Looking for Regional Information?

Full of Beans: How TO Buy the Perfect Coffee Maker

By Charles Hopkins Published 05/7/2006 | Food & Drink

Your experience with coffee makers has probably scarred you for life, because stories abound about how the coffee maker that looks perfect when demonstrated in the shop turns out to be a menace as soon as you bring it home and set it up in the kitchen. The same coffee maker that worked perfectly when the shop assistant ordered it to disobeys your every word until you begin to resemble a character out of Jerome K. Jerome. Thus, your search for the perfect coffee maker remains unfulfilled. However, if you read on, you will soon know how to buy the perfect coffee maker.

The problem, you see, lies in the fact that there are so many types of coffee makers. The problem of plenty is a real one here and such is the confusion that you may very often not know what to buy. However, a good place to begin is at the beginning, which is where you have the percolator, the most basic coffee maker available. So okay, it isnt so sophisticated and high-end, but you are, after all, buying a coffee machine, not a computer! So you can still make great coffee by boiling water with coffee beans, particularly of the milder variety.

Then you have the drip coffee machine, automatic and manual. Both the types use filters made of nylon, paper, or gold. Typically, an automatic drip coffee maker involves storing cold water in the reservoir and placing instant coffee powder in the filter. When the coffee maker reaches the right water temperature, water pours on the coffee in the filter. Additionally, the automatic drip coffee maker may incorporate certain advanced techniques that differ from manufacturer to manufacturer.

A manual drip coffee maker operates on the same principle as the automatic coffee maker, but the principal difference is that the manual variety offers you the chance to change the taste of the coffee while it is brewing. So if you are using an automatic drip you cannot add more coffee once you close the lid, but the manual drip gives you the opportunity to change the taste of the coffee without worrying about spillovers.

Yet another type of coffee maker is the French press, which is, in our opinion, the easiest of coffee makers to use. All you do is mix the coffee beans with hot water and the machine coffee maker produces great tasting coffee. However, you cannot regulate the temperature, which may be a drawback for some.

Finally, you have the Espresso coffee maker. Once again, there are two types: stovetop and electric. Though there is not much of a difference in their operations, the stovetop is much cheaper than the electric.

While we have listed only a few of the wide variety of coffee makers on the marker, these are the most popular coffee makers. Of course, your search for the perfect coffee maker may continue, but our advice would be to save yourself the trouble and the confusion.