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.

The Best Electric Coffee Makers

There are a multitude of electric coffee makers available these days.  Some are simple and inexpensive.  Others are high-tech and pricier.  Some make exactly one perfect cup, and others can churn out 12 cups or more, and are great for the office.  Whether you are brewing just one cup for yourself, or making coffee for an entire office, there is an electric coffee maker that is just right for you!

Here are the best coffee makers you can buy,  sorted by price range:

Electric Coffee Makers

cup of coffee1

Under $25

$25 to $50

$50 to $100

$100 to $200

$200 and Above

Quality

Electric coffee makers can vary a lot in quality, and this in turn affects the taste of the coffee produced.  Coffee makers are made in different countries, including Italy, The United States, Canada, Japan, China, Korea, and Taiwan.  You can buy a quality coffee maker at both ends of the price spectrum.  Here are the top brands according to customer satisfaction:

Braun Bunn Black & Decker Capresso Cuisinart

DeLonghi Hamilton Beach Krups LaCafetiere Medelco

Mr. Coffee Nespresso Sanyo Sunbeam Zojirushi

Types Of Electric Coffee Makers

Electric Espresso Machines

A must-have for anybody who loves the taste of a great espresso at the coffee shop, but wants it at home, anytime their heart desires it!

Espresso Machine/Coffee Maker Combos

These nifty little machines are a great solution for the family or the office with different tastes.  They will make a great espresso or a simple cup of coffee, without the need for two machines.

Commercial Coffee Makers

Here you will find a simple solution for your office, catering company, or restaurant.  No matter how much coffee you need to make, there is an electric coffee maker that will suit your needs.

Make Great Tasting Coffee at Home with an Electric Coffee Maker

Though many consider coffee purchased at a coffee shop to be of better quality, perfect home-brewed coffee is easily obtainable.   A number of factors are involved in determining the outcome quality of coffee brewed in an electric coffee maker.

coffee-beans

Buy Organic Coffee Beans

Did you know that coffee plants are sprayed with more pesticides than any other agricultural crop?  Unless you want to consume these chemicals, opt for an organic whole bean coffee.  They are available everywhere good coffee is sold these days—from specialty coffee stores to supermarkets.  You can also find them right here.

Buy Whole Coffee Beans

Always buy whole coffee beans at the store and grind them yourself.  You can grind enough for a few days and store the rest in the refrigerator.  The quality of coffee declines quickly after it is ground, so this way, you will always have fresh, quality coffee to work with. You can easily pick up an inexpensive grinder here.

Use Quality Water

The quality of the water you put in your electric coffee maker will directly affect the quality of the coffee that comes out.  In most of the western world, tap water is fine, and it is best if you have a good filter on the tap.  You can also get an inexpensive pitcher-type filter that will make your water taste better and filter out impurities and give you a great cup of coffee.

Get a Quality Coffee Maker

Finally, the quality of the electric coffee maker itself will influence the coffee that it makes.  Good quality coffee makers are made of durable, quality parts that don’t affect the taste.  On the other hand, poor quality machines can give your coffee a “plastic” taste.  Don’t get the cheapest coffee maker you can find.  Spend a few extra bucks and get a good quality machine that will produce great-tasting coffee for many years.  If you are content with drinking normal coffee most of the time, a regular machine should be fine.  The size of the machine doesn’t matter that much.  Some people think that a large coffee maker is better, but if you routinely brew one or two cups, you probably don’t need one that big.  A quality small coffee machine can make really good coffee, perfect for one or two people.  However, a cappuccino maker is good if you want to brew different coffee beverages sometimes, or if there are a few people who will use the machine with different tastes.