A French Press, also known as a coffee plunger, cafetière or coffee press is one of the most preferred methods for coffee brewing by Coffee Connoisseurs. One has full control over the process and resulting in extraction of more flavors and essential oils.
An auto drip coffee maker is the ideal choice for many American consumers. These machines are very easy to use and brew in a quick and efficient way. Many of these coffeemakers are automatic, include timers, brew strength, and can brew with just a press of a button.
Single Serve is the easiest method of brewing coffee at home or office and thus has gained popularity in recent years. These coffee makers mostly use pods or capsules as their raw material which come in a wide variety of flavors, origins, and strengths to choose from.
An Espresso maker produces coffee by forcing pressurized water heated near boiling point through a puck of compressed ground coffee placed in a portafilter resulting in a thick and concentrated drink, Espresso. It’s used as a base for many specialty coffee drinks.
If you want to try specialty drinks at home without much fuzz? A Super Automatic Espresso Machine is pre-programmed to make café style drinks in a hassle free way. Although the convenience is huge that comes with a big price tag starting around $800 and as high as $5000.
During outdoors and backpacking, coffee is an utmost requirement for any rigorous activity. For that, many portable coffee makers are available which can easily fit inside your backpack and most of them don’t even use any electric power supply giving theme extreme portability.
Nespresso is one of the leading brands in producing quality single serve coffee machines all over the world. It is an operating unit of Nestle Group, Switzerland. These machines brew from pre-packed single-use coffee containers available in many flavors and strengths known as Nespresso pods.
In single cup coffee machines category, Keurig is another name that tops globally. These machines also brew from coffee grounds pre-packed in containers called K cups available in wide variety of blends and flavors. The units are particularly affordable, easy to use and clean.
How to Find the Best Coffee Maker?
Coffee Maker Definition – Coffee Machines are equipment used for cooking or brewing coffee. Having a good one at home saves you time, money and provides all convenience. Also, one can ensure that nothing artificial is getting mixed up because you are the one (or your family member) preparing the coffee maintaining complete hygiene as desired. Moreover, one can brew, experiment and enjoy coffee as per the preferred taste, settings, and environment.
With all this, a lot of people now days are searching for their type of Coffee Maker. The market has seen an upward trend in people buying coffee machines, and so a large variety of these now exists. With the huge increase in variety and types of these coffee gears, it’s natural for anyone to get encircled in confusion about ‘Which coffee machine to buy?‘.
An ideal coffee equipment varies from person to person as each individual has their own definitions and levels of perfection. Everyone has their own set of requirements – some need a large capacity brewer, whereas some are single so they need a smaller, one cup coffee machine; few want Cafe style coffee drinks, so they require a Super Automatic Coffee Machine that can make them specialty drinks at home.
Common Deciding Factors In Buying a Coffee Maker
With so much advancement and innovation, it’s tough to just go to the market and filter out the best pick. We have listed some common grounds which can help you filter out the unwanted and let you choose the best one easily.
- What type of coffee is to be made
- Preferred method of extraction
- How many cups can be made at once
- How much time the machine takes to brew
- Ease of use
- Brew Strength Control
- Presence of Water Filter
- Self Cleaning System
- Dimensions of Machine
- Price obviously
- Use of Coffee Grounds or Single serve coffee containers*
- Easy Controls
*(Single serve coffee containers are coffee grounds seal packed in pre-proportioned quantity intended for single use. Nespresso and Keurig are the leading brands in using single serve containers. We have written a guide about Nespresso Pods and Keurig K cups that might help you select the best flavors at affordable pricing.)
After going through the above factor, one can easily categorize himself as what type of coffee maker is required as these are subdivided into many variants that have different preparation methods, inputs and outputs. Below are the most popular types from which one can easily find according to requirement.
Common Types of Coffee Makers
- French Press
- Drip Coffee Machines
- Single Serve
- Espresso Machines
- Super Automatics
French Press brewing is one of the most preferred methods of coffee brewing used by many Coffee Connoisseurs. The equipment is cylindrical in shape and is made up of either glass or stainless steel. The parts contain a lid, plunger and a screen. The method involves pouring hot water onto coarsely ground coffee beans for a few minutes (standard is 4 minutes) and then pressing the plunger down for extraction and filtering the grounds. In this method, we have full control over the parameters like temperature, strength and brewing time which is not possible in most of the automatic machines.
Though, the French Press made up of glass is most popular, the people are deviating towards the Stainless Steel Coffee Presses because of their durability and heat retention feature. A basic one could cost around $20 and can go as high as $200.
- Complete control over the process
- Comparatively cheap from other methods
- Produces a rich and full-bodied coffee
- Can be carried outdoors
- No need for electricity
- Needs some knowledge about brewing through this method
- Can create mess easily
- Glass versions are delicate
- Grounds in a little quantity enter the cup settling at bottom
Automatic Drip Coffeemaker
An auto drip brewer is one of the most popular methods for brewing coffee in America. It is pretty much simple to use and that’s why people prefer drip over other methods. A typical drip coffee machine has a thermal or a glass carafe, filter basket, water reservoir and a base sometimes with a hot plate (in combination with glass carafe). The reservoir is filled with water, the filter basket is filled with coffee grounds and the carafe is placed at the extraction point. The process of brewing involves pouring hot water onto the coffee grounds placed in the filter basket. The extracted coffee then goes directly into the carafe without requiring any intervention from you. Many units have a built-in timer so that one can wake up with a hot cup of coffee ready to be served.
With time, technology has evolved a lot and same has happened to drip brewers. These machines cost from somewhat $30 and can go as high as $350. The leading brands are Technivorm, Bunn, Bonavita and Hamilton Beach.
- Easy on hands and very easy to use
- Doesn’t takes up much time
- Programmable (depending on model)
- Can come relatively cheap
- No direct control over the brewing process
- Cannot control the brewing temperature of water
- Typical cleanup
Single Serve Coffee Machine
Single-Cup or Single-Serve machines are the easiest of all and coffee can be made with just a push of a button. No grinding required, no typical knowledge of coffee making needed and no mess up. In terms of cleanliness, these are the perfect type of coffee machines. The parts contain water reservoir, pod holder, output spout and a base.
Single Serve Machines use coffee containers called pods or capsules as input material which are sealed pack coffee grounds. The brewing process of these brewers is very simple; insert the pod, fill water, put the coffee cup below the output spout and press the start button. These machines are the second most popular form of coffee making after drip brewers. These are also known as Single Cup Brewers and can range anywhere from $70 to $500. Keurig and Nespresso are the leading brands of this category brewers.
- Quick brewing
- Can prepare coffee with just a push of button
- Less mess on the counter
- No waste of coffee as the machine brews only the desired cups
- Wide range of flavors to choose from
- Pods and capsules used are costly than the ground coffee
- Pods are although vacuum packed but still not as fresh as the ground coffee
- Pods are not eco-friendly
Espresso Maker can be said as the advanced form of coffee machines that require some skills and know how about coffee making process. In these machines, pressurized water near boiling point is forced through a puck of finely ground coffee kept in the portafilter. The result that comes out is brownish concentrated drink topped with a layer of crema. The output is called an Espresso. This is the base for many drinks like Cappuccino, Macchiato, Mocha, Latte etc. Being the base for the specialty drinks, these coffee machines are the utmost requirement.
The equipment which prepares the espresso contains specific parts like portafilter, tamper, pressure gauge, boiler and few more compared to other normal machines. These machines are somewhat costlier than the normal single serve or drip and can range from $150 to $1500 depending on the choice and requirements. The topmost brands that excel in this category are Gaggia, Breville, Nuova Simonelli, Hamilton Beach and Rancilio Silvia.
- Prepares specialty drinks at home like in a coffee shop
- Saves money on these drinks that cost a lot at coffee shops
- Extracts much more flavors from Coffee Beans
- One can impress anyone with cafe style drinks at home
- Requires skill set to run the machine
- Can make more mess, so use some knock box to dump waste
- A little on the expensive side
- Can be noisy
Super Automatic Espresso Machine
If you have a large amount of budget to spend on espresso coffee makers and are willing to have specialty drinks like Latte, Macchiato, and Mocha without much fuzz at home, then Super Automatic can be your best companion. These machines are the super advanced versions of Espresso Makers as they tend to do most of the work automatically without any intervention, ‘Insert the beans, and get the desired type of coffee’. These work seamlessly from grinding beans to pouring coffee in a cup with just a push of a button or two. Super automatics are also mostly equipped with self-cleaning systems which are a breeze and save us from a big tedious task. Having a super espresso is like having a skilled barista at home.
These machines range anywhere from around $700 to $5000 or even more depending on features and brand. The best brands in this category are Jura, Saeco, Delonghi, and Gaggia.
- Super Barista at home
- Quick preparation
- Gives amazing drinks that can’t be prepared at home the other way
- Saves a lot of precious time
- Very less mess
- Looks impressive in any place
- Very expensive
- Less manual controls
- Repairing can be costly on breaking down after warranty period
Making the Final Decision
As you can see, there is a huge variety of brewers in market and therefore, hunting the best one can be a little time consuming and tedious if not done the proper way. As its stated above, decide on the factors first, then choose the type and after that pick your best one according to requirements from that category. The most important part is the budget. Decide the amount you are willing to invest and then finalize the category. Drip Machines are the most affordable and can cost as low as $25 whereas Single-Serve is the most convenient and saves from grinding and much of cleaning. If you don’t have any budget limits and expect specialty drinks at home that cafes serve, you can go for a super automatic coffee machine too.
We’ve already done the reviews of best machines under each category and related info can be found at the top of this page. Those lists are going to help a lot. Selecting just randomly any machine can end up with an unwanted guest at home. Since it is a long-term investment and is to be used daily, we suggest you select your needs first comfortably and move the right way. Choosing the right coffee brewer will give you a fresh cup of coffee every morning and a great cup of coffee at start surely makes the day bright.