Coffee Maker Guide

Checking out the market for coffee makers? Navigating the world of coffee brewers—finding just the right model, just the right size, one with just the right features—can be an arduous task.

This go-to coffee maker guide walks you through brewing options, brewer types, and just what it takes to make that perfect Cup O’ Joe.

Single Cup

Brewing an entire pot of coffee, when only some of that pot will be used, seems wasteful. That's the beauty of a single cup coffee maker! When deciding on what coffee maker may be right for you—and your coffee tastes—consider single serve brewers.

How Does It Brew?

When you are using a pod coffee maker, the coffee comes in pre-measured coffee pods that have just the right amount of coffee grounds for a single serving. To brew your coffee, the first thing to do is place the pod into the designated slot in the single cup coffee maker. Next, you add water to the reservoir. Lastly, you press the brew button. Water will be pushed through the pod and the coffee pours directly into your mug or travel cup. But not all single cup coffee makers function exactly the same. In fact, some function just like automatic drip coffee makers.

Who Is It For?

A single cup coffee maker provides a quick and easy brewing method that suits everyone's personal tastes. Coffee pods are great for guests when you are entertaining. Why worry about brewing an entire pot of coffee, when you can set out an assortment of K-Cup® Pods of various flavors for your guests to choose from?

A single cup coffee maker is also great for an office environment. Instead of buying coffee at a local coffee shop or from the office cafeteria, everyone can simply bring in their favorite K-Cup coffee and enjoy the perfect cup of coffee.


The brewing size can vary from one brewer to the next, but typically, single cup coffee makers can brew anything from 3-oz small coffee cups up to large travel coffee mugs. Whether you enjoy a small cup or a large cup, these brewers will deliver.

Tips for Brewer Longevity

Knowing how to clean a coffee maker is important for its longevity. When it comes to cleaning your single serve coffee maker, there isn't a lot of cleaning required on a daily basis. However, similar to an automatic drip coffee maker, it needs to be cleaned on a regular basis. One of the best ways of cleaning this type of coffee maker is to de-scale it every three to six months. This way you can be sure that your brewer is performing at its very best.

What is de-scaling? Because the mineral content in water will vary from location to location, it is possible that areas with high mineral content will develop calcium deposits or scale inside the coffee maker. Scale isn't toxic, but if you don't clean it out, the brewer's performance will be hindered. Plus, de-scaling will help to maintain the heating element, as well as the other parts of the brewer that contact the water. Calcium deposits can build up more quickly than every three to six months, so it may be necessary to de-scale your brewer more often.

What Does It Brew?

Single serve coffee makers can brew a variety of coffee pods, tea pods, hot chocolate pods, and even apple cider pods. You can find K-Cup Pods at almost every grocery store and other retail stores. There are more than 200 varieties of K-Cup Pods. When you are searching for your favorite flavor of K-Cup coffee, you can often times buy K-Cup packs that have a single flavor or a variety of flavors.


When you think of a coffee maker, typically your first thought is of a drip coffee maker. After all, drip coffee makers are the standard brewers used in many homes. One of the biggest perks to using a drip coffee pot is that many have a timer for automatic brewing—and is there a better smell than a fresh pot of coffee brewing when you wake up?

How Does It Brew?

Learning how to properly brew coffee helps you get the most out of your drip coffee maker. When you decide to brew a coffee pot, the amount of coffee brewed is dependent upon how many cups of water you pour into the reservoir. The water gets heated and is pushed through the coffee filter that is filled with the appropriate amount of coffee grounds or beans. Once the water pushes through the filter, hot coffee is dispensed into a coffee carafe. The carafe sits atop a hot plate, which will keep the pot—and coffee—hot.

Who Is It For?

Drip coffee makers are ideal for families, offices, and anyone who entertains frequently. One of the major perks of drip coffee makers is that many come with a programmable feature. You can set your programmable coffee maker to brew the next morning, at the start of a get-together, or whenever you want your coffee to start brewing!


You can brew a variety of different sizes of coffee with a drip coffee maker. Depending on the size of your brewer and the size of the pot, you can typically brew anywhere from 4-to-20 cups of coffee. In fact, you can a buy a 4-cup coffee maker, 5-cup coffee maker, 6-cup coffee maker, 8-cup coffee maker, 12-cup coffee maker, or 14-cup coffee maker. There really is a size for all tastes.

Tips for Brewer Longevity

Knowing how to clean your coffee maker is key. An automatic drip coffee maker should be kept on a counter permanently, especially if it gets used on a daily basis. If you don't properly clean your coffee pot, your coffee won't taste its best, since there will likely be a mix of mineral deposits, old coffee, and other unwanted debris in the pot. You should rinse the carafe on a daily basis and empty the used coffee grounds from the filter. You should also do a thorough cleaning every three months so mineral deposits and other buildup can be removed.

Specialty Machines

Feel like fancying up your brewing? Bring home a cappuccino machine or an espresso machine for a more sophisticated coffee-drinking experience. Every cappuccino maker and espresso maker are not created equally and there are a variety you can choose from to get your caffeine fill.

Types of Brewers

Pump Espresso Maker

This type of espresso maker is just one of a variety that you can bring home to get your fill of cappuccino and espresso. A pump espresso machine utilizes Thermo-Block system coils to flash hot water to the exact temperatures needed for both brewing and steaming. This espresso machine is great for achieving crema, as well as creating continuous steam for delicious cappuccinos and lattes.

Semi-Automatic Espresso Maker

Find the espresso maker that fills your cup just the way you like. A semi-automatic espresso machine keeps the temperature just where it needs to be for a great cup of espresso or cappuccino. Semi-automatic espresso machines will turn the heat off automatically whenever there is a change in the boiler temperature. This type of espresso machine also has an automated pump, which will maintain and regulate pressure—delivering a more consistent blend.

Fully Super Automatic Espresso Maker

Simple is as a simple does—and with super automatic espresso machines—amazing espresso and cappuccino is just a touch away! All you need to do is press a button on the super automatic espresso machine and this incredibly versatile espresso maker will grind, dose, tamp, and brew! Instead of having to fiddle with multiple settings and having to hover over a different type of espresso machine, an automatic espresso machine makes whipping up your favorite espresso drink as easy as can be.

Tips for Brewer Longevity

When caring for your espresso maker, remember that you'll need to factor in a small amount of lag time, which is caused by the difference in temperatures needed for brewing, steaming, and frothing. The majority of semi-automatic machines do not have auto-on or auto-off time, so you have to turn it on and off yourself. Always remember to shut it off when you are finished using it.

French Press

Freshly pressed! Brew up some fresh coffee right before your eyes with a French press coffee maker. A French press may not be for everyone, but if you enjoy brewing coffee with your own hands, this type of coffee maker is right up your alley. The beauty in French press coffee is in its simplicity—no plugs, outlets, or electricity is needed to make a delicious cup of coffee.

How Do You Make Coffee?

If you're going to use a French press, you're going to need French press instructions. Coarse coffee grinds sit together with boiling water in the carafe for four minutes. After four minutes, slowly push the plunger down to trap the grinds, filter them, and force them to the bottom of the French press coffee maker. When a cup of coffee is poured, it is poured through a mesh filter, which lets even more flavor—and essential oils—pass through.

Who Is It For?

A small-sized French press is great for an individual, while a large-sized French press is a fantastic choice for gatherings or groups since it can be brought to the table for serving ease.


French presses are available in 1- to 10-cup sizes. Whether you choose a small French press or large French press depends on your usage plans.

Tips for Brewer Longevity

Knowing how to clean a French press is important. On a daily basis, the plunger and carafe should be rinsed. They should also be thoroughly cleaned often. To get the best, purest, strongest, and freshest flavor from your French press coffee, try grinding your own coffee beans right before you begin the coffee-making process.



It's time for the percolators. A coffee percolator is a kind of pot that is used to brew coffee by constantly cycling the boiling brew through the coffee grounds—utilizing gravity—until the preferred strength is reached. A percolator coffee pot has a small chamber at the bottom—placed close to the source of heat. There is a vertical tube that leads from the chamber to the top of the electric coffee percolator. Just below the top end of the tube is a chamber that is perforated. Coarse-ground coffee is placed in the top chamber of the percolator coffee maker, while water is poured into the water chamber.

How Do You Make Coffee?

How does a coffee percolator brew? Boiling water moves up to the top of the perforated basket. There, it pours down over the grounds of coffee. The process repeats until the desired strength is reached. Serving is easy thanks to the unique design of the percolator. It's tabletop-ready from the start of brewing straight through to service.

Who Is It For?

If you are a fan of strong coffee or dark roast coffee, then a coffee percolator is for you. Knowing how to make strong coffee is crucial to getting the most out of a percolator.


A coffee percolator is available in an array of sizes—usually from as little as 6 cups, up to as many as 50 cups. Percolators can make—and serve—as much or as little coffee as you choose.

Tips for Brewer Longevity

The coffee percolator and the coffee grounds need to be rinsed on a daily basis. They should also be thoroughly cleaned very often. A stovetop percolator should first be removed from the heat source when it is finished brewing to avoid over-boiling, becoming bitter, and the masking of distinct flavors. If you have an electric coffee percolator, it will switch automatically to warming mode when the brewing process has completed—delivering a consistent blend.

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