How to make great coffee? What is the best espresso machine? What method of brewing is right for you?
Many people who grew up during the 90’s will probably agree that the best part of waking up is the type of coffee in your cup, but few realize just how important that proper brew can be and everyone around them can sometimes suffer for it. There are many different kinds of coffee drinkers as well, from the break of dawn trendsetters who have to maximize every minute of their day, to the insomniac working late into the night trying to beat crunch time. Coffee doesn’t have to have anything to do with work either. You can drink a cup to relax, socialize, or just put a bit of extra pep in your step, the right cup of coffee can be a miracle cure.
The coffee you drink is part of your lifestyle and can often be a truer depiction than horoscopes, or random quizzes. Some seek the finer things searching for the best beans and inventive new flavors and creations to test out new combinations. Others just want a simple good tasting brew that will get the job done and that’s where having the right coffee maker is an essential part of operating efficiently. While we may not actually be robots, juicing the right gear can make a world of difference when it comes to avoiding an unfortunate shutdown.
Knowing whether you want a smooth machine that will be that talk among your friends, a speedy espresso maker that you can count on for that quick boost, or something you can set and forget so everyone can grab some when they need it, the proper machine is everything. Our personalities help decide so many different things about ourselves, but sometimes we forget to apply them to some pretty important parts of our lives.
Making sure you have the energy to do what you need to do when you need it is pretty important and there is no reason why we shouldn’t be able to figure out how to make it taste good too. The tough part is that with the speed of the world rocketing around the galaxy rotating at thousands of miles an hour, finding the time to choose the right coffee maker can seem like something there just isn’t enough time for. However it doesn’t take that long, and it really isn’t that hard, and you happen to be in the right place. Here you can find a comprehensive guide to improving your life exponentially in a way that only the mastery of a certain magical bean can do.
Best Espresso Machine
Short description of Best Coffee Makers
The Seven Types of Coffee Machines
Espresso Coffee Maker
Sometimes called an Espresso Machine, the espresso coffee maker is a great way to make things interesting and produce some of the finer cups of brew you can make at home. Coming out of Italy in the late 19th century, people were finally able to bring the barista experience home.
With the variety of different brews you can create the espresso machine has quickly become the fastest growing method for a home brew. They come with three semi automatic, automatic, and fully automatic which also come with variations in pressure and pump method. The semi automatic usually work with the pump method while the automatic often use a pressure method.
The method of brewing is similar to the drip style however there are any different variations so you can get as extravagant as you like.
Beyond just an espresso these machines can also make cappuccinos and lattes by switching around a few ingredients.
More than just a great name for a dance this is one of the most popular types of coffee makers combining ease and efficiency to make its way into many homes throughout the 19th century.
Originally popular in the United States this design has spread across the world over time. A standard percolator can normally be used to brew between 4 and 12 cups of coffee at a time. Often built out of aluminum, copper, or stainless steel this coffee maker is separated into two separate sections. One is filled with your coffee grounds of choice while the other is filled with water.
Then using a heat source which can be by the stove, plug operated, or whichever works for the model, the water is heated up to boiling temperature.
The water can then pass through the coffee maker to the grounds where with a gurgling noise and a slow drip your coffee is produced.
Taking the percolator design a step further is the moka pot which will step up your quality a bit so you can make delicious espressos. This type of coffee maker is extremely popular in Europe and one of the best ways to make a nice stove top brew. With a change in quality comes a bulkier design that makes use of three chambers instead of two.
The bottom chamber is where the water is stored to reach boiling temperature. From there it can rise up to the middle chamber where the coffee grounds are found.
Finally the highest chamber is where the final brew is produced for quality cups without too much flash. Most moka pots are made from aluminum though you can also find brands made of stainless steel and other materials, and while the design may have started with Italian engineer Alfonso Bialetti you can now find Bialetti’s and many other brands across Europe and Latin America.
A true titan of human ingenuity the French Press has many names and stands as a great example of speed and simplicity even among the many other types of coffee makers. The French press is also known as the Coffee Press, Press Pot, Cafetiere, Cafetiere a piston, or perhaps most affectionately the Coffee Plunger.
While it may not be the most decadent name it does do justice in explaining the basic mechanism of this easy way to a strong dark brew of coffee. The procedure works by pouring hot water into your coarsely ground coffee. After that you will want to stir up that mixture and let it sit and marinate for 3 to 5 minutes.
Finally by slowing smashing down the plunger the mixture will be brewed through the help of a wire mesh. Since there usually isn’t a filter there will be sediment, but you also get a strong dark brew.
Vacuum Coffee Maker
The high science of coffee makers not only is this type of coffee maker incredibly cool to watch, but it’ll also produce one of the best cups you could create. You won’t need a PhD to make this one work though it certainly isn’t for the faint of heart. Using the science of vacuums this coffee maker also known as a Vac pot was invented in France and has grown to become very popular in Japan.
This machine is made of three sections the lower chamber, upper chamber, and filter. Everything is connected through a tight seal and it starts with pouring water into the lower chamber while coffee grounds and the filter are placed in the middle.
When a heat source is applied steam from the bottom helps create the coffee. Eventually the water is gone replaced by steam. Then the heat source is removed, the filter cools, and a vacuum is created. The brewed coffee then drips back into the bottom chamber sediment free for an extremely pure brew of coffee.
Drip Coffee Maker
The Drip Coffee Maker could be considered the modern classic of coffee makers with a solid design and versatility that makes it a popular choice for many homeowners. Even though the style as only invented in 1954 in Germany it has since spread across the world and is probably the most common style for a United States household.
One of the biggest choices you’ll make with this design is between paper and a metal or plastic filter. The paper filter requires replacement after each use while a filter made out another material must be cleaned. Some people don’t like the paper because of claims of a papery taste, but it is actually able to absorb the coffee’s essential oils for a unique taste.
The brewing process is relatively simple with hot water poured over finely ground coffee.
Automatic machines spray the coffee while the manual versions work with a slow pour of water over the grounds.
Thermal Coffee Maker
This design adds an inventive addition to the drip coffee method by adding some extra longevity to your fresh brew. Taking a note from the insulated cups people use to carry their drink throughout the day this design has an insulated storage unit for your coffee to stay in. This container also stays heated so you get that fresh taste even if you can’t quite match up your timing.
With the thermal technology your coffee will maintain a rich flavor for much longer than traditional coffee makers. Most traditional coffee makers use a glass or plastic container that allows the heat and flavor to dissipate over time so you only have so long to get a good cup.
There aren’t many better ways to make sure that your coffee maintains its aroma and flavor for hours when you are definitely coming back around for seconds than a solid thermal coffee maker.
Which Type Coffee Maker is The Best For You?
When it comes to coffee makers I like to pretend I’m at a talent show, everyone has a specific skill that can create interesting results. Your opinions on what talent is the most spectacular or useful might change depending on the person, but there are some clear front runners. However at the end of the day you can primarily separate the options into three groups. There will be outliers and combos depending on the inventiveness of manufacturers, but an easy way to break it down is simple, standard, and espresso.
Your simple coffee makers for the most part work without too many special tricks, or even electricity. The beauty of coffee is that you don’t need to get fancy to get the job done and these methods can often be the most versatile. While you might not use them everyday because of their functionality, their portability, and simplicity is unrivaled. The French Press, Moka Pot, and Percolator are common choices here.
The standard coffee makers often use the benefit of electricity or more complex methods to craft your brew. Some of them are relatively simple but they will also include additions that put them in an entirely different zone than the simple coffee makers. These often include your Drip Coffee Maker, Vacuum Coffee Maker, and Thermal Coffee Maker.
Finally the espresso deserves a spot all to its own with many different variations that will drastically change depending on how serious you are about your coffee. Some espresso machines are relatively simple to use while still producing delicious coffee. While the best coffee makers take the art of coffee to the extreme as you get into the machines that you might find at your local barista.
Why Buy A Simple Coffee Maker?
The first thing that makes simple coffee makers great is the amount of versatility that comes with just needing a heat source to make hot water to get started. If the power is out and you have a stove you can still get a fresh cup. Even better if you are a fan of the wilderness and enjoy camping you won’t find any other option for making some coffee by the campfire. As a publicly traded commodity the simplicity of coffee is quite clear, and these options will provide you with an affordable way to get what you’re looking for. Cold coffee is also a popular drink in many parts of the world and these coffee makers can be considered as well. For the most part these ill also be your cheapest options when it comes to price.
In the modern day percolators are kind of the odd man out of coffee makers as many drip machines have replaced them in the home. However they still have some value due to their unique sound, design, and variety. You can find percolators that work off of any heat source or electric versions. Since the process makes use of gravity to brew your coffee it is relatively simple and you can even find portable electric options. The great thing about the percolator is how it repeated moves the boiling water over the grounds so you can increase the strength of your brew by just increasing the time of brewing. Wit their longevity on the market you can find a large variety of percolators in many sizes creating anywhere between 6 and 50 cups.
Percolators were very popular for a long time, but a big reason they have been overtaken in recent years is the maintenance they require. You will want to clean your percolator after every use to preserve its longevity. Making sure you remove the percolator in time for the proper brew is also important as over boiling can often create a bitter tasting brew lacking in some of the natural flavor. An electric percolator can circumvent this issue by going into warming mode after the coffee is complete. If you are looking for a coffee maker that will make a strong brew and don’t mind a bit of cleanup grabbing a percolator is an excellent option with a bit of portability depending on the one you choose.
Thanks to their unique design and simply efficiency the Moka pot is a popular favorite among many coffee aficionados. Ever since their creation in 1933 owning a Bialetti is a bit of a necessity in some circles. With its ability to make espressos and other more decadent styles of coffee with just a stove to boil the water the Moka pot has a special place among simple coffee makers. With the right fire source you could even take a Moka pot out into the wilderness for premium cups in the wild.
One thing to keep in mind with a Moka pot is their basic setup with a three part brewing process. The water in the bottom boils up to the middle section ith the grounds funneling into the top part with the final brew. Just make sure you don’t boil all the water in the bottom to avoid the strombolian phase which feeds water and steam into the coffee for a negative effect. Moka pots are often smaller thanks to their construction limiting how much you can get out of one brew. Perhaps the most trendy way to brew coffee thanks to its rustic appeal and eight sided design you can go with a single cup maker or more family sized versions. As far as maintenance goes outside of normal rinsing you will want to replace the rubber gasket and filter in the middle section periodically to avoid a decline in taste. The Moka pot is a cool option for a delicious cup that will look great in almost any kitchen.
When it comes to the decision on whether to purchase a French Press coffee make it often comes down to why not? As perhaps the most fundamental option you can’t go wrong with having one of these in your arsenal due to its portability and especially its cost with designs available for as little as $10. Thanks to the wire mesh you have an option that works surprisingly well and isn’t too hard to clean however you will probably get more loose grounds than any other method. The wire mesh has a positive though with its ability to give you a pure brew without the absorption of paper filters. This method also will probably take the most time as you’ll need to bring the water to a boil before pouring it in, stirring and letting it marinate.
You will also want to keep in mind when you’re traveling that even though this is without a doubt the best option for portability they are often made of glass so you will have to be careful. Simple and relatively convenient the French Press is your go to coffee maker in a pinch when you want a strong brew, especially on the go. You can’t get too fancy here but that all depends on what you’re looking for as there are plenty of varieties on the manual coffee maker. Though for the most part you won’t be able to get ridiculous amounts of coffee out of one use because they can only be built so big.
As for other manual coffee makers you can find some pretty clever options like the AeroPress that looks a bit like a syringe. Using a similar plunger method these are usually pretty with an emphasis on portability for single cups on the move. There are also cold coffee options like the ones known as “Toddy”, these cold coffee makers work much like a cold tea brewer relying on time to get your coffee to the proper flavor. These aren’t for those lacking in time however as it will often take 12 hours or longer to brew though you can save the finished product for days. Another option is a Vietnamese coffee maker which is for making delicious iced coffee. You will only get a single cup out of these, but they are definitely worth looking into if you are trying to get outside the box. You can find many twists on the manual coffee maker all over the world with almost as many brands, in general they give you a strong brew wherever you are.
Why Buy A Standard Coffee Maker?
Even though the word standard is used, it’s hard to qualify every addition you could make to this group as some are well beyond what could be considered standard. However these are the varieties that you will see in many homes that don’t opt for an espresso option. While the simple coffee makers each have their on use, the standard ones can be counted on day in and day out to give you a consistent cup thanks to the features they provide. Primarily through the use of electricity they are the standard because they can be relied on to make a good cup with minimal effort on the part of the user. There are certainly still options for the eclectic who want to make their coffee brewing a bit more of an experience.
The Drip Coffee Machine is the granddaddy of the standard coffee maker as they all pretty much branch off from there. The thermal coffee maker isn’t much more than a creative twist on the drip coffee maker, though the vacuum pots are certainly a different style. The drip coffee maker has all of the efficiency it needs to be a mainstay in every coffee drinkers home. With different perks from technology you can find drip coffee makers that will prepare your brew for a set time so you can wake up to that perfect cup. These types of coffee makers will often be bulkier so they are best left on your countertop.
Taking a drip coffee machine out even with a proper electricity source is often more trouble than it’s worth. You also will not want to rely on a drip coffee maker if you are looking for the purest cup as paper filters are the most common option. While this is better for clean up you will still want to clean out your pot from time to time as residue can build up producing a bitter taste. While they weren’t exactly cheap ten years ago today these will often be your best option if you are looking for something efficient, convenient, and affordable.
If you are looking to get fancy however you should look elsewhere as the convenience is the main point here. You won’t be able to make an espresso on the fly, but you will be able to make anywhere between four and fourteen cups of coffee with ease once you take the time to learn your machines features. Speaking of features a thermal coffee maker is a newer addition that excels for an office or a household with people leaving at different times. With the thermal technology allowing for a tasty brew with much more leeway you definitely don’t want to pass on of these up if connecting all the dots of multiple busy lives is an issue.
While the drip coffee maker might be the way to go for the common man the vacuum pot and it’s many variations will probably appeal to the more eccentric. From the zen inducing bubbling sound to the often fully visible method of production a vacuum pot definitely leans towards the awesome side when it comes to making coffee. If you are looking to turn heads with your coffee maker even many espresso makers will pale in comparison to some of the more extravagant variations. On the other hand, like many other things that have a higher beauty quotient a higher amount of maintenance follows suit. Cleaning a vacuum pot will often be more difficult than the other options along with the brewing process.
You will also have to consider as they are primarily made of glass they can be extremely fragile. It isn’t all bad though as vacuum pots will produce a superb cup of coffee for the extra work. This is because of the total immersion that occurs from this method which adds another interesting tidbit for your friends. Though you still get total immersion with the french press the vacuum technology allows for much greater filtration. You can also choose between stovetop or standalone options with many of the standalone using their own separate gas burner. You can get a decent amount of coffee out of most vacuum pots with most making in between 3 and 8 cups. As time progresses the ease of use and cleanability of vacuum pots has improved so as long as you’re careful a vacuum pot can be a splendid choice.
Why Should I Buy An Espresso Machine?
Flavor, style, ease of use, there are many reasons to buy an espresso machine and they are consistently growing. As advances have been made the versatility and range of experience espresso makers can create makes them a unique choice when it comes to making delicious coffee concoctions. Possibly the biggest downfall of espresso machines is that for the most part you will only be able to make one cup at a time. While some espresso machines allow for filling containers as big as a travel mugs generally you’re getting somewhere between 3 and 12 ounces. To make up for this many newer models are adept at heating up the water and brewing your coffee quickly, and efficiently so creating individual cups isn’t too much of a hassle. Another thing to keep in mind for espresso machines is that they are generally easy to clean only requiring de-scaling for calcium deposits every 3 to 6 months.
While espresso machines are great for the coffee aficionado with all the different tastes you can make they can also be extremely convenient especially the pod or capsule coffee machines. These models use pods made by their manufacturer to quickly brew your coffee in a variety of flavors. This allows for a different taste everyday if you wish and makes for a great way to treat guests with everyone getting what they want. However with the emphasis on single use you can end up paying more over time as they aren’t exactly economical.
The amount of flavors you can find with ease can not be underestimated though with options for hundreds of flavor depending on the brand you choose. It even goes beyond coffee as you’ll find pods for apple cider, and hot cocoa as well. Often these machines are also relatively small so you can easily find the counter space for them. Possibly the most popular coffee machines in modern homes as they over take drip coffee machines for people who want a variety of delicious options in a fast paced world.
Your traditional espresso machine comes in three forms that each accomplish the task with a bit more efficiency. The basic espresso machine uses a pump method to push high pressure water through fine coffee grinds. Allowing for solid control you can get the greatest variance in flavor using this type of machine. For this reason pump machines are often the coffee maker of choice for coffee experts. The ability to alter the pressure and add different contents lead to tons of options for espressos and lattes especially for the well educated user. With this extra ability though comes some extra effort so if you are looking for something you don’t really want to think about you’ll probably want to keep it moving.
Grabbing a machine that can at least get its bar pressure to 15 bar is a smart way to avoid bitter brews and make sure that you get your money’s worth. You will want to keep counter space in mind as here you can start getting into the bulkier options. If you are trying to grind your own coffee and want to make sure your frother, steamer, water filter, and warmers are perfectly calibrated for a decadent cup grabbing a pump espresso machine is the intelligent choice.
A semi automatic of fully automatic espresso machine will add another level of ease to you ability to make a good cup. Here you will find the biggest machines with the biggest prices, but you will also find the biggest lists of features. If money isn’t going to get in the way of you having a great cup of coffee you’ll definitely want to explore until you find the perfect fully automatic machine. You can find machines that will grind, dose, tamp, and brew your coffee all by themselves so you can wake up to an amazing cup everyday reliably.
The extra flavor you get from freshly ground beans definitely makes a difference and here you will be able to create brews that rival your local baristas. Semi automatic espresso machines will regulate their boiling temperature and make use of an automated pump to create a consistent blend while fully automatic machines will create the chosen cup at the touch of a button. You will also have to watch the semi automatic as they don’t often have auto on and off settings making them a bit less convenient. Depending on the one you purchase they can be finicky, but overall if money isn’t an issue few other options can compare to a solid automatic espresso maker. You will want to keep counter space in mind however as they can get rather large.
Conclusion: The Best Coffee Maker
There’s so much to keep in mind when looking for the best coffee maker for you, but the nice thing is it’s really hard to go wrong. People have been making coffee for hundreds of years and you can now find numerous options for getting that strong brew just the way you like.
The best part of your morning can often be your cup of coffee though so having the right coffee maker for your situation can be extremely important. You can go with an efficient model that excels at making a reliable cup like a drip coffee maker or an extravagant vacuum pot that catches the eye and still get a solid brew. No one can really go wrong with a french press even if it isn’t what you’d want to use every day. Even as options like the percolator and the Moka pot move out of common occurrences and into the realm of the niche they still provide their own value from their unique looks to their endearing gurgling sounds.
Then you have the broad range of espresso machines that grows broader by the day as the flavors for the pods increase along with the inventiveness of baristas across the world. Choosing the right coffee maker is very much based on personal preference as methods become easier and more efficient over time. Keeping in mind how many people are going to be drinking, how much you want to be cleaning, and how much you want to spend can all be reasons for pause. The important thing to remember though is its hard to go wrong so experiment, explore, and start working your way towards that dream coffee machine, or just grab something nice and easy you can rely on, it’s all up to you!