Bold Setting On Coffee Maker: What Does That Do?

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For a lot of people, coffee is what keeps them running! Even if they don't use it for an energy boost, they can't avoid it because it's flavorful. It's so good it might've convinced you to purchase a coffee maker. However, now you might have some questions. For example, what does the bold setting do?

The bold setting on a coffee maker indicates the method of roasting and preparing coffee. When you choose bold, you're making coffee with a strong flavor. The coffee maker produces this flavor by dripping the water more slowly. As a result, you get coffee that's more bitter and acidic.

If it's your first time using a coffee maker, you might be curious to know what you can do with it. There are various settings that you can play around with. Of course, each one produces coffee with a slightly distinct flavor. If you'd like to find out more, keep reading ahead.

A coffee maker pouring coffee into a cup, Bold Setting On Coffee Maker: What Does That Do?

The Settings On A Coffee Maker

The great aspect of owning a coffee maker is controlling how you want your coffee. Once you learn how to make the perfect cup for your tastes, you can make it every day! But before you get to that point, you have to learn what the settings do. 

Maybe you've never thought of it before. It's easy to turn the coffee maker on and brew a cup of coffee. If that's the case, you're likely familiar with the taste of the regular setting. 

A business woman getting coffee in the coffee maker

The most common settings in nearly every coffee maker are regular and bold. Let's start by finding out what the bold settings does.

The Bold Setting

In general, bold will be a flavor term. When you select it, you're getting coffee that tastes strong. Let's take a Cuisinart coffee maker as an example. 

Cuisinart labels the BOLD/REG setting as a strength selector. In their words, they claim it lets you choose the intensity of coffee flavor you prefer. 

The way it does this comes from the brewing method. Therefore, instead of letting a steady flow of water pass through the coffee grounds, it drips it more slowly. 

This method allows the water to extract more from the coffee grounds. The result is a cup of coffee darker in color and more flavorful. In addition, there's a higher concentration of caffeine.

Coffee Extraction

Now that you know what the bold setting does, one detail that might have caught your attention is the term "extract." What exactly does the water extract from the coffee grounds? 

It extracts a lot of things from the coffee grounds. From fats to flavor, there's a lot that goes on chemically. However, the most important aspect to consider for our case is extraction time.

Water is good at extracting soluble chemicals. However, with regards to coffee, it needs help. For this reason, you don't just pour hot water over coffee beans. You will need to grind them into a powder to increase the surface area.

Time's Importance In Coffee Making

Now that the beans are in powder form, it should be easier to extract what we need from them. However, that's not the case. It's still possible to extract too little or too much from the coffee grounds. 

If you want more flavor, you'll want to brew the coffee longer, but not too long. When you brew for longer, you extract more from the coffee grounds. That's what the bold setting on a coffee maker does.

It brews slower to allow more coffee extraction. 

What Does It Mean For Coffee To Be Bold?

Since you're most likely using a standard coffee maker with preground coffee beans, it's extracting more of the same compounds from the regular setting. It will produce a cup of coffee that's more acidic and bitter. 

Though, don't let that scare you away from using it. Try it out to see if you enjoy the different flavor profiles. Some describe bold coffee as carrying a woody or smoky smell. 

When you take your first sip, it will taste bitter. However, the bitterness won't last long, as the flavors will fade after a few subsequent sips. It tends to leave a rich aftertaste in your mouth. 

What Is the Difference Between Bold And Regular Coffee?

Getting a sweet cup of coffee from the coffee machine

The BOLD/REG setting refers to the water flow in a coffee maker. So, when you choose BOLD, you instruct the coffee maker to drip water through the coffee grounds slowly. When you set it to REG, it sets it to the standard drip rate. 

If you were to compare settings, it would take less time to brew a cup of regular coffee. As mentioned, it's possible to extract too little or too much from the coffee grounds. Most manufacturers design this setting to extract an adequate amount from it.

Thus, it produces a flavor that some consider weak coffee while others believe it is more palatable. The flavor the BOLD setting creates tends to be on the bitter side. In some cases, coffee makers might extract too much from the coffee grounds. 

What Are The Signs of Over-Extracted Coffee?

You'll know you have an over-extracted cup of coffee when it tastes too bitter. Otherwise, it can also taste the complete opposite. In other words, it's dull and empty. 

Over extraction can also mess with the feel of the coffee. So, when you take a sip, it can leave your mouth feeling dry. But sometimes over-extracted coffee isn't too noticeable. 

Over extraction isn't black and white exactly. Some cups of coffee might only show signs of slight over extraction, but for other cups of coffee, it might be more obvious. 

Regardless, there's a reason why you potentially might not like coffee with the bold setting. 

What Is the Difference Between Bold And Medium Roast Coffee?

Different levels of coffee strength

If you're new to coffee making, there are many terms that you might not be familiar with. For example, what is a medium roast coffee? In addition, how is it different than bold coffee?

Those terms refer to different aspects of coffee. Bold will usually describe a coffee with intense flavor. On the other hand, medium roast refers to how long and thoroughly a manufacturer roasts the coffee beans.

There are three levels of roasting: light, medium, and dark. As you might've guessed, medium roast coffee carries a balanced flavor between the three levels.

What Are Medium Roast Coffee Beans?

Medium roast coffee beans are darker than light but lighter than dark roast. They roast the beans at 410-440 degrees Fahrenheit for this type of coffee. If you like a balance of flavor and caffeine content, you should consider getting a medium roast.

Medium roast coffee is more approachable than light roast. It's not as acidic. But, it still manages to showcase the coffee's natural flavor profile.

Which Coffee Roast Has The Most Flavor?

Various stages of preparing coffee beans

The coffee roast that has the most flavor is a subjective topic. You're not guaranteed to find any roast palatable. But, we can go over the experience of drinking a cup of coffee from each roast. 

Light Roast Coffee

The first roast that we will go over is light. You can distinguish a light roast by the light brown color of the bean. On the surface, there's a lack of oil. Regarding flavor, it holds a taste similar to toasted grain. 

Coffee enthusiasts describe light roast coffee as highly acidic with a mellow body and a complex flavor. It holds the natural flavors of the coffee bean better than the other two levels of roast. 

Medium Roast Coffee

Medium roast is darker than light roast. Like a light roast, it holds no oil on the surface. It does a great job showcasing the natural flavors of a coffee bean while also tasting like the cup of coffee you're more familiar with. Some describe it as a balance of acidity and body. 

Dark Roast Coffee

The dark roast has the darkest color of the three. Unlike the previous two roasts, this one has an oily surface. These beans are roasted for the longest time.

When you roast a coffee bean for long periods, it loses moisture, becomes less dense, and develops a bitter, smoky flavor. For this reason, bold is usually affiliated with darker roasts. A coffee is bold when it exhibits a roasted, smoky flavor.

In Closing

A coffee maker pouring coffee into a cup

The settings on a coffee maker are often vague. You could look into the user's manual to find out what they do. But, in some cases, they don't mention it. Hopefully, you have an idea of what the bold setting does now.

Before you go, do you have other coffee maker concerns? Do you leave it on all day? If you want to find out if that's a good idea, check out:

Can You Leave A Coffee Maker On All Day?

Are you thinking about upgrading your coffee maker? You might want to consider your options. To learn more, check out:

Coffee Maker Vs Espresso Maker Vs French Press - What Are The Differences?

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