One thing that every coffee drinker has in common is the fact that we all brew our coffee. In today’s article, I will explore 10 of the most popular types of coffee makers to find out the pros and cons of each brewing method. If you’re a long time coffee drinker, you probably already know most of these, but regardless I’ve tried to include interesting brewing information with each one to help you find a new way to enjoy your daily grind. Here are the different types of coffee makers!
Drip Coffee Makers
It makes sense to start with drip coffee machines because it is still the most popular form of the coffee maker. Everyone knows these machines, where you fill a chamber of the machine with water, put your coffee in a filter, press the ’on’ button, and enjoy multiple cups of coffee for the next several hours. Some of these machines come with reusable filters, while others rely on the paper variety.
While I do love a variety of brewing methods, I’ve probably drunk more drip coffee than anything else, and while I wouldn’t describe it as fancy. I would go so far as to call this method “old reliable” because, honestly, it’s one of the hardest forms of coffee to mess up.
This one of the most popular types of coffee machine, and drip coffee makers are one of the most popular kinds of coffee makers.
French Press Pots
French press pots are perfect for rich and thick brews that are full of flavor. If you’re not familiar, the basic premise is that you have a container in which you add your coffee grounds and your hot water together.
You let the coffee grinds and the water steep together for 10 minutes or so (depending on preference). Then you slowly press a giant filter down the french press pot, which pushes the coffee grinds to the bottom of the container leaving you with a bunch of coffee to drink.
Since the main mechanism at work here is a giant filter that you push through the french press pot. You must grind small enough so that it still brews right but big enough so that the grounds don’t pass through the filter.
This means you should either grind your coffee to the right size in the store or that you own a mechanical grinder so that you can do that at home.
Cheap grinders that cannot give you a consistent coffee grind are not recommended for french press pots because the inconsistency in size means that any coffee grounds that are smaller than the filter will be in your drink. French press is one of the most popular types of coffee pot, and out all types of coffee pots, are the most popular.
Moka pots are like tiny espresso makers that you operate on your stove. While the pressure and resulting espresso are not quite as strong as a traditional espresso machine, the shots of coffee produced are more concentrated and espresso-like than most other brewing methods.
One of the tricks with Moka pots is to not pack the coffee down on the filter, but instead just put your espresso grounds in the filter naturally, without worrying about fully packing it as much as possible. With a little practice, it’s quick and easy to brew espresso-like shots using a Moka pot and your stove.
Cold Brew Filters & Jars
Cold brewing your coffee is extremely tasty, but it is also one of the best ways to reduce the drink’s acidity. It’s also one of the best ways to enjoy the full-bodied flavor of your beans. One other benefit before I jump into some of the equipment and methodology is the fact that it takes several hours to cold brew, meaning it’s generally a night-time routine of starting the cold-brew so that when you wake up in the morning, you simply open your fridge and grab your already brewed cup of coffee.
Cold-brew can be made without dedicated equipment, but it is easier to buy a cold brew coffee maker specifically designed for it. Regardless, the process is simple:
• Put your coffee grounds in a jar
• Fill the jar with water and put it in the fridge
• After 6 to 18 hours filter the coffee grounds out from the water and enjoy your cold brew
My cold-brew coffee maker kit came with a mason jar, a lid, and a giant metal filter that fits in the jar and extends from the top to the bottom of the jar. In this way, I simply open the jar, put the filter in, put my coffee in the filter, fill the jar with cold tap water, screw the lid on and place it in the fridge for the night.
In the morning, I slowly remove the filter, dump the grounds into my compost, and enjoy my super dark and extremely tasty cold-brew. You can also create cold brew by using a french press pot or even a drip coffee filter at the end to remove the coffee grinds.
If you love coffee and haven’t tried cold-brew yet, you need to.
A good espresso machine speaks for itself in terms of quality, which can easily be discerned when you drink shots from the machine. If you’re on a tight budget, I recommend a cheap $20 Moka pot instead of a low-end espresso maker, but your mileage will vary. Regardless, if you’re grinding your beans, you will want an electric or conical burr coffee grinder to get a consistent grain size.
Honestly, I feel finding the best espresso machine means doing a lot of homework. Sure, you can just buy a well-reviewed auto or semi-auto machine in your price range. Still, if you’re serious about espresso and have the budget and patience required to master the art of manually brewing espresso, then you should consider a manual lever espresso machine. The question then becomes, do you get a spring-piston or direct lever machine?
At the end of the day, you might be satisfied with a standard espresso machine, and there is nothing wrong with that. It’s just that it is now easier than ever to brew barista-quality espresso right from your own kitchen. While the machine may be expensive, if it lasts you several years and keeps you away from Starbucks, it just might pay for itself.
K-Cup Coffee Makers
It’s hard for me to believe that K-cup machines have been around for over 15 years, but that’s the nature of time and how it flies. While K-cups are not my favorite daily driver, there is simply no denying how great they are in an office environment.
They’re single-serve don’t make a mess and offer such a variety of flavors and other options make this my go-to office coffee maker. Well, at least for small offices. For larger gatherings, I definitely recommend coffee urns, which I cover at the end of this article.
The biggest drawback with K-Cups is the extra price of the coffee per ounce compared to more traditional brewing methods. However, there are mini-filters you can get so that you can brew your own custom K-cups at any time, which is the best of both worlds.
With the extra convenience, you do have an additional cost. Still, you also have more flexibility to easily brew tea, hot chocolate, or a variety of coffees with very little mess or clean up than you normally would.
Stand-Alone “Pour-Over” Drip Filters
I’m not talking about a drip coffee machine, but instead the disembodied single-serve drip-filter. If you don’t know what I am talking about, these things basically sit on top of your coffee mug and have a spot for a filter.
You pour your hot water into the filter and then it drips into your coffee mug. The main advantage of the stand-alone drip filters is that they are extremely inexpensive and are a great backup to have in case your main coffee maker stops working.
That’s just the basics, though. A lot of people brew pour-over coffee as their daily cup of joe. Since everyone prefers different coffee experiences, the perfect pour-over coffee will be different for everyone.
However, my general advice to find your favorite pour-over brew is to find a bean you like the taste of, then measure out the amount of coffee you think will make a good brew as well as the amount of water you are heating.
Finally, pour the coffee over the grounds with a slow controlled pour. Now, you can judge how much you like the brew and then change either the number of grounds, the amount of water, or how fast or slow you pour in order to adjust the brew to your tastes.
There are a lot of options for coffee brewing while camping, but I prefer percolators the most because you can get an amazing brew even in the middle of nowhere. Of course, you don’t have to be out camping to enjoy your coffee in a percolator.
Just like with the Moka pots, this is a coffee maker that you can use directly on your stove. It is also a fantastic backup coffee maker to have in reserves in case your main workhorse stops working.
Single Serve Automatic Coffee Makers
While I have already mentioned the stand-alone drip filters, espresso machine and K-cups as three great ways to brew coffee a cup at a time, there are also a bunch of single-serve drip coffee machines which have a lot of uses.
For instance, if you have a guest house, home office, a garage, or another area where you want access to a second coffee machine, this is a great inexpensive way to add one. You can find a single-serve manual drip, pour-over—K-cup, and espresso machines, as well as the automatic drip variety.
Why waste money on K-cups if you have 20 or 50 people who are going to be drinking coffee? In such high traffic offices, weddings, parties, or other gatherings, it makes sense to buy or rent a coffee urn toso that you can brew coffee in bulk. Yes, you need to use a lot of coffee grounds, and it may take a couple of batches before you find the perfect amount of grounds to use for your group’s tastes. However, with some persistence, good coffee beans, and some experimentation, you can actually consistently brew delicious coffee in bulk in a coffee urn.
Different Types Of Coffee Makers
- Drip Coffee Makers
- French Press Pots
- Moka Pots
- Cold Brew Filters & Jars
- Espresso Machines
- K-Cup Coffee Makers
- Stand-Alone “Pour-Over” Drip Filters
- Single Serve Automatic Coffee Makers
- Coffee Urns
Everyone has different preferences when it comes to coffee, so it’s a good thing; there are so many different brewing machine options.
In fact, there are so many that I actually didn’t cover them all. To make matters even more complex is the fact that all 10 of these coffee makers can be adjusted to produce wildly different results. However, there are some consistent factors that you can adjust no matter what coffee maker you are using. This includes:
• The smaller you grind your coffee, the stronger it will be. That is why an espresso grind is basically as small as dirt and why a french press grind is large and course.
• The more water you add, the more diluted the coffee will be. When combined with coffee grain size adjustments, you can really fine-tune the strength of your brew by adjusting the amount of water you brew with.
• The longer the grounds and water soak together, the stronger the brew. This especially applies to pour-over, french press pots, and cold brew.
No matter how you like your coffee at the end of the day. Your brew is largely dictated by the type of coffee makers you own. That means the more coffee makers you add to your arsenal, the larger your pallette of available coffee brews. If you’re looking for ultimate versatility, getting a K-cup machine is your best bet. But if you’re looking for the ultimate espresso machine, then you have a lot more to consider.
Honestly, there are just so many coffee makers and varieties to choose from that there is room for every taste.
Hopefully, you enjoyed this look at 10 of the most popular types of coffee makers. I’ve personally used all of these types and more in my pursuit of the perfect brew, so I hope I was able to help guide you on your own quest for the same. Thanks for reading, and enjoy your brew! Check out other guides on the best Italian coffee and the best Costa Rican Coffee!