You know that feeling when you walk into a coffee shop and smell freshly ground coffee wafting through the air?
That's the smell of pure joy. Well, at least to us coffee lovers. And we think it’s time you bring some of that joy to your home.
Through a coffee maker. But not just any old coffee machine. We want to help you find the perfect machine for your ideal cup of joe.
Wake up and smell the joy, knowing your perfect brew awaits you.
With that, here’s everything you need to know to pick your best coffee maker.
What to Consider When Picking a Coffee Maker
The cost of coffee makers increases with added features and functionality. These extra features include built-in grinders, milk frothers, sometimes even a water filter.
But the value of these added features primarily depends on your coffee preference. Consider how these features bring you closer to your perfect cup.
#2: Brew Amount
How many cups of coffee do you need to brew at a time?
A single-serve coffee maker might suffice if you’re only brewing for yourself. However, it might be less than ideal if you need a full pot for the whole family.
#3: The Carafe
The carafe keeps your coffee hot and can even help preserve flavor.
When picking your coffee maker, go for one with a thermal carafe. These keep your coffee hot for longer.
Glass carafes are also great at keeping your coffee hot, but only as long as they sit on a warm plate.
Typically, coffee machines live on your countertop. For most of us, this is prime kitchen real estate with precious little to spare.
To avoid any sizing problems, assess the amount of space available atop your counter. Then compare that with the dimensions of your preferred coffee maker.
#5: Ease of Cleaning
One of the best ways to make amazing coffee is by regularly cleaning your coffee maker.
However, some machines make this easier than others. Opt for machines with few, easily removable parts for hassle-free cleaning.
#6: SCA Certification
Grab a coffee maker with an SCA certification for Golden Cup Standard brews.
In addition to these factors, there’s an even more critical consideration you need to keep in mind: how you like your coffee.
There’s no shortage of brewing methods, each yielding a unique cup of coffee. Before settling on a coffee maker, you need to ask yourself one critical question...
What’s Your Favorite Coffee Brewing Method?
There are several methods to brew coffee, each with a corresponding machine. This makes it difficult to pick one coffee maker as the best.
For instance, a great drip brewer isn’t better or worse than a French press. They each use a different technique to brew entirely different coffees.
In the end, it boils down to how you like your cup of coffee.
Drip Coffee Makers
Drip coffee makers offer one of the easiest ways to make coffee.
They come in a variety of configurations at different price points — from a single-serve coffee maker to a 14-cup brewer for your home or office.
Some drip coffee makers come with extra features and advanced brewing systems. For instance, you can opt for a built-in water filter, hot water dispenser, even a coffee grinder.
Brewing coffee in a drip coffee maker is relatively simple. All you need is some freshly ground coffee, water in the reservoir, and a clean filter.
The drip coffee maker heats the water and drips it over the coffee grounds. The water then flows through the beans down into the carafe.
The carafe sits on top of a hot plate to keep your coffee warm. However, this can put your coffee at risk of getting burnt.
Here are some additional factors you should consider when picking a drip coffee maker:
- Brew time — you don’t want to wait ages to get your morning coffee, do you?
- Brew volume — a single-serve drip coffee maker might not cut it for the office break room.
- Programmable options — who doesn’t like a fresh cuppa joe ready and waiting when you wake up?
Pour-Over Coffee Makers
A pour-over coffee maker is a simplified version of a drip coffee maker.
Pour-over brewing is one of the gentler ways to make coffee. It gives you absolute control over your brew, making it ideal for the discerning coffee drinker.
To make coffee using your pour-over brewer, place your ground coffee beans into the device. Then gently pour hot water over your ground beans in batches:
First to ‘bloom’ the coffee, allowing it to hydrate and release flavor. Then to brew your coffee as a drip coffee maker would.
The hot water flows through the ground beans and into your mug for a delicious cup of coffee.
Note: Pour-over coffee requires precision. You will also need a coffee grinder, scale, kettle, and thermometer in addition to the coffee maker. The water needs to be at around 205℉ for the best results.
Related: Coffee Brewing Guide: V60 Pour Over
Espresso machines use nine bars of pressure to force hot water through finely-ground beans. This results in a highly concentrated coffee that delivers a smooth, balanced flavor.
Before picking an espresso machine, there are a few things you ought to know. Key among them are the different types of espresso machines:
1. Manual Espresso Machines
As the names suggest, these are entirely manual. They require you to regulate all the variables, including:
- Water flow
If you’re an espresso connoisseur who likes complete control over your brew, then a manual espresso machine is a good option.
2. Semi-Automatic Espresso Machines
These machines retain absolute autonomy when it comes to pressure. However, they allow you some control over how much water you’d like in your brew.
A semi-automatic machine is ideal if you like a strong brew and the occasional Americano.
3. Automatic Espresso Machines
These machines have absolute control over the pressure and amount of water. All you have to do is sit back and enjoy your fuss-free espresso.
Automatic machines are ideal if you’re a novice brewer or you’d simply rather not fuss over your morning coffee.
4. Capsule Machines
These make coffee using pre-measured, pre-ground beans that come in pods.
Often, you need only select your choice of drink and your machine goes to work. More advanced capsule machines can even read the barcodes on the pods and brew the appropriate drink.
However, note that this convenience comes at a price. Pre-ground coffee is more likely to suffer from exposure and loss of flavor.
Since its inception in 1933 by Alfonso Bialetti, the Moka pot has been a staple for coffee lovers. First in Italy, and eventually across the globe.
The Moka pot works by pushing steam-pressured water through fine grounds to make a dark, rich espresso.
Although, according to the Italian Espresso National Institute, Moka coffee does not technically qualify as espresso. The pots don’t use the standard nine bars of pressure needed to make authentic Italian espresso.
Nevertheless, coffee lovers still swear by the Moka pot. It produces excellent coffee, especially if you like your coffee bold and in-your-face.
Cold Brew Coffee Makers
Traditionally, iced coffee was made by pouring pre-brewed coffee over ice.
However, a cold brew coffee maker does not use any heat when brewing. Instead, you steep your coffee grounds in cold water for 12 to 24 hours.
This results in some of the best-tasting coffee you’ll ever have. The lack of heat ensures a smooth, mellow brew with none of the bitter notes found in traditional iced coffee.
The longer steep time produces a concentrated brew that keeps for up to 14 days under refrigeration. And in addition to being served as iced coffee, you can still warm it up to make a hot cuppa joe.
French Press Brewers
French presses are renowned for the rich, full-bodied coffee they produce.
They achieve this through a gentle extraction technique that preserves flavor and quality. The technique is also one of the easiest and quickest to make stellar coffee.
The key consideration when picking a French press is build quality. You need to decide whether to go with a glass, plastic, or steel brewer.
- Glass gives you the quintessential French press aesthetic. It looks good, feels good, and makes for a visually pleasant brewing experience. It’s also easy to clean and does not cling to flavors or aromas.
However, glass presses can be delicate — and accidents do happen.
- Steel French presses are all about durability. They completely eliminate the risk of smashing. And once heated, they are better at preserving your coffee’s temperature.
This is what makes them ideal for buy-it-for-life coffee drinkers. If you treat your steel press well, it will last you a lifetime.
However, this hardiness comes at a price. With steel presses, you no longer get to savor the sight of your coffee brewing.
And once dented, steel presses are notoriously hard to un-dent.
- Plastic French presses are usually the cheapest option. They are also hard-wearing and will survive a tumble or a bit of roughhousing.
However, plastic presses also absorb different flavors over time, altering the taste of your coffee.
If you do decide to get a plastic press, opt for one that’s heat resistant and BPA-free.
Tip:Steep your coffee for at least four minutes for a delicious cup of hot coffee. The longer you steep, the stronger the flavor.
Related: French Press Coffee Brewing Guide
AeroPress Coffee Makers
An AeroPress coffee maker is closely related to the French Press, as they operate similarly.
However, with the AeroPress being the new kid on the block, it’s smaller and more affordable while still delivering a great brew.
To make a cup of coffee, first screw the filter onto the device’s base and place it over your favorite coffee mug.
Next, add about a tablespoon of finely ground coffee beans. This is usually enough for a single serving, depending on how you like your coffee.
Pour hot water (at about 170℉) over the grounds, filling the base to the desired volume.
Steep your ground coffee for about ten seconds, then use the plunger to steadily push the water down through the grounds into your mug.
AeroPress offers one of the best low-effort, high-reward coffee makers on the market.
Related: AeroPress Coffee Brewing Guide
Step up Your Coffee Game
Finding the best coffee maker to suit your preference requires research. But hopefully, this information will ease your search.
And once you’ve found your ideal coffee machine, you’ll need the right beans for the perfect brew.
Thankfully, we know exactly where you can find some: Nomad Coffee Club. A coffee subscription service for coffee lovers by coffee lovers.
At Nomad Coffee Club, we pride ourselves on providing our customers with the best quality, 100% organic coffee. Our members gain automatic access to our monthly selection of fresh coffee from around the world.
And to ensure the best quality, we roast your coffee to order. That way, you get to enjoy your coffee at its best.
Additionally, for every bag we ship, we donate a portion of the sale to building the Nomad School in Kenya. This way, our members help make a difference in the communities that produce our coffee.
So whether you’re looking for some coffee for your home, office, or even as a gift — we have a plan to suit your every need.
Join the tribe today and discover a whole new world of coffee.