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A mug being filled with coffee

Finding the Right Coffee Maker to Fit Your Lifestyle

Different Types of Coffee Makers

Some coffee drinkers have no preference when it comes to types of coffee makers. As long as it brews a good mug, and makes it quick, they’re happy. Others may be fussier and should consider their lifestyle when picking the best coffee maker.

For example, if you love espresso, you can cut down on trips to the local café or coffee shop by purchasing an espresso machine for your kitchen.

With the various types of coffee makers on the market there are many options to choose from. Let’s go over the most popular ones, and what you should consider before picking the best coffee maker.

Size Does Matter

If you drink more than 10 cups of coffee a day, but you only want to brew a pot once, the 12-cup coffee makers with a thermal carafe will work perfectly. You only need to brew a fresh pot once and the thermal carafe will keep your coffee hot and fresh all day.

If you only need one on-the-go cup for in the morning, a single serving pod coffee maker will do the trick.

Automatic Coffee Makers that Work for You

If you love having a pot of coffee already brewed for you when you get up in the morning, you should look into a programmable drip coffee maker. You simply select the time you want it to start brewing, and it will turn on automatically. A drip coffee machine does brew a rich and flavorful cup of coffee, and they seem to be the most widely used in homes today.

Some of the higher end drip coffee makers also have the option of selecting your brew strength from mild to strong. Some also have an automatic off indicator, which is handy if you leave the house or get otherwise distracted and forget to turn off the pot. The auto off feature is great for making sure your coffee doesn’t burn.

If you want a nice drip coffee maker but you don’t want the coffee to sit in the pot and get cold, you can buy one that comes with a thermal carafe. These types of coffee makers do not have a heating element where the pot sits since they brew right into the thermal carafe.

Lesser Known Types of Coffee Makers

Vacuum Coffee Makers

Vacuum coffee makers, also known as “siphon” coffee makers, use two chambers and a vacuum technology that pulls the water up from the lower chamber. It steeps the grounds, and then the brewed coffee drains back down into the lower chamber.

While this type of machine makes a good cup of coffee, siphon or vacuum coffee makers don’t quite get all of the flavor from the grounds like a regular drip coffee maker will.

Stovetop Coffee Makers

Like the name implies, a stovetop coffee maker uses the stovetop to heat and brew coffee. Non-electric percolators are stovetop coffee makers that resemble a tall, thin teapot. These pots work using gravity to feed the water up through a tube where it drips over the coffee grounds.

Although percolators brew a great cup of coffee, the brewing time may be longer than a drip coffee machine. In addition, if you leave the basket of grounds in the pot after it’s brewed, it will continue to percolate and make the coffee strong and bitter.

Electric percolators, however, have a sensor that stops the brewing process once the water and coffee grounds reach a certain heat level. A manual percolator that uses stove burners does not, so it is important to keep an eye on it or it will over-brew and make strong, bitter coffee.

Commercial Coffee and Espresso Machines

Most commercial coffee machines use the drip coffee method on a larger scale. You may see a unit with two to four burners, and some that can brew two pots of coffee at once. The technology is still the same regardless of how large commercial coffee machines are.

Commercial espresso machines are pretty high-tech, and are usually used in specialty cafés or coffee shops. They can brew up a lot of espresso quickly, which is perfect for super busy espresso bars.

The size of the machine depends on the customer flow. The complexity of operating commercial espresso machines, whether fully automatic or semi-automatic, depends on how quickly the staff can learn how to use it.