Have you ever wondered what the best coffee maker is and how to pick the best one when buying? It is somehow a hard job to identify the piece that will stay and serve you for a long time. Don’t panic, we are here to help you recognize the best coffee maker in the technical features category.
Whether you want to replace your old coffee maker with the new one or you want to add a one in the existing brigade of coffee makers at your home; we have covered the topic from all the angles.
From the drip coffee maker to the espresso machines and from a single-serve brewer to the multiple-serve brewer, we have included all the aspects.
If you like a strong full flavored coffee and you can spare some extra minutes, the espresso machine is hard to resist choice for you, correct me if I am wrong.
On contrary, if you are willing to make large quantities then don’t look beyond a drip coffee maker. Now they come with advanced features and are more intelligent than before.
Which type would be best to buy, no one can tell better than you. So write down these important factors first – your lifestyle, taste, favorite design, and quantities you want to make at once or in parts, and the time you want to spend in your brew. These factors if properly defined can help you make the best ever choice.
This guide is for all and sundry, so first, let me elaborate the difference between an espresso machine and a drip coffee maker.
Espresso Vs Drip Coffee Maker
The core difference between the above stated machines is the time they take for brewing and the quality of the grind. Which should you choose from either of them? I had already given a clue but we will go into detail about the two types, so keep reading.
The espresso machines pass the water through the coffee with a pressure of approx. 15 atm and the brewing time is much short. The actual product is a dark brown liquid with a foam over it.
Further, there are some factors related to espresso machines such as – pressure at which the water is being passed, the temperature, and the quality of the ground coffee. The espresso coffee is somehow unique because it is a mix of different kinds of coffee beans from different parts of the world. The mix of beans is well roasted. Therefore, they are very dark in color.
The quality of the ground is very fine; which is also a parameter for determining the taste of the coffee. The fineness of the ground is inversely proportional to the time the espresso comes out. If everything is fine, the water should take around 25 seconds to pass through the coffee; giving the best results. You can also control how the beans are ground to control the brewing time.
Now comes the drip machine. The boiling water is dripped over the coffee to make the drip coffee. The drip coffee is ground more roughly than the espresso coffee. The water after passing through the coffee falls into a pot; it is a longer process than espresso coffee. The talk is enough to elaborate the difference between the espresso and drip coffee maker. Both types are more clearly discussed below.
7 Types of Coffee Makers
The primary purpose of any coffee maker is to prepare coffee for you. However, the coffee makers differ in capacity, design, price, and brewing style. Only buy a unit that is going to have good synchronization with your lifestyle and taste. So, have a close look at the 7 different types of coffee machines.
In the 19th century, the most used coffee machine was percolator. Its functioning is very straightforward. Mostly their construction material is aluminum, copper or stainless steel and when it comes to their capacity, they can brew 5 – 12 cups at a time, quite enough.
There are two sections in it – one for water and other for ground coffee. Some percolators need an external heat source such as stove while some have their built-in heat system; you just need to power the device and its ready to work. The more you boil the more bitter coffee will become in taste so for the best results don’t leave the place until the coffee is ready.
The case is different with the modern and more intelligent percolators. If you are buying a modern unit then you don’t need to worry about. The modern percolators brew the coffee and then shift to the warming function, so to avoid the bitter taste. They were very common in the USA but now they are used in almost all parts of the world.
2. Moka Pot
The Moka Pot was invented in 1933 and has a wide usage especially in Italy. It is a blend of the functionalities of Espresso and percolator coffee machine. There are three chambers in its construction – for water, grounded coffee, and for the final product (brewed coffee). The water is at the bottom, the grounded coffee is in the middle chamber.
When the water is heated, it climbs up in the pipe eventually passing through the coffee ground to the last chamber for finished coffee. The Bialetti is still producing high-quality Moka Pots, if you are interested you can buy the Moka Pot with full confidence.
3. French Press
According to Wikipedia, the French press was introduced in 1958. Though it is manual it is very easy to use and portable enough to carry in your backpack. Their capacity is between 1-5 cups at a time. To get the best cup of coffee, boil some water and pour into the French press with the finely ground coffee. Leave it for several minutes (not more than 5 minutes) and then separate the grounds from the finished coffee with the help of plunger.
If the paper filter is not used you will find some residues of grounded coffee. With the French press, you get a strong cup of coffee, strong enough to energize yourself. By the way, I personally drink strong coffee and feel great. If you are also fond of drinking strong coffee, you are going to love it.
4. Vacuum Coffee Machine
The vacuum coffee machine seems like a toy but it really does the justice with a cup of coffee. When brewing coffee someone may perceive you as if you are doing some experiment. However, the device works with the help of suction created by the vacuum inside the apparatus. There is a tight seal which keeps the outside air to move in the machine.
Just like the Moka Pot, it has three chambers – upper chamber, the lower chamber, and a filter in the middle chamber. For making coffee just pour the water in the lower chamber and roughly ground coffee into the filter (in the middle chamber). Now give the heat to the water which produces steam which moves through the pipe to the upper chamber. The steam mixes with the coffee grounds for a perfect blend.
The trick is to maintain the temperature constant for 2-3 minutes. Afterward, remove the heat source and let the lower chamber to cool down gradually. If you like to do some adventure while brewing the coffee, consider ordering Vacuum Coffee Machine from Amazon.
5. Drip Coffee Maker
Now we will discuss the drip coffee maker in detail. It is very common because it is simple to use. For those who like the filtered coffee, the drip coffee machine is an ideal choice. The filtered coffee method was first originated in Germany back in 1954. Two types of filters are used in this machine – paper filter or metal/plastic filter.
You need to change the paper filter every time you brew the coffee whereas the metal or plastic filter does not need to be changed every time. Some people don’t like the paper filtered coffee because of the taste of paper. But there are many folks who like the paper filtered coffee.
In automatic drip machines the water is sprayed over the finely ground coffee whereas if you are manually using the machine, you need to be very careful and pour the water very slowly on the coffee. Some units come with the built-in grinder whereas some units don’t; consequently, you have to manage a grinder to finely grind the coffee beans. Further, we will discuss the types of grinders so stay tuned.
Features Of a Drip Coffee Machine
- Jug Size – If you need the machine for domestic purposes, the 5 cup jug size is enough for you. On contrary, the machines made solely for commercial purposes can handle multiple cups.
- Multi-Purpose – This type of machines offer multiple functions like it can store hot water for your tea also they can store a cup of coffee for later use. Other than that, it has multiple purpose features.
- Temperature Settings – With the temperature setting feature you can adjust the temperature of the water. Moreover, you can select the strength of the machine like – normal, medium, hard.
- Coffee Grinder – As I said earlier, there are some machines with the built-in grinder while some don’t come with the grinder. With the built-in grinder, you can grind the coffee beans just before brewing. Some people believe that the coffee ground just before brewing gives the best taste.
- Programmable Machines – Some machines have programming features. You can adjust the machine to make the fresh coffee for you every morning.
- Automatic Turn OFF – Just like the programmable machines some machines have the automatic turn OFF feature. The machine turns off if it remains idle for some specific amount of time. Some machines come with a pause function; you can break the operation before the brewing is completed.
- Jug/Carafe Type – Commonly there are two types – glass carafe and thermal carafe. The class carafe is widely used whereas the best thermal carafe keeps the coffee hot for longer times.
- Paper Filter/Plastic Filter – Commonly there are two types of filters – paper filter and plastic or steel filter. As I stated above, some people don’t like the paper filter because of the papery taste in the coffee. However, they are widely used in the USA. It depends on each person’s taste.
6. Single-Serve Coffee Machine
Are you in hurry and want to drink coffee at the last moment? The single-serve coffee machine is exactly for you. With the single serve coffee maker, you can brew one cup of coffee exclusively for you. Mostly, the folks don’t buy this type of machine for domestic use, but, they buy it as an addition to their main machine which serves them when they are in haste.
In addition, the single serve machines can brew coffee with both the methods – the espresso method and the drip method. Which method you want either of them depends on your taste. You can opt for the unit that offers both the methods.
Features Of a Single-Serve Coffee Machine
- Reservoir Capacity – The single-serve coffee machines are just for brewing one cup of coffee at a time. You may need coffee in bulk when you have a get together at your home, that is the time where this type of machine will leave you alone just because of its reservoir size. You may need to invest in a large machine if you want to serve to a crowd.
- Cup Size & Height – If you travel very often then look for a machine that can host your travel mug. Some machines come with a variable cup size, so you may choose the size of the beverage you want when going out.
- Strength Options – Just like the drip coffee machines, some single-serve machines come with the strength options. You can adjust the time for saturating the ground coffee. The strength options also allow controlling the temperature.
- Portability – They are extremely portable. You can throw it in your bag when traveling.
- Take Less Space on TableTop – Obviously, the single-serve machine is small than the bigger models.
7. Espresso Coffee Machine
The espresso machines were invented in the 19th century and it is widely used in Italy and the USA. By the time it has gained popularity across the world. They are quite expensive but they really pay off. Mostly the espresso machines are automatic.
They have three different types – Manual, Semi-automatic, and fully automatic. So, how they work? The espresso makers force the hot water to pass through the tightly packed coffee. The created shot can be the base for any other coffee drink such as – cappuccino, macchiato, mocha, Americano etc.
Types of Espresso Machine
This type is not for the new users because it is somehow a tricky job to operate the espresso machine manually. However, if you want to practice for fun, you may purchase the manual version. It is you to decide how long to heat the water and other stuff like that.
In semi-automatic versions some operations are manual and some are automatic. The automatic operations are – pressure to be applied, pump water, and temperature.
But, the part where your action is important is either to program the machine to control the temperature or manually do so. If you do manually, you need to control the temperature and water quantity for every shot.
You just need to press a button and let the machine take care of the coffee. Just give the ingredients to the machine and press the button and wait, the machine works out and pleases you with a hot shot of coffee, yummy.
Features of Espresso Machine
Some machines come with built-in grinders while with some models you have to buy a separate grinder. If you want to save space on the table or you want a compactly designed machine then buy an espresso machine with a built-in grinder.
Built-in Foaming Function
Some of the best espresso makers come with the built-in foaming function. The hot air is passed over the milk to make a foamy topping; I am really a great fan of foamy topping. You can buy a unit with the built-in foaming function or without it, it’s your choice.
The metal construction is perceived as more sturdy if compared with the plastic-built. However, you may have to spend less on a model with plastic material. For more grip over the table and less noise, search for a model with rubber feet.
Types of Coffee Grinders
Some folks think that the coffee beans ground just before brewing gives the best taste. So, if you are one of them then buy a grinder and grind your own coffee beans yourself.
The coffee grinder is further classified into two types – the blade grinders and the burr grinders. So, here is the difference between them.
If you want to grinder the coffee beans in a uniform size then buy a burr mill. The burr mills have discs inside that crush the coffee beans uniformly. Some machines allow the user to control the size of particles.
Further, there are electric and manual burr mills. The electric burr mills require power to run whereas you have to rotate the manual burr mill with your own hands.
It is clear from the name that it has a blade inside. You have to control the size of particles yourself. The more you run the machine the smaller the particles would get. So, it is very tricky to get the uniform size of the particles. If you can spare money buy a burr mill.
How to Clean the Coffee Maker Properly & Keep it Alive?
Cleanliness is not just important for your health but also for the appliances. Very often we remove the visible particles from the coffee maker and ignore the hidden bacteria. When we don’t wash the deep areas, the bacteria find a place to leave which later comes out and mixes in the coffee. Sadly, the consequences can be worst. So why not get rid of the junk and keep the coffee machine clean.
Here are some simple and useful ways to clean the leftovers properly.
- Remove the Parts – First of all, disassemble the parts of the coffee maker. Wash each part separately.
- Dip the Parts in Soapy Water – Take a small tub and fill it with soapy water. Now dip the removed parts of the coffee machine in the water and wash them just as you wash the dishes. Be very careful when washing the glass pot and other breakable parts. Also, read the instructions before washing them with water.
- Clean the Main Part of Machine – Take a wet foam or rag and clean the outer sides of the machine. Remove any particles of the coffee grinds. Now let the parts to dry.
- Now Reassemble the Machine – After doing all the work, reassemble all the parts of the machine. Now you can use your machine.
Make a habit to clean the machine frequently.
How Clean Your Coffee Maker With Vinegar?
- Pour Mixture of Vinegar & Water in Reservoir – First of all, make a mixture of water and vinegar (take 50% water and 50% vinegar). Now pour the mixture in the reservoir.
- Turn ON the Machine – Turn on your coffee machine. When the half brewing cycle is completed turn the machine off.
- Wait for 1 Hour -When you have turned off the machine, give it a time span of about 1 hour. Let the vinegar do its work. The vinegar will go in the deeper areas taking out the mold.
- Turn the Machine ON – Now turn on the machine and let it complete the brewing cycle. After it has completed the brew cycle, you can take out the filtered mixture and waste it.
- At Least Two Cycles with Clean Water – Complete two brewing cycles; every time with the fresh water.
- Wipe the Machine – Take a rug and clean the machine thoroughly. Remove any coffee stains or particles from the exterior. Now your machine is ready to go. Are you ready to take a hot shot of coffee? I am…
There you have it, buddies. Other than recognizing the coffee machine that would best suit your lifestyle, I had included other necessary aspects. Have a look at what we have gone through so far – espresso vs drip coffee machine, types of coffee makers, types of coffee grinders, how to clean coffee maker with water, and how to clean the coffee machine with vinegar. Bookmark this page and visit whenever you need some assistance regarding your coffee maker.
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