Coffee drinkers everywhere understand how important that first cup of coffee in the morning is. The perfect brew can set the tone for your whole day. Getting off to a good (and properly caffeinated) start is crucial. That first cup of coffee can make or break the day.
However, knowing which coffee maker is best for you can be a challenge. There’s an endless variety available. From percolators to complex espresso machines, the prices vary and so do the features.
None of us are the same and neither are our tastes and habits. Some people drink strong brewed, black coffee with no milk. Others may prefer a latte (shortened from the Italian word: caffe latte, meaning milk coffee) with more frothy milk. Maybe you drink one cup per day, or maybe you find yourself sipping on cups throughout the entire day.
Regardless of your tastes and habits, there is a coffee maker out there for you. Follow this guide to learn more about your options and which type of coffee maker best suits you. In case you missed our Coffee Beans Guide, Please read it here.
Basic Information About Coffee Maker
Just like Coffee Beans, Coffee Makers are also quite old and date back to 17th Century. In France, the first infusion brewing process was introduced in 1710 which worked on a simple process of adding ground coffee in a linen bag and submerging in hot water until the desired strength brew was achieved.
Since that time, a lot of innovations have been made to Coffee Makers, each made for different brewing techniques. Drip brewing, a technique which involves making coffee also dates back more than 125 years.
Several other coffee makers like Percolators and Vacuum brewers also date back around 100 years, the modern coffee makers have become more advanced with automation which lets you customize your brew. Please read our Top 10 Best Coffee Makers Reviews .
Types of Coffee Makers
There are some different varieties of coffee makers on the market that can offer you a range of features and functions you may have otherwise thought impossible. Below you’ll find a different type of coffee makers which are available in the market right now with their advantages and disadvantages with the price range.
Percolator Buying Guide
Percolators are one of the oldest methods of coffee making and are still used today. They can be stovetop or electric powered and are great for use outdoors or for adding a vintage touch to any kitchen.
$17 – $50
French Press Buying Guide
French press coffee makers are manually operated and require a more coarsely ground coffee bean. The grinds are steeped in hot water and then plunged by a separate device (with a filter attached) to separate grounds from the coffee extract. The coffee is made and poured from the same carafe/mechanism.
$12 – $40
Electric French Press Buying Guide
These machines are similar to the manual French press systems in that the course grounds are filters through a plunging mechanism. However, with electric presses you will not need to boil water in a separate device, making them more convenient.
$18 – $60
Automatic Drip Machine Buying Guide
These are probably the most common coffee makers and offer various settings. With automatic drip machines water is heated in a tank (usually attached to the side or back of a machine) and then pushed through the coffee grounds (via a filter) directly into a carafe.
$10 – $600*
*multiple drip/carafe machines will cost into the hundreds but are usually only seen in small bed and breakfasts or similar businesses.
Coffee Capsule (or pod) Buying Guide
Capsule or pod coffee makers are the newest addition to the market and offer extreme convenience. With these high-tech machines, coffee is sold in sealed, pre-packaged containers of grounds. These are placed into the machine and pierced or pressed to allow the hot water through for brewing.
$100 – $400
Espresso Machine Buying Guide
Espresso machines come in wide variety of options (dual boiler, heat exchange or automatic machine) and are probably the most complex to use. However, you don’t have to make daily coffee shop runs to enjoy espresso-based drinks. There are plenty of models that are made for home use as well.
$90 – $2,500+
Additional Accessories of Coffee Makers
It is worth noting the other tools and items you may need to brew the perfect cup of Joe. The following are additional accessories you don’t want to forget.
You do not necessarily need to have your grinder. Plenty of local stores and shops sell pre-ground coffee. However, for some methods (like French press or espresso machines) the proper grind of the bean is imperative to the quality of your coffee. It may be worth doing it on your own for the freshest and best tasting coffee. Grinders come in various shapes and sizes and can run from anywhere from $15-$300. If you want to know more about Grinders, take a look at our Top 10 Best Coffee Grinders Reviews.
Filters come in two different styles. They are either a basket or cone shape and can be made of either paper or reusable (washable) materials. Basket filters normally come in a 4 cup or 8-12 cup size and cone filters usually come in #2 (4 cup maker) or #4 (for 8,10 or more cup maker) size. Every coffee maker is different and will require a specific size filter.
You can brew the best cup of coffee in the world, but you need something to put it in. They’re plenty of mugs to choose from, and they vary in shape, size, and color. Many even come with easy grip and travel features (like thermal exteriors for temperature control). Travel mugs are common for people to use on the go or when commuting. And every coffee drinker knows the perfect mug only makes the drinking experience that much better (prices vary $10-$50).
This depends on what type of coffee you like to drink and your tastes. Review the above specifics to decide which machine might be best for you. If you are on a budget, automatic and French press machines offer loads of affordable and quality options. If you are a coffee connoisseur, you may want to opt for an espresso machine or one with more customization features.
This will depend on what type of maker you own. The first step is to turn off and unplug the machine (you don’t want to burn yourself or other cleaning tools). You should remove all filters, carafes and other parts so you can clean them according to their specific materials and directions. Some machines may offer machine washable parts and others may not (check your product information). You never want to use steel wool or harsh surface to scrub your machine, and you should always avoid submerging the entire machine in water.
There are various reasons your coffee may taste off or not to your liking. First, check the age and freshness of your coffee beans. This is the first thing that may affect the flavor of your brew. You should also consider the type of water you are using. Fresh, filtered and clean water is imperative for proper flavor. And most machines brew best with water that is first placed into the machine cold. You should also understand that a dirty coffee maker makes for dirty tasting coffee. Keep your machine clean and experiment with brew strengths to achieve the best flavor.
Glass carafes are heated underneath by a hot plate. Thermal carafes use their insulated walls to maintain heat. Neither option is necessarily better than the other. Like any machine offered, there are pros and cons to each. Glass carafes may leave your coffee tasting a bit burnt or over-brewed if left on the hot plate too long. And thermal carafes can run more expensive and do not give you the ability to see how much coffee is left. It’s up to you and what you want. Both work and both can be useful.
It’s a struggle even the cleanest coffee drink comes across. As long as you slow down and pour your coffee with ease, you should not see any spills. Take a deep breathe, slow down and pour calmly. This should help avoid any annoying drips (as best as possible). You may also want to choose a pod or capsule machine. The coffee can be brewed directly into your mug to avoid the issue in the first place.
It doesn’t matter if you drink strong coffee or whether you prefer it light and sweet. It also doesn’t matter if you are a busy mom of 4 or a single senior citizen with daily time spare. There is the perfect coffee maker out there for everyone.
The options can be expensive, but a great cup of coffee does not need to cost an arm and a leg.Start with assessing your tastes and lifestyle. Then you can start to use this guide and explore the wide world of coffee makers. Find the one that best suits your needs and brings one home today!