Buyer's Guide to Coffee Makers

There are loads of different forms of coffee machine out there, depending on whether you’re conscious about space, price, the taste of the coffee or the grind and form of coffee you use.

There are also models to suit all styles and capabilities, whether you’re a rushing-out-the-door drinker or you prefer to take some time over the extraction process.

Electric Coffee Machines

Bean To Cup

Bean To Cup Machine
  • 10p per cup
  • Beans
  • Milk frothers and steam wands
  • Offers multiple ways to make coffee
  • Barista style experience at home
  • Often the most expensive

Pod Machines

Nespresso Pixie Coffee Machine
  • 25p per cup
  • Pods
  • Hassle free
  • Choice of hot drinks beyond coffee
  • Often cheapest to buy
  • Pods can be pricey
Espresso Machine Reviews
  • 25p per cup
  • Grounds
  • Good for anyone who likes coffee a certain way
  • Manual or automatic operation
  • Can be a fine art to use

Filter

Russell Hobbs 20680 Buckingham Filter Coffee Machine
  • 20p per cup
  • Grounds
  • American Style Black coffee
  • Good for multiple servings
  • Stays warm
  • Only makes filter coffee so no milk-based

Integrated

Integrated Coffee Machine Reviews
  • 15p per cup
  • Beans or Grounds
  • Similar to a bean to cup machines
  • Slimline unobtrusive style
  • Very pricey and limited choice in comparison

Manual Coffee Machines

Andrew James Moka Pot
  • 15p per cup
  • Grounds
  • Strong coffee
  • Various serving sizes available
  • Can be time consuming
  • 10p per cup
  • Grounds
  • Longer extraction so stronger taste
  • Serving size flexible
  • Time consuming
Lsydnfow Cafetiere French Press Coffee Maker
  • 15p per cup
  • Grounds
  • Larger servings
  • Strong taste
  • Affordable option
  • Can be a pain to clean
GSI Outdoors Glacier Stainless Percolator
  • 10p per cup
  • Grounds
  • Strong taste
  • Electric or Stove Top
  • Large quantities
  • Need to experiment to suit tastes
Bodum ePEBO Electric Vacuum Coffee Maker
  • 15p per cup
  • Grounds
  • Very trendy
  • Novelty design and method
  • Makes great tasting coffee
  • Limited choice out there
Toddy Cold Brew System
  • 10p per cup
  • Grounds
  • Strongest taste of all as it brews for days
  • Can be reheated
  • Simple to make
  • Needs to be kept in fridge

Features in Coffee Makers Which Affect Clarity and Body

When choosing a coffee maker, another consideration should be:

How do you like your coffee?

When brewing, there’s a trade off between the clarity of flavours in the coffee and the amount of body it has. The greater the clarity of flavours, the lighter the body and vice versa.

So the first question to ask yourself is: do you prefer your coffee bright and light; full-bodied; or somewhere in between?

There are three main features in coffee makers which dictate the level of clarity and body the coffee has:

1. Filtration

The most defining factor is the type of filtration the coffee maker uses to separate the coffee solution from the ground coffee. The finer the filter the more clarity the coffee will have. 

Whilst the size of pores does vary from brand to brand, the fineness of the filter is governed by the material it’s made from. Generally, paper filters have the finest pores, followed by cloth and then metal.

2. Pressure

Coffee makers that apply pressure during the brewing process usually have more body than those that don’t. For example, espresso machines and stove-top espresso makers will have a fuller body and less clarity than a cafetiere (french press).

Coffee Filter

3. Brewing Style

Broadly speaking, coffee makers can be divided into two camps: full immersion and percolation brewers (not to be confused with coffee percolators). With a full immersion brewer, the full amount of water is in contact with the ground coffee for the majority, if not the entire duration, of the brew. The cafetiere (or french press) is the most common full immersion brewer. With a percolation brewer, water is passed through a bed of ground coffee, usually quite slowly. A good example of this is a pour-over (drip filter) brewer.

Typically full immersion brewing lends itself to fuller bodied brews than percolation, although this isn’t always the case. Full immersion brewing is also much simpler than percolation, so it’s easier to get consistent results.

Further Information

Once you’ve seen a type of coffee maker you’re interested in, choose from the links below to find more information about it:

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