A Beginner’s Guide to Type of Coffee Makers

Are you beginning to hate queuing at your favorite coffee shop for a great morning jolter only to drink a less-than-fascinating cup? Maybe it is time to consider getting a coffee maker for your home or office desk. You will not be alone. Americans bought nearly 36 million coffee maker units of different types in 2020 alone. 

The question now is what kind of coffee maker you should bring home. Here is every beginner’s guide to the different types of coffee makers to make your shopping easier.

Drip Coffee Makers

If you visit any home, you will almost always see a drip coffee maker on the kitchen countertop. This coffee maker is one of the most popular globally, present in about 68% of American households. It is also one of the most affordable, easiest to operate, and effortless to clean.

Drip coffee makers rely on gravity to produce a fantastic cup. Some machines allow you to brew a cup or a batch good for 12 to 14 caffeine addicts. Everything you need is in a straightforward user interface. Press a few buttons, and you can have barista-quality coffee within minutes.

You add cold water and ground coffee to their respective reservoirs and turn on the machine. The coffee maker heats the water to the ideal temperature and sprays it over the coffee grounds. Within minutes, you can see coffee dripping into a thermal carafe.

Pour-Over Coffee Makers

Do you want a coffee maker you can use right in front of your office computer? You may want to check out a Pour-over Coffee Maker. While it has a gentler brewing method, pour-over coffee makers still make excellent full-bodied coffee.

Making coffee from this device could not be simpler. You place a cone-shaped filter funnel on the mouth of your coffee mug. Put your preferred coffee grounds into the funnel. Pour just enough hot water over the coffee grounds to bloom them. 

Once bloomed, you can add more hot water to brew them. Coffee slowly collects in your mug, giving you a full-bodied, rich cup of Joe. It is the perfect coffee-making solution for those who want a single cup.

Single-Serve Coffee Pod Coffee Makers

If you are tired of the usual coffee drink, you might want a single-serve coffee maker instead. This compact machine delivers artisan coffee in different styles and flavors for one. You may know this machine as a coffee pod coffee maker because it uses only K-cup, Nespresso coffee capsules, and other single-serve coffee products.

The machine works like a conventional drip coffee maker. The difference is that you insert a coffee capsule in a compartment, and the machine does the rest. It delivers hot water into the capsule and directs the coffee into your mug.

Single-serve coffee makers make quick coffee in less than a minute. You also get to choose the flavors you want in your cup.

French Press Coffee Makers

Here is another single-serve coffee maker for you. A French press coffee maker is a versatile small gadget that can also make milk froth for your latte, whipped cream for desserts, juice berries, steep and drain stock, mix drinks, and more.

Using it is pretty straightforward. Fill the French press with just-boiled water and mix your medium and coarse coffee grounds. Cover the device and steep the coffee for two to three minutes. Once steeped, press the plunger to the bottom of the device slowly to separate the grounds from the coffee.

This coffee maker is ideal for travelers and backpackers who want full-bodied, rich, and flavorful coffee wherever they are. Its versatility makes it a good companion in the kitchen, too.

Stovetop Coffee Makers

These coffee makers are devices you place over your stove top to brew your favorite coffee. You can choose between two subtypes of this coffee maker: Moka pot and Percolator.

A Moka pot uses steam to extract full coffee aromas and flavors. As the water heats up in the lower chamber, it sends steam into the coffee ground-containing middle chamber. Coffee then collects in the upper chamber that you can pour straight into your cup.

Percolators are almost similar to drip coffee makers. You fill the upper chamber with coffee grounds and the bottom chamber with water. Water near the bottom heats up first, sending hot bubbles through a tube, emptying into the upper chamber, and drenching the coffee grounds. Coffee drips into the lower chamber and continues recirculating until you get the desired coffee flavor. 

Siphon Coffee Makers

If you need a coffee maker that doubles as a conversation piece and an elegant display, you should get a siphon coffee maker.

This coffee maker looks like a chemistry setup, complete with a built-in burner that heats a water-filled bottom glass compartment. Vapor rises to a coffee ground-filled upper chamber and drenches the grounds to drip coffee into the lower chamber. In a way, it is similar to a percolator, only more elegant.

This coffee maker is perfect for science geeks who also happen to be coffee addicts. It is also a very simple way of maximizing coffee flavors and aromas in a primitive yet sophisticated way. 

Espresso Machines

The ultimate in coffee makers, espresso machines are your go-to for making barista-quality espressos. You should know that espresso is the base of many coffee types, including latte, Americano, cortado, macchiato, cappuccino, and more. 

These machines can be as simple as manually-operated devices or as complex as super-automatic espresso machines. They can have different categories, but they all work the same way. Espresso machines heat and pressurize water through coffee grounds to make an excellent shot. 

Super-automatics have everything you need to produce coffee that can outclass those served in restaurants. Many super-autos have an integrated coffee grinder, bean hopper, automatic milk frothing system, and heated cup platform. They can also have pre-programmed coffee drink settings you can choose with a button to deliver restaurant-quality coffee drinks instantly. 

In a way, you can consider a single-serve coffee maker as an espresso machine because it also has the same mechanism of action. 


This beginner’s guide to the types of coffee makers is not only valuable for novice coffee drinkers. It should also be helpful to seasoned coffee lovers who may want to ditch their old coffee maker for something more exciting.

About the Author

Charles Vallena is the founder and managing editor of Cuppabean.com, a coffee blog that helps people make better coffee by providing expert insights, recipes, and in-depth reviews on coffee makers. Follow Cuppabean on Facebook here.

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