Coffee makers have certainly come a long way since the original electronic percolators designs introduced in the early 1920s. Whether you are seeking a replacement coffee maker or purchasing one for the first time, coffee lovers are certainly faced with somewhat of a daunting task. Numerous variations exist that provide varying features, dimensions, and results. Selecting from the most appropriate is pertinent to ensure you are receiving a fantastic cup of coffee while getting a high quality and durable coffee maker. If you purchase the right one, a coffee maker can last for several years.
Making the selection easier for you, this guide will list some of the most important factors and steps associated with how to select the best coffee maker.
Espresso-Based Drinks or Dripper?
Espresso-based drinks like cappuccino, latte, mocha, etc require good quality equipment and fresh coffee ground to produce a good espresso shot. The price starts from several hundred dollars no matter are you going with a manual or super-automatic brew. In this guide, I stay with coffee drippers only.
Determine the Size You Need
Coffee makers vary in size of the amount of coffee brewed. For more advanced coffee lovers and even those that drink coffee regularly throughout the day, purchasing a larger coffee maker that can produce more coffee per brewing cycle is a bit more appropriate. The largest coffee maker on the market for consumer use is up to 14 cups.
Many people consume coffee for caffeine purposes after waking up. If this is you, then perhaps one of the smaller 5 cups (25-32 oz or 2-3 coffee mugs) or even smaller 4 cups (2 mugs) coffee makers is right for you. These coffee makers are compact, efficient, and readily accessible.
Determine What Features You Want
After figuring out the size of your new coffee maker, the next step is to determine the feature set you need. These features may include some kind of automation like a timer for a delayed brew, automatic turn off after a certain amount of time or features like a thermal carafe or warming plate.
If you are comfortable with pre-ground coffee you may find my selection of everyday-use small coffee drippers pretty useful. My list starts from not very expensive automatic Kenmore and Capresso drippers, has a bit pricey non-automatic but better quality Japanise Zojirushi ZUTTO model and ends with top-notch Bonavita brewer and hi-end Technivorm Moccamaster with 5-year limited warranty.
To get the most from coffee beans a fresh coffee ground is required because once beans are ground the oxidation starts to affect the final coffee cup taste. One more concern is the consistency of the coffee ground. As I explained in my grinder selection guide, only burr type coffee grinders produce uniform ground that results in better coffee taste.
The most comfortable way for modern users is a decent quality all-in-one coffee maker with a built-in grinder. Numerous coffee makers today come with a built-in coffee grinder. But only a few of them have implemented their grind-and-brew feature well. I selected the best models with a decent quality built-in burr grinder in my other list: Breville Grind Control, Capresso CoffeeTeam, and Cuisinart Grind & Brew.
Determine Your Quality Preferences
At the low price range avoid no-name models to make sure your coffee maker parts will not emit harmful substances when contacting boiling water. Any well-known brand that offers many kitchen devices will be a reasonable choice. They produce low to middle-quality models. Examples: Kenmore, Philips, Bosch, DeLonghi, Breville, etc.
If you need a long-lasting device with a good warranty or maybe the most ideal brew, then go for brands that specialize in coffee equipment for years. Examples: Technivorm, Bunn, etc.