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There are eleven types of coffee makers on the market which include single-serve, espresso, drip, stainless steel, glass, stovetop, vacuum, commercial, French press, Italian, and filter maker.
Finding a suitable type of coffee maker depends on programmable settings, available parts, smart features, the time it takes to brew, price point, ease of cleaning, size and capacity.
Understanding the different types of coffee makers available in the market, including the pros and cons of each, can help you identify the best type of coffee maker for your caffeine needs.
If you’re working from home and enjoy the ritual of making coffee from scratch, then a drip coffee maker or a French press is right for you. Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of each type will give you a nuanced understanding of when to use drip coffee makers vs French press.
If you’re on the go and need to make a quick cup of joe in the morning, then you need a single-serve capsule machine that can get you a warm cup in less than a minute.
The material of a coffee machine is also a consideration. Most coffee machines are made of glass or ceramics, which produce a full-bodied, flavorful coffee compared to stainless steel. Health-conscious users prefer a stainless steel or glass coffee maker over plastic ones because they are BPA-free.
Finding the perfect coffee machine types for your household requires a deep dive into each type’s functionalities, size, shape and brewing time.
What are the different types available for a coffee maker?
The different types of coffee makers are single-serve, espresso, drip, stainless steel, glass, stovetop, vacuum, commercial, French press, Italian, and filter maker.
The following list includes the different types of coffee makers available in the market:
- Single-serve coffee maker
A single-serve coffee maker is designed to brew one cup of coffee at a time. It may be a drip coffee maker or a capsule machine.
Single-serve coffee makers make a variety of coffee for a single person who does not need a whole pot. They brew quickly and are ideal for coffee lovers who are on the go.
Single-serve coffee makers are foolproof. Users can make a fresh cup of coffee by simply pressing a button. They also come with a water tank, so there's no need to keep filling the coffee maker with water at every use.
The downside is the capsule they come with – most are not recyclable and environmentally friendly. The pre-ground coffee from the capsules also tastes less full-bodied compared to an espresso coffee maker.
- Espresso coffee maker
An espresso coffee maker uses more power to push more caffeine through the filter, giving you a more potent drink.
This coffee maker comes in multiple functionalities, shapes and sizes because there are different ways to make espresso. An espresso coffee maker can range from manual to super-automatic machines and come in the form of a capsule machine.
Some models require pre-heating before use. It's also not as foolproof as single-serve coffee makers, so users go through a learning curve with pressure, measurements and tamping.
- Drip coffee maker
A drip coffee maker is sometimes referred to as a pour-over coffee maker.
Drip coffee makers are convenient and familiar ways to make a single cup of joe. They are versatile, allowing you to brew up to 14 cups! Some models feature different brewing systems like hot water dispensers or single-serve brewers.
These coffee makers are ideal for families and coffee connoisseurs who like to make their coffee the traditional way.
Drip coffee makers can be limited to brewing and do not have a variety of pre-programmed settings as other coffee maker types like the commercial coffee makers.
- Stainless steel coffee maker
A stainless steel coffee maker is any coffee maker out of stainless steel materials. It can come as different coffee makers, from traditional drip machines and percolators to glass coffee makers.
Stainless steel coffee makers are perfect for coffee drinkers concerned about the potential leaching of BPA from plastic units. BPA is a toxic chemical that has been linked to health issues in the reproductive, immunity and neurological systems, including an increased risk in Alzheimer's disease, type 2 diabetes, childhood asthma, and cardiovascular diseases.
- Glass coffee maker
A glass coffee maker typically has a glass pot, which helps in maintaining heat consistency.
This type of coffee maker comes in an hour-glass flask, a conical funnel and a narrow neck. Filters thicker than the typical paper ones are placed before brewing coffee.
Glass coffee makers are designed for those who prefer to prepare coffee and observe the brewing process manually.
- Stovetop coffee maker
A stovetop coffee maker uses the heat from the stove rather than an outlet to brew and heat the coffee. It is also known as a Moka pot or Italian coffee maker.
Stovetop coffee maker is perfect for those that prefer the full-bodied flavor to their java, but it requires a closer watch to prevent burning the coffee. It does not need extra filters and is more affordable than espresso coffee makers.
- Vacuum coffee maker
A vacuum coffee maker uses two chambers to siphon heat and pressure to make coffee.
This coffee maker does not have complete control of the temperature, especially for manual models. It also has more parts to clean than other coffee maker types like the drip. The delicious and distinctly aromatic cup of joe it produces more than makes up for these drawbacks.
- Commercial coffee maker
A commercial coffee maker is larger than residential coffee makers and brews multiple cups of coffee at once. It is commonly used in cafes and restaurants.
- French press coffee maker
A French Press coffee maker uses a plunge designed to pull coffee through the brewing element.
Steeping time and flavor are easily controlled with French press coffee makers. The longer you steep coffee, the richer and flavorful your cup is. Four minutes is the recommended steeping time among coffee enthusiasts.
- Italian coffee maker
An Italian coffee maker, sometimes referred to as a Moka pot, brews coffee by pushing boiling water through steam and then the coffee. It is similar to the features of a stovetop coffee maker and is an affordable option for espresso machines.
Italian coffee makers are preferred by travellers and campers who have to make their coffee outdoors using a camping stove or over a fire pit.
- Filter maker
A coffee maker uses a metal or paper filter to hold the coffee grounds before collecting them in the pot.
Using a filter maker is a convenient way to make a cup of coffee. All you need is a paper filter, hot water, and approximately 15 minutes to achieve a full-bodied coffee.
What are the different ways to use a coffee maker?
The different ways to use a coffee maker include frothing milk, making soup, warming bottles, boiling eggs, making chocolate fondue, grilling cheese, making pancakes, preparing oatmeal, cooking and steaming vegetables, and poaching fish.
The most common way to use a coffee maker is to brew and heat coffee. Here are ten other uses of a coffee maker:
Froth milk: Use the milk frother with an espresso or commercial coffee maker to achieve extra foamy milk.
Make the soup: The near-boiling water that a French press or single-serve machine makes is excellent for preparing instant soup. If you prefer to prepare your soup from scratch, mix essential ingredients like tomatoes, thinly-sliced chicken, and herbs in the carafe. Let the hot water drip and simmer the soup mix for 10-15 minutes. Season to taste and voila – a freshly-made soup from the coffee maker!
Warm bottles: If your child prefers their milk warm, then you can replace the carafe from the drip coffee maker with a baby bottle. The burner will bring it to your infant's preferred temperature.
Boil eggs: Fill the water tank and place your eggs in the carafe. Let the water pour until it completely covers the eggs. Wait for 5 to 10 minutes until you get your soft or hard-boiled eggs ready!
Make chocolate fondue: Coffee makers like the drip have a warming plate that produces consistent heat, perfect for melting chocolate. Put the cream in the carafe to warm it up. Sprinkle chocolate chips into it and stir until you get the consistency you want for your fondue party.
Grill cheese: The hot plate from the coffee maker can turn into a quesadilla, Cuban, croque-monsieur or panini maker. Cover the burner with foil, then place the sandwich on top. Flip before enjoying a freshly-made grilled cheese sandwich!
Make pancakes: Line the plate with foil before pouring a small dollop of pancake batter onto it. Flip it as you would on a frying pan, let it sit for another 5 minutes before digging into some fresh homemade pancakes.
Prepare oatmeal: Use the carafe to make an oatmeal breakfast. Place the oats inside, then run your preferred amount of water using the coffee maker.
Cook and steam vegetables: Cut vegetables like corn into smaller pieces and place them in a carafe. Run a tankful of water and let the veggies sit for 10 minutes.
Poach fish: Take advantage of the just-boiled water from a French press by poaching salmon fillets in the carafe and running a few cups of water through the coffee maker. Don’t forget to add herbs, seasonings and a sprinkle of olive oil into the mix. Let the fish fillet sit in hot water for 5 to 10 minutes until cooked.
Once you learn how to use a coffee maker, you’ll find it has many use cases – from heating drinks and soft foods to cooking vegetables and fish.
What sizes do the coffee makers come in?
Coffee makers are designed in various sizes that range from 11.11 x 22.86 x 13.65 cm to 49.4 x 44.6 x 35 cm. Here are the approximate dimensions that each coffee maker type:
Single-serve coffee maker: 43.99 x 35.99 x 36.6 cm; 5.71 Kilograms
Espresso coffee maker: 49.4 x 44.6 x 35 cm; 12.86 Kilograms
Drip coffee maker: 43.3 x 37.1 x 24.6 cm; 10.04 Kilograms
Glass coffee maker: 24.38 x 16 x 3.43 cm; 612.35 Grams
Stovetop/Italian coffee maker: 14 x 10.01 x 16.99 cm; 458.13 Grams
Vacuum coffee maker: 37.29 x 32.79 x 20.6 cm; 2.28 Kilograms
Commercial coffee maker: 35.56 x 30.48 x 33.02 cm; 7.71 Kilograms
French press coffee maker: 11.11 x 22.86 x 13.65 cm; 498.95 Grams
What foods can I make in different coffee makers?
The foods that you can make in different coffee makers are listed below:
- Fish like salmon and others of similar texture
What determines the best coffee maker type?
The best coffee maker type can be determined by the following: programmable settings, available components, smart features, the time it takes to brew coffee, price point, ease of cleaning, size and capacity.
Espresso, drip and commercial coffee makers come with programmable settings that allow you to set a time, alerting you when your coffee is ready. Others like the stovetop and the conventional glass coffee maker models are manual.
You can also determine the best coffee maker type that suits your needs based on the components available in the machine. A built-in grinder can turn coffee, making it an easier job. A water filter lets you use filtered water for your cup. A warming plate keeps your coffee supply warm and ready to drink anytime. A built-in blender lets you make iced coffee drinks, and a milk frother offers versatility in the kind of coffee drink – from latte to frappe.
Certain features make a coffee machine more appealing. A self-clean cycle automatically cleans the coffee pot, which is ideal for extremely busy users. Multi-cup settings allow you to make coffee at varying cup sizes. Automatic shut-off instantly turns off the machine when not in use. The latest models in the market come with smart features that allow you to control your coffee maker through a smartphone.
Picking the most suitable type of coffee maker also depends on the time you have to brew coffee. If you need to make a quick cup of joe in the morning before leaving for work, then a single-serve capsule machine may be best for you. If you work from home or consider the coffee brewing process a part of your morning routine, then a drip, glass or stovetop coffee maker seems right for your needs.
The price point is an essential consideration. For instance, an espresso machine will give you a deep, dark and aromatic cup, but it typically comes with a higher price tag. If it is beyond your budget, then a stovetop or Italian coffee maker is more affordable and will still make a fine cup of full-bodied coffee for you.
Some coffee makers are easier to clean than others. A single-serve capsule machine is easy to clean; give the milk frother and water tank a quick rinse. A vacuum coffee machine has more components and is trickier to clean.
Finally, pick a coffee machine that will make coffee based on the number of drinkers. If you only need to make a solo cup of coffee each time, then a single-serve or stovetop coffee maker is enough. If you're running a café and serving hundreds of coffee drinkers each day, then you should go for a commercial coffee maker.
Are glass coffee makers safe?
Yes, glass coffee makers are safe to use. They contain safety features that prevent cuts, overheating and burns while being used.
Glass coffee makers are also considered safe and toxic-free because they are made of glass and have no plastic components.
Glass coffee makers are BPA-free. BPA is a toxic chemical that comes from plastics. They are linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease, type 2 diabetes, childhood asthma, and cardiovascular diseases.
The only risk associated with glass coffee makers is when it drops and breaks. The glass shards may cut the user if they do not pick them up with extra care.
What is the average price for a coffee maker?
The average price for a coffee maker ranges from $20 to $400 depending on the features, size and capacity, type, brand and pre-programmed settings available.
A residential, single-serve drip machine and manual coffee makers are budget-friendly, ranging from $20 to $100.
Larger, multi-cup coffee makers with many features and pre-programmed settings come with a higher price tag, typically from $300 and up. Commercial coffee makers are on the higher end of the spectrum as they are designed to perform a wide range of brewing capabilities!
What is the lifespan of different coffee makers?
The average lifespan of coffee makers ranges from four to six years.
How long a coffee maker lasts depends on the frequency of use, maintenance and upkeep, material, brand and model. There have been records of coffee makers lasting up to 15 years.
How does the coffee machine type affect the coffee brew?
The coffee machine type affects the coffee brew’s taste, potency, consistency and temperature. Each coffee machine type varies in the way they brew coffee.
The pre-ground coffee from single-serve capsule machines tastes less full-bodied compared to an espresso coffee maker.
Espresso coffee makers produce espresso consistently, retaining its full-bodied and potent flavor each time.
Drip coffee makers have a slow and delicate brewing process. They use a reservoir to slowly heat the water, and the coffee drips into the coffee pot. The drip process typically lasts from 3 to 10 minutes.
A glass coffee maker brews deep, dark coffee relatively quickly, similar to an espresso coffee machine.
A vacuum coffee maker produces an aromatic and flavorful cup of coffee, thanks to its shape and delicate brewing method.
The commercial coffee maker comes in a wide range of pre-programmed settings and brewing capabilities, ideal for cafes and restaurants that serve a large group of people all at once.
A French press makes a rich, full-bodied cup like the vacuum and espresso coffee makers because it delicately steeps coffee at just below boiling point, preventing over-extraction.
What effect does coffee maker type have on taste?
Coffee maker types affect the taste based on the grind sizes, temperature, brewing and steeping time.
Coarse coffee grinds bring an acidic and watery cup of coffee. You can fix this by increasing brew time, decreasing water temperature, and aiming for a finer grind.
Coffee grinds that are crushed too finely result in a very bitter cup. If it goes a little too finely, you can decrease the brew time, increase the water temperature, and aim for a coarser grind.
Temperature is another factor that impacts the taste and flavor of your brew. The ideal water temperature for brewing coffee is 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit, which allows optimal extraction. Too much heat causes over-extraction, which produces very bitter coffee. Colder water leads to a bland flavor and watery texture.
Steeping time also affects taste. The longer you steep coffee, the richer and flavorful your cup is. Wait too long, and you'll have a burnt flavor and aroma. Four minutes is the recommended steeping time among coffee aficionados.
Specific coffee maker models allow the user to adjust the settings according to grinding capability, temperature and brew time. Find these features when you shop for a coffee maker, especially if flavor, aroma and consistency is a big deal for you.
Is it better to use single-serve coffee makers or drip coffee makers in the kitchen?
Determining whether a single-serve or drip coffee maker is better boils down to kitchen space and functionality. Do you have a large kitchen with ample counter space? Then there is no limitation in how bulky the coffee maker should be. On the other hand, having a small kitchen space may present an issue.
Kitchen usability is something to be considered when picking a suitable coffee maker. It refers to the function and structure of kitchen appliances that make them easier to use. If you have a small kitchen, organizing appliances alongside other items is essential to maximize space properly.
While single-serve and drip coffee makers come in various shapes and sizes, both are considered smaller than other types like the espresso coffee machine. A single-serve coffee maker’s dimension is approximately 43.99 x 35.99 x 36.6 cm and weighs 5.71 Kilograms. A drip coffee maker comes in about 43.3 x 37.1 x 24.6 cm and weighs 10.04 Kilograms.
When it comes to functionality, both single-serve and drip coffee makers are very easy to use – typically with just a touch of a button. You don’t need a lot of elbow room to make a cup with either type.
The main difference lies in brew time. Single-serve coffee makers can give you a cup of joe in a hot minute. Drip coffee makers typically brew between 3 to 10 minutes.