Varieties of Coffee Makers Buying Guide

A good old, regular cup of coffee is truly as American as apple pie. In fact, coffee makers are the single most purchased household appliance in the United States. More than 50% of Americans start their day with a cup of coffee. I am one of them. Chances are that you are too.

Drink a lot of coffee. It is okay. Do not feel sheepish about your addiction. You are talking to someone who obsesses about coffee, drinks coffee, reads about coffee, and even writes about coffee! Personally, I am convinced coffee brings us so much pleasure because it often relieves us from so much pain. Waking up in the morning, getting out of bed: painful. Bringing your body back to functioning form with a sip of freshly brewed, aromatic, deliciously rich coffee as the sun slowly filters through your kitchen window: pleasurable. Studying for exams, working late: painful. Alone in the home or the office, with nothing but the moonlight and quietness and a freshly brewed pot of premium coffee: pleasurable.

The list goes on and on. The point is, life is to be enjoyed. Coffee helps you enjoy life. The is here to explain and conveniently sell coffee makers necessary for brewing said life enhancing elixir. All that is left to do now is decide which coffee maker is right for you. First thing is first, there are four different types of coffee makers: drip, vacuum, stove top, and French press. In order to choose which one of these coffee makers will bring you to coffee nirvana, it is best to gain a thorough understanding of what each one is and what they do.

Drip Coffee Makers

Drip Coffee MakerDrip coffee makers are easy to use and easy to enjoy! Because the machine takes care of all the work and insures quality control, they are by far the most popular form of coffee maker in the United States. All you need to do is provide the coffee and the water and the machine will take care of the rest. Drip coffee makers are equipped with a reservoir into which you pour cold water. They also contain a filter that is either permanent or a filter holder where paper filters are placed. No matter which filter you have, they are filled with coarsely ground coffee.

Once you turn the machine on, it heats the water to the correct brewing temperature and slowly pulses it through the filter where the ground coffee sits. Making drip coffee is simple, however there are several steps you can take to insure your brew is truly exceptional. For our In Depth Guide to Drip Coffee Brewing, click here.

Vacuum Coffee MakerVacuum Coffee Makers

Strange and yet elegant in appearance, the vacuum coffee maker consists of two clear carafes. The bottom carafe holds the water and the top carafe holds the coffee grinds. As the water in the bottom carafe heats, it rises and mixes with the coffee in the top carafe. After a few minutes of hot water and coffee seeping, simply turn of the water heating source and watch as both components fall to the bottom carafe to create deliciously brewed coffee. This method is unique, and pretty cool to watch!

Stovetop Coffee Makers

Stovetop Coffee MakerLike vacuum coffee makers, stove top coffee makers brew with two separate, stacked compartments or pots. While with vacuum coffee makers, both compartments are put to use in the brewing process, with stovetop coffee makers only one pot is used to both heat the water and brew the coffee. The other is used to simply hold the finished product.

When the appropriate amount of water and the filter basket filled with ground coffee is added to the lower pot, the heating of the lower container forces water through the grounds where it is siphoned from the lower container into the top. From there, a good old fashion cup of coffee is served! While the process is simple, if the coffee boils you will have a bitter brew. Another point to keep in mind is that these coffee makers are perfect for 1 to 2 people who want some classic style on their stovetop however they will not be able to service large groups.

French Press

French PressA simple, sleek, and elegant way of brewing, French presses produce a wonderful rich and smooth coffee. To brew with a French press, you need only fill the canister with one tablespoon of coarsely ground coffee to each cup of hot water. Next, stir the mixture and place the plunger handle on top of the canister so heat is trapped. Because the French press coffee maker allows full contact between coffee and water, flavor extraction is at a maximum. After steeping the coffee for 4 to 5 minutes, slowly press the plunger downwards. This forces the grounds to the bottom of the carafe with the plunger's stainless steel mesh separating the grinds from the liquid. Now you are ready to serve and do so quickly as French press coffee is best enjoyed fresh.

For more on French press coffee makers, check out's exclusive In Depth Buying Guide: The French Press.


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