Hey!

Today I want to talk about the tedious process that everyone can face when they have to choose a coffee maker…. I don’t know if you already did it or not, but if you type coffee maker on amazon.com you will access hundreds of different product. But a question remains: how to choose a coffee machine?

To answer this question, we will cover the different topics in the following order:

  1. The different way to brew coffee
  2. How many steps to make a coffee
  3. Coffee consumption
  4. Tank water volume
  5. The size
  6. The design

 

One quick reminder on what are the key components to make a great espresso arranged in ascending order: 

  • The  type of coffee
  • The Grinder
  • The espresso machine
  • The guy making the coffee ( you?)

You noticed, right? The espresso machine is in the third place…

 

What type of great coffee maker do you want?

There are 10 types of coffee makers out there:

  • Percolator
  • Moka Pot
  • French press
  • Vacuum coffee maker
  • Auto drip coffee maker
  • Espresso coffee maker
  • Aeropress coffee maker
  • Thermal coffee maker
  • Pour overs
  • Turkish coffee pot

If you are not familiar with these different type of brewing coffee I suggest browsing around this website, you will find a description of each type at the end of this article.

What are the most important criteria to choose a coffee maker?

The different way to brew your coffee

Before getting started with the different existing forces which allow brewing your coffee. Let’s try to explain the two main mechanisms applied during the process.

First, we got diffusion:

It corresponds to the passive movement of molecules (which is a group of particles) moving from a region with higher concentration to a region with lower concentration.

Then, there is washout-kinetics:

It happens when your brew includes more force in action. A good example would be: making a coffee with an espresso machine or simply using a French press. One way to understand washout-kinetics is by imagining to force water through coffee in a small container.

An advantage of this process it to help clean some coffee particles (mainly bean fibers and some proteins). It also helps the diffusion process.

  • Gravity

This process includes a low level of washout-kinetics with a medium level of diffusion. This process of brewing is associated with most of the Drip coffee maker.

Gravity helps to obtain a better perception of acids in your coffee. Be aware, it’s important to keep the temperature between 93 and 96 Celsius degree during the brewing process: it will incredibly help to increase the diffusion of the particles.

As a result, you will get a broader and higher acid profile for your coffee. It’s especially important while using a pour-over coffee maker: acidity is the criteria which help to get more complex and interesting cup.

  • Pressure

This process is used with Moka-pot or Aeropress coffee maker. It’s usually accompanied with a moderate to high-level of washout-kinetics and different level of diffusion (on average: low to moderate). The type of filter used in any Pressure brew methods will define the level of the texture of the coffee.

  • Immersion

It has the benefit of having the maximum diffusion with varied level of washout kinetics (depending on the brewing apparatus). Most of the time, this process produce more complex and richer coffee.

Good examples of immersion are Aeropress inverted or Siphon. We can also add the French press in this category, even though it has less clarity.

  • Vacuum

Siphon uses a combination of immersion and Vacuum to get complex coffee. By the presence of the immersion process, we still have the maximum diffusion. A stable and fairly high water temperature is possible- which brings out a broader range of acids, as well as being fully immersed.

 

How many steps to make a coffee

Regarding how often you will use your coffee maker, I strongly recommend watching out how many steps you will need to brew a coffee. The difficulty of the process is also something you should consider. Using an Aeropress is definitely not equivalent (in term of difficulty) than using an espresso coffee machine. I believe you need to find the balance between the difficulty and the type of coffee you want to brew!

 

Coffee consumption

Depending on the type of coffee machine you chose, you can have a lot of surprises in the long term. For example, I am thinking about espresso coffee machine. There are 3 types of them.

  • Ground coffee machine
  • Bean to cup machine
  • Capsules coffee machine (like Nespresso)

The thing is the price of coffee is not going to be the same regarding the type you chose. Most of the time, the cheapest ones are the ground coffee machine, then the Bean to cup machine, to finish by the Capsules Coffee machine. Please, don’t forget that if you chose Capsules coffee machine you will have to buy specifics capsules from a brand which could be really costly! Plus, you can’t really choose what type of coffee you want to brew!

 

Tank water volume

Pay attention to the number of cup of coffee you can brew with your coffee maker! Indeed, the ratio coffee/water is one of the main variables to brew a good coffee but if you have to brew 4 times when you invite some friends over, it can be really annoying, don’t you think? Most of the time, you will get the info on the characteristic’s web page of the product you are looking at. Don’t forget to define when you will use your future coffee maker!

 

The size

Even if it could be obvious to certain people, I believe it’s important to remind everybody that the size of your future coffee maker matters: it has to fit the spot dedicated (watch out the height!).

 

The design

The appearance of a coffee machine has no importance to some of us but may be important for others. But don’t forget to consider that an espresso machine will stay in your kitchen for a while, it would be better if the design of the coffee maker fits the decoration of your kitchen, no?

 

How much do you want to pay for your pleasure?

 

Depending on the type of coffee maker you chose the range of prices could vary a lot:

The prices indicated below might vary. This research has been done to give you an idea of how much it can cost ;).

Type

Range of prices Brewing process

More information…

Percolator Coffee Maker

  • amazon.com: 13.19$ to 350$
  • bestbuy.com: 23.99$ to 61.99$
 

 

 

 

Pressure

 Check this article!

Moka Pot

  • amazon.com: 7.99$ to 3574$
  • bestbuy.com: 34.99$ ( only one product available for now)
 

Pressure

Check this article!

French press

  • amazon.com: 8.98$ to 258$
  • bestbuy.com: 17.99$ to 72$99$
 

Immersion  /Pressure

Check this article!

Vacuum coffee maker

  • amazon.com: 17.49$ to 1749$
  • bestbuy.com: 153.99$ (Only one product)
 

Immersion

Check this article!

Auto drip coffee maker (glass carafe)

  • amazon.com: 10.44$ to > 1200$
  • bestbuy.com: 13.99$ to > 125$
 

Gravity

Check this article!

Espresso coffee maker

  • amazon.com: 32.99$ to 17730$
  • bestbuy.com: to 39.99$ to 5599$
 

Pressure

Check this article!

Thermal coffee maker

  • amazon.com: 17$ to 768.88$
  • bestbuy.com: 46.99$ to 299.99$
 

Gravity

Check this article!

Pour overs

  • amazon.com:

Chemex: 14$ to 134$

Hario v60: 17$ to 485 $

Bee house: 19$ to 103$

Kalita Wave: 6$ to 81$

Hario Woodneck: 26.41$ to 45$

 

 

 

 

Gravity

 

  • Chemex
  • Hario v60
  • Bee House
  • Kalita Wave
  • Hario Woodneck

 

Turkish Coffee Maker ( Pot)

  • amazon.com:  7$ to 575$

 

 

Immersion

Check this article!

To sum up…

I hope this article helps you to choose a coffee machine which will fit your needs! Don’t forget though that there is other variables which will influence the quality of your coffee, like the ratio coffee/water, the type of coffee you brew (the quantity also! ), the size of the grind, the quality of the water you use and its temperature…

Brewing a good cup of coffee is not that simple, right? :).

Please feel free to add a comment below if you feel like I can improve this article or just because you appreciate it!

Take care!

 

1 Comment

  1. Reply

    I LOVE Coffee and it is so interesting to learn about all of the factors that go into choosing a machine. I have a basic one at home, but really have a taste for higher end coffee from independent coffee shops. It’s helpful to learn what is out there so that I can look to get a better option for myself at home.

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