Coffee machines

Which type of coffee maker best suits you and your lifestyle?

The first step in selecting coffee making equipment for your home is to ask yourself whether you like to go out for coffee or prefer to replicate the coffee experience at home, whether you want something basic and quick, or whether you like to enjoy the whole process of grinding and making a fine cup of coffee.

Grinders: various brands, electric with multiple adjustments for fineness of grounds or simple hand grinders.Home espresso machines: a relatively expensive small appliance, can vary between $500 to over $3000.  Some come with free home training to ensure you get the best out of your purchase.  Some also grind beans as well.Plungers: come in a variety of sizes from 1 cup to 12 cups, hot water is poured over the ground beans.  Once infused the coffee grounds are pushed to the bottom of the container and the coffee poured from the top.  Some are designed to keep your coffee hot with vacuum twin wall construction.Cook top espresso pots: both ceramic and stainless steel brands available.  As water is heated on cooktop, coffee is infused under pressure allowing it to filter up into serving container.Filter equipment: hot water is poured over fine ground coffee in paper lined filter, coffee drips through slowly.Percolators:  can work well as long as the coffee doesn't boil.  Coffee grounds are held in a metal basket while water percolates through. Milk Frothers: similar to plungers but usually have 2 metal disks for frothing.  Milk can often be heated directly on the stove or in the microwave.

First published: Jan 2006

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