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Coffee is how most people in the world start their day. It helps people overcome the grogginess of waking up in the morning and keeps them productive throughout the day. Nowadays, it’s a regular enough part of life that it’s expected to be offered from office break rooms to anywhere breakfast is served. Coffee Maker are also one of the most common appliances found in homes today.
From the devoted coffee lovers to those who simply turn to it for the occasional pick-me-up, few people need to be convinced of the benefits of owning their own coffee maker. But with coffee shops a familiar sight in most cities, not everyone considers the benefits of making their own at home.
Advantages of Owning a Coffee Maker
Owning a coffee maker can pay dividends, both in how much money it saves you and in how much it adds to your life:
- Savings vary based on how you like your coffee, but if you drink at least one cup of coffee every day you’re probably saving $2-$3 a day making your own. Over a year, that’s around $1,000.
- You’ll save both gas and time by skipping that trip to the coffee shop.
- You can make pretty much whatever type of coffee you like best at home
- That coffee smell you like so much will fill your kitchen every morning.
Types of Coffee Maker
The type of coffee maker you buy can make a big difference in your the overall experience. There are plenty of options available to you, and there’s no clear consensus on which type is best, it’s all a matter of taste and what works best for your situation and budget. Let’s take a closer look at the different types of coffee maker
1. Electric Drip Coffee Maker
Drip coffee maker are simple to use and let you choose your own beans, whether you prefer to grind your own or buy pre-ground. You can brew plain, flavored or decaf coffee or mix your own favorite blend, and you can add more or fewer grounds to adjust the strength of the brew. While many drip coffee maker are simple units with just an on/off switch that heats the water and sends it through the grounds, there is a whole range of more complex Coffee Maker that have a long list of features, options, and adjustments that let you brew your coffee exactly the way you like it.
2. Single-Serve Coffee Maker
Single-cup Coffee Maker that use capsules or cups are among the easiest to use since you doesn’t have to fuss with messy coffee grounds. To use them, you simply insert the cup (or capsule) and brew. Some Coffee Maker can read the information on the cup and set a custom temperature; while others let you choose your own temperature and cup size. The most basic Coffee Maker use the same temperature for every brew, while possibly allowing you to adjust the cup size. While cup and capsule Coffee Maker are simple to use, they create more packaging waste per cup of coffee. Most cup and capsule Coffee Maker require the use of proprietary supplies, but you can also purchase a special cup buy separate manufacturers that let you use your own blend of grounds.
3. Espresso Machines
Dedicated espresso Coffee Maker range from inexpensive models to super-high-end ones in order to fit any espresso drinker’s needs. They also come in a variety of styles, from stovetop models to pod machines, to those that use ground beans. Whether you want an occasional cup of espresso as a treat or it’s your favorite version of coffee, there is probably a Coffee Maker that will fit your kitchen and your lifestyle. While the best espresso Coffee Maker are dedicated to making just espresso, there are also hybrid machines that can brew both regular coffee and espresso. While these are not usually the best espresso machines, you won’t need two separate Coffee Maker for your coffee needs.
4. Cold Brew Coffee Maker
Cold brew is a different category of coffee brewing since it uses cold water, and sometimes even ice water, to extract flavor from the ground beans. Most of these require a long steeping time, up to 24 hours, to produce the cold brewed coffee. When using less coffee and more water, cold coffee brewers can produce coffee that’s ready to drink as-is, either cold or heated, or you can use more coffee to create a concentrate that can be added to hot water or poured over ice.
The advantage to cold brewed coffee is that it’s less acidic and tastes less bitter than conventionally brewed coffee. The downside to cold brew is the long steeping time. You need to plan well ahead of time for your coffee. However, you can brew it in large enough quantities to refrigerate it to be used over several days to two weeks depending on the strength.
Features of Coffee Maker
Coffee makers are so common that you can find a lot of different features that set different models apart. Depending on what you like in your usual cup of coffee, some of these might be worth keeping an eye out for while you’re shopping around:
Do you want to just set your coffee up to brew and leave it? As we previously mentioned, some coffee maker will let you determine the settings in advance based on what you like and automate it for future use. From the amount of coffee brewed to the time in which it gets brewed, programmable settings can come in handy for a wide variety of situations.
Do you prefer your coffee grounds fresh? Depending on who you ask, freshly ground beans produce a better tasting cup of coffee. Having a grinder ensures you’re always using the freshest ground beans. Of course, you can always buy a coffee grinder separately, but having one that’s built into your coffee maker adds convenience and helps you save counter space.
We’ve all experienced that early morning rush and forget something important while running out of the house. With the auto-shutoff feature, you can ensure that your coffee pot gets turned off and isn’t sitting there running all day long. This allows you to focus on what’s truly important for your day, all while you have a cup of joe in hand.
For offices or commercial settings where making multiple pots at a time is often convenient, a coffee maker that has multiple warmers to keep each pot hot is worth considering.
Some high-end coffee makers will come with a water filter to help ensure the flavor comes out just right. This is one of the more popular features that people consider when it comes to buying a coffee maker.
If you like steamed milk in your coffee, this feature makes it easy to make the kind of drinks you can get in the coffee shop. For the most part, these will be found in most espresso machines nowadays, even those on the lower end of the price spectrum. However, if you only plan on drinking black coffee, you may not need this.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Coffee Maker
Figuring out the type of coffee maker to buy and what features to look for is pretty straightforward if you have an idea of what you want in your daily dose of morning coffee. Whether or not you know the type you want to buy, here are a few factors you should consider when shopping for a coffee maker.
How many people in your household drink coffee and how much will they drink on average? If buying a single-serve coffee maker will mean having to go through the process of making a cup five times before you all get out the door in the morning, the convenience the model was made for pretty much goes out the window for you. However, if you’re the only one in your house that drinks coffee, and you only want one cup to help wake you up, then perhaps a single-serve coffee maker is the right choice for you.
Coffee Is Liquid Optimism
In some situations, being able to make a pot of coffee that produces 4-10 cups is much more convenient than dealing with making just one cup or shot of espresso one-at-a-time. So, think about who all in your household will be drinking coffee and how much they will likely drink.
Again, K-cup pods can get expensive if you drink a lot of coffee, so take this into consideration before buying.
How Do You Like Your Coffee?
This is really one of the most important considerations you have in front of you. What do you usually order when you go to the coffee shop? If you exclusively stick with cappuccinos or lattes and try to save money by buying a coffee brewer, will you even use it? And if you do, will you enjoy the coffee you make?
You should only buy a coffee maker that produces the type of coffee you actually enjoy, or what’s the point?
Of course, if the coffee you like the most requires spending several hundred dollars on an espresso machine and you don’t have that kind of money, you may need to make some compromises. Or just look for a unit that is within your budget, but lacking a few of the bells and whistles the more expensive models have.
No matter what you decide, be sure you consider both the upfront and long-term costs of whatever type of coffee maker you choose to buy. It may be worth spending a little more today if it will save you money over the next few months or years – or if it means you actually use the coffee maker you buy.
The bottom-line here is to not settle on something you don’t really want; otherwise you may find yourself back at the coffee shop every day.
If you’re like most people and make most of your coffee in the morning, then you might want to avoid any coffee maker that’s complicated to use. Sticking a pod in and pressing a button might be the most you want to deal with a few minutes after waking up.
You know your habits better than anyone. Will having to put a little more time into making your morning coffee become a deterrent to actually using the machine you buy? Consider when you usually wake up and how long you give yourself to get ready and factor that into the decision you make.
Another consideration to think about, is buying a coffee maker that will automatically brew a pot of coffee at a specific time that you decide. There are dozens of models out there that are programmable to brew a pot and have it waiting for you when you roll out of bed. Of course, those same models may take a bigger bite out of your budget, but alas, it is something to consider.
Every kitchen has a limit on how many appliances you can fit on the counter. Some coffee makers will take up much more space than others, so you have to weigh what you want against how much it’s worth giving up the countertop real estate. During the buying process, look at the dimensions of the coffee makers you are considering. Once you know this, you will have a better idea of where it will go and how much space it will take up.
Keep in mind, if your coffee maker has to be put away in a cabinet or another room after every use, you might find yourself using it less and less as time goes on. Make sure you have necessary space for the model you want before you purchase it. If you’re not sure whether you have enough space, at least make yourself familiar with the return process of wherever you bought the unit from. This will help you avoid problems you never anticipated on having.
Whether your tastes tend toward espresso drinks or you’re happy with a simple cup of black coffee, the right coffee maker is out there for you. Even if you go for one of the higher end models available, you stand to save money in comparison to all those trips to the closest coffee shop, so don’t let the upfront cost deter you. You may soon find yourself hooked on the particular flavors you work up in your own kitchen with no desire to go back to the drinks made by baristas.