The oft-quoted adage ‘Wake up and smell the coffee’ is a golden rule for many of us, especially when taken in its literal context. Regular coffee drinkers can vouch for the stimulating effect the aroma of freshly brewed coffee beans have on them, helping them start their day on a fresh and invigorating note.
Making coffee hassle-free
If you are not a morning person, chances are that you find it hard to leave the bed, let alone to go to the kitchen and whip up some coffee from scratch. Would it not be much easier to assign that important – yet cumbersome – task to something else? This is where a coffee machine comes into play. All you need to do is to add coffee and water in their designated slots and let the machine take care of the rest while you get ready to start the day. Once you are done with your morning rituals, you can pour the coffee in your cup and enjoy it with your choice of creamer and sweetener. Having a great cup of coffee probably could not get any simpler than that!
If you count yourself as someone who needs to have a cup of coffee before starting the day, then buying a coffee machine should be on the cards for you. Much like any other household appliance, the search for the best coffee makers is not an easy one, but it can be simplified by following a few useful tips.
Choosing the best coffee makers
Considering the wide variety of coffee categories available in the market, it comes as no surprise to see coffee machines follow suit. Before you set out on your mission to buy a coffee machine, you need to learn about the different types there are and what specific functions help the most. This information will help you in making an informed and precise decision in accordance with your requirements. Here are some popular types of coffee machines:
- Drip coffee machines: The drip design is arguably the most common and economical type of coffee machine. In its simplest form, the drip machine comprises of an upper slot for ground coffee, a filter (which can be made of paper, metal or ceramic) and a container at the bottom where the prepared coffee is stored. Hot water enters the upper slot and dissolves the coffee beans, which are then strained through the filter, allowing finished coffee to drip into the container. Due to their simple structure, they are relatively easier to clean than other coffee machines.
They mostly run on electricity but their manual varieties are also available, some of which include Melitta Cone Filter Coffeemaker (priced at $11) and Hario VDC-02W V60 Ceramic Coffee Dripper (priced at $15.99). The manual drip machines, though cheaper than their electric counterparts, may not be the best choice for you if you are looking for a machine that is more time-efficient and can be programmed to give you a perfect cup of coffee each time. If you have a low budget, you can buy a programmable coffee machine like Mr. Coffee Programmable Coffeemakers (4-cup capacity and priced at $19.99) that has a user-operated timer for when you want your cup of coffee to be ready. Another affordable option is Hamilton Beach Proctor-Silex Coffee Maker (12-cup capacity and priced at $21.99).
If you want something that is a bit more advanced and sturdy, you can choose mid-tier coffee machines like BELLA Dots Collection Programmable Coffee Maker (12-cup capacity and priced at $41.59), Hamilton Beach 46201 Digital Coffeemaker (12-cup capacity and priced at $44.99) and Zojirushi EC-DAC50 Zutto 5-Cup Drip Coffeemaker (5-cup capacity and priced at $68.99). For premium versions of the drip coffee machine, look into upscale models like BUNN BXW Velocity Brew Home Coffee Brewer (10-cup capacity and priced at $90.89) and Bonavita BV1800 Coffee Maker (8-cup capacity and priced at $169.99).
- Single cup coffee machines: Buying a single cup coffee brewer can be an excellent choice for people who live alone and do not want to make too much coffee at one time. They are convenient to use and easy to clean. Additionally, they offer consumers the freedom to cherish different flavors of coffee. Many of these machines – such as Black & Decker DCM18S Brew ‘n Go Personal Coffeemaker with Travel Mug (priced at $14.19) – come with built-in travel mugs, whereas models like Hamilton Beach Stay or Go Personal Cup Pod Coffeemaker 49990Z (priced at $29.99) give you the option of using either a regular cup or a travel mug as per your need.
Certain single serving coffee machines also offer serving size options. Examples include Mr. Coffee Single Serve Coffee Brewer Powered by Keurig Brewing Technology (serving sizes of 6oz, 8oz and 10oz; priced at $79) and Keurig K60/K65 Special Edition Single Serve Coffee Maker (serving sizes of 6oz, 8oz and 10oz; priced at $128.95). If you want to brew a pot of coffee and a single cup at the same time, you can consider a coffee machine like Hamilton Beach 49983 2-Way FlexBrew Coffemaker (priced at $89) that provides both options in one device.
- Percolator coffee machines: Shaped like a conventional kettle, percolator coffee machines have been in use for quite some time. They are characterized by their long, slender design, which is usually made of stainless steel and comprises a strainer that can be removed for cleaning. Percolators typically come in stovetop and electric varieties, with the latter being the more popular among the two. Stovetop percolators – such as Medelco 8 Cup Glass Stovetop Percolator (priced at $14.15), Rapid Brew Stainless Steel Stovetop Coffee Percolator (priced at $33.15) and Copco 4 to 8-Cup Polished Stainless Steel Stovetop Percolator (priced at $24.91) – are relatively lower in price than their electric counterparts. They are practical for places like campsites where electricity is not available.
Electric percolators like Presto 02811 12-Cup Stainless Steel Coffee Maker (priced at $56.99) and Cuisinart PRC-12 Classic 12-Cup Stainless-Steel Percolator, Black/Stainless (priced at $62.99) are counted among the best coffee makers for domestic use. Urns, which are percolators with a capacity of more than 12 cups, are often used in commercial settings and social gatherings. Examples include Hamilton Beach 40515 42-Cup Coffee Urn (priced at $44.22) and West Bend 33600 100-Cup Commercial Coffee Urn (priced at $132.71).
*Photo Credit: Coffee Image By Ryu1chi Miwa