Espresso coffee makers come in different types, styles and price points. So how do you tell one from the other and what is the best coffee maker for your needs? Just look at any kitchen shop or department store and there’s a huge range of coffee making devices and machines.
what is the best drip coffee maker for the home
But which will make you the great cup of coffee you deserve – even need! For most people budget is the biggest factor when selecting their next coffee maker. That doesn’t mean you have to compromise on quality or flavor but you do need to know a bit about each type of coffee maker so let’s see what’s what in the coffee making world.
Coffee at a slow drip
Perhaps the most well known of the coffee makers, the drip coffee maker is in most kitchens in the US, as well as in most hotel rooms. There’s a whole variety that will allow you to make 1 cup, 6 or 12 cup pots, to semi programmable machines that can produce coffee to a schedule. Becoming more popular is the style that produces vacuum coffee pots that don’t need the heating element to keep the coffee warm.
The basis of the drip coffee maker is very simple. Coffee is placed in a filter basket and hot water is slowly passed through the grounds to produce the coffee. The filter basket is usually lined with a filter paper, but there are some that use a fine mesh instead. Whilst these are more eco-friendly (and you’ll never run out of filter papers) they may occasionally let some of the ground through.
These machines can produce a good cup of coffee reasonably quickly and cheaply but you’d never mistake it for espresso. If your set on getting an espresso on a budget then the next category may be for you.
Back to the Future With Stove Top Percolators
If you travel through Europe; Italy especially, then these are coffee makers you’ll find in most homes. The stove top percolator is a multi part pot that goes onto the stove to produce an excellent cup of coffee in the espresso style. You may even get the crema effect using one of these makers and all it takes is 5 – 10 minutes which is the same as a drip machine. There are more modern versions that use electricity but part of the charm of these coffee makers is their simplicity and the fact that there’s almost nothing to go wrong with it.
Just fill the bottom part of the percolator with cold water, the filter basket with coffee (generally with an espresso grind) and place on the stove. The hot water percolates up through the coffee grounds and collects it the top. When the makes starts to gurgle, take it off the heat and serve an excellent cup of coffee.
These coffee makers are cheap, easy to use and last a long time if taken care of. The down side is that they produce small amounts of coffee (a 6 cup machine will typically produce the equivalent of 3 -4 shots of espresso) and care needs to be taken when cleaning them.
Solo Coffee Drinking
A growing trend in coffee drinking is producing individual cups of coffee. To fill this new demand, there are more and more one cup coffee makers appearing. The majority of these coffee makers use a single serving pod of coffee to make the cup. This is ideal for a home that only has one coffee drinker, or where different flavors of coffee are required.
Of course having specially packaged individual pods of different flavors and styles does come at a premium so using this type of coffee maker can work out to be more expensive that the other coffee makers.
Is a Genuine Espresso Possible?
At the very pinnacle of coffee makers is the espresso coffee maker. These machines are the most expensive and can be the most hi tech. They range in price from a couple of hundred dollars to several thousand for a top of the line machine. So is paying the extra worth it? To be honest that really depends on your coffee drinking habits.
If all you drink is the occasional espresso then a lower end pure espresso maker will fit the bill. If you’re a more regular drinker and want a mix of styles then a combination coffee and espresso maker will probably suit you better.
Many of these coffee makers are fairly complex machines, some with many options and abilities. The down side of this is that there is a lot more to go wrong and they do wear out. A proper espresso maker will push hot water through the coffee at fairly high pressure so they don’t last forever, so take care if you’re looking at the low end of the budget scale.
It may make more sense to pay a little more for an espresso coffee maker that is well made and will last longer than the cheaper models.
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