Experiencing café-quality coffee at home has never been easier. But with so many different types of coffee makers to choose from, deciding which one to buy can be a little confusing. Here are a few things to consider to help you make the right choice:
What type of coffee do you like?
How much will you want to make?
How often will you use your machine?
The different types of coffee maker
Filter coffee makers
Filter coffee makers offer a quick way to make fresh coffee and are very easy to use - water drips through a filter containing ground coffee, infusing in a pot below. They're available in various cup volumes and may either have paper or permanent filters; paper are more hygienic and are simply thrown away, whereas permanent filters can be difficult to clean but do save you money.
Traditional pump espresso machines
Espresso machines are ideal for lovers of strong, intense-flavoured coffee. Espresso machines are steam driven machines; they use a separate tank, which heats the water to the perfect temperature that is then sent through the coffee holder at the correct pressure. Most espresso machines have a steam tube allowing you to make cappuccinos and lattes.
The drinks ingredients are enclosed within small, portioned 'pods' that are inserted into the machine, which then adds water and milk to prepare your drink. The coffee inside the pods can stay fresh for up to nine months and come in a wide range of flavours.
Nespresso machines are the next-generation of coffee makers, with a system that controls the water pressure to ensure a perfectly brewed coffee every time. There are no messy filters to clean out, and it's a very simple way to make an excellent cup of coffee. The coffee itself is bought in sealed aluminium capsules, which come in a large variety of types and flavours. The capsules are available through the online Nespresso Club or via Nespresso boutiques.
Bean to cup machines
Using whole, fresh coffee beans rather than ground coffee, bean to cup coffee machines grind the coffee especially for each cup, then brew the coffee into the cup and eject the coffee grinds into a tray. Some models have a fully automatic process for frothing milk and adding it to your cup, for even less effort.
Other things to consider
Water and milk capacity
Some coffee makers have a built-in reservoir of water, while others only hold enough for a single cup. If you regularly drink plenty of coffee, a filter coffee machine or espresso machine is probably going to be better for you than a coffee pod machine as these have much larger water stores. Most coffee makers also have an integrated milk container, making lattes, cappuccinos, macchiatos and more with just the touch of a button.
Selected coffee makers have an anti-drip feature, while others can make cappuccinos. One or two even have warming plates to keep your mug warm.
Cleaning your coffee maker
Through use, your coffee maker can become less effective due to residue build-up, giving you a sub-standard coffee or even clogging up completely. All coffee makers have different designs; therefore cleaning can differ from machine to machine. It is recommended to read the instruction manual for your coffee maker before cleaning to achieve the best results.