Coffee Makers

A) Types of coffee makers

B) Features

      

A) Types of Coffee Makers

Multi-cup coffee maker

  • Easy and reliable way to make coffee in quantity
  • Models serve 8-12 cups per carafe
  • Perfect for households with more than one coffee drinker
  • Features
    • Multi-function:  Great for people who like all kinds of hot beverages.  This machine is great for tea or coffee by dispensing hot water into your mug
    • Carafe size:  Most make 8-12 cups per carafe.  If there are only two coffee drinkers, a 4-cup size will be perfect for you.
    • Carafe type:  Glass carafes are common, however, there are durable thermal carafes available too
    • Programmability:  Set your coffee to brew before you go to bed and wake up to the fresh aroma of brewing coffee next morning
    • Strength and temperature selections:  Control both the temperature of the water and time it takes to saturate the grounds, creating a stronger or subtler flavor
    • Built-in coffee grinder:  A space saving way to grind beans just before you brew, a method believed to produce the best-tasting coffees
    • Automatic shutoff:  A necessary safety feature found on most machines
    • Pause function:  Allows you to grab a cup before the brewing is done.  However, this first cup may be considerably stronger than the rest of the pot
    • Filter basket or paper filters:  Machines with built-in filter baskets eliminate the cost and waste of paper filters but require more time to clean and may allow finely ground coffee to seep into your finished cup
Multi-cup

Single-serve coffee makers

  • Perfect for you if you want your coffee fast with little cleanups.  This machine can brew coffee with using both a drip and espresso method.  Single serve coffee makers usually use prepackaged pods which are sold in an array of coffee varieties and flavors, hot chocolate, and even apple cider.  Some models have the ability to read the pod’s barcode and adjust settings for the perfect cup.  However, it is also important to find compatible pods for your machine.
  • Features
    • Reservoir size:  Brews one cup at a time.  However if you want to brew for a crowd, invest in a machine with a larger reservoir
    • Cup height:  A smaller machine may save space on the countertop but make sure yours is large enough to fit your coffee mugs or travel mugs
    • Variable cup size:  Some machines allow you to choose your beverage size
    • Strength and temperature selections:  Choose your coffee strength while using the same amount of coffee.  These machines can control both the temperatures of the water and time it takes to saturate the grounds for a stronger flavor
    •  Availability of beverage pods:  Make sure you purchase pods that are compatible with your machine

single serve coffee maker

Espresso Machines

     

  • Creating espresso drinks can take a little more time and effort to make one espresso shot or cup, and also, you may spend a little more money on an espresso machine than a drip coffee maker
  • With this machine, you can completely customize the strength and flavor of the brew to your tastes
  • Espresso makers work by forcing a small amount of water through tightly packed, finely ground coffee to create a shot of espresso which can be used as a base for many other types of coffee:  latte, cappuccino, macchiato, mocha, americano, and more. 
  • Espresso machines usually have a steaming wand to make a steamed milk for lattes and froth for cappuccinos.
  • Types
    • Pod-based:  Similar to single-serve brewers, it uses pods ensuring the entire pod is enclosed in a pressurized container
    • Steam:  These machines are usually lower priced.  They do not fully use the pressurized system of true espresso machines, often producing a cup of coffee more like that of a drip coffee maker than an espresso machine
    • Super automatic:  Simply press a button and the machine grinds, doses, tamps and brews your espresso, then ejects the coffee puck, leaving you with a hot shot of espresso
    • Semi-automatic and automatic:  You may need to grind and tamp your own coffee in these machines.  Pump pressure, water and steam temperature are automatic but you will either program or manually control the amount of the water and temperature of each shot of espresso
    • Manual (lever):  Manual machines are definitely not for the novice espresso maker, but available to those who want to practice the art of professional baristas.  You decide how long the coffee is pre-infused (the time the hot water sits over the tamped coffee), the amount of water you want to use and when you want to use it
espresso machines

      

B) Features

  • Construction
    • Metal construction usually last longer just like other appliances.  Models with rubber feet on the bottom of the unit can reduce vibration and noise
    • Usability
    • Consider indicator lights and their location, the dimensions of the machine and the size of the reservoir.
  • Built-in frother
    • Many espresso machines feature frothing wands, which produce a stream of hot air that will heat and aerate milk, creating a sweet, foamy topping for your morning cappuccino. Frothers may be purchased separately with or without a heating function
  • Built-in grinder
    • Some machines come equipped with coffee bean grinders, so all you need to do is add whole beans.