There are a lot of different coffee makers out there and finding the right one for you can be quite difficult. Well, today we will tell you about all the different types of coffee makers that exist, as well as the benefits and downsides of each one.
There are a few different criteria that can be used to divide coffee makers into different types, but today we will be using the most common one – the brewing method. So, let’s get started!
These coffee makers are made with one singular purpose in mind – to make a single cup of coffee in record time, thus saving you most of the time and hassle. The best single serve coffee makers usually work by using prepackaged coffee pods, usually named K-cups, which are placed in a specific part of the machine.
The machine then heats up water from the reservoir and pushes it through the K-cup, which contains coffee grinds and acts as a filter, to make a quick cup of coffee. Once it’s done, just replace the K-cup, and you can make another cup.
The obvious upside of these machines is the fact that you don’t have to spend a lot of time making coffee and you can get a good, fresh cup whenever you want it. You won’t need to reheat old coffee or waste coffee that’s gone stale. These coffee makers are also quite adjustable, with a lot of strength and size options and some are even able to make large amounts of coffee as well.
The largest downside is the fact that these coffee makers cost a lot to run. K-cups and similar coffee pods cost far more than regular coffee grinds, and the cost can rack up surprisingly quickly. Also, most machines can’t brew a large amount of coffee at once, so you’re out of luck if you need that.
This is possibly the most popular and well-known coffee maker type. When most people think of coffee machines, the first thing that springs to their mind is one of these guys.
They use electricity for power and make coffee by using a rather simple method of dripping water through a filter that contains coffee grinds, thus making a large amount of coffee in a reasonable amount of time.
The reason these coffee makers are so widespread is that they are supremely easy to use and can come in an astounding variety of shapes and sizes. Most of them are highly adjustable and have various strength options as well as the ability to turn off or on automatically.
A lot of them have accessories, like inbuilt coffee grinders or hot water dispensers, which can make them even more useful. They can also make a lot of coffee in a short amount of time, and you will always have some coffee on hand when using one of these machines.
However, there are issues with them, mainly the huge amount of cleaning they need. Paper filters are most commonly used with these machines, and you have to replace those on the regular. Even if you use metal filters, you still need to clean them often.
Also, if you don’t need to make a huge amount of coffee and just want a single cup, you’re out of luck with machines like these. This usually leads to wasting some of the coffee, which is not what you want.
French press is the classic coffee making machine, one of the oldest designs around that is still useful and reliable even today. The design has remained mostly unchanged during the past 150 years or so, and there’s a good reason for that – it’s simple, and it works well.
It consists of a tall glass cylinder, a filter, and a plunger. You just put in the coffee grinds, pour in the boiling water, then mix and let it sit for a while. After you’re done, press the plunger to push out the coffee grounds and pour it immediately.
French presses are manual coffee makers, and that’s one of the obvious upsides – they require no electricity to use so they’re relatively inexpensive to run and you can use them anywhere. Despite having no obvious adjustments, you can adjust the strength of the coffee by just letting it brew longer, and it’s not that difficult to get the hang of it. They are also incredibly reliable machines and aren’t prone to breaking.
The downside of a French press is also quite obvious – you have to do most of the work yourself. The water needs to be heated up beforehand, and that takes extra effort and time, and you need to be careful when letting the coffee brew to get the correct strength.
It also takes quite a while to prepare coffee – you need to boil up some water first, pour it in, wait for upwards of 10 minutes and only then is the coffee done. It’s quite a chore, and not everyone wants to spend that much time on a cup of coffee.
As their name implies, these machines are ones that specialize in making the espressos, the incredibly popular coffee type that has existed for more than two centuries now. Espresso machines themselves are not that old, but they have been around for quite a while and have proved to be reliable and efficient.
Today, there are many different espresso machine designs around, using pistons, pumps, steam, air or even hydraulics to brew coffee. They still have some elements in common – the portafilter and the grouphead. They work by pressurizing boiling water and pushing it through coffee grinds and a filter to produce highly concentrated coffee – known as espresso.
These machines can make a small or large amount of coffee in rather quick fashion, which makes them ideal for shops or offices. They also aren’t incredibly expensive to run, though they do use a lot of electricity.
If you want something other than espresso, though, you’re not going to like these machines. They are quite limited in what they can do, and that is their greatest downside. For espresso lovers, though, they’re the best option around.
The percolator is another old, classic design that hasn’t changed much in the 150 years since its invention because it didn’t need to. In times past, it was the most used variant of the coffee maker and for a good reason – it works incredibly well, and it’s easy to use. It’s just a metal pot with a coffee chamber, a water chamber, and a tube that connects the two. When the water is heated up, it goes through the tube and brews the coffee.
Because of this, these machines are quite easy to use, and you can just put in the water and coffee grinds in it, place it on the stove and you quickly get some nice coffee. It’s as easy as it gets.
This system has its flaws though. For starters, it uses much higher temperatures than most other coffee brewing methods and might burn the coffee. It also could lead to over-extraction if it circulates the coffee too many times during brewing. You can control all this, for sure, but you need to be skilled and experienced in using a percolator. A lot of people still swear by it.
That’s everything we have time for today! Those are the most prominent types of coffee makers on the market – there are others, like the vacuum coffee makers, but we didn’t feel it was necessary to cover them here.
Now that you know the basics of all the popular coffee making machines, you can go out there and choose the right one for you. Good luck with your coffee brewing!