Choosing the right coffee machine
From filter coffee makers to traditional espresso machines, the range of coffee equipment can be overwhelming. However, if you only have a few essential knowledge, you can easily navigate the world of coffee machines and find the machine that’s right for you.
Not so long ago, brewing a cup of coffee was no more complicated than choosing your favorite brand of instant coffee and boiling a kettle. How things have changed! The spread of coffee shops around the world has made us all more specific in what we choose to drink. Not content with drinking lattes and cappuccinos at our local cafe, a staggering 20% of UK households now own a coffee machine so we can enjoy our favorite creation at home.
So here’s our easy-to-follow guide on how to choose the right type of coffee maker for you.
There are a number of basic methods of brewing coffee, and depending on your preferences, some will work better for you than others. Let’s take a look at the main types of coffee machines on the market.
Arguably the cheapest way to make “good” coffee, a coffee maker is a glass or plastic pitcher with a built-in plunger mechanism. You just add boiling water to the ground coffee you put in the coffee maker, let it steep for a while. briefly and then press the plunger to push all the coffee grounds down. Easy!
Pros: Make decent coffee from around £10, portable, no power required (except boiling water).
Cons: You can’t make espresso, latte, or cappuccino like filter coffee makers.
Filter coffee machines
Available to individuals and businesses, all filter best cheap automatic coffee machine work the same. Coldwater is poured into the top, then it is heated and drained through a filter paper containing your ground coffee. The finished carafe of coffee sits on a stovetop and keeps it warm so you can keep coming back to top it up.
Pros: Easy to use, coffee can be kept warm for hours, low machine prices.
Cons: You can only brew one type of coffee – no espresso, latte or cappuccino. Not everyone likes filter coffee flavored with syrups.
Capsule coffee machines
Available in most High Street department stores, there is now a huge range of great little machines to choose from. The coffee is measured and packed in foil capsules that you place in the machine and the rest is usually done at the push of a button. They are normally easy to clean and the coffee is often of very good quality, especially if you have opted for a branded coffee such as Lavazza.
Pros: Wide range of machines, brews most types of coffee from espresso to lattes, easy to clean.
Cons: You can only use pods from your manufacturer, so they tend to be expensive.
Pump espresso machines
These are small, normally household espresso machines that contain a high-pressure pump to produce an espresso that you can then use as a base for many other drinks, including macchiatos, lattes, and cappuccinos. Available in High Street shops from around £100, but at this price don’t expect a machine that will last for years.
Pros: Make a wide variety of espresso-based drinks, at a low price, not limited to a small range of coffees
Cons: Cheap machines can have a short life, can be difficult to clean
Traditional espresso machines
These are the largest commercial espresso machines that you will recognize in High Street cafes such as Costa and Starbucks. They are designed to be used all day and to last for years. They are expensive and bulky, making them unsuitable for home use. In recent years, however, some manufacturers have created smaller, thin units that can be used anywhere in the house, as long as your pockets are deep enough. And don’t forget that you also need a grinder.
Advantages: This is how you make coffee, reliable and durable machines
Cons: Expensive, suitable for commercial use
Coffee bean machines
The bean machines include a built-in grinder and espresso machine that are automated so you can pour your beans from above, press a button and get a straight espresso.