If you are a true coffee connoisseur, you know full well what type of coffee you like. Sometimes it is important to explore your options in coffee makers by looking at the different coffee maker types on the market. Depending on your lifestyle, what you want, and how you live some may work better for you than others. The trick is finding the one that works and is the most convenient for you.
The Traditional Drip Coffee Maker
The most popular type of coffee maker out there is the drip coffee maker. If you have a coffee maker in your kitchen right now, chances are that it is a drip coffee maker. These machines run water through coffee in a filter and the coffee drips into the pot. This mixes it up well and creates a good blend, perfect for any easily satisfied coffee lover. This type of coffee maker is the most popular and the most inexpensive, and can be purchased for anywhere from $5 to $150 or more, depending on the style. And here is the bumper article on the best coffee makers buying advice
Espresso machines are another of the various coffee maker types, and what you like really has a lot to do with whether or not this is the type of coffee maker for you. Espresso is a really thick, concentrated type of coffee that not everybody can get with. Those that are not really okay with the natural taste of coffee may find that they are not suited for the taste of espresso at all, especially the homemade kind. Whether or not these will work for you is up to you, but more often than not if you don’t like strong coffee, a drip coffee maker is the best way to go.
When you hear espresso, is your mind flooded with the aroma of a deep, dark, bold, almost daunting shot of concentrated coffee with a delicate foam afloat its surface? Espresso is perhaps one of the true connoisseurs favorite items to give them that pick me up on a slow morning, or to enjoy with a nice bagel or donut as a perfect foil. Espresso was developed almost a century ago in Italy, but it-and espresso machines-have come a long way from their lever pulled beginnings. What does it take to make an intense cup of espresso at home? If you think a beautifully vibrant cup of coffee is out of do-it-yourself territory, the home espresso machine would like you to reconsider.
The basic idea behind an espresso machine is forcing piping hot, almost boiling water through extremely fine ground coffee beans. The combination of heat and pressure allows more of the coffee bean flavor, oils, and solids to be extracted into the finished cup of espresso. Long ago, this was achieved by a hand leveraged mechanism which pumped water from a hot water chamber through the awaiting coffee grounds all by the pull of a lever. In our new age of automation, many people still swear by the lever pulled process because it allows one to truly decide how much pressure is being utilized all by hand. Obviously, we are more accustomed to the automated ones which utilize an automatic pump which can control the pressure of the water flow at the press of a button.
As far as home espresso machines go, you get what you pay for. Many home espresso machines that are of the higher quality type are in reality, commercial quality machines, the same as the ones used in small diners and cafes. On the other hand, there are a number of espresso machines which are down sized and down graded for home use. There are four chief espresso maker designs. The first and most commonly used today commercially is the automatic pump espresso machine. It is bulky, noisy and powerful but makes an undeniably delicious cup of espresso. This may be a bit expensive for the casual home economist.
The next type is the lever espresso machine. The lever espresso design hasn’t changed much since its conception in the early 1900’s. It may not be as fancy as the automatic one, but it can undoubtedly turn out a delicious and impressive cup of espresso when utilized properly.
The third type is the steam powered espresso machine. It derives its pressure from the steam pressure of the water itself. It is typically small with a sleek design, but depending on the manufacturers quality, it doesn’t always create enough pressure to make a concentrated cup of espresso.
The final type is called a moka pot. The moka pot is considered by some not to be truly espresso because it works at a very low pressure as steam from the bottom of the pot simply makes its way through the grounds in the top. It typically leads to a lighter version of espresso in taste and texture. It is also the least expensive.
Depending on how much you are willing to spend, you will find a machine that will make an impressive cup of espresso at home. Home espresso machines definitely have made their niche and if you buy one you will know why.
Single Serving Coffee Maker
For many people, a fresh cup of coffee in the morning when they wake up is a necessity. Many people just cannot do without a regular hit of caffeine in the early hours of the morning when you do not have much to look forward to other than that piping hot cup of brew. But, if you are drinking your cup and heading out the door, you know you never use the entire kettles worth. So, some smart coffee maker manufacturers decided to develop the single serving coffee maker. The single serving coffee maker is supposed to reduce waste and time, and is targeted toward those of you who drink coffee alone in the morning. The question is, does the single serving coffee maker deliver?
The first issue on the table is, how exactly does a single server work? Does it reduce coffee grounds to subatomic particles and then synthesize a hot cup of joe’ from the mess? No, although that would be quite neat, the single serve coffee maker is essentially your standard drip automatic downsized for one cup. That is right, you pour water in, put the ground coffee in the filter, and bam! Out comes a hot cup of coffee, in only about a minute flat. Because it is so small and deals with such a small amount of ingredients, it is typically cheaper than a full size coffee maker and is cheaper to maintain.
The only question is, does the single serving coffee maker live up to its full size counter part? Although you can save time, energy, and coffee by utilizing the single serving maker, you must realize that all that efficiency comes at price. In the process of stripping down the full sized coffee maker to the single serving form, most manufacturers forfeit many of the amenities associated with coffee. This means that if you are looking for a kettle timer, or even a steam bed mechanism, your single serving machine just will not deliver. A long duration heater is usually not needed though, because the single serving coffee maker typically makes the cup to order.
While a single serving coffee machine may not be the most bang possible for your coffee loving buck, it is quite useful for people who drink one cup a day alone. It will serve up a piping hot cup when you need it the most. In only a minute or so flat, while you are brushing your teeth like an idiot before drinking your morning coffee, your single serving machine can work its magic. So, if you are a serious caffeine junkie, invest in a single serving coffee maker today.
Coffee Makers With Grinders
Have you ever wondered how the high end cafes produce such intense cups of coffee cup after cup, day after day, week after week? The key to an excitingly bold cup of coffee is freshness. The fresher the coffee that goes into a particular brew, the tastier and deeper the flavor. The easiest way to have a truly fresh cup of coffee is to grind the beans as close to brewing time as possible. Even better, if you could grind the beans before each cup, you would enjoy a hot cup of café quality brew every time. Coffee makers with grinders can help you accomplish this. When you grind your own beans, you know it is fresh.
Before we get into a duel coffee maker with a grinder built in, you need to understand what exactly a coffee grinder is and how it works? A coffee grinder is essentially a machine that is capable of reducing whole coffee beans into grounds that have an increased surface area and allow the water to more effectively extract the coffee flavor during the brewing process. If you were to throw some coffee beans into a spice grinder, it would probably work, but you must realize that not all coffee grinders are created equal.
Most cheaper low end coffee grinders rely on high speed to crush and grind the coffee beans. They typically have a small spinning blade that cuts up the beans at high speed to the desired consistency. The problem with high speed grinders is that they impart a lot of heat to the beans while they crush them, and this heat can destroy some of the flavors of the beans. A better grinder is one known as a gear reduction grinder which operates at a lower speed than the high speed grinder, thus imparting less heat to the beans. The top notch category amongst grinders would have to be the low speed grinder, which is typically heavier duty and imparts almost no extra heat to the beans while being ground. These grinders actually crush the beans as opposed to chopping them, and they are the ones preferred by professionals.
Now that you understand the coffee grinder, a coffee maker with a built in grinder essentially has the grinding mechanism built right in, so you feed whole roasted beans in and fresh brewed coffee comes out. There are a surprising number of duel grinder maker combo machines on the market. Many of them can truly make an exceptional brew every time. When looking for an excellent machine to make your own, inquire about the grinding mechanism, and remember when it comes to grinding the cooler the better. Go enjoy your very own cup of joe’ fresh ground for every cup.
Under Counter Coffee Maker
Ah, the ubiquitous coffee maker. In the age of mass media and mass consumption and home appliances, the home coffee maker has made it’s mark and is evidently here to stay. Amongst the numerous appliances that take up kitchen counter space, the coffee maker seems to hold its own, demanding at least a square foot of counter for that hot cup of brew. Kitchen counter real estate is in high demand, and the manufacturers of coffee makers everywhere realized something had to be done. Enter the under counter coffee maker.
The under counter coffee maker has been around for quite a while. The principle behind an under counter coffee maker is that it can hang suspended from cabinet bottoms thus leaving the counter space beneath it free of clutter. Sounds good enough on the surface, but when you analyze what manufacturers did with the original idea, you would realize that too many corners were cut to see to it that it was not too bulky. A cabinet bottom can only take so much weight right? This meant that the original coffee maker of this kind did free up counter space-sure enough-but the brew left much to be desired. In the process of decreasing its weight and bulk, the under the counter coffee maker had an even more devastating problem, a substandard cup of brew.
Every coffee aficionado knows that even if you have to devote two square feet of counter space to a true cup of hot brew, then it is a sacrifice that must be made. Everyone loves free counter space, but not when you have to sacrifice the best part of waking up. So, the manufacturers realized after sales began to decline that it was time to make an under counter coffee maker that could walk the walk. Eventually, the coffee maker that was suspended beneath the cabinet became a technologically advanced contraption with plenty of glass and stainless steel. An appliance that could turn out a cup of coffee just as tasty as your average free standing coffee maker. Interestingly enough, the newer suspended coffee makers are essentially the same as the gourmet counter top variety, namely they heat water and force it through the awaiting coffee grounds into a sometimes heated kettle. Essentially, the coffee making process is precisely the same as any drip automatic coffee maker, and can come with all the special options available to your run of the mill drip counter top variety. The only difference is that the under counter coffee maker is suspended with a mounting device beneath the cabinet.
With time, the under the counter coffee maker will become just as ubiquitous as microwaves and your run of the mill automatic kettle types. The under counter coffee maker not only measures up to gourmet brewing standards, but also frees up counter space like no other. If you love coffee, but don’t seem to have the space; consider the under counter coffee maker variety today.