Other than the bedroom, the kitchen is probably the most visited room, a place where we like to enjoy meals alone or with others. Great home dining comes with a well-equipped and designed kitchen, and good appliances are needed there to prepare and serve lovely drinks and food. One of the more useful kitchen accessories which should be considered by coffee lovers is the coffee maker.
Many coffee lovers buy expensive coffee makers with manual settings, but then realize they had wanted automated conveniences all along. But those who like tailoring brews may find automated machines lacking. It’s important to choose one which matches your brewing style and standards.
Coffee Maker Types
- Drip coffee makers
- Thermal coffee makers
- Grind and brew coffee makers
- Specialty one-cup coffee maker
Drip coffee makers quickly make multiple cups. Grounds of coffee are placed into a filter while water is heated in a tank and poured over the grounds. The brew drips into a carafe below the filter basket, and some machines have a hot plate to heat the carafe to heat the contents for several hours. Many models have only simple on/off switches, but others feature delay start, program clocks, and brew strength settings, and auto shut-off for safety.
Basic drip makers pour water on the grounds with a single stream. Fancier models shower water over the grounds to saturate them then hold for some time in order to extract the most flavor. The basic models lack the high temperature modes of around 200F which work to extract maximum flavor.
Thermal coffee makers are drip-style machines which skip the hot plate in favor of a thermal carafe which keeps the coffee hot for an hour or two. This type is preferred by many, as keeping coffee hot in a thermal carafe helps maintain authentic flavor.
A thermal carafe can be brought to the table or elsewhere so that the user can enjoy his coffee without need of going back for refills. Thermal coffee makers are usually pricier, but most brands nowadays have less expensive drip models with thermal carafes.
Grind-and-brew coffee makers conveniently automate the grinding of whole beans and brewing them at home. Fresher ground beans lead to more flavorful coffee, while grinding beans on you own lets you portion the amount for a more customized brew. A separate coffee grinder is usually preferred by many coffee lovers, but these types conveniently let you add coffee beans and water, program brew settings, then go off while it finishes.
Specialty one-cup coffee maker like a coffee-press are great for those who spend time to brew a perfectly favored cup. Devotees say these manual gadgets allow the greatest control over brewing variables necessary to extract the best flavor.
- Versatile capacity. Small coffee makers feature from 2 to 4 cup capacities, standard models can brew from 8 and 12 cups. The larger machines usually have settings for brewing small batches.
- Programming. Many models can be set to brew at certain times daily, which is convenient for those needing their cup ready once they wake up. Some are designed to produce coffee quickly and mostly do away with the need to program brewing.
- Hold and brew. Some coffee makers with pause functions allow users to draw a cup while still brewing without much trouble.
- Automatic power off. When hurrying it’s easy to forget the running coffee machine, so most coffee makers have safety auto shut-offs. Some power off after a set period of time while others do so at a set time interval after brewing, usually from one to four hours.
- Filtered water. Many coffee makers have carbon water filters which reduce the amount of impurities like chlorine found in tap water. These type also work without the filter, but filtered water can improve flavor. Reusable filters remove the need to frequently buying filter refills, but need to be cleaned regularly to prevent residue buildup.
Things to consider
- Some coffee makers are taller and need more space to fit in the space between countertops and overhead cabinets. Be sure to add in the clearance which a top tank’s lid needs to swing open.
- Some users buy a basic coffee maker and use it with a separate wall timer rated for the machine’s running wattage.
- Certain high-end models do better with finer or coarser grinds than that commonly used in automatic drip coffee machines.