While choosing a coffeemaker model may be a matter of preference, features, brand or price, getting the best type of coffee maker for your home may require some consideration before you start shopping.
Though the standard drip coffee maker is the most popular type of brewer, there are others to consider that may be more appropriate for your particular needs. Let's look at the pros and cons of each type to help you decide.
Coffee Maker Buying Tips
Standard Drip Coffee Makers
Regular drip coffee makers are available in 4 to 12 cup capacities, in many styles and models and at various prices. Though some models can be pricey, drip makers are generally the most economical, when compared to specialty coffee machines. The most common sizes are 10 and 12 cup with smaller models being more practical for small households. Compact 4-cup makers are ideal for hotel stays or a single person.
You can choose a drip coffee maker that accommodates a thermal or glass carafe, or a model designed for dripping right into a travel mug. Coleman makes a standard drip model that's designed for use on a gas camp stove or RV cooktop.
A standard drip coffee maker is the most common type of brewer and even non-coffee drinkers like to have a standard drip maker on hand for guest serving. If you're looking for a practical coffee maker, this would be it.
Coffee Maker Buying Tips
Percolator Coffee Makers
Once the standard brewer years ago, the percolator coffee maker is making a comeback. Though variety and capacity choices are limited especially in the electric models, some believe a percolator brews a richer, full-bodied coffee compared to a drip model. Glass percolators for stove-top use are still popular with those who like to percolate the coffee grounds as long as they want, but the electric percolator coffee maker with an automatic setting is the most common for home use. Non-electric stove-top percolators continue to be extremely popular as a camping coffee pot.
Large electric coffee urns for brewing more than 12 cups operate on the same basis as a smaller home percolator coffee maker and continue to be very popular for social events such as weddings and buffets.
Pod, K-Cup or Other Single Use Coffee Makers
These are single use (one cup) coffee makers, where the coffee or tea pod, capsule or K-cup is placed in the basket and water from the reservoir drips through it, to a single coffee cup. The benefits of a single-serve coffee maker are convenience, ease and effortless brewing, not to mention the taste experience as pods, capsules and k-cups are available in various flavor choices. Though excellent for quick and clean serving of specialty coffees, teas, herbal beverages and lattes, producing only one serving at a time requires more patience, but can be worth every sip.
Some pod-style coffee makers will accept other brands of coffee capsules, but this should be confirmed before buying. You should also check the availability of pods or K-cups in your area, plus factor in the operation cost of buying coffee, tea pods or K-cups for use with these coffee makers. Some espresso machines operate on a specialty pod system. Keurig brewers use K-cup coffees, teas and hot chocolate.
Learn more about K-Cups
Single Use Coffee Maker Buying Tips
French Coffee Press
This style of coffee maker has been around for decades and is still quite popular. Unfortunately, my experience with a French Coffee Press is rather limited but the method involves pouring boiled water over the grounds in the Press. This type of coffee maker is not designed for stovetop use, so coffee should be made just prior to serving.
The following instructions for using a French Press have been supplied from a reader:
Put in the ground coffee (a rougher grind than for a coffee-maker using a paper filter), fill with boiling water, wait a few minutes, stir, slowly. Press the grounds to the bottom with the filter piston, (a "French-press" coffee-maker is called a "cafetière à piston" in France), and pour. Provided courtesy of A. T.
Very popular in Europe and Latin American countries, the Moka Pot is a small stovetop coffee maker. It was invented for Bialetti®, which markets it as the Moka Express.
Learn more about the Moka Pot at Wikipedia
Espresso & Specialty Coffee Machines
The higher-priced variety of coffee makers are coffee machines that brew espresso, cappuccino or lattes. With commercial coffee machine functions and features, these brewers allow you make specialty coffees at home, for a lot less than the coffee shop beverages. Some models brew regular coffee, making these large machines more practical for everyday use. Styles vary from pump-driven bar systems to pod drip machines with prices that can reach into the hundreds. Things to consider when buying a specialty coffee machine: Physical size, serving capacity, function and type of brewing. It's a good idea to confirm that a coffee machine includes a frother and regular coffee brewing if these are features you'd like to have.
Read More About Coffee Makers:
Before You Buy a Coffee Maker
Read Coffee Maker Reviews
Coffee Makers - Splurge or Save?
How to Clean a Coffee Maker With Vinegar
Coffee, Teas & Coffee Pods
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