If there is one early morning ritual shared by nearly every working professional, it is coffee time. The scalding hot elixir that many consider the number one ingredient for a bright day comes in different strains and flavors.
Most people who love coffee love to brew their coffee at home, and this is possible with a coffee maker. A coffee maker will save you trips to the coffee shop and will give you coffee on demand even when you suddenly have cravings at the oddest of hours.
If you don’t already have one or are looking to upgrade your old coffee maker, you will quickly find how overwhelming the different options can get. Not all coffee makers are created equal. Some are designed to simply brew coffee while more advanced models can completely process dried coffee beans from start to finish for those who want the purest coffee.
But even with the vast options, coffee makers can be grouped into a number of types we will now look at. So even if you are a total newbie to all that entails coffee making, by the end of this article, you will be informed on the different types of coffee makers and which is right for you.
According to Brewing Process
The best coffee makers are as versatile as the different coffee brewing processes. The most common methods of brewing coffee generally fall into three categories; drip extraction, steeping, and pressure extraction.
Drip Coffee Makers
Drip coffee makers like the name imply, extract the flavor from the ground coffee with water poured over it. The mix is then passed through a filter paper so that oils and particles are filtered out. Drip coffee makers can be further classified as pour-over coffee makers and automatic drip coffee makers.
Pour-over Coffee Makers
These coffee makers are the most basic types of coffee makers and typically take the form of a compact unit that is placed right above your coffee cup. You do the pouring of the ground coffee and hot water into the filter paper and just allow your coffee to seep through.
Automatic Drip Coffee Makers
Automatic drip coffee makers are designed for hands-free usage. You just add the ground coffee and water, and then the coffee is filtered into a container you can serve from. These are the most popular types of coffee makers you’ll find in households and are great for brewing multiple cups.
Steeping Coffee Makers
Steeping coffee makers use steeping or soaking the ground coffee in water to extract the flavor. Steeping coffee makers can either use cold or hot water for the extraction process and are further divided into:
Cold Coffee Makers
Cold brew coffee makers use cold water to steep the ground coffee. They basically take the form of a container with cold water mixed with ground coffee left to soak usually for several hours. While they take longer than hot water brewing, the flavor is typically stronger.
French press coffee makers usually use hot water to steep the ground coffee then squeeze the mixture to separate the grinds and extract as much flavor as much as possible. They are great for quick coffee cups with almost the richness of a cold slow brewer.
Siphon Coffee Makers
Siphon coffee makers use a vacuum to move hot water into the ground coffee and then filter the mixture. They are typically found in shops and have a certain theatrical feel to them. They are quite skill-intensive and are popular with die-hard coffee enthusiasts.
Pressure Coffee Makers
Pressure coffee makers extract the flavor from ground coffee quickly using hot water or steam under high pressure to produce smooth, caffeine-rich coffee called espresso.
Espresso Coffee Makers
Espresso coffee makers come as high-end units that are usually automatic or semi-automatic. They are also typically the priciest of coffee makers and produce espresso on demand.
Moka pots are the ancestors of espresso machines. They are usually placed on stoves to generate the hot steam and water that passes through the ground coffee.
AeroPress Coffee Makers
Aeropress coffee makers use air pressure to push the hot water through the ground coffee. They are easy to use and are considered best for beginner-level espresso lovers.
By Brewing Capacity
Coffee makers can also be classified by their brewing capacities as single-serve coffee makers and multi-serve coffee makers.
Single-serve Coffee Makers
These coffee makers are excellent for your daily cup of coffee and will come as a compact unit. As the name implies, they produce a single serving of coffee and are ideal for individuals or small households.
Multi-serve or bulk-serve coffee makers brew multiple cups of coffee at a go. These are better-suited for larger households or if you want a store of coffee you’ll be drinking throughout the day.
A major criterion that separates one coffee maker from the other is the power source. According to the power source, coffee makers can be classified as manual and electric coffee makers.
Manual coffee makers cover French presses, AeroPress coffee makers, pour-over coffee makers, and Moka pots. These coffee makers are labor-intensive and need some skill to use them, but the results can be very rewarding. For people who prefer old-school techniques, manual coffee makers are usually the best choice for them.
Electric coffee makers are usually automatic or semi-automatic and take most or all of the labor to make coffee off your hands. These cover espresso machines, some drip coffee makers, and even some siphon coffee makers. They usually come with electric heating elements, automatic functions, dispensers, and can even be programmed in some high-end models.
Coffee can be made in so many ways and this is reflected in the different types of coffee makers available. Your choice for one will depend on the kind of coffee you like, how much time you have to spare, how much coffee you consume, your budget, and whether you like hands-free or getting your hands dirty.
And as long as there are ground coffee beans, coffee makers will be there to extract the dark essence we have all come to love.