Best Coffee Machine Shopping – A Beginner’s Guide

Article by CoffeeWriter

Trying to find the best coffee machine is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Considering the variety of different coffeemakers out there, the entire experience can be more than a little overwhelming. Take time to focus on the big picture, before making any decision. There are six basic methods of making coffee. Select which method you’re going to use, then find a machine that fits.

Single Cup Coffee Machine – Not only do these appliances make coffee, they make a number of hot beverages including cappuccino, latte as well as tea and hot chocolate. Single cup coffee brewers require either a pod or capsule, one per cup. These pre-packaged ground beans come wrapped in their own filter. Produced by a number of companies, the pods are usually compatible among various brands and models. The capsules however, are not compatible. You need to buy both machine and capsules from the same company.

Drip Coffee Maker – Introduced in the early 1970s, the drip coffee maker quickly replaced the percolator as the most common way to brew coffee at home. They are economical to use and quite simple to operate. Place some ground coffee in the paper filter, pour water into the reservoir and turn on the machine. As water is heated to the correct temperature, it drips onto the grains in the filter and runs through to the glass carafe below. Be careful not to leave the coffee sitting on the hot plate for too long, as it can start to cook. One way around this problem is to use a thermally insulated carafe.

Combination Coffee Machine – The grind and brew coffee maker, also known as a combination coffee maker, is a step forward in coffee brewing. It is the integration of a coffee grinder with a drip coffeemaker. Because the beans are ground immediately prior to brewing, the coffee is very fresh. There is less potential mess to clean up since both grinder and brewer are one machine. Whole coffee beans are placed in a bean reservoir, whereupon the machine grinds the appropriate amount and dispenses it into the filter. From this point forward it operates exactly as a drip coffee machine. This type of coffee maker can be set up the night before to provide you with fresh coffee in the morning. One thing to consider is that these machines tend to be rather tall. You may find it difficult to place it on your kitchen counter, underneath the upper cabinet. So take measurements before you go shopping.

French Press – Coffee Maker The French Press Coffee Maker (or coffee plunger) could very well be one of the best coffee machines. It’s actually quite simple and some models are very aesthetic. The French Press is simply a glass beaker with a plunger and mesh filter on it. Put some coarse coffee grounds in the jar, mix in some hot water and let it steep for about three to four minutes. Then simply push the plunger down to separate the grounds from the coffee. Some people feel the flavor and essential oils are better captured because the grounds stay in direct contact with the water, and a fine mesh is used instead of a paper filter. However, because of the direct contact the coffee will become bitter fast if left to stand.

Vacuum Coffee Machine – A vacuum coffee maker is the machine with two chambers, where vapor pressure and vacuum work together to produce coffee. Admirers of this method of coffee making it feel that produces a much cleaner, crisper, richer and smoother coffee. With your you agree or not, one thing is true. This is a complicated and time consuming method of making coffee. These are not easy machines to keep clean, due to their convoluted shape. Perhaps that’s why it’s not a very popular way of making coffee.

Coffee Percolator – Prior to the 1970s, the percolator could be found in practically every coffee drinking home in North America. Whether it was a stove top or an electric model, everyone had one. They are called percolators because of the percolating action that occurs continuously. Cold water is poured into the bottom of the percolator where it warms up and moves to the top through a pipe. The water disperses onto the coffee grounds and gravity pulls it back down to the bottom of the machine. Here it heats up again and the cycle repeats. Once the coffee reaches boiling point the perking action stops and the coffee is ready to drink. These days, percolators are mostly used for larger crowds. It’s very rare to find one sized for regular home use.

Any method can produce great coffee. It’s not really a question of which one is better than the other. It’s about finding something that suits your taste and lifestyle. If you’re pressed for time, then a single cup coffee maker may be the way to go. But if you’re a fan of complexity and you have the time to learn, then perhaps a vacuum coffee maker would be more appropriate.

About the Author

Stephen Jeske is a freelance writer with a passion for coffee. A former partner in a 49-year-old family business, and a private investor for almost three decades, he holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Specialized Honors Music from York University.

Get the good news about coffee today!