When shopping for coffee makers and espresso machines, the first step is deciding which preparation methods you would prefer. There are a wide range of options that can offer varying levels of automation and create beverages with differently nuanced flavors. Read on to learn about the most popular options available!
Probably the most beloved small appliance out there, a coffee maker helps create straightforward black coffee by combining water and coffee grounds in one way or another.
Drip Coffee Makers
Drip coffee makers are most automated coffee makers out there. All you do is fill their reservoirs with water, add coffee grounds in a filter, and turn it on. The machine then heats the water and drips it through the grounds at precisely the right rate to create the perfect brew.
Drip coffee makers are available in a range of sizes from single serve designs that directly fill a mug to models with substantial 14 cup capacities for brewing for large groups.
Pod coffee makers are another option to prepare drip coffee. These are another convenient way to make coffee one mug at a time. Pod coffee makers are designed to use premade pods filled with coffee grounds, and are designed with larger water reservoirs, so all you need to do is pop in a pod and press a button.
Aside from choosing the capacity and type of drip coffee maker, keep an eye out for other features such as bold settings, programmable brewing, warming settings, and integrated bean grinders.
Percolator Coffee Makers
Percolator coffee makers were the quickest and most convenient way to make a full pot of coffee before the advent of the drip coffee maker. These feature a top compartment for coffee grounds, a bottom chamber for water, and a narrow central tube that runs the length of the pot vertically.
When water is boiled, it continuously circulates up and through the grounds then back to the bottom chamber until the coffee is brewed. You can brew stronger or milder coffee in a percolator by changing the time you allow it to brew.
Percolators are available as electric models or as stove top coffee makers to suit different needs and preferences.
French Press Coffee Makers
A French press coffee maker consists of a petit pitcher with a fine mesh plunger in the center. To brew coffee with a French press you place hot water and coffee grounds into it, then stir the mixture and leave it to brew. Once it reaches the desired strength, push the plunger down to strain all the grounds out of your finished coffee.
A French press lets you customize the strength of your coffee as desired and is easy to use, but can be more of a hassle to clean than some coffee makers.
Pour-over Coffee Makers
A pour over coffee maker is a simple cone arrangement with a flat base that sits atop your coffee mug or a serving vessel. This allows you to pour hot water directly over coffee grounds and have it drip right into the container below.
A pour over coffee maker gives you direct control over the brewing time and allows you to craft your coffee just the way you like it, but it is a bit labor intensive and is generally only used to make one cup at a time.
An espresso machine creates highly concentrated coffee by forcing water through very densely packed espresso grounds.
Manual Espresso Machines
A manual espresso machine is sometimes called a lever espresso machine because that is mainly what it consists of. This design allows you to use manual force to pressure hot water through your tamped espresso.
Manual espresso machines can be a bit of effort, but coffee purists swear they’re worth the effort as they give you complete control of every aspect of the process.
Semi-Automatic Espresso Machines
With this type of espresso machine, you will still need to grind and tamp your own beans, but the actual process of extracting your espresso is done automatically
Semi-automatic espresso machines provide the convenience of consistent temperature and pressure for your water, but still allow you to fine tune elements like the steam and water flow.
Super Automatic Espresso Machines
These machines live up to their impressive sounding title, effectively automating every step of the espresso making process from grinding beans to drawing shots. Some models even have fully automatic milk frothers.
Super automatic espresso machines don’t offer the ability to customize your espresso in the same ways that more manual methods do, but they are an amazing addition for their convenience.
Whether making espresso or coffee, the right grinder and accessories can help you make the perfect cup.