The Complete Coffee Machine Buying Guide

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A coffee machine is something you’re probably going to use every day. Having a cup of coffee is one of the first things many of us do in the morning, and that first cup of the day is often the most important. You want a machine that does what’s needed and provides you with a good, strong cup when you need it.

In the past few year’s coffee machines have really become an essential home appliance, but that’s also brought a lot more choice onto the market. So, what kind of machine should you choose? Espresso or filter? Do you really need to spend £500 to get a good one? What does drip-brew and pour-over mean?

There are three major things to consider when buying a coffee maker: how much will you use it; how professional do you want your coffee; and, of course, what are you willing to pay.

Here are some of the most common types of coffee maker to consider, with options for all budgets.

The more traditional design of machine that many people will be familiar with is the filter type. They are readily available at cheap prices for those who don’t want to spend a fortune.

The classic filter machine design is the drip-brew model which drips hot water onto the ground coffee held in a filter. These are a good budget option with some costing less than £20, though prices can go to more than £100 and cost can be an indicator of quality. These machines are a good place to start if you want something nice and simple for your first coffee maker, you can choose which type of coffee to use in them and most have removable washable filters.

Pour-over machines are a newer design of coffee maker. The coffee is pre-wetted and then hot water is slowly poured over to make a richer brew. They make a nice cup and you can use your favourite choice of grinds in them. They are simple to use, but they will take longer to make your coffee. A budget version can be found for around £40-£50, but top-notch models are pricier.

It’s not just about the type of machine though, many models have all kinds of features available, but do you really need them? Here are some of the most common.

Automatic Switch Off: This will automatically cut off the machine after a set amount of time to save energy.

Insulated Jug: Glass jugs are a common feature on coffee makers, but an insulated jug will help to keep your brew warm without using a warming plate.

Timer: This can be useful if you want your cup ready when you wake up. It allows you to set a time when the machine will turn on and start preparing your coffee.

Espresso Machines

If a standard filter machine isn’t for you and you’re a bit of an amateur barista, then you might be more suited to an espresso machine.

The big feature of espresso machines is that they force pressurised water through fine coffee grinds rather than the slower filter method.

There are several types of espresso machine, here are some of the most popular.

Capsule or pod machines are perfect if you want a speedy no-fuss cup. You simply put a capsule or pod in the machine, set it going and wait for your perfect cup of coffee. They are easy to use and compact so save space in your kitchen. You can get a capsule/pod machine for as little as £50, though more advanced types can cost £250+. Their biggest downside is that some brands have a limited selection of coffee pods to choose from.

For the more professional, an espresso/cappuccino machine might be the best choice.

With these machines you don’t use pods, you buy the ready ground beans–or grind your own–and can make any kind of coffee you like. You can get one of these machines for less than £100, but if you want an advanced model it can cost up to £500.

They are versatile machines, allowing you to make lattes, cappuccinos, etc, and have many features to help make that perfect cup.

Bean to cup machinesare for the real home-barista. These machines have an in-built grinder, so you just put unground beans straight into the maker and let it do the work. These are only for the truly dedicated, with prices going from £300 to well over £1000 for the best, this is a machine you want to get your money’s worth from.

You’ll need to do some experimenting to find your perfect brew, but these machines have lots of features to help you and once you’ve found it, you’ll get a consistent result.

One type of coffee maker that’s becoming more popular is the single-cup machine. These hold enough water to make just one cup of coffee and are popular with people who like their coffee on the go, allowing you to make a quick brew to put in a portable cup and take with you, though they are more limited in the number of features available. Prices start at around £25.

One other option to consider if you just want a no-nonsense cup is the percolator. You simply put medium grind coffee into the pot, switch it on and you’ll have a good, strong cup ready in no time. Perfect if you like an easy brew, and with prices from £25 they won’t break the bank.

It’s not just about the type of machine though, many models have all kinds of features available, but do you really need them? Here are some of the most common.

Automatic Switch Off: This will automatically cut off the machine after a set amount of time to save energy.

Insulated Jug: Glass jugs are a common feature on coffee makers, but an insulated jug will help to keep your brew warm without using a warming plate.

Timer: This can be useful if you want your cup ready when you wake up. It allows you to set a time when the machine will turn on and start preparing your coffee.

So there you are. Those are the most popular kinds of coffee makers on the market. There are quite a few things to consider before you go out and put any of your cash into a new machine, but whether you want to be a true barista, or just need something to make a strong cup first thing in the morning, there’ll be a coffee machine to suit your needs.

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Starting the morning with a cup of coffee and the nice aroma coming from it is what I pray for while going to bed at night. I have been a coffee drinker since I have been allowed to take a sip. I am now 45 years old, and I have been looking for a perfect cup of coffee for almost 25 years now. My quest for coffee has taken me to the roadside cafes of Brazil, Mexico, Havana, and the star-studded restaurants all over the world. I talked with the chefs and cage owners to know their techniques. I have gathered the best coffee beans by traveling the farthest corners of Mexico and Brazil. What have I got by doing all these? Yes, the experience that can quench my thirst. And, don't forget about the experiences that I can share with the coffee lovers throughout the world. This blog has given me the freedom to talk about my journey to a perfect cup of coffee. You will get to know a whole lot of things about coffee from my writing. Let's check out by yourself!

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