Finding the Perfect Coffee Maker
For many of us, the day can never begin without our favorite cup of hot, delicious coffee. Maybe it is due to the heavenly aroma and taste of coffee or the kick that it provides that allows us to think and plan about the proceedings of the day. For owing that cup of coffee, we need a coffee maker. For this, here is our comprehensive guide that you may call “Coffee Maker Buying Guide.”
However, to have a cup of coffee just the way you like it, you also need a good coffee maker, which unfortunately due to the full gamut of options available in the market, is something that is nothing less than a process that is daunting and can consume a lot of time. Moreover, a small mistake in the buying process and you can end up with a coffee maker which is not exactly what you were looking for. So, how can you ever find what is the best coffee maker for you? Continue reading and you will surely find the answer.
While you can always spend hundreds of dollars on a high-end coffee maker which comes with programmable features, attractive looks and has many best coffee maker reviews, it is an option but not a compulsion to spend such a huge amount on a coffee maker. There are a number of reasonably priced models that can provide you with delicious coffee every single day for years to come. No, we are not talking about the coffee makers that only come with an on/off switch, we are talking about the models that come with features, like auto-shutoff, thermal carafe, selection of brew strengths, etc.
Thus, to help you make a smarter buying decision, we’ve created this informative coffee maker buying guide with a number of factors that you should consider before buying a coffee maker. Go through this entire post and by the end you will clearly understand your requirements and what kind of coffee maker you should buy.
How Do You Take Your Coffee?
Before getting into the best budget coffee maker, it is first important to understand how you like your coffee. With so many different types of coffee makers available in the market, it is important to understand how you like your coffee as not every coffee maker delivers the same results. So, let us try to first understand your preferences.
What kind of coffee do you like?
As you might already know, there are many different types of coffee you can make. Some like a standard cup of coffee, some like it french pressed, espresso, latte, cappuccino, etc. So, it is very important to know the kind of coffee you like as it will allow you to choose from the different types of coffee makers available in the market and will make the buying process a simpler and less time-consuming.
How much do you love your coffee?
If you only need a cup or two to begin your day, you can go with a single serve coffee maker or a machine that has a capacity of 2-4 cups. If you are an ardent coffee-lover and need something bigger, you can go with larger dip coffee makers that come with automatic features. Most of the large models have a capacity of 10-12 cups.
How frequently you take coffee?
If you need your coffee at regular intervals, you can go for the best buy coffee makers that come with carafe or an insulated mug to make sure that the coffee is prepared beforehand and is safe and hot in the carafe or mug. But if you are going for a model that comes with a coffee pot and warming plate, remember that the taste of your coffee can turn stale if the coffee is kept in the pot for a long time.
What is your preference about your coffee maker?
While choosing the best budget coffee maker, it is also very important to consider the build of the machine. For instance, it should be made from durable, BPA-free materials and the height and size of the machine should keep up with the space that you have in your kitchen.
Match the Coffee Maker to Your Habits
In this part of this coffee maker guide, we will try to match the different types of coffee makers with your requirements to allow you to understand the type of coffee maker that you should choose. As mentioned above, there are many different types of coffee makers available in the market. Let us have a look at some of the most common types of top coffee makers.
Brewing a full coffee pot when only a cup or two will be consumed seems too wasteful. This is where a single serve coffee maker can help you out. When you are out looking for a best budget coffee maker, a single cup coffee maker can be an excellent choice. Let us know more about them-
- How to brew coffee in them?
If you have a single cup best buy coffee makers that make use of coffee pods, the coffee will already be measured in these pods for a single serving. To brew the coffee, simply insert the pod in the designated place, add the required amount of water in the reservoir and then lastly press the brew button. The water will start passing through the pods and you will see coffee pouring in your mug. However, not all the single serve coffee makers work in the same way.
- Who is it for?
If you are looking for an easy and quick way to brew delicious coffee and don’t need a lot of coffee at a time, a single serve coffee maker is for you. These are also an excellent choice for offices. Rather than purchasing coffee from a coffee joint or the cafeteria of the office, employees can bring their own favourite K-cup and make coffee instantly.
While different single serve coffee brewers have different brewing sizes, generally it range from a small 3 oz. cup to large travel mugs. No matter if you enjoy small cups or large travel mugs, this highest rated coffee maker are sure to deliver outstanding results.
- Tips for brewer longevity
To ensure longevity of your single serve coffee maker, it is very important to clean it on a regular basis. Fortunately, these units don’t require a lot of time or efforts for cleaning. It is generally recommended that you should de-scale your single serve coffee machines for home or office in every 3 to 6 months. But what is de-scaling? Continue reading.
The amount of calcium in water varies from place to place. Over time, this calcium can build-up in your coffee maker. While this build-up is not toxic, it can affect the taste of your coffee. Moreover, de-scaling will also maintain the functioning of the heating element and other parts of the machine that comes in contact of water. If the calcium content of water is high in your area, you might be required to do the de-scaling sooner than 3 months.
This is the most common type of coffee machines for home and you will find them in many best coffee maker reviews. One of the best things about these types of coffee makers is their automatic timer feature which allows you to adjust the timer and you will have a hot cup of coffee waiting for you as soon as you wake up.
- How to brew coffee in them?
Learning how to make coffee in a coffee maker of this type is important as it will allow you to use the machine at its best. These machines come with a glass or thermal carafe. You need to fill the reservoir with the required amount of water and pour the coffee as per the water in the reservoir. As soon as you will press the brew button, the water will start passing through the brew basket with coffee beans or grounds and you will see it pouring in the carafe. Moreover, many of the coffee machines for home of these types have a warming plate under the carafe to keep the coffee fresh and hot.
- Who is it for?
A drip coffee maker is perfect for families, offices as well as individuals who have friends or guests at their home very frequently. The programming features of many of the models allow you to adjust the machine and it will start brewing automatically at the pre-fixed time.
The highest rated coffee maker of drip type are available in many different brew sizes, ranging from 4 cups to even 20 cups. If you don’t have a very large family or don’t entertain a lot of guests, a 10-12 cup capacity drip brewing machine should be a great option for you.
- Tips for brewer longevity
It is important to know how to clean your best buy coffee makers to enhance its brewing longevity. If you use your drip coffee maker on a daily basis, make sure that it has a permanent spot on the kitchen countertop. If the pot of the coffee machine is not cleaned after every use, there can be minerals, coffee, etc. from previous use that can affect the taste of the coffee. So, make sure that you clean the pot, remove he used coffee grounds or beans and don’t forget to de-scale it in every 3 to 6 months.
For an improved coffee-brewing experience, you can get yourself a cappuccino or espresso coffee machine. There are many different types of cappuccino and espresso coffee makers available in the market and each has their own features to make the coffee making process simpler for you. You can always go through the best coffee maker reviews to know more about them by the people who are actually using them.
Let us have a look at different types of brewers in this category-
- Pump Espresso Maker
This type of espresso maker makes use of a thermo block system of coils to make sure that the water reaches to the exact temperature that is required for brewing and steaming. If you like crema on your cappuccino and get a consistent stream of delicious brews, this machine can be a great option for you.
- Semi-Automatic Espresso Maker
If you are looking for a consistent performer, a semi automatic espresso maker can be a great choice for you. These machines turn off the heat automatically whenever they detect a change in the temperature of the boiler. Moreover, they also feature automated pump to regulate and maintain pressure to provide you with a consistent blend.
- Fully Automatic Espresso Maker
If you want to make perfect cappuccinos and lattes with minimum efforts, a fully automatic machine is for you. By simply pressing a button, these machines will do the job of grinding, dosing, tamping and dosing all by itself. Rather than adjusting multiple setting and pressing various buttons, a fully automatic espresso maker allows you to get your favourite cup of coffee in an instant.
- Tips for brewer longevity
Make sure that these machines have a small lag time due to the temperature difference in the steaming, brewing and frothing process. Also, remember that not every coffee machines for home of these types has an auto-shutoff button. So, make sure that you turn off the unit after each use.
If you like to carry your coffee maker while travelling, a French press coffee maker is the way to go. These old school coffee makers allow you to brew fresh coffee right in front of your eyes. However, these machines require you to have a bit of experience to get the perfect results. Simplicity is the main selling point of these machines and it is highly recommended for people who do not like a lot of bells and whistles in their coffee makers.
- How to make coffee in them?
As mentioned above, these machines require you to have a bit of experience and learning about how to make coffee in a coffee maker of this type can take some time. Basically, the coarse grinds of coffee are placed in the carafe along with the water for about 4-5 minutes. After that you are required to push its plunger for trapping the grinds, filtering them and pressing them towards the bottom of the coffee maker. While pouring the coffee, it passes through a mesh filter which further enhances the flavour of the coffee.
- Who is it for?
French press coffee makers are available in many different sizes. While large ones are great for groups and gatherings, a smaller one is perfect for a single individual.
These machines are available in capacities ranging from a single cup to ten cups. Depending on your preference, you can decide the size.
- Tips for brewing longevity
It is very important to understand how you should clean your French press coffee maker. The plunger and the carafe should be rinsed on a daily basis and you should also clean them thoroughly on a regular basis. To get the freshest and delicious of coffee from these coffee makers, you can grind your own coffee before you start making coffee.
The last on our list of different types of top coffee makers is the percolators. These coffee makers make use of a constant boiling cycle which makes use of gravity to brew the coffee grounds until the time the required strength of the coffee is reached. The coffee pot of percolators features a small chamber which is located close to the bottom. You will see a vertical tube leading from that chamber which reaches the top of the percolator. Close to the upper part of the tube, you will also see a perforated chamber. Ground coffee is poured in the upper perforated chamber, whereas, water goes into water chamber.
- How to make coffee in a percolator?
Boiling water reaches to the upper part of the perforated chamber. Then it starts pouring over the coffee grounds. This process continues until the required coffee strength is reached. The unique design of these coffee makers makes it extremely easy to serve the coffee.
- Who is it for?
If you like dark roast or strong coffee, you surely need a percolator. However, you should understand how to use a percolator to get the best out of it.
Coffee percolators are available in a variety of sizes, generally, from 6 cups o 50 cups. The best thing is, you can use them to make smallest amount of coffee as well.
- Tips for brewer longevity
Make sure that you rinse the coffee grounds and percolator on a regular basis. Also, clean them thoroughly every now and then. To prevent over-boiling, remember to remove the stovetop percolator from the source of heat when brewing is done. If you go with an electric model, they generally switch the warming mode on to provide you with a consistent blend.
Coffee Maker Features That Will Ease Your Life
While there are many highest rated coffee makers that come with some very amazing features, you don’t really need many of those features. Thus, to help you make a better decision, we’ve listed some of the features that your top coffee makers should have-
This feature allows you to choose between a regular and a stronger brew. When you choose stronger brew, the water passes through the coffee at a slower rate to allow it to stay in contact with the coffee for a longer duration.
Pause and Serve
Many of the coffee maker brands manufacture machines that allow you to pause the brewing cycle in between to pour a cup or two and then they continue with brewing. However, if you pause the brewing when only one or two cups have been brewed, the coffee can be very strong.
These are the types of top rated coffee makers that hold the coffee within them rather than pouring it in a mug or carafe. When you need it, you can simply push the button after placing a cup or mug and you’ll get hot and delicious coffee.
A lot of coffee makers have water filters to eliminate foul odor and taste from the water. Some of them also come with a carbon filter. However, if you go with a machine that uses water filter, remember that you will be required to replace them at regular intervals.
These are some top rated coffee makers that ask you to insert water and white vinegar solution to automatically clean the machine. There are many other models that notify you when it’s time to clean the machine.
Built-in Coffee Grinder
If you like to drink fresh coffee, but don’t have a lot of space on your kitchen counter to place a coffee grinder, there are coffee maker brands that manufacture machine with a built-in coffee grinder. However, many of these machines are difficult to clean and pretty noisy. If you want whole beans, get a separate grinder in the beginning.
This brings us to the end of this coffee maker buying guide. I guess now you have enough information about the different aspects of the coffee makers, how they work, how you can increase brewing longevity and the features that you should look in a coffee maker. So, use all the above mentioned information to understand what the best coffee maker is for you.