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Types of Coffee Makers

If you’re a coffee-lover, you’ve probably thought of brewing your own coffee at home. Sometimes instant coffee just isn’t as good as going into your favourite coffee shop with all their fancy machines and foams. 

However, stepping into the store to buy a machine to take your coffees to the next level is easier said than done. If you don’t have a clear vision of what you’re going to buy, it can be overwhelming having so many options.  

We’ve put together a list of all the popular coffee machines out there, with a description of each and its pros and cons. Once you’ve read about each type of coffee maker, you’ll be ready and set to go buy your own. Drinking coffee at home will become the best part of your day.

Related: Types of Coffee Drinks

Bean To Cup Coffee Machine

bean to cup coffee machine

A bean to cup coffee machine is simplicity at its finest, resulting in a delicious cup of coffee. They allow you to choose any type of coffee bean that you desire. You place your chosen beans into the coffee machine to be ground and brewed into your cup with the press of a button. 

Each machine is equipped with a bean grinder, meaning you don’t have to do it yourself. Once placed in the machine, the water is heated and then released through the ground beans to produce a cup of fresh and great-tasting coffee. Some models allow you to adjust the strength of your drink and may also come with a milk frother, meaning you can make all sorts of different coffees. 

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Produces a variety of coffee types
  • Time-saving

Cons:

  • Often quite large
  • Can make a loud noise
  • Sometimes complicated to use
  • More expensive than other machines

Drip Coffee Maker

drip coffee maker

A drip coffee machine is one you’ve probably come across when heading over to your friend’s house for a drink. It’s easy to use as you just set it and forget it until you need your next caffeine fix. The taste will depend on the ground coffee of the beans you use, so that is all entirely up to you. 

How it works is you start by pacing a filter full of ground coffee into the machine. You’ll then have to fill the water reservoir up, and then it can start doing its job. The water is heated, forcing it upwards and into a showerhead. From there, the water is dripped onto the filter of ground coffee, and your hot brew flows out into a carafe – ready to drink. 

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Quick brew time
  • Makes more than one cup at a time
  • Simple clean up 

Cons:

  • Less control over quality and taste
  • Aluminium heating rods often don’t reach the right temperature
  • Mould occurs when not cleaned

Related: Best Filter Coffee Machine

Pour Over Coffee Maker

A pour-over coffee maker is similar to making instant coffee at home, but you get more flavours out of the ground beans. It’s similar to the drip coffee maker, but the way it works is more manual. There are two main types of pour-over coffee makers – those that make one or two cups at a time and require more effort from you and those that are automatic and require less on your behalf. 

The way a pour-over coffee maker works is very simple. All that happens is hot water is poured over grinds that are in a filter. However, for more manual makers, you have to control the water flow to get the desired strength of your coffee. 

Pros:

  • Great-tasting coffee
  • Can use a variety of coffee beans
  • Pure coffee due to filters
  • Makes more than one cup at a time

Cons:

  • May have to invest in different accessories (such as a coffee bean grinder)
  • Coffee takes a bit longer to brew
  • Hard to clean

Coffee Pod Machine

Coffee pod machines are becoming increasingly popular because you can make almost any type of coffee as well as hot chocolates. You use pods filled with beans to make the coffee you desire. They are often found as round disks made of coffee filter material, similar to the material found around teabags. 

It’s pretty easy to use a coffee pod machine, as all you have to do is add hot water to the brewer and place the pod in the pod holder. The water will drop through the pod and saturate the coffee inside. The end result will then drip from the bottom of the pod holder into your coffee cup. You’ll have to ensure there’s always enough water in the reservoir, and you’ve placed a cup on the stand before you begin to avoid mess. 

Pros:

  • Time-efficient
  • Consistent taste
  • Simplified brewing process
  • Easy to use and clean
  • Variety of different brews

Cons:

  • Some pods are non-recyclable 
  • Doesn’t take all brands of pods
  • Pods are costly
  • Only one single brew setting

French Press or Cafetiere

cafetiere and iced coffee
Using a French press (cafetiere) to make an iced coffee

A French press is probably a name you’ve heard before in the coffee world, but you may not know what it actually is. A French press is a simple coffee machine with a glass container and removable plunger top. They can also be referred to as a cafetiere, a coffee press, or a press plunger. A French press can come in different sizes and versions, depending on your needs. 

How a French press works is relatively straightforward. It will steep coffee grounds in the glass container before the plunger slowly presses the brew. All you have to do is put your coffee granules in and add hot water. It’s then left for a number of minutes so it can brew. Once it’s ready, you’ll have to push the plunger, and you’ll be presented with a rich, smooth, and filtered coffee. 

Pros:

  • Stronger cup of coffee 
  • More natural oils
  • Portable
  • More control over coffee/water ratio
  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • The taste varies
  • More time and effort
  • Hard to clean
  • Most of the work is done by you 

Aeropress

If you’re a fan of espresso coffee, then an Aeropress may be the one for you. You can use it to brew espresso to be drunk as is or to make an americano. These machines are easy to take with you anywhere, so they are good if you’re a traveller, camper, or you simply don’t have much space in your kitchen. 

How it works is you put coffee and water into the machine, stir it and let it sit, then press it out into your cup through the paper filter. Each device comes with a cylindrical chamber and a plunger with an airtight silicone seal. The ground coffee beans and water are seeped inside and forced through the filter, resulting in a highly concentrated coffee. 

Pros:

  • Simple to use
  • Quick and easy to clean
  • Great taste
  • Affordable
  • Portable

Cons:

  • Not ideal for lighter roasts
  • Only makes one drink at a time

Cold Brew Coffee Maker

A cold brew coffee is the same as hot coffee but at a lower temperature. All cold brewing methods, even with a machine, call for a long time. Each batch will take between 6-48 hours to make. A cold brew coffee maker calls for the same ratio of coffee and water, but there is a bit more variation.

How a cold brew works is by using unbrewed coffee beans. There are many different methods to cold brewing coffee, and it’ll entirely depend on the machine you get. You can do it manually or grab a device that uses the Toddy system or Yama towers like seen in trendy coffee shops. 

Pros: 

  • Brews low acid coffee
  • Coffee is more concentrated
  • Can be brewed in bulk and stored
  • Can be enjoyed cold or heated

Cons:

  • Takes a long time to brew
  • Have to grind the beans beforehand
  • High levels of caffeine – dangerous for those with health issues

Espresso Coffee Machine

If you’re not interested in an Aeropress for your espresso, you may want to find an espresso coffee machine that suits your needs. All espresso machines are similar and share the same components, which includes a group head, portafilter, and boiler. You can get manual or automatic machines. Manual espresso machines are the original way to brew espresso, and automatic machines require less pumping from the user. 

There are a few steps to making espresso. At first, the boiler will create steam that gathers in the grouphead. A mechanism then pressurises the steam into water and forces it into the portafilter. You are left with an espresso drink that’s just as good as the one you’d get in a coffee shop. 

Pros:

  • Consistent results
  • Convenient
  • Cheaper than coffee shop bought espresso
  • Fresh taste
  • Mess-free

Cons:

  • A lot of work with manual machines
  • Takes some time to make
  • Harder to use than other machines

Stovetop Coffee Maker

Stovetop coffee makers are also known as Moka pots. They’re typically made from aluminium or stainless steel to deal with the heat from your stove, where they are placed to brew. Each pot is divided into three chambers, one for grounds, one for water, and one for the final coffee drink. 

How a stovetop coffee maker works is you fill up two of the chambers with water and coffee grounds and then place it on the stove. As the water starts to boil, steam will push the water up through the coffee grounds. Your extracted coffee will then be sent up through the spout, and it is ready to pour. 

Pros:

  • Makes rich, strong coffee
  • Easy to use
  • Inexpensive
  • Perfect for espresso and milk drinks

Cons:

  • Requires a consistent grind
  • Has to be monitored
  • Hard to clean
  • Pots are small

Grind and Brew Coffee Maker

Grind and brew coffee makers are coffee brewers that also include a grinder. Sometimes these makers are just referred to as a coffee machine with a grinder. Instead of buying a separate appliance to grind your coffee beans, it’s integrated into the brewing process and saves you time. 

All you have to do with a grind and brew coffee maker is fill the reservoir with water and add whole beans to the grinding basket. Once you press the start the maker, it’s all out of your hands. The beans are ground, and hot water is then dripped through the grinds. Your fresh coffee will pour down into the carafe and be ready to drink.

Pros:

  • Saves space
  • Convenient
  • Inexpensive
  • Compatible with most coffee beans

Cons:

  • Costly if it breaks
  • Bulky
  • Difficult to clean
  • Only has one function

Percolator

A percolator is another type of pot that’s used for brewing coffee. It’s great for those who love strong tasting coffees at a piping hot temperature. Sometimes you need a high temperature to get the proper essence of the coffee beans, which this coffee maker ensures happens. 

The pot has a small chamber closed off at the bottom, a vertical tube leading up from this chamber, leading to a perforated chamber. You just have to pour your desired quantity of water into the bottom chamber and your ground coffee in the top chamber. Heat will boil the water and infuse it through the tube into the chamber filled with coffee. 

Pros:

  • Reaches high temperatures
  • Stronger taste
  • Control of brewing time
  • Great for outdoor use

Cons:

  • Can over-extract, making coffee bitter
  • Takes practice to perfect
  • Hard to clean

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