13 Different Types of Coffee Makers: The Ultimate Guide [2022]

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There are so many coffee makers available, it’s overwhelming! With thousands listed on Amazon, choosing the perfect one seems tough. But don’t worry, it gets easier once you know what to look for. 

In this guide, I’ll explore 13 popular coffee makers, like drip, percolator, and espresso machines. You’ll learn the good and the bad about each, with examples. While many choose an auto-drip, espresso, or pod coffee maker, this article helps you discover the best brewing method for your taste.

Main Coffee Brewing Methods

A collage of all the types of coffee makers

In the next sections, we’ll explore all kinds of coffee makers. But first, let’s dive into the three basic brewing methods: drip, immersion, and pressure. Stay tuned!

  • Drip brewing — Drip coffee is made by dripping water over coffee grounds and letting gravity do the rest. The water flows through, maintaining contact with the beans for a very short period of time, typically only a couple of minutes. Given the short brewing times and lack of pressure, drip coffee always uses hot water. 
  • Immersion brewing — Immersion coffee, also known as steeped coffee, is made by keeping the coffee grounds and water in direct contact for an extended period of time. Depending on the water temperature and other factors, this can take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours. Once the water has fully extracted the grounds, the grounds are usually filtered out of the coffee.
  • Pressure brewing —  Pressure brewing speeds up the standard drip brewing process by pressurizing the water during the process. Most often, the water is pressurized before contact with the grounds. Sometimes, though, the pressure is applied only after the grounds are immersed in the water. Because of the pressure and because these methods typically use finely ground coffee, pressure brewing often takes only a minute or two.

Drip Coffee Makers

1. Automatic drip coffee makers 

Auto-drip coffee makers, or simply drip coffee makers, have been a staple in American kitchens since the 1970s. They’re so popular that we usually just call them coffee makers. These machines are the go-to choice for brewing coffee at home.

Auto-drip coffee makers share four key parts, simple yet essential.

  • A carafe, usually made of glass.
  • A heating plate on which the carafe sits.
  • A plastic enclosure above the carafe that holds a filter basket.
  • A water tank situated beside or behind the carafe, sometimes transparent but sometimes made of or encased in opaque plastic.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Often inexpensive
  • Lots of styles to choose from
  • Both single-serve and carafe options

Cons:

  • Typically little if any customizability
  • Mediocre coffee quality

2. Pour-over coffee makers

Pour-over coffee makers are super easy to use. They’re usually just a funnel made of ceramic or glass that fits over a mug or carafe. To brew your coffee, you just put a paper filter in the funnel, add coffee grounds, and slowly pour hot water over them. The delicious coffee then drips right into the carafe below, ready to enjoy!

Pour-over coffee is a craft that takes time to perfect, much like learning to play an instrument. In the beginning, your attempts may not seem better than your regular drip coffee. However, if you dream of becoming a top-notch home barista, mastering the pour-over is a crucial step. When done right, a pour-over can be the ultimate coffee experience, often hailed as the finest way to enjoy a cup.

Pros:

  • Can make amazing coffee
  • Basic equipment is very cheap

Cons:

  • Slow, hands-on process
  • Generally makes one cup of coffee at a time
  • Takes a long time to master 

3. Automatic pour-over coffee makers

Unlock the secret to amazing coffee by mastering pour-over techniques: perfecting water temperature, pour rate, bloom time, and even grounds coverage.

Discover the magic of automatic pour-over coffee makers! These smart machines elevate your coffee game, mimicking expert baristas. With showerhead water dispensers, they ensure even soaking of coffee grounds. Plus, you can tweak water temperature, pour speed, and bloom time to perfectly suit your taste or the coffee beans you’re using. Dive into a world of customized brews!

Pros:

  • Very easy to use
  • Consistently excellent coffee
  • Many are highly customizable

Cons:

  • Often expensive for drip coffee
  • Few single-serve options

4. Coffee percolators

Ever noticed someone on an old TV show making coffee in something that looks like a kettle? That’s a percolator! Before the modern coffee machines, everyone used these, especially the stovetop kind. They’re not as common now, but you’ll still find electric percolators brewing up big batches of coffee at events. They’re great for making lots of coffee all at once.

Percolators are cool tools for brewing coffee. They have a top part for coffee grounds and a bottom part for water. When the water boils, it moves up, turns into droplets, and falls through the coffee grounds. Unlike other drip methods, the water can go through the grounds many times. Each time, the coffee gets tastier, but be careful – it can also get bitter if you let it go too long.

Pros:

  • Fairly quick to brew
  • Usually inexpensive
  • Lets you your coffee flavor level

Cons:

  • Have to monitor the brew process 
  • Can brew very bitter coffee

5. Vietnamese coffee makers

Meet the phin filter, also known as the Vietnamese coffee filter. It’s a classic tool for making Vietnamese coffee. Imagine a metal gadget that snugly keeps coffee grounds in place. You pour hot water into it, cover it up, and wait. Slowly, the water seeps through, delivering delicious coffee into your mug or carafe below. Simple, yet magical!

Pros:

  • Incredibly cheap
  • Small and very portable
  • Hands-off and mostly easy to use

Cons:

  • Brewing take 5–7 minutes
  • Makes one serving at a time

Immersion Coffee Makers

6. French press coffee makers

A French press is like a special jug with a push-down lever on top and a built-in strainer at the bottom. To make coffee, you pull the lever up, mix hot water and coffee grounds in the jug, wait a bit, then press the lever down. This separates the coffee from the grounds, leaving you with a delicious brew.

French press coffee offers a richer taste and a fuller body compared to drip coffee. This happens because it pulls out more oils during brewing, which the metal filter doesn’t take away.

Pros:

  • Often inexpensive
  • Rich, flavorful coffee
  • More versatility than auto-drip machines

Cons:

  • Heavier brew is not for everyone
  • Not good for those with high cholesterol
  • Can over-extract if left alone

7. Cold brew coffee makers

Cold-brew and iced coffee might sound similar, but they’re quite different! Cold brew is made without hot water, often in the fridge, at or below room temperature. Iced coffee, however, is just hot-brewed coffee cooled down with ice. So, next time, you’ll know exactly what you’re sipping on!

Making cold brew coffee is wonderfully simple and doesn’t need fancy gadgets. Imagine using just a mason jar: mix coffee grounds with water, wait for 12–24 hours, and then separate the grounds from the liquid. Even easier, consider getting a cold brew pitcher that comes with a built-in filter. These pitchers are affordable, save you from buying paper filters, and streamline the process by skipping the extra filtering step. Perfect for beginners diving into the world of coffee!

Cold brew coffee is all the rage these days! Unlike regular coffee, it makes a concentrated brew that’s perfect for mixing with milk or ice – no flavor gets lost. The excitement doesn’t stop there; nitro cold brew, which is cold brew charged with nitrogen for a smooth, creamy texture, is the latest trend. And guess what? You can now make nitro cold brew at home too!

Pros:

  • Can brew in mason jar or with cheap equipment
  • Easy, hands-off brewing
  • Makes strong, low-acidity coffee
  • Concentrate stays fresh longer than regular coffee

Cons:

  • Very long brew time
  • Muted flavor not for everyone

8. Siphon coffee maker

Siphon coffee makers, also called syphon filters or vacuum brewers, are a cool way to make coffee. They have two glass parts stacked together, connected by a slim tube. You heat them up with either a gas or electric burner underneath. A metal stand keeps everything steady. It’s like a mini science experiment for your morning cup!

First, you pour water into the bottom part and add coffee grounds to the top. When heated, the water climbs up to mingle with the grounds. After soaking briefly, a vacuum sucks the now-brewed coffee back down, filtering it on its way to the bottom. It’s like a mini science experiment for a delicious cup of coffee!

Pros:

  • Beautiful equipment
  • Makes delicious coffee

Cons:

  • Good ones are moderately expensive
  • Equipment is very fragile
  • Hard to clean and maintain

9. Turkish coffee makers

Making Turkish coffee is a unique experience! You start by boiling super-fine coffee grounds in water using a special pot known as an ibrik or Turkish coffee pot. It’s a simple process with a few steps, and you get to customize your brew with spices like cardamom and cinnamon. For an easier route, electric Turkish coffee makers are available, though they tend to cost more.

Turkish coffee packs a powerful punch and is unique because you sip it with the fine grounds still in your cup. While not everyone’s cup of joe, it’s a fun adventure. Plus, the gear won’t break the bank, making it easy to give it a go.

Pros:

  • Very cheap
  • Equipment is small and durable
  • Makes very strong coffee

Cons:

  • Hands-on brewing process
  • Leaves sediment in cup
  • Brews one cup at a time

Pressure Coffee Makers

10. Espresso machines

Espresso is a powerful, concentrated coffee that’s the foundation for many coffee shop favorites like lattes, cappuccinos, and macchiatos. But it’s also great solo, enjoyed as a quick shot or as an Americano, where it’s mixed with water for a milder taste.

Espresso machines create magic by forcing hot water through tightly packed, finely ground coffee using high pressure. To whip up a great espresso, you need a machine that can generate at least 9 bars of pressure, way more than other coffee makers. For the richest flavor, the top espresso machines go beyond, aiming for over 15 bars.

There are three main types of espresso machines:

  • Manual espresso machines — These are also called lever machines. They don’t require any electronics. Instead, hot water is added manually and the extraction process is controlled by pulling down a lever. I don’t generally recommend these machines unless you just like the novelty of them.
  • Semi-automatic espresso machines — These are the espresso machines most people are familiar with for home use and in coffee shops. The user has to fill the portafilter (a long handle with a filter basket at the end) with grounds, tamp the grounds down, and attach the portafilter to the machine. Once turned on, the machine handles the remainder of the brewing process.
  • Automatic espresso machines — These machines handle the entire brewing process for you, often including grinding the coffee beans. Automatic machines, also called super-automatic espresso machines, are typically the most expensive option, but they are the easiest coffee makers to use. You just press button and take coffee.

Pros:

  • Produces rich, delicious coffee
  • Often include built-in milk frothers
  • Can make specialty drinks like lattes

Cons:

  • Generally expensive
  • Moderate learning curve (except with automatic machines)
  • Makes 1–2 cups of coffee at a time

11. Pod coffee makers

These machines make brewing coffee a breeze! Instead of dealing with loose coffee grounds, you just pop in a coffee pod or capsule. No grinding or measuring needed. Plus, cleanup is super easy since there are no messy grounds to worry about.

Explore the world of pod coffee makers, from popular names like Nespresso and Keurig to hidden gems like ESE. These machines blend the ease of drip brewing with the richness of espresso. Perfect for any coffee lover!

Nespresso machines can whip up strong espresso with over 15 bars of pressure, while Keurig focuses on brewing smooth drip coffee.

Pros:

  • Simple use
  • Virtually no cleanup
  • Newer models make good coffee

Cons: 

  • Pods are more expensive than ground coffee
  • Older models often make weak coffee

12. AeroPress coffee maker

The AeroPress is a cool new tool for coffee lovers. It’s made up of two parts: a brewing chamber and a plunger. You put the chamber on a mug, add coffee grounds and hot water, and wait for about a minute. Then, you push the plunger down slowly. This pushes the coffee through a filter and into your mug, making a delicious cup of coffee.

An AeroPress uses less pressure than espresso machines but still makes strong coffee. You can change how you brew it, like flipping it upside down, to create a richer AeroPress espresso.

Pros:

  • Quick brewing process
  • Makes delicious coffee
  • Small, cheap, durable, and portable
  • Very versatile
  • Cleanup is very quick

Cons:

  • Best for making one cup at a time
  • Hands-on process
  • Requires a bit of force to push the plunger

13. Moka pots

Moka pots, also known as stovetop espresso makers, resemble stovetop percolators with a twist. They have a special design with a bottom chamber for water and a top section for coffee grounds.

Moka pots and percolators mainly differ in two ways. First, Moka pots use pressure to push water through coffee grounds. Second, the water goes through the grounds just once. This means Moka pots avoid the over-extraction issue common with stovetop espresso makers, making your coffee just right.

Pros:

  • Quick brewing process
  • Cheap, durable equipment
  • Makes strong coffee

Cons:

  • Can burn coffee if left on burner
  • Involved cleanup process

Other Coffee Maker Variations

We’ve covered the main coffee makers, but let’s not overlook some cool variations. These aren’t brand new types, but tweaks or extra features on the ones we talked about. Each one still uses the brewing methods we’ve explored. Perfect for those wanting to dive a bit deeper into their coffee journey!

Thermal coffee makers

Glass carafes cool down fast. If you’re making a big pot just for you, you might have to keep it on the stove or warm up your coffee after the first cup or two. But be careful, reheating or keeping coffee hot for too long can burn it or change its taste.

To solve this issue, many coffee makers are switching from glass pots to stainless-steel thermal carafes. These awesome carafes keep your coffee hot for hours without changing how it tastes. They’re perfect for anyone who brews a pot but doesn’t drink it right away.

This feature is popular in auto-drip and automatic pour-over machines. It’s also great for French presses and other large coffee brewers.

Carafe-free and single-serve coffee makers

Gone are the days when home coffee machines only brewed full pots. Now, you can find machines tailored for just one cup or those that ditch the carafe, storing your brew internally. From pod coffee makers to innovative auto-drip machines, making your perfect single cup has never been easier.

Portable coffee makers

Love coffee on the go? The AeroPress and its travel-friendly buddy, the AeroPress Go, are perfect for you! Unlike most coffee makers that need electricity or are too bulky, these make enjoying your brew anywhere a breeze.

Finding a good battery-powered coffee maker is like searching for a needle in a haystack. Most portable coffee makers you’ll stumble upon are either tiny ones you can plug in or ones you operate by hand. Usually, they’re just mini-me versions of your regular coffee maker or cleverly designed to double as a travel mug.

Wacaco has changed the game with its unique invention: the first ever truly portable espresso maker. It’s a bit of a workout to use, but for coffee lovers on the go, it’s a fantastic breakthrough.

Dual coffee makers

Explore dual coffee makers, the versatile machines that let you brew your coffee in two different ways, perfect for mixing up your morning routine!

Dual coffee makers are super versatile, letting you brew just one cup or a whole carafe of drip coffee. They’re customizable too! Take Ninja coffee makers, for example, they offer different cup sizes, brew strengths, and more options.

Some dual coffee makers do it all – they can whip up both espresso and your classic drip coffee. Take the Nespresso Vertuo machines, for example; they have special pods for either a strong shot of espresso or a bigger cup of your morning brew.

Finally, certain dual coffee makers can handle both ground coffee and coffee pods. It’s similar to using a reusable Nespresso capsule or a Keurig pod. The convenience of having this feature in the machine itself is a real game-changer.

Smart coffee makers

Auto-drip machines are handy, but smart coffee makers take it up a notch. With them, you can set brewing times, adjust settings, and even order more coffee using just your phone or voice commands.

Coffee makers are getting an upgrade! Brands like Nespresso have been adding cool tech features to their machines for a while. And now, Keurig is joining the game with their new smart coffee maker, the K-Supreme Smart. We can’t wait to see more coffee gadgets getting smarter in the future.

Grind-and-brew coffee makers

Finally, we can’t forget about coffee makers with built-in grinders, known as grind-and-brew machines. Unlike regular coffee makers that use pre-ground beans, these let you grind your coffee fresh, offering a choice over buying a separate grinder or using stale pre-ground coffee.

Grind-and-brew coffee makers are your all-in-one coffee buddies. They not only grind the beans but also measure them perfectly for you. It’s like having a mini barista at home! Think of them as the easy, automatic version of making drip coffee, similar to how an automatic espresso machine works.

Brew It Your Way

Discover the world of coffee makers! No matter if you prefer your coffee hot or iced, bold or light, there’s a coffee maker out there just for you. From simple, automatic machines to ones that let you become a coffee master, the choice is yours.

Want to make your coffee experience better? Check out why your coffee might taste bitter, learn how to brew it stronger, and discover the art of grinding beans.

Don’t hesitate to drop a comment if you have questions or want to recommend a coffee brewer I missed. Meanwhile, grab your mug and brew a tasty cup of coffee. Cheers until our next chat!

13 Different types of coffee makers: The ultimate guide

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