There are different types of coffee makers, and each of them has its own features. The main difference between them is the cooking method. Briefly we had wrote about them in our coffee maker buying guide article, but now we’ll expand this topic.
The principle of making coffee in such devices is the same as with any other coffee machines: heated in a boiler water passes through the pipe system under the pressure, than it reaches the ground coffee. The feature is that the entire brewing process is controlled by automation. In the memory of the device there are some recipes of cooking, number of witch depends on functionality and price of the coffee machine. It has such functions as controlling the strength of the beverage by dosage coffee powder. Modern coffee machines also allow you to cook ristretto, lungo, cappuccino, latte and other drinks – even hot chocolate.
Also full automatic espresso machines have service programs such as: cleaning internal nodes, descaling, timer and others. Maximum automation is the main advantage of the device and its difference.
Coffee machines with electronic control (with buttons or sensor panel) also offer the opportunity to create recipes. User can control the strength of the drink, temperature and volume, and all these settings could be save in the memory of the device if it is necessary. In the future user can quickly get exactly the drink, which is needed, pressing 1-2 buttons. Not only one use profile could be created with its recipes – each member of the family may have his own profile with setting of cooking coffee he like. But cheapest models usually don’t have such an option.
Some devices have a function of heating utensils. To heat cups they must be installed on the top of the device – the special area is often located there. Heating can be passive (warmth of the boiler) and active (electrical heating, steam). The last one is usually more effective.
The vast majority of modern automatic coffee machines are able to prepare two cups of coffee at once. As for cooking cappuccino and latte such drinks can be prepared in automatic and semi-automatic mode. In the first case the coffee gadget gas a special removable container for the milk. User just need to select the drink he want and start the cooking process. In a few seconds a tasty drink with milk foam air will be prepared.
Milk foam whipped separately in the semi-automatic devices. Such devices are much cheaper.
Built-in coffee grinder
Built-in grinder is the important thing in the automatic coffee machine. It allows the device to cook the freshest coffee using seeds. Often coffee grinding degree is regulated automatically for different kinds of coffee. But there are models, in which you can set the coffee grinding degree by hand.
Coffee grinding degree is important. The time, during which the water passes through the formed coffee tablet is depends on it. The perfect result – 22-28 seconds. If large grinding the water flows too quickly, so the beverage becomes strong and sour (but the sour taste is also depends on grade of coffee beans). If the coffee is too finely chopped the cooking needs less time for brewing, and the drink may have too burnt flavor.
In many models of coffee machines there is sold pre-wetting of the coffee powder before cooking: ground and compressed coffee first lightly moistened with hot water. After a short pause the normal process of preparing starts. In this way, the taste and aroma of the coffee will be more richer and brighter.
Espresso coffee makers (carob)
When buying a carob coffee machine first off all you should pay attention to its carob. More often such devices have only one carob, so they brew only 2 portions or coffee per cycle.
The carob must be made of stainless steel. It usually equipped with a filter. Preferably the presence of the built-in device for rammer, because the ground coffee must be well rammed in the carob. Note that many of the espresso coffee machines are able to use not only ground beans but also coffee pods. Pod is a filter, usually a paper, with pressed coffee in it.
There are strong or light roasted coffee pods, with or without caffeine and others. Pods are packaged in foil, wherein the carbon dioxide is pumped for better preservation and preserving coffee flavor and aroma. The number of filters in the package may vary from 18 to 48.
Electro-mechanical control is usually implemented in the espresso coffee makers. It is full enough for easy and convenient control. Typically, there is a simple rotary on the body of the device. It allows to start the brew process and steam generation. Beside may be other functional buttons and indicator lights.
Design features and functions
Water container may be removable or not. It is better to get a device with removable container due to its easy cleaning. If it is opaque and hided in the body, the front panel should have illuminated display, that will publicize user if it is empty.
Only few models of espresso coffee makers have such a function as a cup heating. But if you are lucky, try to find such a model. Presence of this feature pleases. However, it will increase the cost of the model. If you don’t want to spend money for this feature, you just can to warm up the cup with hot water.
Remember: it is possible to make classic espresso only under the presser of 5-9 bar. So don’t by carob coffee makers with a parameter of presser less than 5 bar. If the maximum pump pressure is about 15-19 bar, so the device can brew the right espresso.
Capsule coffee machines
Capsule coffee makers are the most unpretentious among all modern devices. The user just need only to press a button to get a cup of coffee. These models do not work with coffee beans – only with capsules of a certain brand. If a capsule is suitable for a concrete model, it will not work with a coffee maker of another brand.
Such models not for fanatics of coffee-drinks, but for those people, who just like to drink such beverage in the morning. By the way, some models can cook and a variety of teas, mostly herbal.
Choosing a capsule coffee machine, you can observe: the maximum working pressure in some models may have a value at 15, 19 and 3.3 bar. However, in all cases coffee is obtained delicious and right.
In most coffee machines capsules are pierced with a special needle. The hot water passes through the formed channel under the pressure. It moves through the compacted coffee, taking all its aroma and taste.
Also when choosing a capsule coffee maker you should consider the feature of the container for water. It must be removable and sufficiently capacious: it is better to calculate the approximate amount of coffee that you (and other members of your family) drink per day. It allows you to correlate the volume of the container for water.
Capsule coffee makers can prepare not only espresso or ristretto, but also cappuccino or latte. However, they do so in different ways. In some models capsules with dry milk extract are used, in the other – with concentrated sterilized milk. There are also devices (e.g., Nespresso series) that can cook such beverages with conventional pasteurized milk in classical way: whipping it with steam. Of course, this method of coffee-milk drinks preparation increases the cost of the gadget.
There are models of capsule coffee machines, which come with a separate milk frother in the kit. It easy shakes up milk, and the user just need to shift prepared milk foam into the cup. So such devices are not fully automatically but also quite convenient. Naturally, this useful device can be used for the preparation of a variety of foam-dairy foods, desserts
It is advisable to buy capsule coffee machine with auto control of the cooked beverage portion. In such case it is not necessary to stand near the device to turn-off it in time. Anyway don’t come away far from device, because the espresso should be drunk within 10-20 seconds after brewing – in this period of time the beverage has the most intense and bright flavor.
Drip coffeemakers (filtration)
Drip coffee maker
Drip coffee makers are easy to use and able to provide the user with high quality coffee (americano). You should pay attention to the volume of the reservoir for clean water when buying. Great if it is removable.
It is advisable to choose a device, which can to regulate the amount of coffee to brew – in this case the user can independently set the desired volume of the beverage he want. This rate can be measured not only in milliliters, but in the number cups too.
Also it is logical to control and the volume of the pot or flask for the finished beverage. There are very small pots, just for a couple of cups; there are also more spacious ones, where the volume of the bulb can be up to 1.5 liters.
Optimum power of the drip coffee maker for those who love strong coffee – 600-800 watts. If the device more powerful, the water heats up and pass through the filter with coffee more quickly, so it cannot take all aroma and flavor. As a result, the beverage come out not too strong. By the way, there are models, in which user can control the strength of the drink.
The kit of drip coffee maker includes disposable water-resistant coffee filters made of perforated paper. But sooner or later they will end, and the owner needs to buy more. Reusable nylon filter may be included too. It consists of a plastic frame and a grid. It designed for about 60 uses, but if careful handling can last longer.
A so-called “gold” filter is also rarely included to the kit. The idea is that the filter mesh is sprayed by titanium nitride that has gold color. This compound is used, for example, to cover the church domes. Such a filter will work for a long time. However, it is significantly more expensive than all the others.
Many drip coffee makers have a function of heating coffee. A special heating element is located under the coffee pot. The beverage will not cool down for a long time, if there is a metal flask-thermos instead of glass pot.
Anti drip system is an important criteria too. It is a special valve that doesn’t allow a drink too leak if there is no pot installed. It protects against “extra” drops on the plate and allows to pour the coffee without waiting while the full preparation cycle will end. You can simply remove the flask and pour coffee that is already prepared into the cup, but you need to return back the coffee pot very quickly: the brewing process does not stop, and the finished coffee is collected in the filter.
In some models there is a temperature indicator of the finished coffee. It can be two-colored. Red indicates that temperature of the drink is acceptable (above 65 ° C). If the indicator is black – the coffee is cold.