Coffee Makers – It’s a Jungle Out There!
Shopping for a coffee maker and confused about what to buy? Heck there are percolators, drip, single cup, espresso, cappuccino, grinders, roasters and more. We hope to help you decide on the best coffee maker for you with our coffee maker reviews.
We will try to get you through the jungle of products without getting snake bit. Hopefully, we can enlighten you on the various coffee maker types and help you to make a decision on what is the appropriate machine for you.
Don’t forget to check out our Coffee Maker Comparison Charts!
Coffee Maker Types
Percolator – remember the coffee maker that Grandma used? It had a glass bubble on top and the maker would either be heated on the stove or by electricity. The coffee is placed in a basket which is attached to a hollow stem. When the water heats up, it is forced up the stem and then over the coffee grounds.
While this is considered old fashioned, those that use a percolator swear by them claiming that the taste is more robust than other types such as the drip method. Furthermore, they are usually the least expensive.
Drip – these work a little differently. The coffee grounds are placed into a basket which contains a paper filter to prevent the grounds from falling into the coffee. The water is poured into the water fill area. When the water heats up, it is forced up and over the coffee grounds and drips into the coffee container. Therefore, unlike the percolator, the water passes over the coffee grounds only once.
Drip coffee makers are available with some features like the programmable feature. With this feature, you can set the unit to begin making coffee as long as 24 hours in advance. Therefore, you can have your coffee waiting for you when you get up in the morning. Or, time it so it will be ready when it is time for dessert and you won’t have to get up from the table to make the coffee.
Espresso – now we are talking serious coffee. Espresso coffee is made by forcing nearly boiling water under pressure over finely ground coffee beans. This results in a thicker consistency than other brewing methods and also produces foam. The flavors and chemicals in a cup of espresso coffee are very concentrated. Consequently, espresso coffee is usually served in smaller cups that are called shots.
A neat thing about espresso coffee is that it can be the basis for other drinks such as lattee, cappuccino and mocha. In fact, one can find recipe books on how to make other drinks from espresso.
In the past, espresso machines where largely found in cafe’s but recently they have become very popular for the home. The prices for these machine vary widely from less than $100.00 to over $1,000.00.
French Press – if you are VERY particular about your coffee, you may be interested in the French Press coffee maker. Basically, it involves heating water to a precise temperature (195 – 200 degrees), carefully measuring your coffee grounds (preferably fresh ground) and placing it into the french press machine. Then add water and wait a specific amount of time.
When the time is up, press the plunger to the bottom to compress the coffee grounds and separate them from the coffee.
Single Cup Coffee Maker – this makes ??? cups of coffee. (Hint: greater than zero less than 2) OK it makes a single cup so it must be for single people or where there is just one coffee drinker, right? Well it certainly can be but think about this: suppose you have a party and one person wants decaff and another wants gourmet and another wants tea, etc. See how this might be useful?