It’s fair to say that coffee is an irreplaceable component of the modern lifestyle, and it would be hard to imagine a morning without a hot cup of Joe. And while not everyone can afford regular trips to the coffee shops, it could be just as troublesome to try and navigate the vast market of residential coffee makers.
If you’re planning to purchase your first coffee maker but are unsure where to start, the following article presents a concise overview of all popular coffee makers and brewing methods with a few helpful examples of top-choice coffee makers.
Choosing a Coffee Maker by Brewing Method
|Photo||Type of Coffee Maker||Grind Size||Water to Coffee Ratio||Best for Whom?|
|Drip||Coarse||1:15||For large families, offices, dorms, and anyone who prefers quantity over the intricacy of flavor|
|Automatic Pour Over||Medium|
|For those who prefer the efficiency of drip coffee brewing but want to improve the flavor|
|Espresso||Fine||1:2||For coffee lovers who prefer intricate flavors, elite roasts, and enjoy the art of coffee-tasting|
|Automatic||For people who are short on time and value speed and uniformity of flavor|
|Manual Pour Over||Medium|
|For anyone who is into the art of coffee brewing and experimenting with flavors|
|French Press||Coarse||1:17||Suitable for novices and coffee lovers who prefer a simple and strong cup of coffee|
|For extra-bold brew enthusiasts who prefer their coffee high in caffeine content or simply want a cool energizing refreshment during hotter months|
|For espresso-lovers on the go or anyone who appreciates extra-aromatic coffee with smooth and clear texture|
|1:13||For brewing coffee on a budget and those who like the vintage aesthetics and simplicity of this method|
|Siphon (Vacuum)||Medium||1:17||For die-hard coffee fans who love experimenting with manual brewing methods and prefer richer and less granular brews|
|Percolator||Coarse||1:17||For anyone who prefers old time-tested brewing methods and likes extra-hot coffee|
|Turkish Coffee||Extra-fine||1:9||For coffee drinkers in search of strong and sweet/spicy coffee with character and anyone who doesn’t mind putting in the extra work|
List of Top Coffee Makers
|Braun KF7070||60 oz||Yes||View on Amazon|
|Cuisinart DCC-3200P1||70 oz||Yes||View on Amazon|
|Breville BDC450BSS||60 oz||Yes||View on Amazon|
|KitchenAid KCM0802OB||40 oz||Yes||View on Amazon|
|Mr. Coffee ECM160-RB||20 oz||Yes||View on Amazon|
|De’Longhi ENV150GY||60 oz||Yes||View on Amazon|
|Keurig K-Mini||12 oz||Yes||View on Amazon|
|Bodum 11571-01S||34 oz||No||View on Amazon|
|Mueller MU-SSHYDPRESS-50||50 oz||No||View on Amazon|
|OXO 1272880||32 oz||No||View on Amazon|
|AeroPress 83R20||3 cups||No||View on Amazon|
|Bialetti 06800||12 oz||No||View on Amazon|
|Bodum 1208-01US4||34 oz||No||View on Amazon|
|Cuisinart PRC-12||24 oz||Yes||View on Amazon|
|DEMMEX 9-Oz Copper||9 oz||No||View on Amazon|
Drip Coffee Makers
For decades now, drip-style coffee has been the staple of the cafe experience, from roadside diners and favorite chain restaurants to more niche spaces and neighborhood pop-ups, making one of the essential elements of the classic Americana.
Often the term ‘drip coffee’ is used simply to distinguish filtered coffee from espresso, but the coffee made in an actual drip brewer is different from manual pour-overs and percolators.
Drip coffee makers are the most popular type of coffee makers, being accessible, easy to manage, and abundant in its coffee output that doesn’t require too much expense in terms of ingredients.
That being said, many coffee connoisseurs try to choose other methods of preparation, deeming the taste of drip coffee less rich. It’s true that drip coffee can’t compete with full-bodied flavors of more intricate brewing methods, but it still does its job in the morning and saves you from unnecessary hassle.
- Grind size for drip coffee makers: Coarse
- Optimal coffee to water ratio: 1:15 or 2 oz of grounds per 30 fl oz of hot water. For stronger or weaker brews, adjust the ratio accordingly.
What is a drip coffee maker?
By definition, all drip coffee makers are automatic. The main brewing process can be broken down into several steps:
- Interior water tank is filled with purified water
- Coffee grounds are loaded into the coffee maker’s filter
- (Alternatively) A pre-packaged pod is loaded into a pod holder
- When the brewing is initiated, the coffee maker uses the internal heater to bring the water to 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit
- Hot water is dispersed via a showerhead, soaking the coffee grounds
- Once fully saturated, the hot brew is dispensed into a carafe or cup
Most popular family-sized drip coffee makers feature large carafes capable of holding 12-16 cups of coffee at once, while smaller single-serve drip machines with matching travel mugs are designed to provide for solo coffee drinking and travel.
What makes so many people choose these brewers is the fully-automated process, from heating the water to dispensation and sometimes even self-cleaning.
When choosing a drip coffee maker, make sure to focus on several defining characteristics:
- Water tank capacity
- Carafe capacity
- Carafe type: thermal, glass, steel, combo
- Wattage: determines the brewing speed
- Adjustable features: temp control, brew size and strength, delay brew
- Reservoir capacity: 60 oz
- Carafe capacity: 12 cups
- Wattage: 1000
- Material: Stainless steel, plastic, glass
- Dimensions: 7.9” x 7.9” x 14.2”
- Item weight: 6.2 lbs
- Large 60-oz drip brewer
- Brews in 1-4 cup and 12-cup batches
- Strong stainless steel casing
- Delay brewing and advanced programmability
As a world-renowned manufacturer of home appliances, Braun brings its notorious German reliability into the production and assembly of its coffee brewers, including this automatic BrewSense drip brewer that could be fairly named the best drip coffee maker in 2019.
It’s also pleasantly powerful for its price bracket, with the 1000-watt heating element delivering hot water much faster than drip brewers in the same category. However, the PureFlavor system exercises careful control over optimal temperature levels and brewing time for a more full-bodied coffee flavor.
To match its 12-cup glass carafe, this model holds up to 60 ounces of water. Customizable features include brew size selection between 1-4 cups and full carafe, 24-hour delay brew, automatic shut-off, and Brew Pause. There is also the huge advantage of Braun’s charcoal water filtration system that processes even hard water to deliver softer, well-filtered coffee.
- Reservoir capacity: 70 oz
- Carafe capacity: 14 cups
- Wattage: 1050
- Material: Stainless steel, plastic, glass
- Dimensions: 7.75” x 9” x 14”
- Item weight: 8.75 lbs
- Digital controls
- Control the brew size
- Warming plate
- Brew pause
- Auto shut-off functions
Though slightly more expensive than the Braun, this Cuisinart Perfectemp coffee maker more than justifies the price with its large built-in reservoir, precise brewing customization, and sleek stainless steel design with digital controls and additional functions that make maintenance easy.
In addition to giving you the ability to control the brew size—between the full carafe, one-cup serving or four-cup serving—this model also allows you to choose between regular and bold brew strengths, adjust the temperature of the warming plate, and initiate 24-hour delay start.
The coffee maker also features extreme brew, brew pause, and auto shut-off functions, with the latter warming the carafe up to four hours before switching off. The carafe itself is made to hold up to 14 cups of coffee, while the brewer’s filtration system is more efficient thanks to the permanent gold-tone filter.
Automatic Pour Over Coffee Makers
Not everyone seeks the fully-automated efficiency of drip brewers, preferring to have more control over the process. And unlike drip-style models, pour-over coffee makers allow more freedom when it comes to adjusting the brew to your taste.
- Grind size for pour-over coffee makers: Medium or medium-coarse
- Optimal coffee to water ratio: 1:17 for a regular brew, 1:15 for a strong brew
How is pour over different than drip coffee?
The pour-over method allows you to control the temperature of the water, the rate at which it flows through the ground coffee, the extraction time, and the strength.
The main difference between drip and pour-over brewers is the customization. Pour-over coffee makers let you choose how to handle each step of this brewing method, including determining the water temperature, the brew boldness, the intensity of the water flow during extraction as well as the duration of coffee saturation.
All of these features are selected by the user but the automatic pour over machine actually performs each step, making this type of coffee maker just as easy to use as the drip ones while still allowing for a more personalized approach.
- Reservoir capacity: 60 oz
- Carafe capacity: 12 cups
- Wattage: 1650
- Material: Thermal stainless steel
- Dimensions: 12.40” x 6.70” x 15.70”
- Item weight: 3.15 lbs
- Automatic pour-over system
- Powerful heating element
- Large 12-cup tank
- Thermal carafe
Perhaps one of the absolute best pour-over coffee machines in this price range, Breville’s Thermal Precision coffee maker allows for the automatic but fully customizable brewing process, making it extremely easy to make craft filter coffee in the comfort of your home.
Together with its impressive sixty-ounce tank, matching thermal carafe, and digital temperature control, this brewer is designed to make enough coffee for the whole family, or even a small office, while allowing you to control the extraction temperature and duration, flow rate, and more.
It’s possible to choose from 3 presets for contact time and adjust the thermocoil heater’s parameters, while the 6 beverage modes feature Fast, Strong, Gold, Iced, Cold Brew and My Brew, the latter being the customizable option. There is also the useful Steep and Release program meant to work best with single servings, so you can get a cup of coffee without using the carafe.
- Reservoir capacity: 40oz
- Carafe capacity: 8 cups
- Wattage: 1250
- Material: Plastic, glass
- Dimensions: 11.30” x 8.70” x 15.10”
- Item weight: 7.60 lbs
- Manual saturation technique
- Digital display, electronic controls – brew strength settings
Made to follow the traditional pour-over brewing process, the automatic KitchenAid pour-over coffee maker simplifies it without sacrificing any of the texture and flavor complexity typically found in pour-overs.
The brewer’s showerhead copies the manual saturation technique, keeping the flavor more consistent, and uses the water heated to optimal steeping temperatures.
Featuring a clear-to-read digital display and electronic controls, this model allows you to input the brew strength settings, such as medium or dark roast, as well as monitor each stage of the brewing progress via the screen.
The coffee maker comes with a large 8-cup carafe, a set of paper coffee filters, and a measuring scoop to help you achieve a more precise water-to-grounds ration.
Espresso is, by far, one of the most versatile beverages that works both as an individual drink and as an ingredient in various coffee-based cocktails and even alcoholic cocktails. It wouldn’t be a far reach to compare espresso culture to that of wine, given that espresso roasts vary in quality and complexity based on the bean origin, starting from affordable bulk roasts and ending with rare elite roasts renowned for their deep aroma and rich flavor.
Espresso machines can be classified into three major types: manual, semi-automatic, and super- or fully-automatic.
- Manual espresso machines don’t control the actual delivery of the coffee but rather require the user to use the control knobs or dials to determine how much of the espresso you need dispensing. This also includes the milk frother—frothing the cream or milk needs your careful attention since you’re the one determining how much foam you need in your coffee.
- Semi-automatic espresso machines need less attention since they portion espresso servings on their own, usually dispensing it in the matching decanters. The frothers, however, still remain manual similar to those in completely manual models.
- Super-automatic espresso machines are true to their name and conduct each step of the espresso-making process automatically. This means you don’t need to monitor the coffee dispensation nor do you need to watch your milk or cream—the machine will take care of the flow rate and frothing intensity at a simple touch of a button.
- Grind size for espresso machines: Fine
- Optimal coffee to water ratio: 1:2 with the recommended amount of grounds being around 6-7 ounces.
Are home espresso machines worth it?
Given than a truly good espresso machine can be pretty pricey, it’s important to understand where exactly it would fit in your kitchen routine and whether it fits at all.
There is no point on spending a fortune on a fancy espresso maker if you’re only a casual coffee drinker who isn’t too picky about the flavor.
If you prefer something quick and hassle-free and just happy with any coffee as long as it’s hot, then an expensive espresso maker might be completely unnecessary in your case.
If, however, you want your own espresso corner to save you time and money on coffee shops, then a well-planned one-time investment into an espresso maker will truly be worth your while.
Why are espresso machines so expensive?
What separates the preparation of espresso from regular filter coffee is the precision required to make it properly. Espresso machines need to be able to deliver and sustain just the right temperature rate as well as high pressure during extraction provided by built-in pumps.
This is generally what defines an espresso maker—its pressure pump. And the more powerful said pump is, the more thorough the coffee extraction. There are plenty of decent budget options with 3-bar pumps, though it’s recommended to get an espresso machine whose pump delivers no fewer than 15 bars. And machines that are more powerful than that tend to be rather expensive due to the performance quality of such a system.
Mr. Coffee ECM160-RB
- Type: Manual
- Capacity: 20 oz
- Pressure: 3 bars
- Dimensions: 8” x 6.5” x 10.5”
- Item weight: 1.65 lbs
- Built-in water tank
- Removable drip tray
- Washable steamer
If you’re looking for a compact and affordable espresso machine that’s also reliable in terms of hardware and performance, this 4-Cup Steam espresso by Mr. Coffee is a smart choice for your first espresso machine and probably the best coffee maker under $100 overall.
Even though it’s a manual espresso machine, Mr. Coffee ensures each step is extremely easy to master, so even a complete novice can start making their own quality espresso in no time.
Featuring a built-in water tank, removable drip tray, and a washable steamer, this model can deliver up to 20 ounces of espresso in one go before there is any need to refill the reservoir. Moreover, Mr. Coffee’s kit includes a glass decanter that holds 4 shots of espresso and features a heat-resistant handle and anti-drip spout.
De’Longhi Nespresso VertuoPlus ENV150GY
- Type: Super-automatic espresso capsule
- Capacity: 60 oz
- Pressure: 15 bars
- Dimensions: 9.8” x 13.3” x 12.7”
- Item weight: 9.72 lbs
- Fully-automatic espresso delivery
- Supports recyclable capsules
- Removable 60-oz tank
- Ergonomic design
There are truly very few brands that could rival the sheer efficiency of automatic Nespresso machines, particularly Vertuo models. Nespresso’s VertuoPlus by De’Longhi is one of the best capsule-based espresso makers with fully-automated coffee extraction and cream frothing processes.
The VertuoPlus supports five capsule sizes: espresso, double espresso, gran lungo, coffee, and alto, serving 1.35-ounce, 2.7-ounce, 5-ounce, 8-ounce, and 14-ounce cup portions respectively.
It’s easy to load the capsule into the top holder and initiate the process with a touch of a button. To extract the grounds from the pod, the machine spins the capsule at a high speed and extracts the coffee under consistent centrifugal pressure.
All in all, the VertuoPlus makes for space- and time-saving addition to your kitchen, fitting neatly atop most counters while still boasting an impressive 60-ounce capacity of its removable water tank.
Capsule Machines (Pod Coffee Makers)
Capsule or pod coffee makers are probably the fastest of the lot—designed to work exclusively with pre-measured pods containing coffee grounds, these machines require virtually no expertise or effort, making them ideal for busy professionals at home as well as offices where individual tastes vary greatly.
Pod machines also dispense coffee in single servings, one pod per cup, so it’s even more efficient for larger households who prefer different coffee flavors and don’t want to wait for the entire carafe to be filled with filter coffee.
Given the high demand for these appliances in professional and residential spheres, pod coffee makers come in a wide range of sizes, from tiny and lightweight one-cup models to family-sized machines with large tanks and steamers.
Two of the most popular capsule machine brands are Keurig and Nespresso, with the former being a more affordable choice a the expense of coffee quality and the latter delivering better quality coffee but often falling short in terms of accessibility.
Are capsule coffee machines any good?
Many coffee lovers tend to sir away from pod coffee makers, citing poor coffee quality and limited control over the process. Be it as it may, many people prefer this type of machine due to its affordability, ease of maintenance, and some people even prefer the taste of pod coffee and greatly enjoy the process of trying out new fascinating flavor mixes. Bottom line is, capsule machines are good at what they are designed to do: deliver coffee fast without making a mess.
Are pod coffee machines worth it?
If you want to avoid long-winded prep stages that manual espresso machines or even filter machines that run only on coffee grounds require, then pod coffee machines are undoubtedly worth the purchase. With a pod brewer, you will only need to fill the water tank, insert a capsule, and press brew.
Keurig K-Mini Coffee Maker
- Capacity: Single-serve
- Brew sizes: 6-12 oz
- Dimensions: 12.1” x 4.5” x 11.3”
- Item weight: 2 lbs
- Easy K-Cup brewing
- Light compact body
- One-touch operation
Made with limited spaces in mind, this Keurig K-Mini is suitable for all kitchens, counter spaces, dorm rooms, RVs, and offices. Its light, slim profile, neat cord storage, and one-touch operation are perfect for travel and solo users, not to mention it’s extremely easy to clean and refill.
The K-Mini is compatible with all K-Cups and delivers the brew in a single-serving for a 6-ounce cup or 12-ounce mug. Moreover, the brewer also fits 7-inch tall travel mugs thanks to the removable drip tray. The K-Mini also shuts off automatically 90 seconds after brewing to minimize energy consumption.
Pour-Over Coffee Makers
Unlike automatic filter coffee makers, a manual pour-over is a method of making coffee rather than a specific type of appliance. The two most popular pieces of pour-over brewing equipment at the moment are Chemex and Hario V60.
Though the basis for the technique is similar, it’s the small details where you find the differences between the two, mainly the recommended grind size of the coffee (medium-coarse for Chemex and medium-fine for V60), the duration of the filtration, the optimal thickness of disposable filters, the quality of the permanent filters, and how much coffee each of the methods produces.
- Grind size for manual pour-overs: Medium, medium-coarse
- Optimal coffee to water ratio: 1:17 for a regular brew, 1:15 for a strong brew
Are pour-over coffee makers good?
For all their minute differences, it’s important to note that all manual pour-over methods share quite a few beneficial traits:
- Greater affordability
- More precise control of the brewing process
- Extremely easy to master
- Pour-over coffee is generally richer in flavor and has more distinct aroma
- The process itself is almost ceremonial in its appearance, so if anything it could be a neat house party trick
Then there are individual benefits that come with varying systems, such as the greater control V60 coffee makers provide or finer, purer filtration that comes with more expensive Chemex devices. If you prefer something more stylish, a Chemex pour-over or its equivalent would look nice in your kitchen with its refined glass shape and stylish collar.
If you want to keep your coffee brewing simple, cheap, and eco-friendly, a pour-over coffee maker is a good choice for you. This method takes less than 5 minutes for the entire prep, and the presentation is more than worth it.
However owning one also entails purchasing a few appliances such as a digital kitchen scale for measuring coffee grinds, a bean grinder if you prefer to use freshly-ground beans for every brew, and a digital thermometer to monitor the water temperature.
- Capacity: 34 oz
- Filter: Permanent
- Materials: Glass, silicone
- Dimensions: 5.43” x 0.87” x 5.43”
- Item weight: 1.08 lbs
- Permanent mesh filter
- Dishwasher safe
A great alternative to pricy Chemex models, this Bodum’s classic pour-over coffee maker is just as stylish and easy to handle. Featuring a carafe made of heat-resistant borosilicate glass and a cool-touch silicone collar, the device is safe to use and maintain, while its permanent mesh filter ensures a mess-free filtration.
As opposed to cumbersome paper filters, the reusable stainless steel filter can be washed after every brew, either manually or in a dishwasher. Bodum also includes the scoop in the kit to help you with measuring the right amount of grinds when brewing.
French Press Coffee Makers
French presses are the most affordable and easiest-to-use coffee and tea makers. You can take them anywhere you want. French presses are easy to use, but they do have some peculiarities.
French presses are the most accessible coffee makers in terms of affordability and ease of use. They work both for coffee and tea, though naturally, both processes differ.
When it comes to choosing a French press, pay special attention to the materials of the carafe itself as well as to the quality of its insulation. Stainless steel French presses with double insulation are generally the most popular type among customers, though glass French presses would suit those who value the appearance and how well it works with the kitchen interior.
- Grind size for French press coffee makers: Coarse
- Optimal coffee to water ratio: 1:17
Is French press coffee better?
coffee beans and grind them yourself just before brewing. This way you will get the most aromatic and delicious coffee. But if you do not have this option, then buy only coarse grind coffee. A fine grind will go through the filter and settle in your cup of coffee.
Many prefer the taste of French press coffee over that made in automatic brewers or even in pour-overs on the account of its more concentrated and well-preserved flavor.
Since French presses don’t use paper filters or even mesh baskets, the coffee isn’t deprived of its natural oils, so the resulting drink is richer, stronger, and more aromatic. These appliances are also famous for the way they handle the steeping process where coffee grounds aren’t simply extracted through a filter but are left to steep and fully bloom.
- Capacity: 50 oz
- Material: Stainless steel
- Dimensions: 12.9” x 6.2” x 5.7”
- Item weight: 3.04 lbs
- Durable stainless steel flask
- Supports coffee, tea, infusions
- Extra-fine filtration
- Affordable and simple to operate
One of the best filter-free coffee makers on the market, this portable Mueller French press is designed both as a regular house coffee maker as well as a convenient brewer for travelling. It can be easily packed for long-term travel, camping, weekend holidays, or if you simply want to bring it to work.
The main carafe is made of heavy-duty 304 18/10 stainless steel that resists rusts and retains temperature thanks to its double-walled design. Inside you will find four different filters, each level meant to improve the steeping and catch the stray grounds when you pour the coffee into cups.
The Mueller is not only good for coffee, though, and its multi-purpose construction supports the making of teas, cocoa, hot chocolate, and herbal infusions.
Cold Brew Coffee Makers
Although it’s possible to prepare a classic cold brew in a French press, those who plan to do it on a regular basis might as well invest in a coffee maker designed specifically. Cold brew coffee makers can be classified into two types: slow-drip and fridge-friendly.
- Grind size for cold brew coffee makers: Extra-coarse
- Optimal coffee to water ratio: 1:8 for a regular brew, 1:5 for a strong brew
How does a cold brew maker work?
Slow-drip cold brew coffee makers work similarly to pour-over brewers but use three instead of two chambers. The upper chamber is designed to hold iced water, the middle one holds the coffee filter, and the bottom one is where the brew is dispensed.
Fridge-friendly cold brew coffee makers are faster than the slow-drip ones since they’re made to be kept in a refrigerator during the brewing process. The principle is similar: the coffee maker uses cold water and a coffee filter, except here you place the entire appliance inside the fridge door.
Do you need special coffee for cold brew?
Preparing a cold brew requires no additional expensive ingredients or especially fancy coffee. All you need is to make sure you use a coarse grind, the coarser the better, to facilitate the filtration process. Coarser grounds will reduce the bitterness of the drink but retain the inherent boldness of the cold brew.
- Capacity: 32 oz
- Material: Glass, plastic
- Dimensions: 9.53” x 9.53” x 14.72”
- Item weight: 3.97 lbs
- Slow-drip brewer
Made from highly heat-resistant borosilicate glass and lightweight plastic, this OXO Good Grips cold brew coffee maker is a great option for first-time users and anyone who is looking to purchase a reliable and compact slow-drip brewer.
Made to brew up to 4 cups in one go, this model features a large carafe with measurement lines and a separate lid for keeping it in the fridge. The carafe slots inside the main structure, fitting underneath the filter with coffee grounds and the Rainmaker top chamber.
What’s interesting about the Rainmaker section here is its evenly placed saturation holes that deliver cold water in a steady flow for more thorough extraction. It’s generally advised to let the brew steep for 12 to 24 hours in order to get a less acidic brew with more textured, smoother flavor.
AeroPress Coffee Makers
Though this method has been in wide use for a long time, the AeroPress as a device was invented quite recently, in 2005 to be specific.
AeroPress is a manual appliance that comprises two cylindrical chambers sharing an axis and a pumping mechanism similar to that of reciprocating pump found in a standard syringe. In fact, this method of extraction is similar to the making of espresso where coffee grounds are saturated with hot water with the application of pressure.
With AeroPress though, you have to do it manually by forcing the water through the coffee filter and directly into a cup or mug. What separates AeroPress from other manual coffee makers is its time-efficient operation. Even though the coffee extraction is done manually, the AeroPress fills a cup in under a minute—a considerable improvement on more traditional manual brewers.
- Grind size for AeroPress coffee makers: Medium or fine
- Optimal coffee to water ratio: 1:17 for a regular brew, 1:11 for a strong brew
Is AeroPress coffee any good?
On average, AeroPress produces clean yet aromatic brew, unlike many pour-overs that either deprive the coffee of its original flavor properties or oversaturate it.
There are two ways to prepare coffee in an AeroPress—by using the traditional method or the inverted method, the latter giving a richer, bolder brew.
Is AeroPress better than French press?
Both manual methods are classified as full-immersion brewing systems to separate them from drip and pour-over brewers. This means that both methods are likely to give you richer and thicker coffee due to their steeping time.
Other than that, AeroPress and French press are pretty different. Most specialists recommend to only use paper filters with AeroPress, giving the resulting brew a much cleaner texture that’s also low in acidity. But paper filters also deprive the coffee of its inherent oils that remain present in the coffee made in a French press.
As for French press coffee, it usually comes out even thicker due to the mesh filters used in French presses that also preserve large amounts of original oils. On the downside, French press coffee might not be for everyone precisely because of the thick, often granular texture.
Which coffee is best for AeroPress?
Most coffee connoisseurs recommend pairing an AeroPress with Colombian roasts. It’s preferable to use coffee grounds of medium size, though some people prefer the espresso-like texture of fine grounds. A single serving in an AeroPress requires about 0.63 oz of coffee, though you’re always free to try out different ratios to alter the strength of the brew. With the right method, you will be able to produce a brew as rich as the made using the best coffee maker like in Starbucks or Caribou.
- Capacity: 3 cups
- Material: BPT-free polyester
- Dimensions: 9.5” x 4” x 4”
- Item weight: 6.4 oz
- Stirring stick, a filter holder, a measuring scoop, a set of paper microfilters
Designed to brew up to 3 Americano servings per single pressing, this AeroPress 83R20 is probably the best tasting coffee maker of the lot and makes for a great travelling companion in any setting, whether you’re a camping or fishing enthusiast.
It works just as well as a permanent brewer in any kitchen or dorm room, delivering fresh espresso-like coffee in under a minute. Aside from the brewer itself, the kit includes a stirring stick, a filter holder, a measuring scoop, and a set of paper microfilters.
Moka Pot Coffee Makers
One of the more traditional methods of brewing coffee, the stove pot Moka pot has been the go-to coffee maker for affordable, fast, and clean brewing.
The principle of this two-chamber brewer is pretty straightforward: when the water in the bottom section turns into steam, it permeates the coffee filter in the pot’s midsection, saturating the grounds. The top chamber is where the coffee brew ends up.
- Grind size for Moka pots: Medium-fine or fine
- Optimal coffee to water ratio: 1:13
Is Moka Pot coffee good?
What attracts most people to Moka pots is their ease of maintenance, low pricing, and effortless operation. It’s not necessary to purchase any expensive accessories or roasts to make decent Moka coffee, and the pot itself doesn’t require a delicate approach.
Are Moka pots dangerous?
Not as such. There is no direct danger to your health, but the accumulation of coffee oils and old dregs on the inside of a Moka pot may eventually start affection the taste of the coffee.
Is Moka coffee as strong as espresso?
Though Moka coffee doesn’t taste at all like espresso, its average brew strength is pretty impressive, and its flavor can be described as rich and textured—somewhat of a mix of French press brew and Turkish coffee.
- Capacity: 12 oz
- Material: Aluminum
- Dimensions: 4” x 4” x 9”
- Item weight: 1.87 lbs
- Polished finish
- Brewing time 5 minutes
As far as Moka pots go, Bialetti offers traditional design and pristine Italian quality, packaging the classic shape in lightweight aluminium with a polished finish. The pot can brew up to 6 regular two-ounce cups, or enough coffee to fill a travel mug. Its brewing time clocks under five minutes even on a slow stovetop, making it one of the best simple brewers for travel and holiday homes.
Siphon (Vacuum) Coffee Makers
Siphon or vacuum brewing is another full immersion method of making coffee. Dating back to 1840s, this method has seen a rise in popularity as of the recent years, particularly among professional baristas.
Vacuum coffee makers are easy to spot by their complex design that many find reminiscent of lab equipment. Siphons can be pretty expensive since they use heat-resistant borosilicate glass and require quite a lot of it. Today’s top-selling siphons come from brands like Cona, Hario, Yama, Nispira and Bodum.
- Grind size for siphon coffee makers: Medium
- Optimal coffee to water ratio: 1:17
Is siphon coffee better?
The siphon’s sudden comeback can be easily explained by two things: rich, unique body of the resulting coffee and because the device itself looks pretty cool which is what niche coffee bars go for. And the coffee made in a vacuum brewer tastes smoother and cleaner, its flavor more pronounced and aroma exceptionally deep.
How does a vacuum siphon coffee maker work?
Two-chamber siphon coffee makers appear to be unnecessarily complicated, but such an intricate structure is entirely functional. Powered by a constant heat source, the brewer pushes the water from its lower chamber into the upper one, leaving the lower chamber in a state of vacuum, while the other steeps the coffee grounds. Then the resulting brew flows back into the lower chamber.
- Capacity: 34 oz
- Material: Glass
- Dimensions: 12.5” x 10.3” x 7.8”
- Item weight: 1.55 lbs
- Dishwasher safe
- Made in Europe
Compatible with most standard heat diffuser simmer plates, this Bodum PEBO is one of the best budget siphon coffee makers with a classic duo-bowl shape and large capacity for the compact countertop brewer. The kit features a jug with a cool-touch handle, a funnel for siphoning, a filter and a connection gasket.
This model is capable of brewing up to 8 cups of coffee in one session, though the speed depends on the amount of water in the bottom bowl. On average, it takes between 5 and 11 minutes to brew 10-34 ounces of coffee.
Stovetop percolators fall within the traditional category of coffee brewing. Today they are chosen for their energy-saving properties and independent operation. The brewing method of percolators can be likened to that of the Moka pots, except percolators circulate the hot brew numerous times within the interior chambers instead of doing a single cycle.
- Grind size for percolators: Coarse
- Optimal coffee to water ratio: 1:17
Are coffee percolators any good?
Percolators are generally used for coffee of poorer quality since this method can’t really extract the best out of elite roasts. If you don’t really care much for fancy flavors and blends, a budget percolator will serve you well and deliver strong black coffee.
Is a coffee percolator better than a drip?
Drip coffee is generally considered more nuanced in terms of flavor. Even though percolators make a decent cuppa, the fact that it uses too-hot water for coffee extraction makes the beverage a bit flat.
What is percolated coffee?
Percolated coffee is a type of brew achieved through the continuous circulation of boiling water through the coffee grounds. Typically, this type of coffee is strong and bitter, but many people prefer the effects of such a brew in the mornings.
- Capacity: 24 oz
- Material: Stainless steel
- Dimensions: 9.25” x 6.30” x 12.24”
- Item weight: 1 lb
- Cool bottom panel
- Anti-drip spout
Taking the traditional concept and giving it a new, modern shape, Cuisinart offers convenient and easy coffee brewing with this Classic PRC-12 percolator in stainless steel designed to produce up to 12 standard coffee cups.
The pot comes with a cool bottom panel, an anti-drip spout, and a see-through lid, the latter allowing you easy monitoring of the process. Storage is also easy with this one thanks to its detachable power cord and lightweight body.
Turkish Coffee Makers
Turkish-style coffee is known for its distinct aroma, dark texture, and gentle sweetness. Whereas may other traditional coffee brewing methods add the sugar after brewing or skip the step entirely, Turkish coffee blooms best when brewed with sugar.
- Grind size for Turkish pots: Extra-fine
- Optimal coffee to water ratio: 1:9; use 2 tbsp of coffee for one cup of water;
What makes Turkish coffee different?
Unlike most manual brewing methods, classic Turkish coffee is prepared with sugar mixed in with the grounds and water so that during the preparation, the sugar has time to slightly caramelize. Another major difference is the serving method: the coffee is poured into small cups and left to settle for several minutes.
How do you make Turkish coffee?
Traditionally, Turkish coffee is prepared in a cezve—a small Turkish coffee pot with a handle— over hot coals without any direct contact with the flame. Naturally, you can brew it on a regular stovetop.
The standard ingredients for Turkish coffee are two tablespoons of extra-fine grounds per a cup-sized pot, a teaspoon or two of sugar, and a cup of cold water.
The coffee brew should simmer in the pot until the soft foam rises to the brim, though the pot itself should be removed from the heat source before the coffee could actually boil.
Some experts recommend letting the foam rise at least three times, but it’s important to avoid burning the coffee—otherwise, it will taste charred and bitter.
DEMMEX 9-Oz Copper Turkish Coffee Pot
- Capacity: 9 oz
- Material: Gaziantep copper
- Dimensions: 3.5″ x 2.8″
- Item weight: 8 oz
- Traditional finish
- 0.07″ walls
Made to fit up to 9 ounces or 270 millilitres, this pot can fill 3 standard Turkish coffee servings from a single brew. The pot reaches 3.5 inches in diameter and its thick 0.07” walls ensure precise heat distribution and reducing the risk of burning the coffee, while the wooden handle eliminates risks of scalding. The beautiful exterior carving and food-safe tin lining are a particularly nice traditional finish.
The choice of a coffee maker depends on individual preferences or requirements of the household, so it’s quite impossible to just pick the best coffee maker in the world and sell it to everyone.
One of the best and cheapest options is a good drip-style coffee maker capable of serving a potful of carafe for the entire family.
People who don’t have the luxury of time would benefit from a compact capsule coffee maker, while coffee connoisseurs would certainly work best with a medium-sized manual espresso machine or even a vacuum coffee maker.
The very first coffee makers were most likely made of clay and later copper. Today most common materials include stainless steel, plastic, and glass.
Does the type of coffee maker make a difference?
Each type of coffee maker operates according to a specific method of coffee brewing, so the flavor, texture, strength, and aroma of the brew is greatly affected by the method in question.
The higher the brewing temperature and filtration time, the richer the drink and the more pronounced the bitterness which is often seen in percolated coffee. Espresso machines, on the other hand, produce a distinctly rich drink with sour notes, while Moka pots are distinguished for the soft chocolaty brew.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that, with the exception of industry professionals and dedicated amateurs, most people with an average interest in coffee often can’t distinguish between coffee brewed in an expensive coffee maker and coffee produced by a more budget machine.
It turns out that the quality of the brew mainly depends on the preparation method and on the quality of the coffee beans/grounds rather than most things an overpriced coffee maker can offer. In many cases, you will be paying for the status offered by an elite brand, its design, and better quality of the hardware. Of course, there is a stark difference between an off-brand cheap brewer and the best high-end coffee maker on the market, but mid-range models tend to be uniformly effective.
Failing to regularly clean a coffee maker may drastically shorten its service life. Over time, coffee makers tend to scale over, with heating elements being particularly vulnerable to the harmful layers formed by various deposits. If not cleaned in time, the deposits may lead to the heating system failure, rendering the appliance unusable.
Most recognizable brands make fairly reliable mid-range coffee makers. Landing on an unreliable model usually occurs in cases of frankly cheap appliances from unknown manufacturers.
But most popular coffee makers will serve for several years as long as you follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for regular maintenance and proper use, though models with self-cleaning features are automatically more reliable. Same goes for coffee makers made of stainless steel and heat-resistant glass.
Manual coffee makers tend to be more reliable due to the fewer number of mechanical parts prone to malfunctioning. And out of all popular manual coffee makers, Turkish, Arabic, and Greek coffee pots particularly stand out for their durability.
How do I make the perfect cup of coffee in a coffee maker?
Coffee brewing starts with the coffee itself, but whether you want to buy pre-ground coffee or grind the whole beans at home is solely your choice. If you want to always brew coffee from fresh beans but would like to avoid manual grinding, feel free to consider looking into fully-automatic brewers such as BLACK+DECKER CM5000B—most likely the best coffee maker with grinder on a budget.
- Use freshly-ground beans or freshly-opened grounds
- Use only purified soft water for both automatic and manual coffee makers
- Follow the guidelines of the manufacturer pertaining the water to coffee ratio and brewing time
- Clean the coffee maker between the brews and keep regular maintenance
- What is Drip Coffee? — Whole latte love
- Pour Over Vs. Drip Coffee — Roasty Coffee
- Best Drip Coffee Makers From Consumer Reports’ Tests — Consumer Reports
- How to Make Coffee — WikiHow
- How Coffee Makers Work — HowStuffWorks
- Nespresso OriginalLine vs VertuoLine – What’s the Difference? — WhichNespresso
- Nespresso vs. Keurig: Which Single-Serve Coffee Maker Is Best? — Reviewed
- Love Your Latte? Learn the History of Coffee — ThoughtCo
- How to Use a Pour Over Brewer — CoffeeGeek
- How to Brew French Press — Crema.co
- Who Made That Moka Express? — The New York Times
- Why Aeropress? — Aeropress.com
- The Historical Development Of The Vacuum Coffee Pot — baharris.org
- Cold Brew — BluebottleCoffee
- Grind size and coffee pods – everything you need to know! — Crema Joe