Coffee can be prepared in many different ways and methods. Though there are many types of coffee makers, all of them might use different principles for brewing coffee. The common thing in all of them is that they remove the necessity to boil coffee in a separate vessel. These coffee makers are mostly made up of stainless steel or durable plastic and shatterproof glass materials and usually they are capable of preparing both hot as well as cold brew coffees. A standard coffee maker comes with standard feature like electrical timers, shatterproof thermal glass decanters, frothing systems, water reservoir, digital/programmable settings, filters, heating plates with a thermostat for controlling the temperature.
Coffee machines can be found anywhere either it be in homes, offices, or coffee shops. They are available in variable sizes, colors, finishes, and a wide range of prices appropriate to fit into the consumer?s spaces according to their requirements and needs. There are also mini portable coffee makers for those who don?t want to miss their delicious, rich sip of coffee during their camping or vacations. Today different models and different types of coffee makers are available in the market each of them with its own special feature and added benefits.
- Standard Drip Coffee Makers: The most popular type of brewer in the market today is the Standard Drip Coffee Makers; they are available in capacities of 4 to 12 cups. They are available in many styles, models and at various price ranges. Standard Drip Coffee Makers are the most economical coffee makers compared to the contemporary express coffee machines. Smaller models with capacities of 4 to 8 cups are the most suitable models for households.
- Coffee Percolators: These were the standard traditional coffee brewer, available couple of years ago, and now they are back in the market again. Though there are not too many options or models available among coffee percolators, many still believe percolators brews the coffee richer with fullness of flavor than the standard drip model. Coffee percolators are available in two types: one that is meant for the stove-top use and the other is the electric percolator with automatic settings.
- Pod Coffee Makers: These are single pod coffee makers ideal for hotel stays or a single person. The benefit of this coffee maker is that the dose of coffee and tamping is preset already so that the user can quickly and easily brew a single cup of coffee. Pod coffee makers are the excellent choice for serving specialty coffees, specialty teas, lattes and herbal beverages; however they can only be used for a single serving at a time.
- French Coffee Press: These coffee makers were one of the traditional coffee brewers; they were not around for past couple of decades and still not so popular with the consumers. They are designed for stove-top use, they are known for producing richer and darker coffee by pushing the coffee grounds in to the boiling water in a narrow cylindrical beaker. French coffee press pots is one of the most compact and self contained coffee maker for portable usage. The drawback is that they need to be monitored constantly while is coffee is being brewed.
- Espresso & Specialty Coffee Machines: These coffee machines are the costliest coffee makers in the market; they can brew espresso, latte, and cappuccino. These coffee machines allow you to prepare coffee for a much lesser price than the commercial coffee shops.
- Vacuum coffee maker: One of the original coffee maker styles, they are known to produce exceptionally clear brew. Two pots are placed on top of the other vertically; the upper pot filled with coffee sucks the water from the lower pot and prepares the smoothest and richest brew with extra flavor without the bitter aftertaste. These are the world’s oldest traditional coffee makers; they are still on the market for those who want their coffees made in a traditional manner and taste their richness.
- Siphon Coffee maker: Siphon coffee maker is just a variant of the vacuum coffee maker except that it has two chambers side by side. The latest siphon coffee makers are available with thermostat installed in them to cut the extra heat.
Features to Consider
- Capacity: Capacity of the coffee maker is one of the main considerations; one should make up their mind whether they are looking for a standard 4 to 8 cups capacity machine or machines with more capacity. It all depends up on the number of members in a household and the amount of consumption of the coffee in your household. It is always important that when you are deciding on these matters guest serving needs should also be taken into considerations.
- Style: Most of the consumers prefer countertop models because of their easy accessibility, while some consumers may prefer space saving under cabinet models. Some consumers also pay more attention to the style and design of the coffee maker so that the unit blends with your kitchen appliances and decor.
- Water Filter: Some models of the coffee makers come with in-built water filters which are very useful in filtering out the extra iron tastes or the chlorine from the tap water. In-built water filters are a nice addition to your coffee maker, but extra maintenance cost and filter replacement cost also comes along with this additional benefit.
- Pod Compatible: Pods are the latest thing in coffee making machines; they come with pre-packed discs of coffee grounds that prepare coffee in a snap without much mess. Latest coffee makers are compatible to use regular coffee grounds as well as take pods.
- Settings: Features worth considering in a coffee makers are like auto off safety feature, brew interrupt (which allows you to stop the drip and pour process of the coffee making cycle), auto programmer (allows you to program the machine to make you a set number of coffee cups at a dedicated time), integrated bean grinder (They grind just enough coffee for every single use for your freshest brew around)
- Coffee Variants: This is another important final consideration to be made, if you are a plain, normal coffee drinker then you can settle for any standard coffee maker models, but if you are looking for cappuccino and latte type variants then definitely you have to go for the higher end models like the espresso & the specialty coffee machines.
- Low End: ($20 to $60): These coffee makers come with lesser capacity, most of the functions in these coffee makers have to be operated manually like the coffee grounds need to be measured for the intensity you want them to blend and dispense for one cup at a time, brewing time needs to be monitored, for some models you are even required to wait for a long time. These basic models cannot brew you espresso, cappuccino, or latte though. Most of the models available under this price ranges are expected to be a drip filter coffee maker.
- Mid Range ($60 to $150): These models come with the latest and advanced brewing technology with premium features for more ease and flexibility. They also come with the additional capacity to make more number of cups (even 12 to 20 cups at a time). Most of the operations are automated with digital clock and timer which can be timed for automatic coffee preparations. Most of the options available in this can be adjusted or customized according to every individual?s requirements such as adjustable brewing process time and adjustable heating plate.
- High End ($150 and above): These models of coffee makers have the capability to run on auto pilot mode, allowing you the freedom to take on any other task while your coffee is being made. These models can be programmed to start and stop automatically at the dedicated times of the day and they can also be programmed to produce set number or even mass amounts of cups of coffee at the decided times of the day. They prepare many varieties of coffee or tea in just a short notice of time. For those who are always on the run and on severe tight schedules these models would come very handy and are the ultimate choice.