A Guide to Buying Coffee Makers: Unlock the Perfect Cup

If you’re a coffee aficionado, you know a delightful brew requires the proper coffee maker. With a vast array of coffee makers on the market, selecting the appropriate one can be daunting.

Fear not; we’re here to help you unlock the perfect cup with our guide to buying coffee makers!

Types of Coffee Makers

Advancements in technology aren’t just limited to vehicles, computers, and mobile phones; coffee makers have evolved to produce the perfect cup of coffee.

Crafting the ideal cup of coffee is both a science and an art form.

Navigating the sea of coffee makers in the market can be challenging, with so many options. Deciding on the perfect one can be overwhelming.

Let’s delve into the various types of coffee makers to gain a comprehensive understanding of the options available, before examining the factors that may impact our decision-making.

  • Drip Coffee Maker – This is the most common type of coffee maker. It works by brewing hot water over ground coffee, which drips into a carafe. This type of coffee maker is affordable and easy to use, making it a popular choice for many coffee drinkers.
  • Espresso Machine – An espresso machine uses high pressure to extract a strong, concentrated coffee shot. These machines are more expensive than drip coffee makers, but they are the perfect choice for those who love espresso-based drinks, like Breve Coffee.
  • Single-Serve Coffee Maker – This type of coffee maker is designed to make a single cup of coffee at a time. It uses “pods” or capsules of pre-ground coffee, making it convenient and easy to use.
  • French Press – A French press, also known as a press pot, is a manual coffee maker that uses a plunger to extract coffee. This type of coffee maker is perfect for those who want to control the strength and flavor of their coffee.

Interested in a French Press coffee maker? Take a look at our guide on French Press coffee for helpful tips and mistakes to avoid.

How to make french press coffee
  • Stove-Top Coffee Maker – Stove-top coffee makers work by using steam pressure to push hot water up through the coffee and into the top container, producing a strong and concentrated coffee similar to espresso. This type of coffee maker is sometimes called a percolator and is an alternative to espresso machines, as it is more affordable and doesn’t require electricity. 
  • Cold Brew Coffee Maker – Cold brew is a unique coffee brewing method that uses cold or ice water to extract flavor from ground beans. This requires a long steeping time of up to 24 hours. Cold coffee brewers can make ready-to-drink coffee using less coffee and more water, or concentrate by using more coffee.

    Cold-brewed coffee is less acidic and less bitter than conventionally brewed coffee, but requires planning due to its long steeping time. However, it can be made in large quantities and refrigerated for later use.

Factors To Consider Before Buying a Coffee Maker

When choosing a coffee maker, several essential factors must be considered to ensure that you end up with the right one for you and your coffee needs. These factors include:

  • Number of Cups – Consider the number of cups of coffee you want to make each time. Do you want to make a single cup or a full pot? This will help determine the size of the coffee maker you need.
  • Convenience – How important is convenience to you? If you’re always in a hurry, a single-serve coffee maker may be the best choice. If you’re more laid back, a French press may be a perfect choice.

    A programmable electric coffee maker is ideal for those who want a hassle-free coffee experience in the morning, while less automated machines still only require a few button pushes.

    On the other hand, manual pour-over coffee makers such as French press brewers and stovetop espresso pots demand your full attention for a perfect cup. 

    For households with varying coffee preferences and smaller quantities, pod machines are a suitable option.
  • Price – Coffee makers range in price from under $20 to over $1,000. Consider your budget and what you’re willing to spend.
  • Brewing method – Different coffee makers use different brewing methods, such as drip, steam, pump, or pour-over. Consider which brewing method you prefer and what type of coffee drinks you enjoy the most.

There are coffee makers that can brew both coffee and espresso, which can save counter space and money compared to having two separate machines.

However, if you are seeking the highest quality for both types of coffee, it may not be the best option. I prefer espresso drinks such as lattes and cappuccinos, therefore for me, the best choice was to splurge on a Breville Barista Express machine. This coffee maker guide is full of great coffee makers, but the Brevill Barista Express is on another level!

Keep in mind that while pod machines offer espresso drink options, they may not be the most authentic choice for those who prefer traditional espresso or cappuccino.

Features To Look For in a Coffee Maker

  • Programmable Settings – If you want to wake up to a fresh cup of coffee, look for a coffee maker with programmable settings. You can set it up the night before and wake up to freshly brewed coffee.
  • Auto Shut-Off – This feature will turn off your coffee maker automatically after a set amount of time, saving energy and ensuring your coffee doesn’t get burned.
  • Built-in Grinder – If you want to grind your own coffee, look for a coffee maker with a built-in grinder. This will give you the freshest possible cup of coffee.

Budget Coffee Maker Options

Coffee is essential to many people’s daily routines, but it can also be an expensive habit. Luckily, there are many affordable coffee makers on the market that can still produce a great cup of coffee without breaking the bank.

Drip Coffee Coffee Makers

One popular option for budget coffee makers is the drip coffee maker. These machines use paper or permanent filters to brew coffee by heating water and pouring it over ground coffee beans. 

Drip coffee makers come in various sizes and styles, ranging from single-serve to 12-cup models, and can cost as little as $15. They are easy to use and maintain, making them an excellent choice for those who want a simple and reliable coffee maker.

For a no-frills but quality drip coffee maker, trust Mueller. They have been making coffee products for years. I like this unit because of the permanent filter; no need to buy more, and it’s dishwasher safe: Mueller 12-Cup Drip Coffee Maker.

French Press Coffee Makers

Another popular option for budget coffee makers is the French press. French presses use a simple plunger and mesh filter system to brew coffee. 

They are easy to use, and the brewing process only takes a few minutes. French presses are also portable and great for traveling or camping. You can find a decent French press for around $20 to $30.

You can’t go wrong with the Bodum french press, a favorite for at-home use:

For something a little more portable, and probably one of the most popular press coffee makers, check out the Aeropress:

AeroPress Go Portable Travel Coffee Press

Pour Over Coffee Makers

For those who want a little more control over their coffee brewing, pour-over coffee makers are a great option. These machines use a dripper and paper filter system to brew coffee. 

Pour Over coffee requires a bit more attention and precision than drip coffee makers, but they also offer more control over the brewing process. Pour-over coffee makers range from around $15 to $50, depending on the brand and features.

Consider a coffee maker such as this one from Bodum. It not only makes a great brew but looks great on the countertop and takes up less space: Bodum 11571 Pour Over.

Stove-Top Coffee Makers

Finally, for those who want to save even more money, manual coffee makers such as the Moka pot can be great options. 

These machines require a bit more effort to use, but they also offer more control over the brewing process and can produce a great cup of coffee. Moka pots can cost anywhere from $20 to $50.

My favorite Moka Pot is the Bialetti Express Moka Pot. It comes in multiple colors to suit your style and can make 3 cups of coffee as needed. Bialetti Express Moka Pot

If you haven’t tried coffee from a Moka Pot then you’re missing out. Check out our guide on how to use a Moka Pot here.

There are many affordable coffee makers on the market that can produce a great cup of coffee without breaking the bank. Whether you prefer a drip coffee maker, French press, pour-over, or manual coffee maker, there is a budget-friendly option available for you. So, why not save a few bucks and enjoy a delicious cup of coffee every morning?

Carme Bay Coffee Tip: “budget coffee makers” are also some of the most portable units. Consider these options when going on holiday or camping: 

Check out this article to find out the best ways to make coffee while camping.

Tips for Making the Best Coffee

While it’s true that having the right tool for the job can make all the difference, that’s just where the process starts. There are still several tips and tricks to making the best coffee. Consider a few of these below:

  • Use freshly roasted, high-quality coffee beans: Using freshly roasted, high-quality coffee beans can greatly enhance the flavor and aroma of your coffee, as these beans are typically more flavorful and contain more of the natural oils that give coffee its rich, full-bodied taste.

    Store your coffee beans in an airtight container to keep them fresh: If you buy in bulk or have a variety of different beans, it’s important to store them correctly for optimal flavor. Use an airtight container and keep them in the dark, dry location. 

    like the Veken Coffee Canister for coffee bean and grounds storage.
  • Grind your coffee just before brewing for the freshest taste: Additionally, freshly roasted beans retain their freshness and peak flavor for a shorter amount of time than pre-ground coffee, so it’s important to grind them immediately before brewing for the best results.
  • Use the right water-to-coffee ratio for the best flavor: Using the right water-to-coffee ratio is essential for achieving the perfect cup of coffee. A general rule of thumb is to use 1 to 2 tablespoons of coffee for every 6 ounces of water, but the ideal ratio can vary depending on personal preference, the type of coffee beans, and the brewing method being used. 

For more tips on making the best coffee, check out our article, Easy Ways to Level Up Your Home Barista Game.

Wrapping Up Our Coffee Machine Buyers Guide

With so many different types of coffee makers on the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one. Consider your needs, budget, and preferred features before making a purchase.

It’s not unusual to own more than one coffee maker. I currently have a 12-cup drip machine for when family visits, my Breville Espresso maker for daily lattes, and an Aeropress for traveling and camping. 

Regardless of which coffee maker you use, always remember coffee making is an art. Be sure to experiment with various beans, milks, brew methods, and try different coffee makers. You’ll be surprised how changing these variables can affect the brew. 

Leave us a comment below on which coffee maker you use and why. We love discovering new ways of brewing the perfect cup. 

There are so many different coffee drinks and recipes out there. We have a list of some styles you haven’t tried yet. Please take a look at our article, What Types of Coffee Drinks Are There: 15 new drinks to try!

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