Coffee has become the most consumed beverage in western countries for a long time, despite numerous studies try to remind the negative effect of drinking coffee. But in fact, coffee can do much good for health. For instance, coffee can lower the risk of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Besides, nothing can brighten your day like the mellow fragrance of brewed coffee. To brew a cup of mellow, delicious coffee as Starbucks at home, you need to buy quality coffee beans followed by correct grinding and brewing. While, whether you’ve got a best coffee maker is the decisive factor of the quality of final brewed coffee.
The Most Popular Brewing Techniques & Best Coffee Makers Review
There are way too many techniques to brew coffee. From pour over, drip coffee maker to French press (coffee press). From moka pot to espresso machine. Which type of coffee makers suit you the best and how to choose the best coffee makers from so many brands? Read our best coffee makers reviews, and you will surely find your answer. But I will just focus on drip coffee makers and espresso machines because they are my favorite.
Drip Coffee Makers
By far, the Drip coffee maker is proven to be the most popular type in North America, due to the convenience it brings. The principle is simple – after you load the ground coffee in the filter, press a button and the coffee maker will heat the water and then drip the hot water through the filter that holds ground coffee to the pot, and then done. You can choose from a good deal of different filter materials according to your preference. Cloth and paper filter are considered to be the most popular options. Paper filter is pretty practical since it is for one-time use. But the down side is that some oils of the coffee are trapped in the filter, which results in less flavor of your final brewed coffee. Plus, it’s not as environmental as a cloth or metal filter.
There are 2 versions of this traditional coffee makers:
- Manual drip machine – You can have total control over the brewing process by pouring the separately heated water over the ground coffee at the pace you want. It’s easy to operate though it’s manual. But they can be more pricey than the automatic drip coffee makers.
- Automatic drip machine – Just add the cold water and coffee and then the automatic drip coffee maker will do everything for you, which saves you a lot of time. You can brew consistently smooth coffee by simply pressing a button.
If you were a caffeine lover like me, a best espresso maker would be a must-have item in your kitchen. During the brewing process, the espresso machine produces a strong pressure of about 10 bars that forces the water near boiling point through the pressed ground coffee in 18-28s to produce thick coffee. What sets espresso apart from other coffee is the caffeol layer floating on the surface which is also what coffee’s aroma and flavor largely comes from. An espresso machine retains more mellow fragrance of coffee than the Drip coffee maker. Please be aware that those labeled as “espresso machine” are not always real espresso machines. It takes at least 9 bars of pressure to make authentic Italian espresso coffee. While plenty of the coffee makers labeled as that fail to meet this standard. Usually, there are 2 main different types of espresso machines to choose from:
- Steam-driven machine – The price is really affordable. (less than $60) It brews strong coffee rather than espresso.
- Pump-driven machine – It makes real espresso with caffeol. It’s further categorized as
- Semi-automatic machine – You have part of control over the brewing process and it takes a little skill for that.
- Automatic machine – It uses capsules or pods for delicious and mess-free espresso coffee. It’s usually programmable and you don’t need any skills to operate it.
- Super automatic machine – If you just want to spend the least time on making coffee and don’t mind the high price, it may be designed for you. (less than $3000)
- Manual machine – You are allowed to control the whole process of brewing coffee. Specially designed for real espresso lovers.
If it is your first attempt to make espresso drinks, starting with an automatic espresso machine or a semi automatic espresso machine is a good idea. I’ve list all of the best espresso machine reviews and recommendations below to make it easy for you to check out. Here we go.
Capsule Coffee Makers
While, it seems that nothing can stop capsule-based coffee makers from being more and more popular these years. An individual coffee package (coffee bags, coffee pods and coffee capsules) can simplify the whole brewing process to the least. This kind of coffee makers do offer the convenience of instant coffee but still keep the the nutrition and aroma of coffee. The best capsule-based coffee makers always come with sexy and sleek design which should be one good reason why they are loved by the younger generation. If you are into capsule-based coffee makers, (also known as pod coffee makers) I also have some great recommendations for you. Here is the list of the best single serve coffee maker reviews. Small tips: why you should stay away from instant coffee?
8 Things You Should Know to Buy A Best Coffee Maker
It’s really hard to tell what a best coffee machine should be because of individual preference and special needs. But in my opinion, there are still several basic rules to be aware of. By using these standards, you can always stay away from horrible coffee makers. Here we go.
1. How many cups to brew
Some home coffee makers can brew up to 12 cups at a time and allow you to customize the amount of final coffee, like 4 cups. If you just brew one cup for yourself most of time or you want a tiny coffee maker that won’t consume too much space, a capsule coffee maker (single cup coffee maker) is your best option.
2. With or without grinders
If you prefer to ground coffee beans by yourself to brew the freshest coffee, it’s what you want. Read the top-rated recommendations below.
3. High quality heaters
Coffee machines’ heaters made of aluminum are cheap but easy to corrode after use for long time. Stainless steel can cause bacteria growth easily though it won’t corrode. The best materiel is brass since it doesn’t have those downsides, but it is more pricey.
4. Speed of heating up
If you are always short of time in the morning and want to make your coffee quick, you must need this functionality.
5. Replaceable parts
You don’t want to buy a new coffee maker or send it back to the manufacturer once some parts of it break down. Luckily, you can buy replaceable parts for most of the mid-end espresso machines online.
6. Flexible spouts
Accessible and adjustable spouts is a useful feature that can accommodate different sizes of cups. But cheap machines usually don’t come with this feature, like the DeLonghi EC155 that can accommodate espresso cups or shot glasses only.
7. Easy to operate
Obviously, the more automated a coffee machine is, the more friendly it could be. If sometimes you want the other family members to help brew coffee when you are short of hand and don’t want them to screw it up, a coffee maker that is complicated to operate like a commercial machine wouldn’t be a nice option.
8. Safety of the machine
It’s undoubtedly a really important factor. Always read other users’ reviews or search Google to checkout if there are any safety issue records of those coffee machines.
Do You Need A Best Grinder?
If you want to get the freshest coffee and like to spend some extra bucks, a coffee machine with grinder is worth your consideration. You can grind the beans right before you need to brew coffee. But this kind of machine needs a lot of maintenance that will take more of your time. It’s only good for those who use that functionality regularly. Otherwise, a separate coffee grinder which is cheaper will be a better option. Here is a list of the best grinders available. Personally, I like the burr type grinder better because blade grinder could produce way too much dust of coffee and make the coffee a little sludgy.
Remember that there is no perfect espresso machine in the market. It depends on how many criteria above it qualifies and if it fits your preference. Read our best coffee makers reviews and see what other customers on Amazon said about the recommended coffee makers. I’m pretty sure that you will find a best coffee maker for yourself. Enjoy your coffee.