Nothing compares with the smell of freshly-brewed coffee in the morning, not if you are passionate and enthusiastic about your coffee. While many people visit a local coffee shop each day to get their daily caffeine fix, those who enjoy the taste and flavor of quality coffee prefer to brew it themselves. As a matter of fact, once people get into the habit of preparing their own coffee, they rarely if ever go back to drinking coffee shop brews ever again.
Now, it should be said that coffee can be found in many different forms these days, from the instant coffee many people drink to the ground coffee that passionate drinkers commonly enjoy. Lacking a clear preference for origin, many people tend to choose between instant, decaf, and ground coffee when it comes to drinking habits. As we are about to find out, it isn’t just the type of coffee that makes a difference but also the preparation process and the instruments it requires.
When it comes to the type of coffee people drink, people tend to prefer the brew they are most comfortable with. Generally speaking, this reflects not only their personal choice but also the type of brew they are used to drinking routinely or even excessively. Few are those who even consider changing the coffee they drink on a regular basis, nevermind the coffee machine they use to prepare it. Perhaps they should, however, because even a slight change in procedure can alter the taste and flavor in a major way.
A good way to determine which coffee type you best enjoy is to consider the coffee machine selection the market has to offer at any given time. You need to understand that there is a galaxy of choices when it comes to coffee machines and that they can suit every taste and budget availability. As long as you know what type of coffee you prefer to drink, you should then proceed with delving into the world of coffee machines for a deeper understanding of what a specific type of coffee maker can do for you.
As we already pointed out, people’s taste tends to differ and so does their preference in coffee machines. While there are some who prefer to drink organic coffee on a daily basis which they prepare in a traditional coffee pot, many are those who have extended their habits to more complex brewing methods. Depending on your level of enthusiasm, you can opt between more standardized coffee machines to complex espresso machines and the like.
Types Of Coffee Machines
Not many people realize this but coffee is a complex bean, one that contains more than 1,000 flavor and aroma compounds. As a matter of fact, experts agree that the best compounds are released at temperatures between 195 and 205 degrees, which incidentally is the temperatures that modern coffee makers operate at.
Keep in mind that the most aromatic compounds get released first, so regardless of the machine, you should spend as much time as the brew requires and not a minute more.
That said, we should point out that different coffee machines have different brewing speeds, which is why you need to educate yourself on the common types of coffee machines that people use.
Automatic Coffee Makers – Perhaps the most popular among automatic coffee makers are multi-serve machines, available in a tremendous variety and price ranges. Even though each and every single one of these machines can brew a certain amount of coffee at any given time, people seem to prefer the multi-serve variants as they can prepare multiple cups in a single session. Functionality-wise, a super automatic espresso machine works just as well with decaf coffee as it does with traditional beans, so a device like this can exhibit certain reliability regardless of your choice.
Smart Coffee Makers – As the name would suggest, smart coffee makers benefit from high-tech functions that often allow the user to pair them with a smartphone of their choosing. In this respect, they come equipped with an app that lets you turn on the machine from a smartphone or tablet using a Wi-Fi interface. Interestingly enough, many of those who invest in such devices do so in order to prepare exquisite brews like the ones that make use of Colombian coffee or Brazilian coffee on account of their specific flavor. Then again, considering how expensive these beans can get, it makes perfect sense for the brewing machine to be equally high-end.
Manual Coffee Makers – People who employ manual coffee makers do so because of their practical nature and ease of use. For the most part, these coffee makers are inexpensive, functional, and easy to move around should you choose to take them with you on the road. It often happens that people who invest in a manual coffee maker pair it with a coffee grinder for french press due to the exquisite nature of these brews (see recommended coffee for french press). At the same time, these machines benefit from a full-bodied brew and simplistic design, along with an insanely practical construction that makes them very durable long-term.
Cold Brew Coffee Makers – It needs to be said that these you can find special brands of coffee for cold brew coffee makers, a rather popular way of preparing coffee these days. Through this particular process, coffee goes through a steeping procedure that in turn, produces a smoother, less acidic brew than most conventional brewing processes. Not just that but cold brew coffee makers also yield a strong concentrate that can be then stored in the refrigerator and even diluted to make instant coffee (also see: instant decaf coffee) at a later time.
Stovetop Coffee Makers – These are by far the most inexpensive coffee makers, the type you would once find in millions of houses around Europe and the US. The way they work is rather simple you see, in the sense that they use steam pressure to force hot water from their bottom chamber through the coffee grounds. Even though the pressure isn’t high enough to achieve a pure espresso type of brew, the coffee is marginally stronger than any brew you might achieve with a common drip machine.
Espresso Machines – We should point out that espresso machines can range in price quite a lot depending on their featured technologies and the functions they incorporate. In this regard, it can be quite difficult to find a machine that would best suit your needs if you do not already have experience using them. It can be equally difficult to find a commercial espresso machine for a business setup, be it a regular coffee shop or a restaurant of sorts. Bear in mind that these machines can be quite complex and that they can be used to produce some pretty strong brews.
Consider The Beans
Not many coffee aficionados know this but coffee beans are quite complex, in that they can be found in more than a thousand volatile flavors and aroma compounds.
What’s interesting is that the best tasting compounds are found in ground coffee that enthusiastic coffee drinkers prefer to grind themselves.
Now, the exact methodology can differ from one drinker to another, although pretty much everyone enjoys a nice, hot brew regardless of the beans. Speaking of which, the most flavorful beans usually come from South America but you can also find quality Italian beans or Ethiopian depending on the brand. You can also buy a a coffee roaster to roast the beans the way you’d prefer.
Coffee Arabica – This particular species of coffee beans makes up around two-thirds of the world market or even more. Due to its exquisite flavor and taste, it is seen as quite a fancy bean and you can find it mostly in specialty coffee shops. One of the reasons why this coffee is so rare is because it needs to be grown on steep terrain, which makes mechanical and automatic harvesting nearly impossible. As such, this type of coffee is usually picked by hand. It needs to be said that coffee arabica is commonly used with grind and brew coffee makers on account of how much easier it is to brew it while still making sure that it won’t lose any of its flavors because of the grinding. *We recommend Kona coffee for an exquisite and long-lasting flavor, you will love it!
Coffee Robusta – This is a high caffeine content bean, the type that you often find in the form of instant coffee. As a matter of fact, many espresso beans are part of the robusta strain because of the processing procedures involved. We should point out that this type of coffee is produced primarily in Brazil, West Africa, Vietnam, and Indonesia. Furthermore, this type of coffee is also cultivated in certain areas along the Congo river because of its peculiar temperature and humidity requirements.
Liberian Coffee – Mostly cultivated in Malaysia, Liberia, and the Ivory Coast, this type of coffee makes up less than five percent of the world coffee market. This makes it rather difficult to come by and with a price tag to match. Sometimes referred to as ‘Caffea Liberica’, you will find it in specialty shops around the world, usually mixed with strains of more common coffee. This is because of its powerful flavor, a flavor that improves the taste of virtually any type of coffee that you mix it with.
Finding The Perfect Coffee Maker
When choosing a coffee maker for household or personal use, one should always pay close attention to not only the machine’s brewing efficiency but also its ease of use.
As such, you should consider the machine’s brewing performance, its heating element, whether it provides a good saturation of grounds, and whether it features a carafe lid.
In this respect, people seem to prefer thermal carafe coffee makers on account of their extended durability. At the same time, you should inspect the machine’s construction in great detail and check to see if it comes with a lengthy warranty for good measure.
According To Personal Preference – The best way to find out what coffee maker to purchase is to consider what type of coffee you most enjoy drinking. If you are the type who enjoys a strong coffee then perhaps you should consider investing in a Nespresso machine if you haven’t already. If you enjoy the taste of black coffee, then perhaps you should go for a more traditional approach. One thing’s for certain, your choice in coffee machines should always reflect your taste in coffee, especially if you prefer rare or peculiar brews. If you prefer lighter coffee drinks, consider choosing a cappuccino maker or even a latte machine.
According To Capacity – Bear in mind that a machine’s capacity is supposed to meet your daily demands for coffee without making any concessions. If, for instance, you want to invest in a coffee machine for commercial purposes, then you should get a coffee maker with grinder functions because this is what most of your clients will want. If not, then perhaps a standard 8 or 12-cup machine should fit the bill, especially if you aren’t a heavy drinker. Not just that but single-serve machines are also notorious for their inefficiency when it comes to extracting coffee oils and compounds, so perhaps a slightly larger machine would be of use, even if you rarely use it at full capacity.
According To Type – Many are those who prefer a manual coffee maker to an automatic model, mostly as a force of habit. It is important to remember that some of the people who invest in such devices also pair them up with coffee creamers or similar accessories.
Whatever the case, you should also consider getting a coffee grinder sooner rather than later, because freshly ground coffee delivers a much stronger flavor overall, regardless of how you brew it. All things considered, the choice between an automatic (electric) machine or a manual coffee maker usually comes down to personal choice, so take your time to determine which type of coffee machine would best suit your needs.
Although it ultimately comes down to personal choice, you should never settle for anything less than adequate in regard to coffee machines.
This is because people’s tastes can change ever so slightly over time and you don’t want to be stuck with a rigid machine that can only prepare a specific type of brew.
All in all, versatility is paramount when choosing a coffee maker, especially if you like to experiment with different strains of coffee from time to time.