Tips for Choosing a Coffee Maker
Coffee makers have come a long way. From yesterday’s cowboy pots boiling coffee over the coals to today’s sleek gourmet brewers, there’s a coffee maker to fit every taste, every lifestyle, every budget and every counter space. So where do you begin finding the coffee maker of your dreams?
Before you head for the appliance aisle at your favorite store, do a little homework. Consider what kind of coffee you prefer, how often you drink coffee, how much space you have for a coffee maker, how much you can afford to spend on a coffee maker. These are the issues involved in deciding whether to purchase an espresso or a non-espresso coffee maker.
Choosing a Coffee Maker: Espresso or No Espresso
Espresso coffee makers are fancy. They cost more than other coffee makers (some cost thousands of dollars) and make a variety of coffee types including cappuccino and lattes. Espresso machines often make only one cup of coffee at a time and require cleaning after each cup. The coffee is stronger than that brewed by other means.
True coffee aficionados often prefer to use the espresso coffee maker, especially the super automated models that do everything from grinding the coffee to pouring it into the cup.
Typical coffee drinkers who prefer to have a pot of coffee available at all times and aren’t interested in lattes or other versions of coffee tend to prefer non-espresso coffee makers. Non-espresso coffee makers work well for people who like to start the coffee brewing and go on about their usual activities while it brews. They buy coffee already ground and don’t bother with beans or grinding.
For coffee drinkers needing large quantities of coffee, non-espresso is the way to go. Large percolator type coffee urns can be used to make more than a hundred cups of coffee at one time.
They also prefer returning to the coffee pot time after time and refilling their coffee cup over making only a cup at a time. Non-espresso type coffee makers are much less expensive than espresso machines.
Choosing a Coffee Maker: Non-Espresso
These coffee makers are available in drip, French press and combination models. Drip machines often make 6 to 10 cups of coffee at a time. For those who need a lesser quantity, it’s better to buy a model that makes 4 cups (or less) at a time. Drip coffee makers are inexpensive and easy to use.
There are pod coffee makers available which use single serving pods to brew coffee. Pod coffee makers can be inexpensive but the coffee itself costs more than standard cans of pre-ground coffee.
French Press coffee makers are great for a few cups of coffee at a time. Combination coffee makes featuring both espresso and non-espresso coffee makers in one machine are also available. These machines give coffee drinkers the best of both worlds.
Choosing a Coffee Maker: Espresso
Espresso coffee makers come in semi-automatic, fully automatic and super automatic models. These machines make fewer cups at a time and may require more time and attention that a standard drip coffee maker.
The more automated an espresso coffee maker is, the more features it will offer. Some take care of everything from grinding the coffee beans to filling the cup with coffee and ejecting the used coffee grounds.
The more features the espresso coffee maker offers, the higher the price tag attached to it. These coffee makers can cost anywhere from hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars.
The first decision to be made in choosing a coffee maker is the need to determine whether an espresso coffee maker or a non-espresso coffee maker is needed. Coffee preferences, budget and quantity of coffee to be made are factors that affect the decision making process.
The History of Coffee Makers
Coffee has been used as a drink for well over 2000 years. The first methods of brewing coffee were pretty crude but they have advanced greatly over the centuries. People used to just chew the cherry that came off the coffee tree to get a stimulant effect. Inside the cherry was the coffee bean. Over time with experimentation, people started to roast and then grind the beans for better flavor.
As early as the the late 1700s, coffee makers began showing up. This made it easy for people to brew coffee and not worry about getting grounds in their cup. This was expensive and not many people had them. The basic design is similar to coffee pots of today. There was a pot on the bottom with a place to put your ground coffee on the top. This was connected to a chamber on top where you poured in your boiling water.
People tried many different types of keurig coffee makers review throughout the years since then. There have been percolators, vacuum coffee makers, and drip coffee makers. Percolators use a pot over a heat source that forces the water into an upper chamber where the coffee grounds are. The water drips through the coffee and back into the lower pot. You know it is ready when it stops making percolating noises which are easy to hear. Then you remove it from heat before it boils. Vacuum coffee makers use what looks like two pots, one upside down on the other. As it is heated, the pressure forces hot water up into the top chamber where it infuses with the ground coffee. When you remove it from heat, the pressure is reversed and the coffee goes back to the lower pot ready to drink. Drip coffee makers are the kind we are all used to. Whether automatic or manual they work by dumping hot water over coffee grounds that sit in a filter. It strains through into a pot and is ready to drink.
With the advent of electricity, coffee makers became very popular and a little cheaper. In the early 1900s coffee makers really started to boom and by the 1970s almost everyone had a coffee maker in their home. These were usually of the automatic drip variety as they were the easiest to use. Today’s coffee makers have many features. They have timers that allow you to specify when you want your coffee maker to turn on, have built in grinders, storage areas, and much more. You can buy home espresso and cappuccino machines also. Coffee makers today range from the single cup variety to commercial units that make gallons at a time so no matter what your need, you can usually find it.
As more and more people start to enjoy different kinds of coffee, coffee makers become easier to use and offer more features. Many combine espresso, cappuccino, and coffee all in one machine but it is rather bulky still. Look for these to shrink in the near future.