A coffee machine or a coffee maker is a cooking appliance used to brew coffee without having to boil the water separately. There are different types of coffee machines depending on the brewing principles. However, in most machines, coffee grounds are placed in a paper or metal filter inside a funnel and cold water is poured into a separate chamber, which is heated up till the boiling point and directed into the funnel.
How to choose and buy a coffee machine:
Types of coffee machines – will primarily be dependent on the space available. You could consider drip models or specialty machines such as espresso and cappuccino. Each has its benefits and limitations, but the most common used machine is the drip coffee maker.
Style preference – the most common is the counter-top model, but some prefer under cabinet unit due to space constraint. Built-in coffee maker is also available but on a higher price. The appliance can be also chosen considering the décor of your kitchen in terms of finish, color and the type of material that you would like to use – colored, white, black or stainless steel.
Coffee maker capacity – coffee makers comes in various brewing capacities such as 6,8,10 or 12 cup models. 10 or 12 cups are commonly used. Other size includes 4 cup coffee makers which are ideal for a person and two. You also get 28-40 cups, which are designed for bigger groups.
Convenient features to consider:
- Auto-off is a must and a safety feature
- Brew selector
- Brew interrupt – allows you to pour the coffee, before finishing the full cycle
- Programmable setting
- Permanent or temporary filter basket
- A well-defined pouring spout
- Exterior water level indicator
- Audible signal that the brewing or warming cycle is completed
- Extended warranty – read the pros and cons before getting one
Coffee machines to consider for buying:
Standard drip coffee maker – They are one of the most practical coffee maker and are commonly available in 4-12 cup capacities, in many styles and at various prices. Though they are a little expensive, they are considered most economical when compared to the specialty coffee machines.The price ranges from 1500 to 4000 INR for Indian brands and 1500 to 5000+ INR for imported brands.
Espresso and specialty coffee maker – They are the most expensive type of coffee machines, which are used to brew espresso, cappuccino and lattes. Some models also brew regular coffee, making these machines practical for everyday use. In some models, you can control the full brewing cycle, to fully automatic, in which the machine grinds the beans, makes the espresso and collects the spent grounds in a bin. It is advisable to consider physical size, serving capacity and type of brewing before buying. It can brew 6-24 cups and the price ranges from 5000 to 15000+.
Nespresso – claims to make a perfect espresso and is exceptionally easy to use. It brews coffee from coffee capsules, a single use and pre-apportioned container of ground coffee with flavourings. They have specialized machines which are made exclusive by a Swiss company. The have a wide range of machines to choose from and the capsules are more expensive than a ground coffee sold loose. You not only get a choice of espresso or cappuccino but you can also make gourmet coffees like the ristretto and lungo. It can brew 10-14 cups or more for professional use. The price ranges from 10000 to 50000+.
Percolator coffee maker – is an electric kettle with a limited variety and capacity choices. Some believe that the percolator brews a richer coffee when compared to a drip model. Glass or non-electric percolators are commonly used on stove-tops or camping. It can brew 4-12 cups and the price ranges from 1000 to 4000+INR.
The other commonly used coffee makers are the French press or Moka pot (stovetop coffee maker). These are ideal for individual servings or two. The price ranges from 300 to 800+ INR.
Choosing the right kind of coffee machine is dependent on your preference, features, brand and price for you to start shopping for one. Even if you’re not a coffee drinker, you should still consider having a coffee machine in hand to serve your guests. The coffee machines can be easily bought online.