Weekend Digest: Too many coffee makers to choose from? Here’s a detailed buyer’s guide to make the best cappuccinos & cold brew at home
Are you in search of the perfect coffee-making device to make delectable cups of gourmet coffee, cold brew, or espresso? Well, you're in luck. Today we're bringing you suggestions on some of the best coffee makers you can get for your kitchen, so you can start whipping up those wonderfully caffeinated beverages in no time at all. Read on for more!
If you’re like me, you probably think that coffee is one of the most fabulous creations to be discovered on Earth. You wake up in the morning, stumbling in your half-awake daze with blurry, tired eyes. You shake your fist at the gods of sleep and pour that first cup of delicious coffee. The steam carries the aromatic scent right into your nostrils as you take a sip, and then it hits you—a wave of new life washing over and rejuvenating your very soul.
This is, of course, a rather dramatic way to describe it, yet still a relatable scene for coffee lovers. However, even coffee lovers can struggle to find the right coffee makers that allow them to brew their favorite types of bean juice at home. This is why we’re bringing you this buyer’s guide to making the best cappuccinos and cold brew at home. Let’s get to it!
So many options that it’s overwhelming
Choosing the right coffee maker can be a real pain if we’re being honest. There are so many out there that the options can oftentimes be overwhelming. In fact, you may have even perused through a Bed Bath and Beyond only to see that they have industrial-style coffee-making monstrosities on display that are larger than your two smallest children combined. Granted, my java-addicted self has indeed wondered what it would be like to have such a thing strapped to my limited kitchen countertops.
Part of what makes it so difficult to choose a coffee maker is that it goes beyond brand or even basic features. Gone are the days of Mr. Coffee dominating the consumer coffee maker market, and so are the days of devices that simply just turn on and brew. While yes, at their core, this is what modern makers do, that’s just the beginning. People want the best bang for their buck, and basic functionality isn’t always enough.
Choosing a coffee maker that’s right for you
So the first question to ask yourself is what you want out of your coffee maker. For example, do you prefer to have a full carafe (pot) or one that’s pod-style and supports K-Cups? Are you looking to make specialty types like gourmet cappuccinos? Perhaps you enjoy the refreshingly fulfilling taste of a cold brew on a warm summer afternoon.
Some coffee makers handle only one of these areas, but some attempt to hybridize to cover a broader spectrum of capabilities. Once you lock down what you want most from your machine, you’re one step closer to determining the best fit for you.
Something else worth noting is the quality of the features themselves. Devices claiming to make iced coffee are a perfect example because not all of them do it effectively. If your machine says it does this and then proceeds to dump blazing hot coffee over ice, you’re likely on your way toward a watery lukewarm cup of Joe. Ones that can produce cool coffee before it ever reaches any ice cubes are going to provide a better-iced coffee experience.
Likewise, some coffee makers also do better at specialty brews than others. A machine that makes cappuccinos by allowing you to input a cappuccino-flavored K-Cup isn’t exactly being honest about what it can do. This is why understanding how it works is just as important as what you want it to do.
Two simple coffee makers that get the job done
For those who are looking for a couple of basic options, don’t sweat it. We’ve got a few suggestions for you that should meet your needs and perhaps even exceed expectations. The following two items will provide a pot-based option and a K-Cup alternative.
The Cuisinart DCC-T20 Touchscreen 14-Cup Programmable is more of a mouthful than you’ll get from any coffee cup. That said, it’s a solid machine that puts a modern spin on an old classic. The device comes with a 14-cup carafe (in case the name didn’t give it away) and features touchscreen controls. It can be programmed, and it has auto-shutoff, brew-strength control, and small-batch modes. There are also permanent and water filters along with a cleaning indicator. Best of all, it makes a great cup of coffee.
You can get the Cuisinart DCC-T20 Touchscreen 14-Cup Programmable coffee maker from Amazon for $129.95.
An easy K-Cup-based option on a budget is the Keurig K-Express single-serve coffee maker. It keeps things perfectly simple by allowing you to pop in a K-Cup and get a single cup in mere moments. It comes with strong brew modes and multiple serving sizes. Its 42-ounce reservoir supports 4 cups of coffee before it needs refilling. If you’re looking for a similar product that’s a little bigger and more expansive, we recommend the Keurig K55.
You can get the Keurig K-Express single-serve coffee maker from the official website for $69.99.
Coffee machines for cappuccino lovers
If you love cappuccinos and want the option to brew it at home, we’ve got a few picks that will help get you started. While it might be hard to perfectly replicate the authenticity of coffee-shop quality, these just might surprise you with how they deliver a great taste to your kitchen.
Ninja’s Specialty Coffee Maker is a perfect option for gourmet coffee on a budget. It can make cappuccinos and lattés in addition to other types of coffee. It also can make iced coffee if you fancy that. There’s even a fold-away frother to top off your delicious specialty coffee. Lastly, the device includes a thermal carafe for when you want to make regular morning brews.
The Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker is available from the official website for $199.99.
Keurig is back on the list already with its K-Cafe Single Serve Coffee Maker. This one, not unlike the Ninjas above, also makes cappuccinos and lattes. There are plenty of frothing options and a 60-ounce reservoir included. It’s also dishwasher safe, which makes cleaning the machine even easier. It’s worth mentioning that it has a very stylishly clean, minimalistic look, which will sit nicely on kitchen countertops.
The Keurig K-Cafe Single Serve Coffee Maker is available from the official website for $143.99.
Excellent options for espresso enthusiasts
For those more serious about espresso, there’s certainly no shortage of machines available to choose from. While some machines dabble with this, others go harder\. If you’re looking for an espresso machine that rises to the occasion, check these next two out.
The KitchenAid Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine has a 15-bar Italian pump for barista-level quality along with thermocoil technology. Smart sensors detect and help adjust for the perfect cup, while the included frother adds another layer to your brew. There’s even a built-in mug warmer to heat up your cup while it makes your espresso. I’m getting thirsty just thinking about it.
You can find the KitchenAid Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine on the official website for $399.99.
Next up is the Nespresso Creatista Plus. This intriguing brewer can whip up your beverage in no time, needing only 3 seconds to heat up. The Nespresso has 8 different texture settings and 11 milk temperatures. If you’re looking for a truly professional-level espresso maker at home, make sure you look this one over in full.
You can get the Nespresso Creatista Plus from the official website for $649.95.
Some versatile coffee makers you just can’t beat
Perhaps you’re looking for a coffee maker that’s not super basic or extravagantly fancy. All you want is a machine that has a little versatility under its belt. Well, with the following two devices, that’s entirely possible.
The Ninja Hot and Cold Brew System is a special little coffee-slinging beast that has a frother, thermal carafe, and reusable filter. From cold brews and solid drip coffee to lattes, it seems to do it all. The machine offers incredible flexibility and is perfect for those who enjoy having diversity in their coffee choices.
The Ninja Hot and Cold Brew System is available from Best Buy for $179.99.
Another alternative is the Hamilton Beach 49976 FlexBrew Trio 2-Way Single Serve Coffee Maker. While it may not carry the same latté-making capabilities as the previous suggestion, it does have the ability to make single cups or an entire pot of coffee. With 2 separate reservoirs and multiple brewing options, it’s not a bad fit for those wanting a few options without all the bells and whistles.
The Hamilton Beach 49976 FlexBrew Trio 2-Way Single Serve Coffee Maker is available on Amazon for $104.99.
Did you think we forgot about the cold brew?
If you’re scratching your head and asking yourself where the cold brew is, no worries. We didn’t forget. After all, it’s in the title of the article, isn’t it? So let’s go ahead and jump into a few more options and see what kind of machines will produce a chilly cup of that dark, delicious cold brew.
The Takeya Patented Deluxe Cold Brew Coffee Maker isn’t exactly a coffee machine, but it does make cold brew at an incredibly affordable price. Its simple design allows you to put your preferred coffee in and let it sit overnight. By morning you’ll have a perfect cup ready to go. It’s a great way to save on buying it out, too.
The Takeya Patented Deluxe Cold Brew Coffee Maker is available on Amazon for $22.20.
An alternative is the Oxo Brew Cold Brew Coffee Maker, which evenly saturates coffee grounds. This allows it to drain effectively so that you can fill its carafe and partake in all its cold brew glory. Again, this isn’t a complete coffee-making experience. However, it pairs perfectly with any of the others we suggest.
You can get the Oxo Brew Cold Brew Coffee Maker on Amazon for $30.95.
A few more things to consider before purchasing
Though we discussed some things to watch out for when shopping for a coffee maker, a few additional things come to mind that are worth considering.
Your individual needs and budget are a bit more obvious. However, what about counter space? It’s important to review the space you have available on your kitchen countertops before clicking that buy button or running to the store. For example, some coffee makers have a low profile and take up very little space. Others have a larger footprint that can crowd limited space.
Energy efficiency may also be important to you. While some devices use very little power, others can be power hogs. In an age where many seek to lower their electric bills if not their energy use, it makes sense that this could be a significant factor in your decision. Is there a coffee maker that’s entirely sustainable? If so, we’d love to know about it!
Unsurprisingly, quality is another area you want to keep in mind, but not just the quality of the machine. You want to be sure the quality of the coffee it produces is also up to your personal standard. User reviews are especially important in this area because, while everyone’s tastes are different, there’s something to be said when a general consensus points towards a particular strength or weakness. If the internet is good for one thing, it’s finding opinions on everything under the sun.
Most importantly, enjoy your coffee
Are you any less overwhelmed with choices? Maybe not, but, with any luck, we made your search a little easier. Be sure to check out the devices we discussed today to see if they fit your needs.
We know the options seem endless, but it means the right coffee maker for your kitchen is out there waiting for you to discover it. We’re sure you’ll find the perfect one. Most importantly, have fun searching and enjoy your coffee while you do. Cheers from Gadget Flow, your fellow coffee lovers.
Do you already have a favorite coffee maker that you’d like to recommend? Let us know in the comments below!
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