Ah, coffee. How would mornings be like without a mug of coffee?
Most of us start the day with this cherished beverage. Not many of us have time to head to the coffee shop early in the morning to get our favorite brew. Plus, it won’t look right.
Having a coffee machine in the comfort of your kitchen means you can brew the beverage any time you please. Better yet, some coffee machines give you the freedom to use any kind of coffee beans you please, in whatever quantity.
However, not all manufactured home coffee makers are the same.
As such, you need to choose them carefully if you want to end up with the right kind of brew.
There are a lot of other things at play as well, all of which can influence your brewing experience and other things.
Related: Can You Put A Coffee Maker On Top Of A Microwave Oven?
Seven Things to Check Out in A Manufactured Home Coffee Maker
Before we even look at the factors to consider, there are specific areas you will need to evaluate the coffee maker:
Are you hoping for a near hands-off brewing experience?
Some machines will be waiting for you in the morning to prepare a brew by simple voice command.
Programmable machines can be highly convenient as well.
If you are an old school brewer, you still can go for the less automated or manual options that require a little bit more attention – they still brew a perfect cup and operate with a push of one or two buttons.
Good examples are stovetop espresso pots and French press brewer, all of which demand a lot of attention from the user.
2. Type of Coffee
Espresso machines and coffee makers are normally two separate kinds of machines, but there are hybrid options that let you brew both types of coffee at any time.
As you can guess, having two separate machines – espresso and regular coffee maker – on your kitchen’s countertop would be bad for your efforts to save some space and keep the area less cluttered.
Unless you prefer just one type of brew, it would be great if you went for a hybrid machine.
However, hybrid machines come with one setback – they don’t brew the best beverage of either type, especially if you compare them with more dedicated machines.
Pod machines can be a better alternative to hybrid machines because they come with an option for espresso type drink, but they are not the most authentic machines you’d wish to own.
3. Brew Size
Whether you are a family or single, there’s a coffee machine perfect for brewing just the right amount of coffee you need.
Some coffee makers can make a few cups of quality brew while others are capable of brewing huge quantities of drink and still not compromise on quality.
Large brewers are normally labeled 10 – 12 cups but it is important to understand that a “cup” of any type of coffee in a coffee maker is just 5 – 6 ozs, and not anything close to 8 or 16!
For larger parties, you can find commercial-sized coffee makers that can prepare enough coffee for a bunch of drinkers.
If your housemates or family drinks coffee the whole day then you may opt for a machine that comes with a thermal carafe which is important for piping your coffee hot no matter what time of the day anyone wants a sip.
For those that prefer to drink java just once per day, say, in the morning or evening, a glass brewer equipped with a warming plate is all you need, but some people may not like the familiar burnt taste the warmer can create if left on for too long.
For those families that like to run out the door every morning, a pod coffee machine may be just the right device you need to get yourself a quick cup without the need to worry about whether you left the device on.
Though the size of the coffee certainly won’t affect your cup of coffee, if the device fails to fit in the slot designated for it then you’ll have a few things to worry about.
One of those worries would be finding a spacious storage location for it.
Be certain to take the measurements accurately and account for them if you will require to open the lid of the device to add grounds and water.
For single-serve coffee makers consider your mug size. Many larger mugs will not fit under your brewer.
6. Custom Brewing Options
There are actually two classes of brewers – the most basic type and the more intricate ones.
The most basic brewers virtually have no other options besides those meant for adding water or a few coffee grounds, while more advanced machines let the user choose brew strength, water temperature, and a wide range of brew sizes.
Capsule and cup machines offer more options for preparing tea, hot chocolate, and more.
In general, basic machines are less costly and easier to use as you can’t accidentally select the wrong options.
7. Extra Features
Some brewers go beyond just brewing options, and may include options for auto-shutoff or keep-warm, programmed brewing at specific times, keep-warm, or auto-shutoff, or thermal carafes to keep your coffee warm until you need it.
Some are equipped with audible alerts that will inform you when your drink is done brewing.
It is standard for the electric models to shine indicator lights to signify when your brew is done or if the machine is on.
High-end machines may feature such extras as bean grinding, milk frothing, and notifications when the machine needs some cleaning.
Hybrid espresso/coffee brewers and espresso machines tend to offer more extra options than any other kind of machine, and they often come with the heftiest price tag.
Three Shopping Factors To Locating The Perfect Brewer
Do you want nothing but only the best coffee machine for your brewing?
Bear in mind these factors:
- Type of Machine
- Upfront v/s Running
- Costs Functionality
1. Type of Machine
There are five basic types of brewers –
- hybrid brewers.
Bean-to-Cup Coffee Machines – Brew Perfect Coffee Without Even Trying
If you want to bring the coffee shop experience to your home, you should probably go for the Bean-to-Cup kind of brewer.
These machines grind fresh beans for every cup of coffee you make, allowing you to get your favorite fresh brew at a touch of a few buttons.
And Because the brewer heats the milk and water to the right temperature, you will get your drink within a wink of an eye in those mornings.
Some brewers in this class even come with pre-set programs to store your favorite drinks, and inbuilt milk containers – so that you can easily craft your cherished milky coffees.
Why you should buy a Bean-to-Cup machine
- Grind coffee beans on demand to make a fresh brew
- Can use many different types of coffee beans, even ground coffee in some cases
- Most of them can automate the brewing process
- Some of them are designed to prepare two drinks simultaneously
- Some have extensive customizable settings, so you can tailor drinks and save preferences
- They can be considerably expensive
- Some models come very large in size and bulky to use easily
- Can be hard to clean and are especially prone to clogging
- They produce noise during the grinding
Espresso Coffee Machines – Put Your Barista Skills to Practice
An Espresso machine is just the right appliance if you have always wanted to craft drinks that your local baristas would be jealous of, you will love the experience that comes with playing around with your espresso machine and still produce amazing brews.
Espresso brewers are a serious sort of a machine, using ground beans to make an intense espresso shot.
It is common for them to come with a milk frother or steam arm so that you can take your espresso shot and easily convert it into a smooth cappuccino, or decide to top it with awesome latte art.
You will find models equipped with an inbuilt grinder which gives you total control over the choice of beans.
Why you should buy an Espresso coffee maker
- There are several types of espresso machines, each allowing you to brew a perfect mug of a specific type
- Both manual and single-serve types of espresso maker are easy to use
- Minimal coffee wastage
- They permit you to put your barista skills to practice
- If you look at the high cost of acquiring an espresso coffee machine, you’d be convinced the machine was meant for hotels and coffee shops
- Only suitable for those who prefer the most intense of all types of coffee
Pod Coffee Machines – Quicker, Easier, And Tastier Mug of Coffee
Sometimes you want to walk out of the shower in the morning and immediately get hold of a cup of hot coffee.
There’s the right kind of brewer for such a situation.
If you need a caffeine kick the easy and quick way, then one pod machine would be perfect for you.
The best thing about pod machines is that they filter water through small capsules, so all you can do after filtration is pop in the pod and press on.
Not only are pod machines simple to run, but there is also a wide variety of drinks available – ranges from creamy lattes to more luxurious hot chocolates.
Also, pod brewers come in multiple slim and sleek designs, they will fit perfectly even in the most cramped kitchen.
Why you should buy a pod coffee machines
- Cheap to purchase – some cost as low as $40
- Usually quite compact in size and shape, so they will not take up much space in the kitchen
- Simple, quick, and consistent brewing results, with less clean-up required
- Good for occasional drinkers, as the pods are always sealed, something that keeps your drink fresh for long
- Some can also make different drinks such as tea or hot chocolate – basically, great for multiple uses.
- Can provide a range of styles and coffee flavors at once
- Can be costly per drink compared to beans or ground coffee options
- Coffee pods are eco-unfriendly and can create hard-to-clean wastes because many pods are made from non-biodegradable plastic – although some models are green
- You are usually tied to using a particular type of capsule (e.g., Nespresso pods), this can limit your choice of drinks and where to purchase your pods.
Filter/Drip Coffee Machines – Do You Fancy Top Ups?
In case you are a coffee purist who also loves to take copious amounts of your favorite bean to ease your mornings, then you might want to go for a filter brewer than, say, a pod machine or any other type of machine.
Filter machines can prepare many cups of coffee, as much as 12 cups at a time, and still keep it warm for some time, normally between half an hour to a full hour.
As you can tell, they are perfect for anyone who is always having a busy time at the office but still wants to have a coffee catch up with friends.
Why you should buy a filter/drip coffee machine
- Perfect for a large family or a heavy drinker, as it prepares huge quantities at once
- It is a time-saver, perfect for busy individuals
- The smooth and strong flavors of espresso are worth it for passionate coffee drinkers.
- Easy to use
- In dual boiler machines, there are 2 separate water boilers (or heaters). One is designed for brewing and the other for steaming. This arrangement permits a perfectly heated (and blended) drink without requiring extra work.
- Very much like dual boilers, heat exchanger espresso machines also remove the need for frothing or steaming milk separately – everything is done at the same time.
- Running costs are slightly low
- The quality of the brew is usually low
- Heat exchanger espresso machines can fail to give consistent brewing temperatures. They can fluctuate widely, more than boiler system espresso machines
- Dual boiler machines can take up a large amount of space on the counter and kitchen cabinets
2. Upfront v/s Running Costs
Another factor to consider is the cost of acquiring the brewer as well as the cost of keeping the brewer running during its entire lifetime.
As aforementioned, some coffee machines don’t come cheap, meaning you will need to prepare a budget before heading to the store.
Also, the cost of running some machines can be a bit high, especially if you prefer brewing with the finest brew you could lay your hands on. All these variables need to be thought about carefully when selecting a machine.
The Pod coffee maker is probably the cheapest sort of machine out there, with prices starting around $30 for some of the most basic models from
However, they can turn out to be a bit expensive to run with time because pods are a bit costlier than beans or ground coffee. For that reason, the cost per mug when using a pod brewer is remarkably high.
|Coffee Maker Type||Price|
|Pod coffee brewers||$30 to $400, typically $100|
|Ground coffee brewers||$50 to $500, typically $200|
|Bean-to-Cup brewers||$250 to $2,000+, typically $850|
The price tag on pods can vary between different brands, but some of them cost as low as $1 per pod. Here is how operating costs add up with time by different coffee machines:
|Coffee Maker Type||Price|
A coffee maker that is loaded with several special features will certainly cost more than the most basic machine you can find. Your average coffee machine should come with an affordable price tag, not more than $100. To land the best deal, consider looking online at the brand’s website for discount sales around and during major holidays. Always compare prices with those on eCommerce sites like Amazon.
Flavor and Strength
If your family or acquaintances have different drink preferences, buy a machine that allows you to vary the strength of the brew depending on whether they want a stronger or weaker mug.
There are also coffee machines that do several extra jobs more than just brewing your standard mug of drink.
They will prepare everything from simple tea to a cup of hot chocolate or fancy cappuccino.
Virtually all coffee machines come with heating plates on which the carafe sits.
But if you prefer sipping your coffee over a given period of time, letting it rest on the plate can create a bitter or burnt taste due to the sustained heat.
Instead, you will want a coffee machine that also features temperature controls and settings that can adjust throughout a given period.
Alternatively, you can opt for one with an insulated carafe made from stainless steel to keep the drink warmer for longer.
The type of machine is the most important factor of all because it can determine the type or final drink you get, operating costs, and even the upfront price you will pay for the product.
There is a list of basics – timing, brew size, special features, etc. – that you need to consider if you want a machine that works for you.