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The best coffee makers for ANY kind of coffee drinker



You may be saying, coffee makers? Multiple? Yes. That's right. Currently in my home I own a whopping 4-5 coffee making devices. And that is not counting pourover. The reason for this is that different coffee makers are good for different seasons, and I'll tell ya what I mean.

1. For guests:


In general, drop coffee is not my favorite. It is fine, and for guests who wake-up early and want coffee it is nice to have a small, easy to use, drip coffee maker that they can use themselves without finagling fancy devices that they may not have seen before. This 4 cup Cuisinart Mini currently lives on top of my cabinet, and comes down whenever my in-laws stay with us so that they can make themselves as much coffee as they want, whenever they want, without having to ask us to pull them an espresso.

2. For a young couple:


A French press is fun when you are first exploring the world of better-than-drip coffee. It is easy to use (boil water, put coffee in the carafe, pour the water in, mix it up, wait a little, and sloooowly press down) and it tastes quite good. It is still regular coffee not espresso, but it is a very nice cup of regular coffee. We used to use an older version of this Bodum French Press and enjoyed it very much. Until we discovered...

3. The best all around BUDGET coffee / espresso maker:




The Bialetti Moka Express. Guys, this is delicious coffee. Is it coffee or espresso? I have no idea. I think we used a bean grind that was sort of in between the two. I'm assuming if you're at Moka Bialetti level you have researched the proper grind for your beans and possibly have your own grinder right? If not, no worries, it will still make you a delicious cup of joe. 

I'm not going to get into coffee grinders here, perhaps I'll ask my husband to write a post all about that later, but the long and short of it is that they make a difference and if you don't have a grinder you should look up what size grind your beans should be for your coffee making device, and then have them ground accordingly.

When we bought beans from Trader Joes and from our other local grocery store, we'd simply set the machine to the right grind number or ask the person at the coffee counter to do it for us. If you can, buy whole beans and grind them, even if it is just at the grocery store. I'll do a post on coffee beans another day.

4. The best dorm room, hotel room, and camping coffee maker:


An Aeropress is basically a reverse French Press. I don't 100% understand how it works, but it makes coffee at least as good if not better than a French Press, and it is very small, compact, and easy to use and clean. This would actually be a good thing to bring to your office too, if you don't like the coffee they serve. The fact that it is made of plastic always worried me, but it did not seem to be a problem whatsoever, and this does make a delicious cup of coffee. This would be a great gift for a young guy who enjoys coffee but doesn't spend a lot of time cooking too.

5. The best pod coffee maker:

Strong opinion loosely held... there isn't one. ;P I do not care for pod coffee makers, though my husband tells me he tried a Nespresso pod espresso maker at work and likes it. The thought of buying and throwing away tons of little pods irks me, plus the coffee isn't as good, and it takes almost as much effort as drip coffee anyway so... I don't really see the appeal except that you can make a single cup at a time. If you want to make a single cup of coffee, the aeropress is a good easy option, or a regular pour over cup which I hear is top notch.

6. The best big fancy espresso maker: 



I don't know if I can say that that our Profitec Pro 300 is the absolute best, as I know I've been served better coffee at restaurants where they have coffee machines that cost as much as a car. For coffee made at home though, this guy is goood. We bought this machine as a wedding gift, and had wanted a big fancy espresso maker for years and years. It has lasted us 4 years without any maintenance issues, and my husband is just now running vinegar through it to help the pump work better. These are machines that will probably last you a lifetime, and they hold their resale value so while they are definitely an investment, they aren't the worst investment if you are very into coffee. 


7. Coffee makers I would not recommend:

- expensive drip machines

Will probably not get you a better cup of coffee than a basic, inexpensive, drip machine.

- Low end espresso / cappuccino machines. 

I would just use a Moka Bialetti since the coffee will be better.

- Pod machines

I do not care for pod coffee makers, though my husband tells me he tried a Nespresso pod espresso maker at work and likes it. The thought of buying and throwing away tons of little pods irks me, plus the coffee isn't as good, and it takes almost as much effort as drip coffee anyway so... I don't really see the appeal except that you can make a single cup at a time. If you want to make a single cup of coffee, the Aeropress is a good easy option, or a regular pour over cup which I hear is top notch.

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A word on beans: 

These are the beans that we buy. We used to buy very fancy beans from a local coffee shop that were double the price (and required an extra shopping stop). These are more delicious, cheaper, and you can get organic ones for about the same price. We tried -many- different types of beans, and if you need to buy them from a local store my recommendation would be to go to Trader Joe's. They have many kinds at great prices, and you can grind them to the proper grind yourself right in the store. We do store extra beans in the freezer, though there is some debate on whether that is good and necessary. We store them in this airtight OXO container.

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That's all! What's your favorite way to prepare coffee? Have you tried some of these methods?




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