If you’ve ever been worried about how to buy a coffee machine, you’d find a lot of help in this article as it deals with the nitty-gritty of buying a coffee machine.
I already shared some tips to choosing a perfect coffee maker in a review of coffee makers under $100, but this is a more in-depth article on how to buy a coffee maker, guidelines for prospective buyers and so much more.
How to Choose a Coffee Maker that’s Best for You
Tip No 1: Consider the purpose for which you want to buy the coffee machine. Is it to brew coffee for a whole household or just you? If it’s for an individual, a single cup or 1-4 cup brewer is the best as it would save you some money. But if it’s for an entire household, getting the 8-cup or 12-cup brewer is the best, as you can brew more coffee at the same time, thereby saving yourself some time.
Tip No 2: Also consider the features of the coffee maker. Some features make using a coffee machine convenient, while other features ensure excellent coffee flavor. If you like waking up to the smell of fresh coffee, a programmable coffee machine is the best for you. If you like brewing your coffee while doing other things, a coffee maker with an automatic turn-off feature will be good for you as it would go off once the coffee is brewed. If you’re the type that cannot keep dates and easily remember when your coffee machine is due for cleaning, get a coffee maker that will alert you when due for cleaning. Not only does this mean better tasting coffee, it will also keep the brewer running efficiently. Some coffee makers even come equipped with water filters; you might want to also check that before buying a coffee maker. Other features you might want to consider before getting a coffee maker include the following:
Thermal Carafes (which are designed to keep coffee hot for hours and still retain the flavor). Not all models have it though; some have thermal mugs instead of carafes.
One to Four Cup Setting (this feature is designed for those who only want to make a small amount of coffee). Without this feature, a smaller amount of coffee will brew weaker.
Pod Compatible (this feature makes preparation of coffee with pre-packed discs of coffee grounds a snap with no stress or mess). Some newer coffee machine models can take pods as well as regular loose coffee grounds.
Pause ‘n’ Serve (this feature allows you to grab a cup of coffee before the brew cycle is completed). Even though this might seem like a time-saver, the disadvantage is, you may not get the desired strength or flavor because the brew cycle is not yet complete.
Integrated Bean Grinder: Not all coffee makers have this feature but the more expensive ones have it and it basically means they can grind just enough coffee for a fresh brew and strength.
Brew-strength Regulator (this feature allows you to control brew strength from weak to strong. By diverting water flow to the coffee grounds, you get a weaker brew while slowing down the flow of water will give you a stronger brew).
Brewing Speed: How long does the brewer take to brew? You don't want to waste your time just brewing coffee, you might want to check this further before making a purchasing decision. The faster a brewer works, the better. Interestingly, you might never get to know this until you have purchased and used the machine but the way out is to buy a coffee machine that has a warranty so you can return it if it's slow.
Ease of Use: This refers to how easily understandable the machine is. You don't want to spend days trying to figure out how to use a coffee machine. You should be good to go after a few hours of reading the manual. If it's taking too long to understand, you know what to do - get a replacement.
There are other features but these are the most important, as far as I’m concerned.
Tip No 3: What’s your budget? If you have a large budget, you might want to go for a coffee maker that’s top of the range (and can grind the beans and even froth the milk) but cheap ones can be gotten for less than $100. So, you determine how much you’re willing to spend on a coffee maker and go for it.
Tip No 4: What kind of coffee do you enjoy? If you like espresso, lattes or cappuccino, you have to get a machine that can do the job for you. An espresso machine will be ideal but it costs more than other coffee makers (some cost thousands of dollars) and make a variety of coffee types including cappuccino and lattes. Espresso machines often make only one cup of coffee at a time and need cleaning after each cup. The coffee is stronger than that brewed by other means. If you however want a 2-1 machine, you might go for the coffee maker that makes both espresso and regular coffee. These combo machines save space in the kitchen and are more affordable than buying 2 separate machines. Most of these machines will brew a larger quantity of coffee (8 or more cups).
Amazon Price: $299.99 $176.98 Buy Now
(price as of Aug 11, 2015)
Tip No 5: How much space do you have in your kitchen? If you don’t have much space, go for a coffee maker than will not take up much space but if you have more than enough space, definitely go for a bigger machine. The full-size cappuccino and espresso machines require a large spot on your counter, while the space-saving machines which can be mounted under a cabinet or cupboard, can free up huge counter space.
How to Choose a Coffee Machine Based on Your Personality Type
Tip No 6: What is the machine made of? Is it made plastic or stainless steel? This feature affects the price as plastic coffee makers tend to be cheaper. Without proper maintenance and care, the plastic housing can break and stains easily. Stainless steel is more expensive, but these machines last longer and are easier to maintain.
Tip No 7: Does the coffee maker have a warranty? If it doesn’t, think twice before buying as a warranty would make it easy for you to return the machine if there are any defects or your family isn’t happy with your choice.
Amazon Price: $420.00 $219.95 Buy Now
(price as of Aug 11, 2015)
Where to Buy a Coffee Maker
You can get a coffee maker in a local retail store or on the Internet. With the Internet, you get to read reviews by other coffee machine users and make an informed decision. One particular place to do this is amazon. On the site, you get to read live reviews from actual users of the product and you can make your decisions based on that.
One last thing to note is that buying the best coffee machine on the market won't guarantee that you’ll have excellent-tasting coffee. The type of beans used is still the determinant. The only thing the machine does is to blend the coffee beans with water. So, watch the type of beans you purchase.
On that note, I want to say you’re the most important factor in buying a coffee maker. What do you want your coffee maker to do? How many people will it be serving? How much are you willing to pay for it? These are the most important questions you should get an answer to, before buying a coffee maker. If you’re patient and choose based on your needs, you will find the coffee maker that will serve you excellent-tasting coffee for many years to come.