Electric Coffee Makers: A Buyer’s Guide

Let’s face it, purchasing a coffee maker isn’t exactly the kind of decision that most people lose sleep over.  However, it is in fact an important decision since this is a machine that is used probably more than any other appliance on your kitchen counter.  Choosing the right type of coffee maker depends on your preferences.  Electric coffee makers come with many different functions and alternatives.  Some are simple affairs and others are fantastically complicated.  Here are a few features that some coffee machines have:

Thermal Coffee Makers

Some Coffee Makers Like this one by Hamilton Beach actually drip the coffee into a thermal, insulated travel mug that you can take with you when it is finished.  It does a terrific job of keeping the contents inside hot for extended periods of time.   It even comes with two additional insulated travel mugs.

Internal Holding Tanks

A recent addition on the coffee maker scene are the machines that feature an internal holding tank, like the Cuisinart DCC-2000.  These machines do away with the glass pots and carafes, and store the coffee in a special tank inside the machine itself.  The advantage of the internal tank is that it eliminates the “burnt” flavor coffee get when sitting in a glass pot on a heating plate for too long.  These types of machines are remarkably easy to clean as well– just take out the tank and clean it in the sink, as you would any other pot.

Coffee Machines With Built in Grinders

These nifty machines are a relatively new phenomenon as well in the coffee world.  They actually grind the whole coffee beans automatically right before the machine starts to make the coffee.  We’ve all heard about how using freshly ground coffee beans produces a higher quality taste.  This type of coffee maker does it all for you just when you need it, and without the hassle of cleaning out a grinder each time you use it.  Some machines like this one by Cuisinart even feature a thermal carafe, so you get all the best features in one machine.

Single Cup Coffee Makers

These machines brew exactly one perfect cup of coffee every time.  They are perfect for people who want a cup of coffee, but but not the hassle of grinding, measuring, or even cleaning.  For example,  the Keurig B40 Elite uses their own patented k-cups, which you simply insert into the machine, choose from the two cup sizes, and it will make your coffee in only 40 seconds.  Their k-cups come in a huge variety — over 70 different types of coffees and teas from leading brands.  Another great aspect of having a single cup coffee maker is that it allows you to quickly make the perfect drink to go with a meal. For example, if you have friends over and cook great Italian food, you could easily whip out some fantastic tasting cappuccinos afterward.