A coffee maker is a basic piece of kitchen equipment nowadays. Chances are you have a coffee maker sitting on your kitchen counter, even if you do stop by your local Starbuck or coffee shop every morning to buy a cup of coffee. But if you don’t already have a coffee machine, or if you are replacing a broken or old one, there are a few things to consider before buying a new coffee maker.
If you haven’t notice, there are many models on the market to choose from. Coffee makers come in many sizes and priced from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars. When you’re shopping for a coffee maker, it’s a good idea to learn about what features are available in typical machines, especially if you just want a workable model and don’t want to pay the money for all the bells and whistles that you don’t need. Once you decide on the features that best suits your needs, picking the right machine is easy.
These buyer tips will help you find the coffee maker that meets your morning coffee needs.
Size. Coffee makers come in different sizes. The more cups of coffee that a coffee maker can brew at any one time the larger its size. Choose the size of your machine base on how much coffee you make and drink each day. If you’re the only coffee drinker at home, then a four-cup coffee maker will probable serve you well. However, you may want to consider a coffee maker that can brew up to 12 cups if you are a heavy coffee drinker, or if you are brewing coffee for more than two people during the day.
If you have limited kitchen counter space, you may have to consider space saver coffee makers that can be mounted under a cabinet or cupboard, using no extra space at all.
Digital Controls. A great feature to look for when buying a new coffee maker is the digital controls and the LCD display screen. You can expect digital controlled machines to run a clock, a timer and an auto-off feature.
A coffee maker with digital controls will likely allow you to program the machine in advance to brew coffee before you wake up. Another feature allows you to program the coffee maker to turn off automatically if you are the kind to forget to turn off appliances.
Of course, you still have to get the coffee maker ready to brew by putting in the coffee and water.
Permanent Coffee Filter. A permanent or reusable coffee filter will do away with paper filters. This is a money and space saving feature since you don’t have to buy and store any more filters. If your machine doesn’t come with a reusable filter you can buy it separately as an after market accessory.
Some coffee drinker also reported a noticeable improvement in the taste of their coffee with the non-paper reusable filters.
No-Mess Pause ‘n’ Serve. A nice feature that is pretty much a standard feature on most coffee makers and often found even on inexpensive coffee makers is the Pause ‘n’ Serve feature. This feature allows you to remove the coffee pot before the brewing cycle is complete, without having coffee drip all over the heating plate.
Built-in Coffee Bean Grinder. Some coffee makers come with built-in bean grinders. This is great if you like to grind your own coffee beans or if you have limited kitchen counter space. You can expect to pay more for a coffee maker with this feature.
Built-in Water Filter. A built-in water filters is a higher-end coffee maker feature. The filter takes out the chlorine and most minerals from your tap water – if you use tap water to brew your coffee. Using filtered water for your coffee is a good idea, but a built-in water filter adds to the cost of the coffee maker and the cost of using the machine with having to replace the filter.
Pod Compatible. The latest development in coffee making is the use of pods. Pods were first introduced to businesses and have now made their way to coffee drinker’s private homes. These little prepacked bags or cups of coffee grounds make brewing coffee simple. Some of the newer models of pod coffee makers can brew regular loose coffee grounds as well. These machines also function as a regular drip coffee maker, capresso coffee maker or espresso coffee maker.
The problem with pod coffee makers is that the machines are expensive and the pods are expensive. The pods probably don’t have any real taste advantage over the loose coffee grounds way of making coffee.