeemaker, which is very nice, but its operation was very hard to figure out without a manual, such that I thought it was broken initially. It would just dispense coffee cold without properly heating it up.
To be clear, I've made coffee before and other coffee makers, and it was very simple and straightforward. You put in the filter, fill it up with grounds, add water, and push start. Then you would wait a few minutes for the water to boil, and that would come coffee.
I tried that same procedure on this coffee maker, but the instant I hit the on switch, it started dispensing "coffee" without heating it up at all. Completely cold, it failed to really pick up any coffee taste. Unless I was going to pre-heat my water and/or dump a ton a ton of grounds in, it would essentially be worthless. The coffee maker had a warming plate, so I briefly considered that to be the intended method of heating, but that would be ridiculous.
As despair over my new machine began to take hold of me, I finally went to men's last resort: reading the instructions. It took me a minute to understand them, but it turns out that the water I was pouring in wasn't the water it was pouring out. The coffee maker has an internal water reserve that it's supposed to keep hot all the time. That sounds energy inefficient, but it means it's supposed to dispense coffee instantly instead of waiting for the water to heat up like with most coffee makers. To effect this, you have to leave the coffee maker on all the time. Instead of turning it on dispensing the coffee, the trigger is actually shutting the water lid. When you do so, it dispenses water from the preheated reserve to the extent you filled the water input, and then afterwards it refills the reserve from what you poured in and heats it.
The proper procedure is as follows:
- Leave the coffee maker switched on all the time, or at least turn it on a half hour in advance.
- Put a filter and grounds in as normal.
- Fill the coffee pot to the extent you want coffee, pour it in the "water in" basin, and put the coffee pot in position.
- Then, shut the lid.
Voilà: coffee. ☕