Over 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed worldwide daily. That’s a lot of coffee.
It’s how I start my day every. single. day. I wake up, say good morning to my little family and then we get up to make a cup of coffee. But how I’ve prepared my coffee has changed over the years, and I’m sure yours has too.
Do you still enjoy your usual way of making coffee every morning?
If you answered no, it might be time to try something new!
Well, what’s the best way to brew coffee then?
This is where I come in with my research to help you sort through the pros and cons of 7 coffee makers to see which way of brewing coffee fits best with your lifestyle!
So brew a cup, grab a blanket and relax. Today we’re talking all things coffee!
Drip coffee is what I grew up drinking. After Gilmore Girls was released with the coffee crazed main characters, and then watching my mother drink coffee every day, I knew I needed to try this nutty, roasty drink that filled my house with it’s aromas every morning.
I was pretty young when I had my first cup, I think I was between 8-10 years old and usually only on weekends. At that age it was bitter and gross without creamer, so I added a good bit of Coffee Mate to each cup.
So what makes drip coffee so appealing? Surveys show it’s not the most popular amongst households, but it is convenient.
It’s also usually a less expensive route of brewing coffee. Drip makers are available in almost any store that sells kitchen supplies. You can also find drip coffee makers in diners and bars. It’s just a simple and easy way to make coffee.
All you need is ground coffee beans, a filter and water. But depending on what you’re looking to get out of your coffee, depends on if this is the best way for you to brew. If you’re just looking for caffeine, this drip coffee maker could be your perfect match!
- Most are programmable to set a timer for the night before so you can wake up to coffee.
- Affordable and available in many styles, sizes and colors.
- Can make a lot of coffee.
- Continues to heat coffee after it brews causing it to burn.
- Limited ability to control quality and strength of brew.
- Can make a lot of coffee, which can be wasteful.
*Unless you have a drip coffee maker with a reusable filter, a con would be that you have to buy filters for your coffee maker. But a pro would be that some are compostable. Unless you compost your filters then they can be bad for the environment as they are bleached with chlorine or oxygen and create waste volume issues.
Grind and brew coffee machines are an upgraded version of the classic drip, but were designed for those who enjoy freshly ground coffee beans. They work similarly to the classic drip where you add water and your filter, but with a grind and brew, you will add whole coffee beans that are ground fresh. Then your coffee is brewed for you.
With grind and brew coffee makers you have the choice of a blade grinder or burr grinder. The single blade grinder is more common and usually less expensive. However, because of the single blade, this could mean your beans aren’t ground evenly. Uneven beans could cause the flavor of the coffee to be pretty bad. The finer coffee grounds will have a bitter flavor while the larger pieces will pack a bold punch.
If you decide to go with a grind and brew maker with a burr grinder, you’ll receive a more consistent flavor. The burr grinder works like a mill. It has two revolving burrs that resemble a wheel where the beans are finely ground giving you a flavor that is consistent and really good quality.
But it all really depends on what you’re looking for in your coffee. If you’re considering the grind and brew, we know you’re looking to use fresh beans. If you want to start with something standard, you can check out this Cuisinart Grind & Brew DGB-400 that uses the blade grinder and produces good coffee. Or, if you’re ready for more of an upgrade and the quality of flavor is important, you should check out this Cuisinart Grind & Brew DGB-900 that uses the burr grinder.
*Something to note, the DGB-900 also uses a thermal carafe. Thermal carafe’s can be removed from the maker and sat anywhere without burning the surface. So if you want to take your carafe to the coffee table you can! Stainless thermal carafe’s are designed to keep your coffee warm longer and can also help to not burn your coffee, but coffee in general shouldn’t be kept on heat for longer than 30 minutes.
These may look a little pricey as far as coffee machines, but you’d be surprised. Most good grinders start at $100, especially burr grinders. So keep that in mind when you’re making your decision. You are, after all, buying a 2-in-1.
- Grinding your beans ensures fresh flavor.
- No need to buy a separate grinder.
- Stores beans in your coffee maker.
- Thermal carafe keeps from burning coffee.
- Must be cleaned often.
- Grinder could get jammed.
- Continues to heat coffee after it brews causing it to burn if using a glass carafe.
The infamous single serve coffee machine popularly known as, the Keurig. It was supposed to be the future of all coffee machines. You pop a pod in, wait maybe 60 seconds and boom, a single cup of coffee with a no waste brew. We’ve all seen one, and, maybe you even own one.
In the coffee world, you’re either a single serve fan or you’re not. Keurig fans love the convenience of just one cup so that they’re not wasting any left over coffee that they didn’t drink. With the newer version of the Keurig, you also have the option for an iced coffee brew, which I’m sure is nice in the warmer seasons.
But if you’re not a fan, it’s probably because it can water down flavors and has risen caution of the pods being problematic to the environment.
However, if you are somewhere in between, they do make recyclable k-cups and reusable k-cups.
Another bonus of single serve pods is the abundance of flavors and types of drinks they’ve come up with! You can do latte’s, tea, hot coco and almost any kind of flavored coffee you could think of. However, it can be pretty expensive if you’re not able to find good deals or sales.
I’ll admit, I use a Keurig because my partner and I were gifted one with an insane amount of k-cups. But even though we have so many, we do branch out for seasonal or fun flavors every once and a while.
Which raises another issue people have with the single serve life.
The price of the pods.
There are plenty of coffee makers that are pricier than a Keurig, but the cost of the pods can add up.
I did some math and here’s the difference.
In my house there’s two of us and on average we drink about 2 cups a piece per day. A coffee pod averages out to be $0.47 per cup, which is about $56 per month.
My partner drinks a 16oz cup and I drink about an 8-10oz cup so we’ll base a regular cup of coffee of 12oz which averages to be $0.13 per cup, which is about $15 per month.
So needless to say, it can definitely add up. We never thought about using a Keurig before we were gifted one, but now that we have one, it has been nice to have. I used a drip machine before and would waste so much coffee that just got poured down the drain so to me, the Keurig hasn’t been awful to have around. We recycle our pods and use the reusable ones and now I’m not wasting as much leftover brew.
- Newer versions can serve hot or iced coffee.
- No more wasted brew.
- No burnt brew.
- Fast brew time.
- Lots of flavors and other types of drinks to choose from.
- Cost of pods can add up.
- Weaker coffee.
- Can be environmentally harmful if not recycled.
One of my personal favorites.
The French press packs a lot of flavor and you get to control it. And sometimes, I just need a really bold, dark cup of coffee.
The French press uses a mesh metal filter that allows all the coffee’s flavors and oils to pour into your cup without all the coffee grounds. Most presses make about 8 cups of coffee so it’s perfect for sharing with company or a small household like mine.
However, the French press is not for the impatient. Grind size and water temp matter, and if you leave it brewing for too long before you press it, the flavor can be pretty bad. The grind should be even but coarse, and the water temp should be about 200°F.
*Side note: I found an awesome kettle a few months back that boils water at specific temps for types of teas as well as for French press coffee!
Another perk is most French presses are super affordable. My first press was about $20 and the one I’m using now was around $35 which includes an airtight container for you to store fresh beans.
The press I use is also stainless steel so that it can keep warm longer. Most French presses are glass and can lose heat faster.
If you’re thinking the French press might be too much work for your daily cup, it’s still worth giving it a try for a little weekend treat!
- Amazing flavor.
- Gives you the control.
- Little to no waste.
- Easy to use and clean.
- Not great for if you drink more than 8cups.
- Bad flavor if let to brew for too long.
- Water boiled separately.
- Coffee cools quickly if using glass press.
If you’re still with me and you thought, “What the heck is a moka pot?”, you’re not alone. A moka pot, also known as a stove top coffee maker, cooks up a darker brew similar to a roast. If you’re not a dark brew person, this is not the coffee maker for you.
If you love dark and bold then keep reading!
An Italian classic for coffee lovers, this stove top coffee pot is really simple and easy to use. The pressure from the heat causes the water from the bottom compartment to push through the grounds and moves into the top compartment.
How to use:
- Simply fill the bottom chamber with water to the fill line, then fill in the rest of the space with fine grounds and screw the top back on.
- Place it on a stove eye and turn it on to a medium-high heat.
- Leave the lid open.
- In about 5 minutes you’ll notice your brew spewing slowly into the top compartment.
- If the moka pot starts sputtering, then the heat is too high.
- When it’s about 80% full remove it from the heat.
It’s as simple as that! It’s quick, easy and delicious if you’re into darker brews. This gives a stronger brew than the French press but doesn’t quite qualify as espresso.
I’ve not yet experimented with one myself, but I trust Zulay products, so I was excited to find this one here! It’s sitting in my cart and I’m excited to give it a shot.
- No additional filtering.
- Creates a great dark roast.
- Affordable and consistent.
- Fun to experiment with.
- Must pay attention so it doesn’t scorch the brew.
- Stove top use only.
The siphon was another coffee maker I was unfamiliar with until this week when my partner mentioned that her parents used to use one often. It definitely looks more like a chemistry experiment than a coffee maker, but really, it’s both!
The siphon is similar to the moka pot in the sense that it uses pressure from heat to push the water through the coffee grounds to create a delicious brew.
Many siphons use a gas generated heat but if you can find an electrical one, it’s more practical and probably safer to use in most kitchens. They also come in lots of sizes and varieties that are great for showing off to guests, but I found one that is great for beginners!
For measurements, it depends on how much coffee you’re wanting. The general rule of thumb for siphon brewing is 2tbsp of ground coffee for every 6oz of water.
- You will attach the filter to the upper chamber.
- There will be a small chain with a clip in the tube of the filter that you will attach to the bottom lip of the tube.
- Then add your water to the bottom chamber.
- Attach the top and make sure it seals well.
- Add your coffee grounds to the top chamber, shut the lid and turn the siphon on.
How it works:
The pressure from the heat will push the water through the filter into the top chamber to saturate the coffee grounds. The bottom chamber will remain heated to keep the pressure going so that the coffee grounds are completely saturated with water. This will create an amazing flavor. When the temperature drops, the brew will slowly seep into the bottom chamber, and the filter will catch all the saturated coffee grounds. You can then remove the upper chamber and enjoy a deliciously brewed cup of coffee!
So maybe it’s a bit of a process, but it still doesn’t take too long, and I’ve heard it’s got an incredible flavor.
- If you make it for company, people will talk about it how amazing it was after they leave your house.
- Produces a great flavor because it doesn’t boil the water and fully immerses the coffee grounds.
- Gives you the control.
- Several parts to clean.
- Fragile, not easy to store.
Pour over coffee is arguably the most popular at home method to brewing an amazing cup of Joe. However, it caused some controversy in my house this week. My partner Erin and I visited a coffee shop when we lived in Chattanooga, TN that was local to the area. I ordered my first ever pour over and I’m not sure if the barista was new, or just didn’t take their time, but the coffee was terrible.
But Erin loves pour over, we have friends that love pour over and it’s her brother’s favorite way to drink coffee, but I just wasn’t convinced.
Best believe I was put in my place and we are ordering ours soon.
The method is simple but there is technique and it is different between both the Kalita Wave and Clever pour over.
The Kalita Wave, I would say, is better for experienced pour over coffee drinkers. It can be used directly over a cup or over a carafe if you plan to drink a few cups. This is a more traditional way to make pour over coffee.
How to use the Kalita Wave:
- Place your pour over funnel on top of your cup or carafe.
- Place a filter into the funnel.
- Prepare about 20oz (2.5c) of water to about 200°F.
- Place about 3tbsp of medium-course grounds into the filter.
- Once water is ready, pour in a slow, circular motion in the center to saturate the grounds but do not let it start to drip through.
*This process of saturating, but not submerging the grounds, is called blooming. Blooming is when hot water comes into contact with coffee grounds causing them to expand and foam. Blooming also helps to extract CO2 from the coffee grounds. This is a good thing because CO2 can give your coffee a sour taste. This will also help to enhance the flavor because you are not diluting the coffee by immediately submerging it with a lot of water. Now that we’ve omitted the CO2, the natural flavor will be prominent and more enjoyable.
- Let the blooming process happen for 30-45 seconds.
- Then you can continue to pour more water. Do this in a circular motion along the edges of the funnel.
- Keep your water ratio in the funnel around 1/2 full so that you do not dilute the flavor by pouring it too quickly.
- Lastly, serve and enjoy!
*A rule of thumb for coffee to water ratio for pour over coffee is 1gm coffee to 17gm of water. For my peeps that use tbsp, 1tbsp=5gm. 17gm of water is about 1/2c.
Don’t be fooled by the list of instructions. Once you get it down pat, the brewing process is no longer than other brewing methods.
The Clever is great for first time pour over coffee drinkers. What makes this one different from other pour over devices is that it contains a stopper, giving you a more French press style brew.
How to Use the Clever:
- Place the funnel on the saucer it comes with.
- Place the filter in the funnel and briefly run it under hot water to try and wash out the “paper” taste.
- Prepare 200°F water and once it’s ready, pour into the Clever until there is about an inch of filter left at the top of the funnel.
- Then scoop 3tbsp of coffee grounds into the funnel and with a spoon, make sure all of the coffee is saturated.
- Do not over-stir, you don’t want to interrupt the blooming process.
- Wait between 2-3 minutes, then place your Clever over your mug and let it drain into your cup!
You might think it crazy to pour water into the filter before the coffee grounds, but this technique has proven to be much faster and with the same results as you would get by scooping coffee into the funnel and then water. Check out this video here by James Hoffman who shows you how to use the Clever pour over using this method.
If you appreciate good coffee, but can only handle one or two cups per morning, this might just be the best coffee maker for you!
- You have the control.
- Small and saves space.
- Great for one to two cup coffee – no waste.
- Gentle method of brewing.
- Uses a filter (but you can buy biodegradable!)
- Takes patience.
Did you find your perfect coffee maker?
I know I found a few! There’s also a few I didn’t go over that I wasn’t very familiar with. I just might have to create a part 2.
Which coffee maker are you currently using? If you have multiple, which one is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below!
I hope you enjoy learning about the products we recommend! These products were independently selected by Haley’s Kitchen. Just so you know, as an Amazon affiliate, Haley’s Kitchen earns from qualifying purchases. Oh, and items are in stock as of time of publication unless noted otherwise!
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Remember to be brave in trying new things and always cook with a dash of love!
Until next time,
Haley | Creator of Haley’s Kitchen