How to choose a good coffee maker?

There are many devices for coffee cooking: espresso machines and different types of coffee makers. They differ in price, functionality, size, appearance, and of course cooking method. So it is actual question: how to choose a coffee maker and not to overpay for those functions that may not be used? To answer this question, we will talk about what should be taken into account, buying “coffee” kitchen appliances.

Types of coffee makers

At least there are 4 types of coffee makers:

  1. automatic complete cycle espresso machines;
  2. espresso coffee makers;
  3. capsule coffee machines;
  4. drip coffee makers.

Each of them has its own characteristics.

Full automatic espresso machines

Automatic complete cycle espresso machine

Such devices cook the drink directly from coffee beans (there is a built-in grinder), but many of them can also use ground coffee. The preparation is carried out with a special coffee-brewing mechanism (unit). It occurs at a pressure that is required to produce the high- quality beverage (primarily – espresso). Such machines cook Lungo – a large portion of coffee, many models are able to cook coffee drinks with whipped milk foam – cappuccino and latte, they also can just make a cup of hot milk or water.

Automatic coffee machine is quite expensive, but there is available a variety of coffee drinks and provided many opportunities for the individual user settings. Most of the process are completely automated – you just press the button and the device starts cooking.

Espresso coffee machines

espresso coffee machine

The espresso coffee machines (also known as carob coffee makers) are also preparing drink under the pressure. However, the user is much more involved: he has to fill the horn with ground coffee, then level and compact it. Then he need to install the horn to the brewing group and start the cooking process. Control of the cup filling with a drink is needed often – it is necessary to turn off the device at the time.

Carob coffee makers are significantly cheaper than automatic coffee machines, take up less space in the kitchen, but they are able to provide the owner with high-quality espresso, ristretto or lungo. Many models have special system for frothing milk, so the owner of such a device can also cook latte and cappuccino.

Capsule coffee machines

Capsule coffee machine nespresso

Another type of the devices for coffee cooking – capsule coffee makers. They use pressed ground coffee, that is enclosed in a special aluminum or plastic capsule. When cooking this capsule is pierced by one or more needles. Through the made holes in the capsule the hot water is supplied under the pressure and takes coffee flavor with it. User just need to put a capsule in a special receiver, and when the cooking process will end, the capsule should be thrown in the trash. There are models in which this step is automatically.

Capsule coffee makers allow to prepare espresso, ristretto, lungo, as well as coffee-milk drinks (capsules with dairy component needed, and the cooking process  takes a little more time). Prepared with capsule coffee maker drink has the same high quality as well as coffee made with automatic coffee machine or carob coffee maker. But in the case of capsules, the user is limited only by the flavors that are proposed by the manufacturers. For each brand of such devices capsules are available that are not suitable for models of other brands.

These devices are generally compact and good for small kitchens, offices. Capsule coffee makers can often boast with its striking design. They are also significantly cheaper than the automatic complete cycle espresso machines: the price is quite comparable to the price of carob models.

Drip coffee makers

Drip coffee maker

Drip coffee makers make a drink from ground coffee well known “americano” or ” the most office coffee”. These devices can be seen in the kitchens in American films.

Coffee powder is placed into a disposable or reusable filter, which is placed in the cone-shaped holder. The heated water is supplied to the coffee powder, seeps through it and taking the flavor away, than it falls into a glass or metal coffee pot located below the filter. Drip coffee makers allow to cook a lot of coffee per cycle – for the whole family. They often has a function of heating the finished beverage. Also coffee thermos is used in some models.

Due to the technology of cooking the coffee flavor is obtained otherwise than when preparing under the pressure. Americano is always more watery than espresso, but many people like it.

These devices are inexpensive and don’t take up much space. There are drip coffee makers able to work not only with the ground coffee, but with grains too – they are equipped with built-in grinders. For example, Philips offers a model line with such devices.

Cooking under the pressure

All mentioned devices (except for drip coffee makers) cook the drink under the high pressure. The pump pumps hot water that passes through a portion of the prepared coffee powder or a capsule and takes the flavor in the cup. Note that manufacturers usually specify in the characteristics of coffee gadgets the parameter of pressure in the 15-19 bar (atmospheres). It is the maximum pressure the pump is able to withstand.

However, the pressure of 5-9 bar is well enough for preparation a good espresso.

Power of the device

The power of the coffee maker determines the time of water heating. The more powerful the coffee machine, the faster the water is heated to the desired temperature. But, of course, there is a limit: the power of modern models is usually about 700-2000 watts. Incidentally, the ideal temperature of the water for espresso – 92-95 ° C. Some automatic coffee machines have temperature settings.

In any case, the power is a secondary criterion. If you will choose a less powerful coffee machine then you will just wait longer while your coffee is cooked.

Coffee water

An Important parameter for coffee makers – the capacity of the container for clean water. The larger it is, the more coffee can be prepared by one of its filling. Domestic models have limitations because of their size. The volume of the reservoir rarely exceeds 1.5-2 liters.

It is also important to use purified water for cooking coffee. For this reason, many coffee machines have removable filters. It is convenient, but eventually such a filter needs to be replaced, so you can just pour water into the tank from a conventional home filter jug, for example.

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