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Coffee being an instant energy-booster is used by millions around the world as a stimulant. For some making coffee is a morning ritual. Their morning cup gives them the ‘kick’ they need to start the day. And then there are those who spend hundreds of dollars a year at expensive coffee shops. Fortunately, it is now possible to skip such overpriced coffee, thanks to the modern coffee machines. A quality coffee maker is all you need to brew a perfect cup of coffee at home.

Evolution of the Coffee Machine

Though the discovery of coffee is generally attributed to an Ethiopian shepherd, the first coffee maker was made by one Mr. Laurens of Paris, France in 1818. Much of its history has been lost to the ages. This machine was a rudimentary percolator-type coffee maker in which water was boiled in a lower chamber until it reached the desired flavor and color. The percolator was patented in the late 19th century.

Electronic coffee makers came on the scene in the early 20th century and remained popular until the 1970s when automatic drip coffee machines began dominating the world of coffee-brewing equipment.

Selecting a coffee maker is often like sorting through a morass. There are a myriad of machines and tools available, and each has its pros and cons. While shopping for a coffee maker this is the first thing you need to keep in mind. In addition, consider flavor as well as other features you need along with your budget.

Types of Coffee Makers

A large variety of coffee makers are available in the market to choose from. From single-serve coffee machines to drip coffee makers, the options are numerous. You need to first consider these features when shopping for the perfect coffee maker.

Percolator

Percolator coffee machines are making a comeback; the variety, however, is limited especially in the electric models. Stove-top percolators are popular with campers, while electric percolator coffee machines are common for home use.

Pros: Electric percolators have an easy-to-use keep-warm setting. Besides, these machines are durable. The stove-top variety comes with no counter clutter and users can regulate the brewing time, though constant monitoring is required.

Cons: The coffee turns bitter and takes a lot of time to brew. Stove-top percolators need electric cooktop or gas and it is difficult to keep the machine warm.

French Press

Made of glass or stainless steel receptacle, a French Press coffee maker is more popular in European countries. It includes a lid with a plunger as well as a screen filter. Coffee purists are in favor of French Press because of its supreme quality coffee. But the flavor generally depends on the skill of the brewer.

Pros: It allows total control over brewing time and temperature and produces richer, fuller flavor.

Cons: The flavor depends on the brewer’s skills as this coffee maker is non-programmable and not automatic. It needs constant monitoring.

Automatic Drip Coffee Maker

Widely used by Americans, automatic drip coffee makers come with a built-in heater that keeps the coffee warm. Some of these machines also have brew timers, which means you can wake up to a fresh cup of coffee every morning.

Pros: With convenient features, drip coffee makers require less monitoring. They are programmable and fast.

Cons: The price range varies greatly depending on the features and you will also need to purchase filters. There is no option to regulate water temperature, a major issue when brewing different types of beans.

Note: Stove-top drip coffee makers are good options for campers. They have a 12-cup capacity, but are only made by the Coleman brand.

Single Serve

These one-cup coffee makers are known for quick and clean serving but require more patience on the user’s part. Use pre-measured ready-to-use pods, coffee capsules, or K-cups.

Pros: They are convenient and produce great flavor.

Cons: The prices are on the higher side and they are also expensive to operate. Besides, K-cups or pods are harder to find.

Espresso Machine

If you prefer highly concentrated, dark and rich coffee, go for an Espresso machine. This is the secret of an Italian café that serves highly caffeinated experience and the finest flavor and aroma in a cup of coffee.

Pros: Ideal for gourmet coffee and brings out the full potential of the coffee beans.

Cons: They are time-consuming to use and are more expensive than other coffee makers.

Other Factors

Capacity: Consider your family size while buying a coffee machine. If you want to make lots of espressos, go for one with a larger water tank. Single spouts are better for those staying alone and who only need one cup of coffee at a time.

Size and weight: This is an important factor to consider. Decide where you will keep this appliance. If you are planning to travel with your coffee machine, opt for one that is light in weight, smaller in size and easier to carry.

Brand: Being a luxury lifestyle product, it is advisable to choose a premium brand when shopping for a coffee maker. If you are on budget, high street and supermarket brands can also be a good choice as long as you know their features.

Ease of use: This is another important factor you need to consider. We often decide on a particular brand or a product seeing it in a coffee shop. It might look easy to operate there because they have skilled staff handling them. In reality it is often challenging to get to grips with a coffee maker. Go for one that is easy to operate and don’t forget the star rating.

Making Your Decision

To buy the perfect coffee maker it is important to consider the time and effort it would take to brew a cup of hot and flavorful coffee. Price is another important factor. Speciality and drip coffee makers are good options though expensive. You must also consider the maintenance and operation cost of the machine. Finally, remember that sipping on a delicious cup of coffee is a luxury; do not compromise on the features just to save a few bucks.