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What are the Different Types of Coffee Makers?

Beth Huston Profile image

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Updated September 15, 2022

If you’ve been wondering, “What are the different types of coffee makers?” then stick around. We’re about to teach you how to make your morning cup of coffee better by choosing the right appliance. There’s more to your daily brew than just making hot water and using the correct coffee grinder.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • The different types of coffee machines will create different coffee flavors. Researching how to make your favorite drink will help you decide which to buy.
  • You’ll need to figure out how much effort you’re willing to put into making your cup of coffee and which coffee maker types will fulfill those time constraints.
  • Each appliance in this article is a popular type of coffee maker. Still, there are countless other options as you move toward more unique, expensive machines.

The best coffee maker fulfills your specific needs, whether you want a concentrated coffee brew or a thermal carafe instead of a glass one. There are all different types of coffee machines, and we’ll explore the most popular options below.

Explaining Different Types of Coffee Makers

Whether you want an automatic coffee maker or you’re considering automatic espresso machines, understanding your own needs comes first. Figure out what type of cold or hot coffee you’d like to brew, and research what methods will work best.

We also recommend looking into percolators and drip coffee makers, espresso machines vs a French press, as well as pour-over coffee makers vs French press coffee makers. This all boils down to finding the right coffee maker for you.

Insider Tip

If you’re interested in learning more about brewing techniques, visit your favorite coffee shop and talk to the coffee lovers there for guidance.

If you’re looking to improve your morning brew, you don’t have to stop at automatic or manual coffee makers. Our article comparing a stainless steel vs. aluminum coffee maker provides another way to upgrade your lifestyle.

French Presses

French Press coffee lovers will tell you that there is no better option out there. These manual coffee makers use a glass carafe to steep pre-ground coffee for around five minutes. Of course, there is a technique to French Press brewing that takes time to perfect. If you’d like to use this method, comparing stainless steel vs. glass French Presses can help you decide which model to buy.

Reasons to Buy:

  • French press machines are cheap, and you can often buy a decent model for around $20, give or take.
  • They are easy to use. Pour some ground beans on the bottom and top it off with hot water. Let it steep for a few minutes, and then push down the plunger. That’s it.
  • They don’t use electricity and make no noise during use.
  • Despite the simple design, they make a fantastic cup of coffee.

Reasons to Not Buy:

  • There are no-frills devices. They make a cup of coffee, and that is it. They don’t froth, make shots of espresso, or anything else.
  • It can be easy to over-extra by letting the beans steep too long. This results in an acidic blend.
  • Though the components are easy to clean, using French press systems results in copious amounts of “coffee sludge” that must be disposed of properly.

Tips for Choosing a French Press:

  • Durability matters here, so go with a product made from tempered glass, steel, or other ultra-durable materials.
  • The plunger apparatus includes a number of filters, and, in most cases, you want as many filters as possible so as to avoid any grinds ending up in the finished product.
  • Not all French press machines are dishwasher safe, so make sure before buying one.
  • These devices come in a wide variety of sizes, so be sure to buy one that can make enough coffee for your household without requiring multiple brews.

Keurig AKA Capsule or Pod Coffee Makers

These machines have taken offices by storm over the past couple of decades, and it is easy to see why. They make a cup of coffee at the push of a button, so ease of use is on point. Keurig machines and related capsule-based coffee makers work similarly to drip coffee makers but on a much smaller scale, as they make one cup at a time.

Many people swear by these machines for their convenience and their ability to brew coffee of varying types.

Reasons to Buy:

  • Is there a faster and more convenient way to make coffee? It’s quite literally plug-and-play.
  • There are many different flavors available for budding bean snobs.
  • There is no learning curve here, and anyone can use it.

Reasons Not to Buy:

  • It’s not the best coffee maker for the environment due to the nature of the capsules, though some are recyclable.
  • Costs add up when you consider the daily price of capsules.
  • You cannot adjust the strength of the brew.

Tips for Buying a Capsule Coffee Maker:

  • If you want additional features, such as milk frothing, make sure to check the specs.
  • Look for deals, as this type of machine is often on sale.
  • Make sure your machine can use DIY coffee pods, so you can use your own beans when necessary.

Drip Coffee Makers

Drip coffee makers are the traditional choice for most households. There are manual machines available, but the automatic drip coffee maker is far more popular. For this method, you add ground coffee beans into a brew basket. From there, drip brewers craft flavorful coffee for you using hot water. They also keep your coffee hot using a hot plate. If you like cold brew coffee, look into cold drip brewers.

Reasons to Buy:

  • They are cheap, so it is easy to pick one up on sale to have as a backup.
  • The design is so familiar that just about everyone should be able to learn how to use it quickly.
  • Vary in size from single-cup machines to larger models that can serve up to 12 people at once.

Reasons Not to Buy:

  • They aren’t the easiest to clean, and the water reservoir is a magnet for mold.
  • The warming element can burn the coffee if you aren’t careful.
  • The bare-bones design is great for traditionalists but not for all consumers.

Tips for Buying a Drip Coffee Maker:

  • Consider going up a size or two to avoid making multiple trips to the machine when you have guests over.
  • Some modern drip machines include additional features like a space for coffee pods or a milk frother.
  • Look for sales to make really make your coffee machine dollars stretch.

Pour-Over Coffee Makers

Pour-over coffee has been building in popularity. However, this manual option might be undesirable for coffee enthusiasts who want their morning coffee cup as quickly as possible since it requires a bit of work. This method requires you to pour hot water over finer grounds using a circular motion.

Reasons to Buy:

  • Coffee aficionados swear by this method for making great-tasting coffee.
  • Pour-over machines do not use any electronics, so they don’t need to be plugged in.
  • These coffee makers are cheap, easy to use, and don’t take up too much counter space.

Reasons Not to Buy:

  • The vast majority of pour-over devices only make one or two cups at a time. Not for large families.
  • Brewing does take longer than many of the other methods on this list.
  • Pour-over makers typically do not feature any additional features as they are single-use devices.

Tips For Buying a Pour-Over Coffee Maker:

  • Make sure to buy the appropriate filters for your maker.
  • If the quantity is a concern, look for an extra-large model that can serve two to three people.
  • If your budget is an issue, you can make one of these at home. Check for tutorials online.

Espresso Machine

Ah, the infamous espresso machine, the haven of coffee snobs everywhere. Espresso is finely ground dark roasted coffee beans. Using the beans along with the Espresso machine’s ability to “pull” a shot results in an extremely concentrated end product.

There are all kinds of different designs out there, including manual machines, semi-manual machines, and automatic machines, each with different brewing processes. Some modern espresso machines also integrate espresso pods, similar to capsule machines.

Reasons to Buy:

  • This is the only way to get lattes, Americanos, and many other premium coffee drinks at home.
  • Most espresso machines are packed with bells and whistles like dedicated frothers, unique settings for different drink types, and space enough to make more than one shot at once.
  • A good espresso machine is a solid and durable piece of equipment that should last you years.

Reasons Not to Buy:

  • Most espresso machines do not make regular coffee, just espresso shots and premium drinks.
  • Hold on to your bank account. These machines can get really expensive, up to thousands of dollars.
  • The learning curve is steep, with all of that tamping and measuring.

Tips for Buying an Espresso Machine:

  • An espresso machine is a significant investment so do plenty of research before taking the plunge.
  • Consider buying a coffee grinder along with the machine to ensure that fine grind.
  • Look for sales, particularly on refurbished models. You can often save hundreds of dollars.

Stovetop Coffee Maker

Although less popular than automatic options, Turkish coffee is still widely in use. Stovetop espresso makers are great for brewing espresso-style coffee. However, they aren’t as strong as a regular espresso machine. There are multiple styles available, and each one can produce espresso-style coffee that coffee drinkers love.

Cold Brew Coffee Maker

There are several different cold brew methods. You can use French Press methods to craft cold brew coffee. Cold brewers use cold water instead of hot and are great for those who prefer iced coffee.

Warning

Avoid using boiling water when making coffee, or you could end up burning the coffee grounds, ruining your brew.

F.A.Q.S

Is it worth buying a Siphon coffee maker?

If you’re trying to make quick cups of coffee in the morning, then no. While the Siphon is undoubtedly an attractive addition to any kitchen, it’s more of a novelty than a solution.


What types of coffee makers are easiest to use?

Drip coffee might seem easy to use, but many coffee drinkers struggle to find the proper coffee grounds to water ratio for a delicious flavor. Popular types of single-serve machines are your best bet if you want to do as little work as possible. Make sure to always keep your coffee maker clean and maintained to stave off the mold.


What is the difference between black coffee and true espresso drinks?

Black coffee is plain coffee. While black coffee is viewed as “stronger” by many, this isn’t true. Black coffee is just as strong if you add a dash of milk. Espresso-based drinks are made with an espresso machine and use an entirely different brewing method, resulting in a richer, deeper flavor.


Does my method of brewing coffee make a difference in taste?

Coffee aficionados will all confirm that different types of coffee brewing techniques result in different coffee flavors. To find your favorite flavor of coffee, experiment with different brewing methods.


STAT: In 2020, consumers drank approximately 44.5 billion servings of coffee. (source)

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