Just before sitting down to write this buyer guide I brewed myself a cup of coffee and I will probably have another by the end. Coffee consumption is steadily rising worldwide and Americans consuming 4.4 kg of coffee per year which translates to 3.1 cups of coffee per day. However, this continues growth is also associated with a change in the way we consume our coffee. About two-thirds of Americans have coffee with their breakfast, Yet the rising price of a coffee cup has driven approximately 80% of Americans to have their coffee at home. This fundamental change happened in parallel to the invention of gourmet coffee into our lives. These two trends coincide and have busted the demand for high-quality coffee beans, Rosters, Grinders and coffee makers. This fundamental change in the coffee we consume and where we consume it has fundamentally changed the market. Naturally, multiple coffee beans and ground coffee selling points have popped up everywhere and the new product, the coffee capsule, has entered our lives. Moreover, as a response to the rising demand, multiple companies and manufacturers have flooded the market with a wide array of coffee makers with diverse features and prices. These new coffee makers are made for home use and each model has different specifications making it suitable to make different types of coffee drinks. Thus, the consumer is left baffled and it can be hard finding the best coffee maker for your needs. in the next section, we will detail the main types of coffee makers and their main feature in an attempt to help you the consumer to make an intelligent decision when buying your coffee maker.
Multi-Cup Coffee Makers
To date, the drip coffee maker is the most popular at Americans households. It is still the easiest and fastest way to brew multiple cups of coffee and most models can serve 7-10 cups per carafe. This high capacity making this type of coffee maker highly suitable for households with multiple coffee drinkers and for small businesses and offices.
Drip Coffee Maker; main features
Versatility: These machines can produce all types of hot drinks in a variety of sizes. You can have your coffee dripping directly into the coffee cup of your travel mug.
Carafe size: You can find a wide array of drip machines with different carafe sizes. You can find drip coffee makers that can make a cup or two and in the other extreme, machines that can handle multiple pots. If you are an average coffee drinker a four-cup machine will be the best for your house.
Carafe Type: The most common material for carafe is glass. However, thermal carafe will keep your coffee hot for a longer time, making it most suitable for your breakfast table and for preprogramming that will have your coffee hot and ready when you wake up.
Programmability: Some machines offer the option to have your brew set up to start at a specific time. This option is highly suitable for you if you like waking up to the smell of fresh coffee.
Brew Temperature Control: This feature offers you the option to set up the water temperature of the brew and the time it will saturate the grounded beans. This can control the strength and flavor of your coffee.
Built-in Coffee Grinder: Multiple drip machines offer this feature that makes then two in one. You can save space on your countertop and have your beans freshly grounded to achieve the best aroma and flavor-rich coffee.
Pause function allows you to stop the process before the end of the brew and to have a cup immediately. However, the taste of the coffee will be very strong. Shut Off button is a safety feature found on most drip machines.
Filters: You can have replaceable paper filter or fixed filter basket machines. The filter basket drip coffee maker requires more maintenance but eliminates the cost and waste of paper filters.
Single-Serve Coffee Makers
These machines brew a cup at a time, making them highly versatile. If you like making a fast cup of coffee of your choice with little cleanup, this is the best coffee maker for you. Today you can find these machines in offices and even in households as a supplement for the main slow drip coffee maker enabling fast brew of single-cup in short notice. Single-serve coffee makers can work using drip or espresso methods. Thus, you need to verify that the machine you are about to purchase can make the coffee you like. The newest trend is Single-serve coffee makers that utilize capsules or ‘pods’. The vast variety of these ‘pod’s provide great diversity where you can make different drinks depending on individual preference of the people in your household or for yourself as you might start your day with coffee in the morning continue with tea in the afternoon and finish the day with an apple cider in the evening using the same machine. Some ‘pods’ have a barcode printed on them, in turn, some machines can read these barcodes and adjust its setting to follow instructions for preparing the perfect drink. However, make sure that the Single-serve coffee maker you intend to buy is compatible with your favorite ‘pods’ and vice versa.
Single-Serve Coffee Makers; main features
Cup height: There is a natural trade-off between the overall machine size and cup size. On the one hand you might want to save space on your countertop, but on the other hand, make sure it's big enough to fit your travel mug.
Reservoir size: As for cup size this parameter is a tradeoff between the overall machine size and the volume of its water reservoir. The volume of the water reservoir can be important if you intend to use your coffee maker in high capacity.
Variable cup size: this parameter allows you to adjust the cup size of your hot drink.
Duration and temperature controls: controlling the brew temperature and duration enable you to control the strength and flavor of your coffee. The National Coffee Association guide to brewing essentials recommend you brew your coffee with hot water at a temperature between 195-205F.
Pods Compatibility: Some manufacturers of single-serve coffee makers also produce their own pods. This scenario sometimes ‘binds’ you to a particular brand of pods. Make sure that the single-serve coffee maker you intend to buy is fully compatible with the type of pods you prefer.
Multi-Use Coffee Makers
If you have space on your countertop and you consider yourself a coffee fan, this is the best coffee maker for you. Multi-use coffee makers is the ultimate flexible coffee brewing machine. It can brew an entire carafe of just one single serving. As for the single-serve coffee maker, make sure that the pods you buy are compatible with your coffee maker. Some manufacturers have specific pods for the carafe and single cup that their machine recognizes, ensuring you get the right amount of water, strength, and aroma for your beverage.
Making your own espresso drink can be a little more time consuming and you might end up spending more than stepping off to the closest coffee shop. Yet, if you like your coffee with rich deep flavor and strong aroma that you can completely customize for your own taste, espresso machine is the coffee machine for you.
Espresso machine work by streaming a small volume of water through a tightly packed grounded coffee beans. The result of this process is a shot of espresso. A shot of espresso can be used as a base for multiple coffee beverages such as cappuccino, mocha, caffe latte, americano, and many more. For that purpose, many espresso machines also have a steaming wand for making steamed milk for latte and froth for cappuccino.
Types of Espresso Machines
Pod-based: These espresso machines utilize a concept very similar to that of single-serve coffee makers using a fixed amount of grounded coffee beans enclosed in a pressurized container.
Steam: These are not real espresso machines as they do not fully pressurized, thus producing a coffee beverage that is somewhere between a coffee drip and an espresso. This drawback usually makes this type somewhat cheaper.
Fully automatic: These machines complete the entire procedure of grounding the coffee beans, tamp, brew and pure your espresso shot and ejects the coffee puck making it ready for the next shot. In some of these machines, there is a tradeoff between fully automatic and the quality of your espresso shot.
Semi-automatic: In these machines the pump pressure, water, and steam temperature are automatic but you will need to grind and tamp your own coffee. In these machines, you can either program or manually control the amount of water and brew temperature of each espresso shot.
Manual: If you have experience as a barista or you want to become one this is the machine for you. All procedures described above are fully controlled by the person operating the coffee maker making it difficult to master.
Espresso Machines; main features
Quality of materials and construction: Unlike other common house appliances, these machines use high-pressure pumps that operate at high water temperatures. Thus, high-quality metal construction would usually mean long-lasting durability. Lower end plastic models will be cheaper but will not last. Make sure that your model has rubber feet to reduce noise, vibration and to avoid damaging your countertop.
Positioning in your kitchen-usability: You need to pay attention to the machine size and location of its water reservoir. Make sure there is enough clearance above your machine so that the reservoir is accessible for adding water. Also, there are indicator lights on the machine that should be completely unobscured while it is in use. This could limit the relevant positions for it in your kitchen.
Built-in frother: a frothing wand produce a stream of hot air that will heat up and aerate the milk to create a sweet, foamy topping for your cappuccino. You can also buy a frother as a stand-alone device.
Built-in grinder: If you have clearance for a tall machine on your countertop you might consider buying an espresso machine with a built-in coffee grinder. All you will need to do is to add the whole beans and you are ready to go. As for the frother, you can buy a stand-alone coffee grinder.
This is an acceptable shortcut for reaching a rich coffee flavor without an expensive espresso machine. A french press is a carafe filled with hot water and coarsely ground coffee beans. After several minutes of “brewing”, a plunger with a tight net is used to isolate the grounds from the beverage. French presses come in a variety of sizes and can make one to four cups of coffee per round. The easy use and maintenance make the coffee maker a cheap option without compromising quality too much. Moreover, french presses are light and small making them ideal for travel and even camping and hiking, so you can have your favorite coffee wherever you are.
This is an old precursor to the modern drip coffee maker and has been around for over a hundred years. Parculators are compatible with either stovetop or electric stove and heating source. The direct heating requires your full attention and if you overheat your coffee it will boil and burn leaving a strong bitter taste. Yet if you know your percolator and heating source you can make a very good and reproducible cup of coffee every morning. Modern electric percolator fully control brewing time and temperature so there is no risk of boiling your coffee. Once your coffee is brewed a warning function will kick in. The average percolator will not produce the best coffee you can get but is reliable, cheap and easy to use even if you are making large amounts of coffee.
Buy & Grind Fresh Coffee Beans
If you want to have a coffee with rich deep flavor and aroma you need to buy and grind your own beans. When you grind your own coffee beans you can control how finely you grind your beans which impact the end flavor of the brewed coffee. The finer they are ground the ratio of surface to size increase thus the hot water flavor extract is more efficient making the brewing time shorter. There are two main types of coffee grinders: first is the cheaper option blade grinders which as their name entails uses rotating blades to crush the coffee beans. the only control over the grinding process is time and grounded coffee is made up of uneven particles. The other type, burr grinders, use precision-fit discs to crush and dice the coffee beans into uniform size. You can usually control the final particle size of these grinders to achieve the best results.
Now we are reaching the end of this coffee makers buyer guide and the end of my second coffee cup you mast have know a bit more about how to choose the right coffee maker best suited for your needs. Deal.guide will help you buy the right coffee maker for you while saving fifty cents on the dollar. Check out their deals!