There are many ways to brew coffee and one of the most inexpensive and convenient ways is to have a simple drip coffee maker or coffee machine that makes your regular cup of joe. However, if you love coffee and not just drinking it to ‘get a fix’, you may prefer other types of coffee makers. I’m going to review some of the best coffee makers here.
Table of Contents
- 1 10 Best Coffee Maker Reviews
- 1.1 1. Cuisinart DCC-1200
- 1.2 2. Cuisinart DTC-975BKN 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker
- 1.3 3. Hamilton Beach 47665 Brew Station Plus – Best Automatic Drip Coffee Maker
- 1.4 4. AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker
- 1.5 5. Yama Glass 8 Cup Stovetop Coffee Siphon
- 1.6 6. Black & Decker DCM18S Brew ‘n Go Personal Coffeemaker
- 1.7 7. SterlingPro French Press
- 1.8 8. KONA French Press Coffee Maker
- 1.9 9. Bodum 1548-01US Brazil French Press Coffee and Tea Maker
- 1.10 10. Bialetti 06800 Moka stove top coffee maker
- 2 Buying Your First Coffee Maker- The Ultimate Guide
Types Of Coffee Makers
- Drip Coffee Machine – Provides the most convenient and automated coffee brewing but produces weak coffee. ($15 – $200)
- French Press – Fast albeit manual brewing produces strong coffee. May not be easy to clean. ($10 – $80)
- Moka Pot – Simple pot that brews over the fire. Produces something closest to espresso. ($5 – $70)
- Vacuum Coffee Maker – Ingenious and flashy. Makes clean, tasty coffee. May have high learning curve. ($25 – $300)
- Single Serve Coffee Machine – Makes coffee by the cup. Some models can brew other beverages. ($10 – $250)
If you’re getting a coffee machine for the office or for the family morning brew, get the drip coffee maker because it makes coffee without needing a lot of your attention.
If you hate weak coffee and have time on your hands, definitely choose a moka pot or French press. The French press is more convenient for office use compared to a moka pot. Definitely get a vacuum siphon for fun.
So you decided you want a coffee maker, and chances are this is not the first time. Still, the incredible depth of options and features for drip and single serve coffee makers can send even a savvy coffee drinker on a wild chase. In this guide we will try to make things as easy as possible, because they can be!
Within each category there are many features to choose from as can be seen in the table below. These are pretty strait forward and there is no need to get into the details here.
However, before you start hunting, do prioritize the features, in the table, that matter to you the most. Deciding the budget in advance helps too of course. In the coffee world, just as in life, the more one pays the more one gets, but there is no reason to get carried away.
10 Best Coffee Maker Reviews
1. Cuisinart DCC-1200
The Cuisinart DCC-1200 is definitely the best coffee maker with a glass carafe. This coffee maker comes with my highest recommendation because it is highly customizable compared to others.
The great thing about this coffee maker is that you can set it to keep your coffee at your favorite temperature. The heating plate temperature is adjustable at three levels so you can set it to low if you want to avoid ‘over-cooking’ the coffee, or high if you like a very hot coffee all the time.
You can program this coffee maker to brew at any specific time. Of course, this means you can set it to brew in the morning and wake up to the smell of coffee, really convenient!
Even though the carafe has markings up to twelve cups, you can still make less with the “one to four cups” function without jeopardizing the taste of your favorite brew. The carafe is also perfectly designed easy pouring without spills.
Why it Makes Great Coffee
This coffee maker makes good coffee (remember, I’m not talking about espresso here!) and the secret to it is the shower head that distribute water evenly over the coffee grind and minimizing any temperature loss during the process. The charcoal water filter, on the other hand, filters all impurities from your regular water from the pipe.
Have you heard that gold-tone, cone-style coffee filters actually enhance the coffee taste? You have, and that’s why you’re considering buying the Cuisinart DCC-1200? Good for you! However, if you don’t like to have a lot of residue in your coffee (which actually contributes to better tasting coffee), you can opt to use disposable paper filters with the coffee maker.
Coffee On the Run
Another plus is that it has a “Brew-Pause” function that works by simply pulling the carafe away from its holder while brewing. This is great especially when someone is late or in a hurry during the mornings and needs to sneak a quick cup of coffee before heading out. But there is one minor flaw to it. Since the carafe is removed while the coffee is still brewing, there is a tendency for coffee spills. Honestly, when this happens, who would bother to clean it up in the hurry? So in the end, the heating plate rusts.
The design of the water reservoir is also rather impractical. First, you can’t gauge how much water that has been poured into the reservoir as there is no indicator window. You have to peer down the into the reservoir to guess how full it actually is. Secondly, the opening of the water reservoir is so slim that more often than not, you will get some water spills.
Despite its minor shortcomings and for the price that you’re paying, the Cuisinart DCC-1200 is a really good glass carafe type coffee maker. If you have the space in your kitchen for this beautiful retro style coffee maker, get it now.
2. Cuisinart DTC-975BKN 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker
Often when I go to someone else’s office late in the afternoon and am offered a cup of coffee, I’d take a look at their coffee maker and if it’s a glass carafe I’d refuse as politely as I can. Coffee in a glass carafe simply will taste burnt at that hour as it continues to cook on the warming plate. If you like to keep your coffee for a whole day, do yourself a favor and get this thermal carafe coffee maker.
This Cuisinart coffee maker stands out above the rest because it has a large 12-cup thermal pot, a good size to last through the day and the coffee is actually kept as hot as you had just made it. If you drink a lot of coffee or share it with others, you’ll like this coffee maker because most other thermal carafe coffee makers have only a 10-cup or 8-cup pot. But certainly if you want to brew a smaller amount sometimes, you’ll be able to do so too; just measure the water and grounds accordingly.
This coffee maker looks great with a simple black design and stainless steel carafe, and feels good and solid in its construction. I like appliances without a plasticky feel. The stainless steel carafe collects fingerprints like any other stainless steel stuff, and you’d want to avoid leaving it in a wet sink because stainless steel actually stains in water. Just wipe dry after rinsing. If it is already stained, rubbing it down with a little baking soda will return it to its former glory.
It is also very easy to use with a legible indicator line to show you where to fill water up to. Then you can start the brewing or program it to start anytime in the day.
The secret of its effectiveness in keeping the coffee hot all the time is probably its lid. The lid is designed to be always closed except when you clean the pot. Yes, that means the coffee maker brews and pours through the lid! Speaking of the lid, it has its precise position and you must always put it on correctly. It isn’t difficult as such, but if you are the kind of person who tends to become clumsy in a rush, it might be something to find fault with.
It is just as well that this coffee maker is programmable and has a brew pause feature, because it does brew rather slowly and takes a good 15 minutes to make a whole pot. It also pours slowly due to the design of the lid. All that said, it simply begs for more patience. Once the coffee is finished brewing, the coffee maker shuts off automatically, so that’s one thing you don’t have to worry about. It also gives out a very loud beep to let you know it has done its job.
3. Hamilton Beach 47665 Brew Station Plus – Best Automatic Drip Coffee Maker
Love waking up to the smell of invigorating coffee wafting through the house in the mornings but hate carafes that spill and drip? The Hamilton Beach Brew Station is a very convenient automatic drip coffee maker that does not have a carafe attached to it. Instead, it has an insulated coffee tank which retains the brew temperature that keeps coffee warm and delicious until served.
No Carafe, No Mess
No carafe that can result in spills and drips that will stain the table cloth or kitchen top. With this coffee maker, your mug-full of coffee is dispensed straight from the coffee maker itself. Your wife will be quite happy that she doesn’t have the extra mess to clean up after serving everyone’s morning coffee around the kitchen. Another of the pluses of this feature is that you can virtually dispense any amount of coffee into your mug – regardless of its size!
Having coffee insulated inside its body also means that your coffee will not be over roasted which often leave you with a burnt and bitter drink. Your coffee will stay warm until you dispense it from the enclosed tank, without compromising the freshness and taste.
The coffee made with this coffee maker is not one of the strongest with coffee makers. However, its mild taste and intensity is perfect when you are actually sharing it with a lot of people – so it is not too weak for those who like it strong and not too strong for those who prefer a more ‘mellow’ taste.
Some users say that they have received units with minor faults. The major defect is a leaky water tank and the other complain is a plasticky taste in the coffee despite the fact that they have run 2 cycles of water through it. They also complained that the water has a film of oil even after a few cycles.
Tips and Tricks
Here’s one way for you to avoid a messy wet mess in your kitchen. Before you use the Hamilton Beach 47665, check to see if all the screws are tightened properly, especially the ones around the heating plate where it is screwed to the bottom of the water tank. A word of caution: try not to strip the hole when you are tightening the screws. That will probably cause a new set of mishaps.
Then, run the recommended 2 cycles of water and 2 more cycles with white vinegar. Then run a few more cycles so that our coffee will not taste vinegarish (eeeww!). Alternatively, you can use tea!
Aside the faults, the Hamilton Beach 47665 Brew Station is still a great coffee maker to own because it is inexpensive and convenient.
4. AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker
Although the manufacturers and fans of the Aeropress Coffee Maker insists that it makes the best tasting coffee and espresso, many purists beg to differ. As a person who is open to different brewing methods, I have found that coffee made by this simple device is strong and concentrated with flavor, and while not truly ‘espresso’, much better than coffee made by drip coffee machines, French presses, and even steam espresso machines.
Perfect Design for Simple Coffee Making
I find it really easy to use this machine: lay a micro-filter in the cap, attach the chamber to the cap, place it over a coffee cup, scoop in coffee grounds, fill in the corresponding amount of hot water, let the mixture of coffee grounds and hot water sit for 10 seconds, insert the plunger and push down very slowly with steady pressure.
Cleaning up after this crude machine is also easy – take apart everything, dump out the puck of coffee grounds and rinse everything clean.
Making your ‘perfect’ cup of Aeropress-brewed coffee takes some experimenting. Use different coffee beans with different amounts of water and steeping time to yield the right taste for you. You can make coffee near as concentrated as real espresso, or as watery as you wish. Add milk for a latte.
Easy on the Stomach
The best part of the Aeropress is that it makes coffee that is low in acidity. If you normally shy away from coffee made with African beans like Ethiopian, Kenyan and Yemeni beans that are high in acidity, now you can make it rich and smooth, and not at all acidic in taste.
Another advantage is that you don’t need an expensive burr grinder to grind your beans. As the grounds will be immersed in water when brewing, irregular size grounds or even coarse grounds are good enough for flavor extracting.
Some people reuse their micro-filters a couple of times before throwing it away and have reported that there is no difference in its consistency or taste. All they do is rinse the filter and air dry it. Personally, I find that icky. If you worry about the environment, get a stainless steel permanent filter for the Aeropress.
Fast But Small Amount Per Brew
One disadvantage of this coffee maker is that it can only yield at most two cups of coffee per brew. Not the right brewer to use if you are entertaining a large party, however you may make more coffee by brewing several times as the Aeropress actually makes coffee faster than any drip coffee maker.
One thing I don’t like about this coffee maker is that it is made from plastic so I don’t use it every day. On the bright side, this is probably travel friendly and you can easily enjoy morning coffee in the hotel room with locally-bought pre-ground roasted coffee beans.
The Aeropress Coffee Maker is a really fun coffee maker to play with to find the right strength, richness and balance of flavors for you. It is really affordable to get and maintain. Replacement parts are inexpensive compared to those of other coffee machines, both automatic and manual.
I’d say go ahead and try it even if you are a coffee snob or someone who’d been drinking from drip coffee makers all their life. Click here for more details: Aeropress Coffee Maker.
5. Yama Glass 8 Cup Stovetop Coffee Siphon
Have you heard many stories about the fuss taken to make a perfect cup of coffee using a siphon coffee maker? It’s all true if you happen to be a coffee snob (I have probably turned into one), and proud to be taking all that effort to make a great cuppa.
But even if you fall into the other category of coffee drinkers, you may be interested in the Yama Glass 8-Cup Stovetop Coffee Siphon just because it’s fun to make coffee this way!
The Dramatic Coffee Maker
The Yama is a utilitarian vacuum-siphon coffee brewer that goes on the stovetop, but you can also use a small gas burner if you want to impress your guests at the coffee table. It’s one of the cheaper siphon style coffee makers so if you’re new to siphon coffee making, it’s good to start with this model.
The siphon’s glass carafe comes in two sizes – 5-cup and 8-cup volumes. The larger size has a more appealing design with rounded siphon funnel and carafe. Both sizes come with a washable, reusable cloth covered filter. It also comes with a wire-grid, which you will only need when using the siphon on an electric stove.
Warning: Not for the Impatient
Admittedly, I really enjoyed the fussy process of using this vacuum coffee maker. Firstly you need to boil water in a kettle to speed up the process (otherwise you risk melting the plastic handle of the siphon), then transfer the near-boiling water into the bottom glass carafe and put it on the burner.
Different people use different ways to brew coffee with the Yama, but the main principle is to let steam travel up to the cooler upper vessel, which will consequently turn liquid and mix with the coffee grounds.
Some would stir the mixture but others say the taste is more consistent without stirring. It all depends on what you prefer, but remember to remove the whole pot from the heat source not too long after to avoid burning the coffee.
As the bottom chamber cools down, the mixture inside the upper vessel will flow back into the bottom glass carafe through the filter. Let the upper vessel cool down before carefully removing it. You can then enjoy your coffee!
If you understand the science behind the coffee making, you’ll be able to enjoy your first cup of smooth, crisp and flavor-packed coffee made with the Yama without dumping too many pots of ruined coffee.
Needs Much Care
Caring for this all-glass device is predictably laborious. Glass break easily, either from a knock, a fall or a sudden change in temperature. So you’ve got to make sure the Yama goes through none of that. This means handling, washing, drying and storing it very carefully.
Let’s talk about washing up. Coffee grounds that stick to the funnel and filter have to be scraped out (use your hand for efficiency) and the cloth filter needs to be rinsed thoroughly to make sure all of the coffee grounds are washed away – any residue left will turn bad and this will affect the taste and quality of your next pot.
While using this very manual, very time consuming coffee brewer, you should avoid adding too much water and only apply low to medium heat. For it to work properly, make sure the upper funnel is fitted snugly to the bottom chamber to properly form a vacuum seal – you can also try to wet the rubber seal to help attach both parts together.
Even though I would not use the Yama Glass Coffee Siphon on a busy morning, the taste of the coffee is worth all the trouble to use it on a lazy weekend, and it’s certainly worth the trouble for the theatrics and amazed looks on the faces of dinner guests (make sure you’ve gotten the method and brew right first). Click here to find out more about: Yama Glass Coffee Siphon
6. Black & Decker DCM18S Brew ‘n Go Personal Coffeemaker
Are you constantly on the go? Or are you the only one at home that drinks coffee? If you answered ‘yes’ to both, the Black & Decker DCM18S Brew ‘n Go Personal Coffeemaker is probably the best coffee maker for you.
Do you only need caffeine in the morning to get that early jolt?
If you say no to this, do not buy this. If you need more that two cups of coffee a day, it’s better for you to get a six-cup coffee maker. This is best for those who need that occasional pick-me-up cup of java throughout the day as the compartment will only allow you to put coffee grind that is enough for one cup. Perhaps you can consider it if you don’t mind or prefer brewing each cup of coffee only when you need it.
Are you always hectic in the mornings?
For working parents who need to prepare breakfast and send the kids to school in the morning, this is a lifesaver. It takes about 2 minutes to brew and about 5 minutes for it to finish dripping. It also has an auto-off feature so that you don’t have to worry and check on it on the way out.
This coffee maker also come with a travel mug which is great. After it finish brewing and dripping, you can pick the mug while you dash into the car. The travel mug is sized at 15-oz, fits well in the car’s cup holder and holds on to the heat well.
Cleaning after it is also easy – just rinse the filter after tapping out the residue. It brews into the mug so that is one less item (carafe) to wash up. The best thing is that it has a permanent filter! No replacement costs, no mess in the trash.
Other than the points I’ve mentioned above, this little baby is space-saving, environment-friendly and durable. Why, my friend has used it for years and it’s still going strong! Get this Black & Decker DCM18S Brew ‘n Go Personal Coffeemaker because it is good value for your money, click on the link.
7. SterlingPro French Press
If you like your coffee rich, flavorful and strong without spending hundreds of dollars on an espresso machine, try a French press. The best French press I’ve tried is the SterlingPro.
Certainly the coffee that this French press makes is not comparable to an espresso machine, but it is elixir compared to any drip coffee machine. Compared with a coffee machine, using this French press is a quicker and much more silent process.
Drink Coffee, Not Grounds
It takes less than 5 minutes to make your morning coffee – just put a tablespoon of coffee grounds for every 4-ounces of coffee, add hot but not boiling water (96 degrees Celcius if you prefer to be precise), attach the lid and push down the plunger slowly (for better flavor extraction).
The problem I had frequently experienced with many a French press is having coffee grounds in the coffee. What makes this French press the best is its double screen filter. Two screens meant that not even one speckle of coffee ground will remain in the coffee when you pour. No more spitting out grounds from the mouth like a stone age barbarian.
For those weaning off plastic items, this SterlingPro French Press is a great option as it has a dual-walled, heat-resistant glass body. Therefore, you can be assured that there will be no harmful chemicals such as BPA, phthalate, PVC, or polycarbonate reacting with the hot water you pour in.
Lasts with Proper Care
Does it keep the coffee warm for long? No. The carafe is made of glass after all. Just drink the goodness up as fast as you can.
Since the beaker is made from glass, some extra care is needed – never pour boiling water (even though it is heat-resistant) to avoid thermal shock and do not, I repeat, do not use metal spoons to stir in the French press. It isn’t needed anyway, just pull up the plunger and push it slowly back down if you want to stir things up.
What I love about the SterlingPro French Press is its stylish chrome housing, it looks so classy! There’s no need to clean this housing as the glass carafe can be taken right out, and the filter can also be removed from the plunger for washing.
Thanks to one of the reviewers, I’ve found that the easiest way to wash the filter is to plunge it up and down in the French press with water. The pressure will dislodge any remaining grounds within the filter screens easily.
For affordable espresso-like coffee, I highly recommend the SterlingPro French Press. This #1 bestselling coffee press on Amazon is an affordable French press that is great as a Christmas or birthday present. You will also be happy to know that there is a pair of extra screens thrown in with the price. Click here for more details on this great coffee maker: SterlingPro French Press.
8. KONA French Press Coffee Maker
The Kona French Press is a great gift for yourself or a friend. To summarize the French press in one word, it’s ‘EASY’. It is easy to brew your drink. The handle is cleverly designed for easy, free-flowing pour. More importantly, it is easy to clean because each components are dishwasher-friendly and can be separated for washing.
What first attracted me to get this French press for my colleague is its looks. She has a lot of artsy pieces in her cubicle so I knew she would like this little beauty. It has definitely been a conversational piece whenever people see her with it around the office. She had even brought it with her on her first yoga retreat because she said she needed help in striking conversation with people she does not know!
Better Coffee Than Drip Brewed
Being someone crazed for caffeine, she had immediately made a mug of coffee to try out the French press. It worked really well in extracting the flavors from ground coffee that would otherwise be lost to the paper filter if a drip coffee maker were used. The strength of the coffee is certainly intensified!
The stainless steel infuser filter works really well to separate the grounds from the coffee, so you won’t be drinking grounds, but my colleague advised that you should let the coffee sit for a while and pour slowly to avoid the muddy sludge at the bottom.
As no plastic parts get in contact with the coffee, there is no plasticky taste like you would have when drinking from some plastic tumblers.
Solid Parts That Last
The French press has a solid and sturdy outer shell so that you can transport it from the pantry to your cubicle safely. The extra thick borosilicate glass carafe is thermal-shock resistant, so the carafe will not easily chip or crack when bumped unintentionally.
After a few months my colleague’s French press has held up pretty well, considering she is not someone who is ‘delicate’ with her possessions. Most of her mugs are chipped within the first few uses but, the French press has survived.
Other than being durable, it is light enough to bring with you on your camping trips. Like all French presses, the Kona may be used to make tea as well. It also comes with a spoon and a measuring cup, so that your brews are more accurate so the taste of your drink will be consistent.
One of the few things I look for when getting a French press is its ability to retain heat. Heat does dissipate from the Kona much slower than some other French presses, but it does not last long. Once your drink loses its warmth, do not reheat the carafe directly on the stove or microwave. You can however, do a hot water bath to reheat your drink.
For a French press that is durable and really simple to use, go for the Kona French Press. The small price for this little device will definitely pay off the moment you sip your cup of coffee or tea and find that it has fuller body than what you normally drink from drip coffee brewers. For the specifications and more information about the Kona, click here: Kona French Press.
9. Bodum 1548-01US Brazil French Press Coffee and Tea Maker
You would perhaps have heard of the Bodum Brazil. This is the classic French press, with a design created in the 1980s that is simple and practical. This is also the recommended French press if you’re looking for an affordable one to try French press coffee for the first time.
It features a glass beaker, a plastic casing (base and handle) and lid, and a metal plunger with a double-meshed filter attached to it. Unless you are clumsy with the glass beaker, it will last for a long time.
Good Coffee At a Low Price
I have been giving away different French presses last Christmas so that I could get a free review. The Bodum Brazil made coffee that has body, with a subtle hint of bitterness (We probably left it steeping for too long).
The dome lid helped in retaining the aroma of the coffee, so when you pour your coffee you will get that fresh, cosy aroma. I realized that this French press can make some pretty premium-tasting coffee compared to drip coffee makers, even when the beans used were not premium ones.
This 34 oz. (I’d fill only 32 ounces of water) French press works not only for hot coffee but also cold-brewed ones (I’m really not a fan), and of course, you may use it to brew tea.
Needs a Better Mesh Filter
While it worked great, it did have some minor issues with it. Firstly, the glass beaker does not retain heat for a prolonged period of time, 2 hours tops. If you take time to finish a full beaker, the last cup would usually be at room temperature. The good news is that you can reheat your coffee by putting the glass beaker in the microwave.
The second biggest gripe was having coffee grounds in the coffee all the time as the mesh filter does not trap all of it. I would let the grounds settle at the bottom of the coffee mug before drinking.
As coffee grounds tend to get stuck between the mesh filter, cleaning the French press would become a huge chore. However, you may use coarser grounds so that they stick less to the mesh, and after that put the filter under running water to loosen any trapped grounds.
Remember not to use boiling water or metal spoons with the French press as that could break the glass. The plastic casing is heat resistant so you won’t have to worry about distortion issues. Although Bodum stated that the glass beaker is dishwasher-safe, it is best to handwash.
You can get the Bodum Brazil French Press for less than $25 and it comes in three different colors. Its practical design, durability and reasonable price make it a great buy if you could overlook its minor flaws. Click here for more details: Bodum Brazil French Press.
10. Bialetti 06800 Moka stove top coffee maker
What to do when you need an espresso and you’re outdoors or abroad or wherever there is no electric sources and no Starbucks? A Moka Pot is the answer!
Bialetti Moka Express Stovetop Espresso Maker
I never thought of this until I went on a road trip last month, and it wasn’t at all practical to lug along any of my espresso machines (yes, I have a few and none of them fit the bill). So I took along this Bialetti Moka Express Stovetop Espresso Maker which I only bought out of interest, and I’m glad I did!
This cute little moka pot is the traditional thing in Italian families, it seems, and it does make espresso, even if it is not the pump-driven machine-made type with rich crema on top. The smaller size moka pot always makes the better espresso, and I have the 3-cup one.
As long as you have a stove, or a camp fire, you can work this little wonder to make an espresso. Fill the lower half with drinking water (never use chlorined tap water) and put the grounds in the filter, then brew it. Use low heat. It takes quite a long time but it’s acceptable since this is not a machine.
Cleaning up is even easier than you think. Rinse with tap water! No washing with soap because that will ruin the pot. Isn’t that even excellent for trips when you really have got to run?
Like I said, this Bialetti Moka Express Stovetop Espresso Maker is the best travel espresso maker. It’s cheap, won’t break your wallet even if you just use it on that one trip in a year. If you buy that stove-top, stainless steel milk frother together with this, you can make a great cappuccino too!
Buying Your First Coffee Maker- The Ultimate Guide
Let’s look at how the different types of coffee makers fare when it comes to taste and ease of use, and I’ve included some tips on how to choose the coffee makers.
Drip Coffee Makers
The most common coffee maker you will see in most offices or homes are drip coffee makers. A drip coffee maker is very easy to operate and hassle free, which is what most people like for their morning brews.
All you need to do with a drip coffee machine is to put ground coffee into a filter and fill the water tank with the right amount of water. As you turn it on the water will be heated and drip through a cone filter into a carafe.
Drip coffee makers may not be the best appliances to brew delicious coffee as there is no temperature or brew time control, usually producing a weak brew with a clean taste because all the coffee oils get filtered out, but it is the easiest way to brew coffee.
Carafe Type: Glass Or Thermal Carafe
A thermal carafe is great if you need to keep the coffee warm without burning it or getting a bitter taste in it. Glass carafes are usually heated on the hot plate, if it is left too long it will get a bitter taste. Some people like the glass carafe drip coffee maker because it allows them to see how much coffee is in it.
The capacity usually ranges from 1 cup to 12 cups. There are also personal size carafes that you can take and go. One-cup coffee makers are also called single serve coffee machines, but some high end single serve machines can brew other types of beverages and some can brew from pods.
A French press is a convenient device to use for traditional style brewing without making a mess. To make coffee with a French press, you need to boil water and then pour the hot water into the French press with coffee grounds in it. After brewing for the right amount of time, simply plunge the strainer or screen into the coffee (slowly) to push the grounds to the bottom, then you may pour the strained coffee into your mug and serve.
Water temperature and brewing time may be controlled to produce coffee the way you like it. The best thing about using a French press is that it makes reasonably strong coffee with the coffee oils intact, compared to a drip coffee maker which filters all the oils through its paper or mesh filter.
The downside is that grounds tend to leak from the strainer into the coffee, and the coffee may be sludgy with fine coffee powder that didn’t get filtered.
Carafe Type: Glass Or Stainless Steel Carafe
Glass needs more handling care but gives you a view into the carafe. Stainless steel French presses are more durable and cost decidedly more than glass ones.
Vacuum and Siphon Coffee Makers
Vacuum coffee makers use air pressure to brew coffee. There are two main types of vacuum coffee makers: the aeropress and the glass siphon. The aeropress works like a syringe; you press the plunger down a tube with coffee grounds and hot water in it, and coffee will drip through the filter into your coffee mug. It’s a very simple and fast way to brew coffee.
The glass siphon coffee maker uses a narrow tube between two glass chambers to make a showy performance out of coffee brewing. The learning curve for siphon coffee makers is much higher.
Both types of vacuum coffee makers make very good regular coffee that is rich and smooth but without the coffee oils as they both use paper filters. The result is a clean taste.
The moka pot is easy to use and you can have a cup of good coffee as long as you have a fire, so I bring this to campgrounds all the time.
Moka pot makes the best coffee out of all types of coffee makers, almost similar to espresso. The strong coffee retains its rich crema and has a subtle chocolatey taste, giving it the name ‘moka’. You’ll have to buy a smaller moka pot to achieve this taste. I myself prefer 1-cup to 3-cup size.
While brewing coffee using a coffee maker is pretty straightforward the quality can be significantly improved by using freshly ground coffee (that means buying a good coffee grinder), filtered water (e.g. a Brita), and by reducing the time the coffee is kept after it is brewed.
How Much Should You Spend on a Coffee Maker?
You don’t need a lot of money to buy a good coffee maker because the best ones aren’t necessarily the most expensive. Your first decision will be to determine how much coffee each person in the household consumes daily. It’s not very practical to buy a large coffee maker if there are only two people in your household who drink coffee.
Prices of coffee makers range from less than $50 to more than $100. The more features you require of your coffee maker, the more it will cost. If you want one that will grind the beans then you’ll be shelling out more money. Another factor that will affect the price is whether the machine is stainless steel or not.
There is such a wide variety of coffee makers that you’ll probably need to spend quite a bit of time doing your research before making your selection. The array of coffee makers include the simple French Press ; single cup coffee brewers (K-cups, Pod coffee) which are very popular now; manual drip coffee maker, coffee drip brewers, the automatic coffee maker.
Then there are the coffee percolators which the true coffee connoisseur dismisses because they claim that when you make the coffee on the stove you boil the flavor out of the beans, killing the taste.
Similarly, this is also a disadvantage with the coffee drip brewers. These are the ones primarily used in offices where you simply put your coffee in the filter, fill the pot with water, power up and the coffee is brewed, draining in the glass carafe that sits on the hotplate. The minus becomes evident when the coffee is left sitting on the hotplate for a long period of time which in essence continuously “cooks” the coffee thereby killing the flavor and so is essentially a waste of coffee beans.
Also before you buy that coffee maker, keep in mind the space you have to store the machine. Small ones aren’t hard to store or move around when it isn’t being used but if it’s a larger model, you’ll have to plan to find space to store your new coffee maker.
Make sure you check the availability of a warranty when selecting your coffee maker, especially if you’re buying an expensive model. And remember: the cheapest coffee maker can still make a great cup of coffee; also the type of beans you buy contributes to the outcome of your coffee brew. It’s not necessarily the coffee maker that determines how good your coffee tastes.