There’s a maker for every brew style and a brew style for every individual. It can get a little complicated, so we want to make sure you have all the info you need to purchase the best coffee maker to fit your tastes.
There are a lot of considerations that go into choosing a coffee-making method, including quantity, economy, and convenience. Just as every individual is unique in their flavor choices, so varied are the choices for coffee maker. In this blog, we will try to break it down into cost, ease of use, flavor quality, and brew time.
The French Press
– Time: 5 minutes
– Price: $
– Flavor Quality: 7/10
Variations of the French Press have been around for over 100 years, but the design concept as we know it was patented by Attilo Calimani from Italy in 1929, not France. The French Press has a straightforward design and is made from the carafe (also known as braker) and a plunger assembly. With the French Press, there’s no need for wasteful paper filters, plastic capsules, or pods.
The French Press is the most affordable and easy-to-use coffee maker for brewing that tasty cup of Joe or tea in the mornings. It tends to extract a very strong and robust cup of coffee. We personally love the Bodum brand of French Press due to the affordability, quality, and fun unique style.
For the best cuppa using a French Press the secret is all in the grind: choose medium, with uniformity and consistency throughout. Very coarse grinds may clog the filter, while very fine grinds will pass through the filter, muddying the results.
– Time: 5 minutes
– Price: $-$$
– Flavor Quality: 9/10
There’s a reason pourover is the preferred brewing method at high-end cafés: It’s a simple way to make coffee with intricate flavors that you might not get from a machine. The quality is all in the balance of technique and timing.
Pourover is a method of brewing a small batch of filtered coffee by gradually pouring hot water over fresh grounds. The dripper and the filter help control the rate at which water flows through and extracts flavor from your coffee grounds, but your recipe and technique also matter. To get consistent, delicious results, you’ll need to use a precise ratio of coffee to water and to control the coarseness of your coffee grounds, the temperature of the water, and the speed of your pour.
Although this method is inexpensive in daily use, the start-up can be a bit expensive if you don’t already have the tools on hand. To keep the technique precise, we recommend buying a variable temperature kettle so that you can regulate the temp of your water. It is also recommended that you have a scale handy for precisely measuring your ingredients and a quality burr grinder for grinding your coffee evenly.
The Moka Pot
– Time: 10 minutes
– Price: $$
– Flavor Quality: 8/10
The Moka Pot is a stove-top or electric coffee maker that brews coffee by passing boiling water pressurized by steam through ground coffee. Named after the Yemeni city of Mocha, it was invented by an Italian engineer named Alfonso Bialetti in 1933 and quickly became one of the staples of Italian culture. Bialetti Industries continues to produce the same model under the name “Moka Express”. It’s like science… but with coffee.
This maker is probably the least known in the US of all the coffee makers. Widely used in Europe and Latin America, it has become an iconic design aesthetic and is slowly gaining popularity in the states. The coffee produced is steamy, rich, and dark brown with a strong, pure aroma. It tends to lean towards the bitter “espresso”-type coffee that the Italians are known to love.
The Drip Machine
– Time: 8-10 minutes
– Price: $-$$$
– Flavor Quality: 6/10
You might still love that Mr. Coffee drip machine that you bought in college, but times are changing… and so should your coffee maker! Drip Machine coffee makers have been popular in the home since they were introduced to suburban America in the early 1970’s.
There are hundreds of different types and price ranges for these electric drip coffee makers. You see them in almost every home and office. Do they brew a decent cup of coffee? Sure, however, the real reason for the popularity of the Drip Machine is its ease of use.
Since its inception, many inventors have patented various drip-coffee maker designs. Subsequent designs have featured changes in heating elements, spray head, and brew-basket design, as well as the addition of timers and clocks for automatic-start, water filtration, filter and carafe design, a “drip stop” feature to pause the flow of brewed coffee when the carafe is removed, and even built-in coffee grinding mechanisms.
If you’re going to go with an electric Drip Machine, why not do it with style? The SMEG Drip Coffee Maker combines iconic midcentury style with convenient features like auto start and aroma control, so you can brew a cup tailored to your taste and schedule. If you’re feeling extra fancy, go ahead a grab the SMEG Coffee Grinder and Milk Frother to complete your collection!
The Espresso Machine
– Time: 1-5 minutes
– Price: $$$
– Flavor Quality: 9/10
If you’re looking to cut down on visits to your local coffee shop, the best home espresso machines can help you get your latte or cappuccino fix right in the comfort of your own kitchen.
Espresso uses a lot less water than traditional drip coffee, plus finer grounds and a minimum of nine bars of pressure, according to the Italian Espresso National Institute, which shortens the brewing time to less than 30 seconds. The result is thicker, creamier, and stronger tasting than drip coffee.
There are several ways to make espresso with semi-automatic, automatic, super-automatic or fully automatic capsule machines. An espresso machine is an investment — especially if you want one with all the bells and whistles — so it’s important to consider the types of features that fit your needs. Some things to consider might be the use of capsules vs. fresh grounds for consistency, milk-frothing ability, and water tank capacity.
It’s no secret we love Illy coffee, but we also love the Illy X7.1 capsule espresso machine. It’s simplicity in design and consistency in the quality of the pour make it an easy choice. However, with so many options out there, it’s almost like buying a new car. Check each one for the qualities you want and don’t settle for less than you deserve.
Delicious Café-style coffee at home is within your reach, whether you’re an eight-cup-a-day family or the individual who likes a quality pick-me-up every now and then. Your coffee needs change constantly to fit your lifestyle, and we hope to have given you the know-how to select the coffee maker that will work best for you.