If you are sick of coffee that comes straight from the kettle and need that extra bit of luxury to get you up in the morning, you might have already considered buying a coffee machine. You know the coffee will taste great and you will be ready to face the day. However, with so many different types of coffee machines on the market, you need to be fully energized before you can even think about looking at any on the internet to see lots of coffee machine images or going to the shops. Here is an easy guide that will help you decide which type of coffee machine is right for you.
What Is a Coffee Machine?
A coffee machine is an electrical device that is used to brew coffee. Gone are the days when all you could do was boil a kettle and hope for the best. The market has recognized that today’s consumer has a more sophisticated palate and wants to benefit from the type of coffee that has been springing up in coffee shops across the globe in the past 20 years or so. However, the modern consumer does not want to leave the comfort of their own home to get it. Therefore, manufacturers have come up with the coffee machine. This plugs the gap in the market and creates a stunning cup of coffee. The problem is, they have been so successful at doing this and have created so many coffees machine styles, that the modern consumer does not always know where to start.
Where Should You Start?
There are four main types of coffee machines. These are:
- Traditional expresso machines
- Pod coffee machines
- Bean to cup coffee machines
- Filter coffee machines
These different coffee machines all have their own characteristics, and which is the best one for you will depend on what you want from your coffee machine. There is nothing worse than spending hours searching for the perfect coffee machine, so it’s probably best to ask yourself questions such as, ‘what coffee machine I should buy?’ before you start browsing, as this will narrow down your options.
Filter Coffee Machines
A filter coffee machine represents excellent value for money. This is a basic model that can only offer black coffee but if you drink it that way or you don’t mind adding the milk yourself, this is a fantastic little coffee machine. It works by using a filter machine to drip water into the ground coffee and it can make up to twelve cups of coffee at a time, meaning this is a fantastic machine if you have a large family or you like to entertain multiple guests at the same time. However, these machines are probably the hardest to clean so you have to enjoy getting your hands a bit dirty to deal with them.
Capsule or Pod Coffee Machines
These machines make a great cup of coffee, and the process is simple and easy to use. Simply slot the capsule into the machine and it will only take a couple of minutes for your coffee to be ready. This is a fantastic way to make a coffee for one person at a time. However, making coffee for multiple people will take longer as these machines only take one capsule at a time.
These machines tend to be small and compact, meaning that they won’t take up a lot of space in your kitchen. They are relatively inexpensive to buy which is great if you are looking for a budget model. The pods keep your coffee fresh for longer too which is great for the occasional coffee drinker because your beverage won’t go out of date quickly. Shop around for your coffee maker as you will find brands that also allow you to make tea and hot chocolate.
One problem with these machines though is that they only fit the manufacturer’s coffee capsule and you cannot use anything else. This may not matter to you, especially if you are using a machine such as a Nespresso or Tassimo, as these are huge coffee providers and offer a vast selection. However, as with anything, you do have to pay a premium for brand names. If you opt for a less well-known brand, this may narrow down the selection of coffee that you can enjoy.
Traditional Espresso Machines
A traditional espresso machine uses pre-ground coffee to make a fantastic cup of espresso coffee, which is a sure-fire way to wake you up in the mornings or give you some more energy when you need it. These are the least bulky type of coffee maker as they use pre-ground coffee, which means that the machine doesn’t need to contain a grinder. This also makes them relatively cost-effective.
You can use any brand of ground coffee to make your favorite cup and you can customize your coffee to suit your own taste by changing the amount of coffee and water your cup contains. However, because the coffee isn’t freshly ground, it may not taste as good as coffee from freshly ground machines.
Bean to Cup Coffee Machines
This is a fantastic option if you love your coffee. The machine grinds coffee on demand so your drink will always taste fresh. It can make you an espresso quickly and easily. If you want a different type of coffee, it is worth checking out a few of the machines as some of them offer a frothing function so you can make a cappuccino or latte.
This type of machine will offer you a fantastic tasting coffee and it can be customized to make your favorite hot beverage whenever you need it. It is easy to use and will even make you a great-tasting decaf if you don’t want to stay up too late.
These great machines do come with a larger price tag than their rivals though. Prices tend to start around the $300 mark, but they can go up to $1,500 for a top of the range machine. However, you do get what you pay for and if you love your coffee, you could consider it a worthwhile investment.
Consider the space you have available to keep a bean to cup coffee machine as some of them tend to be bulkier than others. They can also be quite noisy when they are grinding coffee so, they may get on your nerves after a while in an open-plan space. They can also be prone to clogging and difficult to clean, so make sure that you have enough room to take it apart if necessary before you buy this type of machine.
What type of machine and the make and model you decide on can have a significant impact on the price. However, as well as considering how much you will pay upfront for your chosen machine, you should also look at how much it takes to make a cup of coffee. For example, although pod coffee machines are the cheapest to buy, it is more expensive to buy the pods and you can only use the manufacturer’s own, which means that you cannot buy cheaper ones.
If you compare the costs over five years, including buying and making all the coffee during that time, filter coffee machines work out the cheapest, followed by expresso machines, bean-to-cup machines and the most expensive are pod coffee machines. However, the bean-to-cup machines arguably make the best coffee. None of this works out as expensive as a twice daily trip to the coffee shop though, so if you love good coffee, you could save yourself a fortune.
Add-ons can get expensive and although a basic machine may be relatively inexpensive, if you start adding things such as frothers, cappuccino makers, and other gadgets, they become more expensive. If you like to get hands-on with your coffee making, you may not need any attachments. However, if you want to press a button and have the machine create the coffee for you with minimum effort on your part, then the add-ons might be worth paying the extra for.
There is no right or wrong coffee machine to buy. For large families who want value for money, a filter coffee machine is probably the best one for you. If you want coffee made the uncomplicated way and only need to make one at a time, a capsule or pod coffee machine could be the best option. If you don’t mind using ground coffee but want the option of having different types of it, then an espresso machine may work well for you. A coffee loving consumer who doesn’t mind spending a lot of money upfront will get a lot of pleasure from a bean-to-cup machine.
Now that you know the options available to you, it should be much simpler to select the machine of your dreams and have lots of happy years with it making and drinking coffee. Enjoy.