Are you frustrated with your coffee maker? Promise yourself to get the new one? Maybe it’s time. But don’t just buy anything. First, learn how to choose a coffee machine. Choose wisely and pick a machine with the best style, features, reliability, and owner satisfaction.
Well, does your coffee maker drip well? Is it easy to clean? Are there occasional leaks? And how many coffee machines did you have for the last ten years?
The reality is that nowadays, goods are not made to last. And even the high-price ticket items sometimes cannot guarantee a long life-span.
Of course, first and foremost, your morning cup of joe depends on the quality of coffee you are using. For this, read my post, “Best Coffee Beans Review.”
But equally important, is how you make your coffee and what barista method you prefer. Do you like Turkish coffee, stove-drip, French press, espresso, pour-over or conventional auto-drip? Today, I will review how to choose a drip coffee maker.
So, let’s break down this task in small pieces and review each one-by-one.
1. Why Know Coffee Machine Factors
Firstly, choosing a coffee maker, you should view it as a mini-investigation.
Secondly, remember the famous phrase:
“The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas.”
– Linus Pauling (1)
So, let’s review different ideas on how to choose a coffee machine. Also, putting all pieces together can be a fun way to know your coffee maker. And why is it critical? Because it can be a daunting task.
Thirdly, and most importantly, studying the overall pros and cons of coffee makers will help you to focus on what’s the most important for you.
So, what should you look for in a quality coffee maker?
Several criteria that might affect your decision:
- overall owner satisfaction
- quality of brewing
- convenience of machine use
- carafe – glass or thermal
- ease of programming
- brew time and temperature
- country of origin
Brewing Time, Temperature and Quality
The main benefit of having a coffee maker is to have a cup of coffee without any trouble. Also, you don’t want mediocre coffee, right?
Coupled with top-quality coffee, the right coffee machine will extract the best flavors from coffee without any unpleasant aftertaste. But it’s only possible if your coffee maker brews water hot enough and fast enough. In other words, pay attention to brewing temperature and time. Remember that overall, the ideal brewing temperature should be between 195 and 205 degrees F.
Furthermore, most coffee machines fail to get that hot water through the grounds within 2-8 minutes. Therefore, if the brew cycle is too short or too long, it will result in bad coffee. Here, even the best coffee beans will be a waste.
So, if you want a cup of silky smooth and full-flavored coffee, don’t compromise brew time and temperature.
TAKEAWAY: Choosing a coffee maker is a critical task. It would help if you take it seriously to avoid disappointment later. Study all rating criteria and focus on most essential for you. Get a machine with right brewing time and temperature.
2. Common Criteria in Coffee Maker
Next, after considering time and temperature, with over a dozen other factors, how to choose a good coffee maker?
Lifestyle and Capacity
First, you should consider your lifestyle. Therefore, the capacity of the coffee maker is critical. Do you have a large family? Entertain often?
In this case, 10, 12, or 14 cup capacity is best. But keep in mind that overall, a cup refers to 8 oz. So, if you love your mug, divide capacity approximately in half.
Next critical point, will you be sharing the machine with somebody else? Or do you work from home?
If not, a small capacity is your ideal pick.
On the other hand, let’s assume you live by yourself but love to entertain. Also, you might drink your first cup and grab another on the go later. Here, it would be best if you had a large capacity machine with a 1-4 cups option.
There is an old wisdom that it’s not about the price but cost. The difference? You will forget about the price but remember either pleasure and great experience or frustration and disappointment. So, consider buying a good coffee maker as an investment.
For me, I prefer to have fewer things but higher quality. And the coffee maker should not be an exception, especially since you drink your cup of joe every day.
Next, it is critical to emphasizes that inexpensive machines have cheap parts. Also, they don’t necessarily have solid construction. Besides, if you want fancy features and more functionalities, it comes with the price.
So, do you want a good return on your money?
TAKEAWAY: Your lifestyle and therefore brew capacity, as well as price, should be on the top of your considerations when choosing a coffee maker. View it as an investment.
3. Wake Up and Smell the Coffee
Well, do you want more control over the brewing process? Are you concerned about extracting more flavors? Or maybe you like a basic machine and less programming?
It would help if you considered all this while choosing a coffee maker. So, match your barista gourmet needs with the only specs that matter for you.
Do you want waking up with a coffee aroma? Programming can help.
In general, programmable machines can include a wide range of functions:
- delay brew
- carafe temperature
- auto on/off
- small coffee batch – 1-4 cups
- brew strength – from classic to bold
All of those functions are useful and created for your convenience and safety.
For instance, if you need coffee only for yourself, it is great to have a single cup brewing option. Today, most machines offer flexibility and can brew 1-4 cups, no matter full capacity.
Additionally, a coffee maker can have one or two programming touchpads or a combination of display, buttons or knobs. So, be sure you are comfortable using programmable features.
There are two types of carafes—glass and thermal.
The thermal carafe has single or double walls. For me, I prefer a thermal carafe with double-wall construction. I don’t want to worry about the replacement carafe. Also, the double-wall will keep your coffee hot and fresh.
Coffee maker with thermal carafe is more expensive because the carafe is stainless steel. It guarantees the ideal brewing temperature and is more energy efficiency.
Glass carafe, on the other hand, is cheaper but has a few disadvantages. Coffee is kept warm because of the hot plate. When plate heats, coffee releases more oils and therefore becomes bitter and negatively affects coffee nutrition.
TAKEAWAY: If you want control over your maker, choose a programmable version. Also, coffee maker with thermal carafe offers you better-tasting coffee.
4. Water Filter and Brew Auto-Pause
Other important features you should think off are:
- water filter
- brew auto-pause
- permanent filter
So, let’s see how it can ease up your life.
First, no matter what I cook, I always use filtered water. I am a cancer survivor and taking water quality seriously. Also, filtered water definitely will give you a better-tasting coffee.
So, does your kitchen have a filtration system? If not, please choose a coffee machine with a water filter. Be mindful that extra features in your coffee machines mean a higher price. Also, periodically—according to the user guide—water filter should be replaced.
Cannot wait till your pot is ready? Remember how being in a hurry, you tried to grab a carafe, pour coffee, and put it back? Of course, coffee continued dripping. We all done that!
Well, no problem. Just push the auto-pause button and stop brewing while you are pouring your quick cup.
Additionally, some makers offer a similar feature, but not on a display. Pulling a carafe from the plate will automatically stop the brewing process. No stress, no mess!
So, I strongly recommend the brew auto-pause feature for your convenience and safety.
Today, it is practical to have a coffee maker with a reusable filter.
Permanent filters can be either cupcake or cone-type. They are perfect for basket-style coffee makers. For me, I love gold permanent filter. Actually, in the case of an emergency, you can use it to pour-over right in your cup.
Tip: While cleaning the filter, use gentle strokes. Otherwise, the net might be detached from the basket. In this case, it can negatively affect the proper extraction of coffee, especially if you brew flavored coffee.
TAKEAWAY: Choosing a coffee maker, think about water filer, brew auto-pause, and permanent filter. These are very beneficial features and offered by most manufacturers.
5. Made in USA Coffee Maker?
Curious about your coffee machine country of origin?
The reality is that most drip coffee makers are made in China. So, let’s investigate this matter further.
What Is “Made in USA?”
First, it is critical to understand what “Made in USA” means.
Unfortunately, today, there are plenty of deceptive, “Made in USA” claims. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the “Made In USA” label requires that product must be of American origin. It means that “all or virtually all” parts are made in the US. (2)
Further, coffee makers are not(!) among products that must disclose US content. However, if manufacturers choose to use the “Made In USA” label, they must strictly follow the law. False claims might result in enforcement actions. (3)
Also, the “Made in USA” claim can be implied. For example, “Our products are American-made” or “USA.” There is no such thing.
Lastly, let’s assume the advertisement uses the phrase “true American quality.” Here, the FTC might also view it as a false claim. (4)
In conclusion, there is only one label, “Made In America.” Keep it in mind while choosing a coffee machine.
Made in the USA vs. Assembled in the USA
But what if parts are made abroad but a coffee machine is assembled in the USA? In this case, for instance, you can see “Made in USA of American and imported parts.” Or, “Assembled in American.A.” These are appropriate statements. (5)
Even if a brand designed the product in one country, more than likely that assemblage is done in China. Therefore, you will see on a box, “Made in China.”
Are there any American-made coffee makers? Yes. We will cover it in the next post.
TAKEAWAY: Made In USA coffee makers are designed, engineered, and assembled in America. Also, all or most of their parts have an American origin.
6. No Ideal Coffee Maker
It is crucial to stress out that most coffee makers miss the mark on some of the coffee machine features. For example, a machine can be easy to use and have a sleek design. But if water spray grounds unevenly, it might negatively affect flavor extraction.
Another example, it can be a well-made machine but noisy while brewing. Can you handle it?
Quick Tips on Buying Coffee Machine
Equally important that the more complex the machine, the more parts it has. As a result, more things might go wrong. For example, you bought a coffee maker that grinds and brew. Well, if something fails in grinding mechanism, be prepared for problems with brewing.
So, if you want a fancy machine, don’t go cheap because it contains cheap parts. It will fail in no time.
Next critical point – check the warranty. For example, if it’s under one year, issues might arise quickly.
If you have kids or elderly, get a machine with stainless steel carafe to avoid breakage. Be practical.
Also, envision where you will place the machine, how you will access the water fill, brew basket, and controls.
Lastly, check the manufacturer user guide. You cannot complain if you don’t follow all the instructions of proper set-up, use, and cleaning.
Remember that a great cup of coffee is not only about great taste and pleasure. It is also about fantastic coffee benefits.
TAKEAWAY: While buying a coffee maker, be real, and know what you can live with. Don’t expect a WOW from the inexpensive models. Read instructions and follow them.
In summary, either you are a coffee fanatic or a casual drinker, review critical factors and features of the specific model. That can make a huge difference in your morning routine, quality of coffee, and overall experience.
Furthermore, match particular features to your habits, lifestyle, size of your family, and kitchen counter space.
Regarding budget, remember that “we are not rich enough to buy cheap things.” Well, view the purchase of the coffee maker as an investment. You will forget the price but remember the poor quality. So, don’t compromise. In turn, a quality coffee maker will give you the pleasure of fabulously brewed java, reliability and owner satisfaction.
Equally important is to know how to select the good beans.
So, be patient, and before buying, learn how to choose the best coffee machine. Choose wisely and make it part of your life. Also, get top-quality coffee.
Happy Coffee Break!
I invite you to enlighten us with your thoughts. Leave them below.
Founder of Detox Generation
Disclosure: The views and opinions expressed on this site are solely those of the author. All content, including text, images, and other formats, is for information purposes only. The author is not a medical professional, dietitian, or integrative treatment specialist. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health specialists with any questions you may have.