How to Buy Coffee Makers & Espresso Machines
There are many factors to consider when purchasing a new coffee maker or espresso machine. Read our buying guide to learn more about coffee makers & espresso machines, and you’ll be on your way to the perfect cup of coffee, espresso or cappuccino in no time! Browse quality coffee makers & espresso machines from leading brands like Bunn, Black & Decker, Cuisinox, Gaggia, and Francis Francis by illy!
Different types of coffee makers — before selecting your coffee maker, consider the different types of coffee brewing techniques.
- Drip coffee maker: make full pots of coffee easily and quickly with a drip coffee maker and ground coffee beans. In most cases, drip coffee makers pushes heated water through the machine onto the ground coffee and the coffee passes through a filter into the carafe.
- Pod coffee maker: a pod coffee maker that forces hot water through a pod of ground coffee beans at high pressure. Typically you get a single serving of coffee in each pod and each cup takes only a short time to brew.
- Percolator: make coffee the old-fashioned way with a percolator, which often expose the grounds to a higher temperature.
- Stovetop coffee maker: consider a stovetop style coffee maker to brew for yourself or just coffee drinkers. Some consider its style and shape more elegant.
- French press: allows coffee and water to steep together in one container using a courser grind than a drip coffee maker. Then a press filters the grounds from the coffee. A French press is a quick way to make a cup or two of freshly-brewed coffee, since the flavor is better captured without the hindrance of a paper filter.
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Choosing the right coffee maker — you’ll get more enjoyment and satisfaction from your coffee maker by considering which features matter most to you before buying.
- Thermal carafes: keep your coffee hotter longer without burning your coffee. They do not use a burner, which makes them portable.
- Coffee pot size: keep in mind how many cups you want to brew. If you expect to brew small batches, look for flavor enhancing features for small pots or pod coffee makers. Single-serve coffee makers are available, as well as 1-5 cups, 6-10 cups, and 11-15 cups models.
- Programmable: select a programmable coffee maker if you like the idea of having your coffee ready when you wake up.
- Warmers: some coffee makers have warmers to keep your coffee warm long after it’s been brewed.
Buying an Espresso Machine or Coffee Maker
Choosing the right espresso machine — consider ease and controllability to decide which type of espresso machine fits your lifestyle best.
- Manual espresso machines: for espresso purists, a manual espresso machine is the way to go. Using a manual espresso machine requires some practice, but some consider the preparation process to be important.
- Semiautomatic espresso machines: the popular semiautomatic espresso machine is easy to use, but still allows for control over the finished product. You can adjust temperature, brewing pressure, and tamp. These feature an automated pump, automated temperature controls for the boiler, and activation switches to engage and disengage the pump.
- Super-automatic espresso machines: these machines automatically grind the coffee, tamp it, and extract the espresso shot. The operator only has to fill the bean hopper and, if the machine is not connected to a water line, add water to a reservoir. Some models contain an automated milk frothing and dispensing device. Super-automatic machines take away the ability to manually tamp and grind the coffee, which may affect the quality of the espresso.
Buying a Coffee Grinder & Accessories
Whether making espresso or coffee, the right grinder and accessories can help you make the perfect cup.
- Coffee grinders: grind your beans fresh with a coffee grinder for a more flavorful cup of coffee. Get a burr grinder to select the exact grind of your coffee - from coarse to fine. If you won’t be making espresso, opt for a blade grinder instead.
- Coffee servers: get the carafe, coffee pot, or thermos that suit your serving style and needs. Also browse our wide selection of cups & saucers and travel mugs!
- Coffee & tea: shop our variety of coffee, tea, and more for quick preparation without sacrificing taste.