Starbucks is the world’s biggest coffee chain, and they sell billions of cups of coffee every year. However, even what they sell doesn’t compare to the billions of cups of coffee that people drink every day. Most people can’t afford a daily Starbucks habit, so you look for a type of coffee maker that allows you to whip up your delicious treats any time you want in the comfort of your own home.
We’ve bought a lot of coffee makers in the past few years, and we were very surprised at just how many types of coffee makers exist on the market. Each one also has several options. You can buy a type of coffee maker to create virtually any coffee imaginable for a fraction of what you’d pay for an individual cup at a retailer. This can help you justify however much you spend on your particular coffee maker.
We’ve put together a list of the 17 of the most popular types of coffee makers you can buy, and you can look to see which one will fit into your lifestyle. No matter if you want a large or small coffee maker, we have something for everyone on the list.
The Aeropress is a patented type of coffee maker that has brought a whole new style into the manual coffee brewing arena. It looks like a chunky syringe that gets held above the mug, and it delivers the freshly brewed coffee right into the cup. It uses newer technology to brew your coffee using the best temperatures with total immersion to make coffee very quickly. From the moment your coffee maker starts to boil to the time it fills your mug with coffee is 30 seconds. The raid brewing process also helps to remove the chances of the acidity and bitterness that gets associated with longer brewing times. In turn, you get a much much smoother cup of coffee.
This type of coffee maker makes paper filters that allow you to clean everything up easily and quickly. The whole machine is also small enough to take up very little space in the dishwasher. This size makes it a great pick for traveling on holidays, work trips, and camping trips. This is a fast and inexpensive coffee maker that it easy to use and can give you better-tasting coffee than a lot of more expensive machines offer.
2. Cold-Brew Tower
This type of coffee maker is available in two types, including cold brew steep and cold brew drip. The point of this type of coffee brewing process is to get the perfect cup of iced coffee that offers a very concentrated flavor. If you were to boil your coffee and add ice, the ice melts when it meets the hot water and dilutes the flavor. This results in a weaker cup of coffee, and this is where a cold-brew tower comes in. No matter if they use a steep or drip system, the coffee makers come with a basket to put the coffee grounds in.
For a steep-style brewer, you would then add water and allow the coffee flavor to penetrate through for 24 hours. If you have a drip system, a dispenser holds the ice and cold water and sits over a basket of coffee grounds so it drips through them over a matter of hours. This carries the flavor through to the coffee in the bottom of the machine. Both of these types of coffee makers can take a few hours to make a single cup of coffee, so planning ahead is key. You can set it up before you go to bed so that it’s ready to go when you wake up.
You’re supposed to get a smooth tasting coffee that has less acidity and a fuller flavor when compared to boiled coffee. They are relatively inexpensive to buy, easy to clean, easy to use, but they do take longer to make your coffee than any other type of coffee maker.
A campfire coffee maker works just like a percolator does. However, instead of getting heated using electricity, you can set them on a camp stove or fire pit. You can also purchase pour-over, plastic designs that fit right on top of your mug. It holds the coffee grounds while the hot water from the kettle gets poured over the top. These are easy to clean, very user-friendly, and they take up a very small amount of space in your hiking bag.
4. Costa Rican Chorreador
This type of coffee maker is a traditional method of brewing coffee that you find used today in tiny roadside cafes or restaurants that the older generation frequents. The basic design involves a simple wood scaffold that suspends your cloth filter that looks like a sock over the mug. You add ground coffee to the filter before adding hot water, and this gives you a very basic pour-over brew.
This is a very effective but simple way to brew coffee. The cloth filter allows you to have a very nice balance between a clean cup of paper filtered coffee and the more rich mouthfeel of a metal filtered cup of coffee.
5. Electric Drip Machine
This type of coffee maker works by using gravity as a device to filter hot water through your coffee grounds. The coffee drips through to the container that you can pour it into mugs. There is also a hot plate on this coffee maker that will work to keep your coffee warm until you want to drink it.
These machine types also have a standard capacity that can hold up to 12 cups, but you can buy smaller versions if the standard size is too large for you. These are very popular all over the United States due to how easy they are to use, the ability to warm your unused coffee, and the low price tag. This is especially useful to have if you like to drink a few cups of coffee throughout the morning. You’ll only have to brew one carafe of coffee and return to it as often as you like to pour yourself another cup, knowing that it’ll be warm.
One downside of this type of coffee marker is that the hot plate doesn’t just keep your coffee warm, but it can cook the coffee. This can increase the bitterness and acidity in your brew. However, unlike standard espresso machines, the coffee markers don’t use plastic in the makeup, and they make coffee very quickly without a lot of effort. You can buy basic models for around $30, but you can also buy digital ones for a larger price tag.
6. Espresso Machine
For many people, espresso is the gold standard for types of coffee makers. This machine forces water through a small amount of very finely ground coffee using pressure, and this gives you a strong and rich aromatic brew that has a delicious crema on the top. In the hands of an experienced person, an espresso machine can create a fantastic cup of coffee. However, it takes practice to master it.
Espresso types of coffee makers can be expensive too. You can buy an inexpensive one for $100 or less, but a professional-grade item can easily top $3,000 for the machine alone. The espresso you get out of a cheap machine at home won’t hold a candle to the ones you get in coffee shops. Also, there are a few types of espresso machines you can choose from, including:
- Fully Automatic – This machine requires a bit of knowledge to run. Typically, you have to prepare a portafilter by adding and tamping your ground coffee. However, once you lock the portafilter into the machine and start the shot, the machine takes over. These makers may have a manual steam wand or an automatic frothing system on them.
- Manual – These machines are some of the hardest to master, but they can give you exceptional results. With this type of coffee maker, you’ll use a lever to pull and pressure the shot instead of using a mechanical pump. Some manual machines can use electricity to heat or pump the water into the boiler, and others rely on the addition of hot water to make them completely portable.
- Semi-Automatic – As the name suggests, these are almost the same as fully automatic, but the key difference between the types of coffee makers is that you need to start and stop your shot. The timing isn’t automatic, so you’ll have to keep your attention on the machine while you use it.
- Super-Automatic – The final type of espresso machine is like having a small cafe in your home. They do everything you can do, including tamping, grinding, pulling the shot, and usually frothing the milk. This is why they’re usually referred to as bean-to-cup machines. They require no special skills to operate, and it’ll make you a fantastic cup of coffee by pushing a button.
7. French Press
You may hear a French press called a press pot, plunger pot, or a cafetiere as they all mean the same type of coffee maker. Some people may actually call them a Bodum, but this is a brand name of a specific type of French press that is so popular it’s become intertwined with this style of coffee maker and led people to use them interchangeably. A French press gives you an effective, efficient, and easy way to make a decent cup of coffee in a short span. If you don’t like instant coffee but you don’t have the budget for an electric coffee maker, this could be an alternative to consider.
With this type of coffee maker, you add a few spoons of ground coffee to the pot before adding boiling water from a kettle. Once it’s in, push down on the plunger and let it brew for a few minutes. The plunger has a metal mesh filter that prevents the grounds from getting into your coffee. This metal filter is considered to be superior to your paper filters because some of the flavor gets caught in the paper where the metal filter doesn’t absorb any flavors. This coffee maker is easy to use, inexpensive to purchase, and easy to clean.
You can find several different sizes of French presses available on the market to suit your home interior and tastes like rose gold models and stainless steel models. You can purchase larger French press coffee makers if you need several cups of coffee in the morning, or you can buy miniature models if you want a single cup.
A few drip types of coffee makers have a grinder that they can grind your coffee beans immediately before you brew them. A lot of people like this option because it gives you the freshest-tasting cup of coffee. All you have to do is pick the amount of coffee you want to brew and watch the machine kick in and grind the amount of beans automatically into the brew basket. Just like regular coffee grinders, you get the choice of two grinder styles. They include:
- Blade Grinders – These grinders have one blade that grinds beans like a food processor does by chopping them up.
- Burr Grinders – These grinders have two pieces of harder materials that grind the beans as they go between them. This gives you more consistency and precision.
Both grind and burr types of coffee makers are appealing to any drip coffee drinkers who like to grind the beans at home with a simple process.
9. Moka Pot
This type of coffee maker originated in Italy during the 1930s, and it has strong links to Italian culture. It’s also commonly used throughout Latin cultures and in Europe. To get it to work, you have to put it on a hot stovetop and allow the heat to build up until it forms a pressurized steam that causes the boiling water to pass through the coffee grounds.
These coffee makers are usually made out of aluminum, but you can also find it made from other metals like stainless steel. The design has reached iconic status, and they look fantastic displayed on your shelf, even if you don’t use them to make coffee a lot. They come in several sizes depending on how much coffee you like to make, they’re easy to clean, and they’re relatively inexpensive. They are very user-friendly, and they work on both electric and gas stovetops. They’re also nice for taking on camping trips because they work well on camp stoves.
The coffee you get as a result of using this type of coffee maker is a thick espresso that works nicely with cream and sugar, or you can water it down to create an Americano. The coffee that the moka pot makes is very similar to what you’d get by an electric espresso machine. So, if you want the same sort of coffee without spending a huge amount, this can be a very solid choice.
10. Neapolitan Coffee Maker
This is an unusual way of making coffee today, but it was once the traditional method used in Naples. The bottom section of this type of coffee maker gets filled with hot water and you put the basket in the center of the pot. Then, you turn the whole setup upside down and let gravity do the rest. This iconic type of coffee maker has largely gone out of fashion today, and more modern brewing methods have replaced it.
A percolator is a type of coffee maker that is like an electric kettle that you put grounds inside of. This coffee maker works by having water in the bottom of the pot and you suspend the coffee grounds around the upper to mid portion of the machine. You then heat the water, and as the water starts to boil, it’ll bubble up to hit the grounds. The water then gets percolated and you can pour it straight into the mug.
A few decades ago, this type of coffee maker was very popular in homes. However, they work very similar to how an electric drip coffee maker does, and this is why they’ve largely been replaced. They’re not as easy to clean and they have several pieces. The main advantage of a percolator is that you can create several cups of coffee at once, and this is good for larger gatherings. They’re very popular in small cafes and similar settings.
A few large-scale percolators can brew up to 100 cups of coffee at one time, and this can be useful during festivals. This coffee maker works to ensure that your water hits the coffee at the boiling point. Some people may think that this is too high while others think that it’s perfect.
12. Pod-Based Coffee Makers
Just like drip machines replaced percolators, Keurig machines and a host of imitators have replaced the drip machines in many residential settings. These machines utilize single-use pods to make a steaming, fresh brew each time you use it with no fuss. All you have to do is put in a pod, press the on button, and let the machine do all of the other work.
These machines are the top-tier when it comes to convenience, but they do come with drawbacks. For one, they cost a lot more than a regular coffee maker, and the pods are more expensive than coffee grounds or beans. If you buy a Keurig 2.0, you’ll get locked in and have to buy only Keurig-approved K-Cups. These pods are also plastic, and this makes them bad for the environment. They’re also non-recyclable, and billions of them end up in landfills every year.
This type of coffee maker is a coffee enthusiast’s delight. Its general feel is the same as an electric drip coffee maker. However, to prepare a cup of coffee using it is a nice ritual that adds to the enjoyment of making and drinking your coffee. This method is a type of art form that requires slightly more skill than just adding a few spoons of coffee into the filter and hitting the on button like you’d do with an electric drip machine.
However, once you learn how to use it correctly, you can produce a very exquisite and delicate drink. This is one of the preferred ways to help you bring out the complex and subtle flavors that you get with more expensive specialty coffee types.
This is arguably one of the coolest-looking types of coffee makers on the market, and it’s one of the oldest. This coffee maker got invented right around 1840, and it’s still in use today. It looks like a chemistry experiment and the process of creating your coffee is a joy. The coffee you get from this machine is refined and delicate, but espresso fans can find it too weak.
You heat water by placing a flame under a bulb. The water will then rise through the funnel into a suspended jug. This is the point when you add your coffee grounds and stir it. When you finish brewing the coffee, you can remove it from the heat and the liquid will drop down into the jug below to be ready to serve.
15. Turkish Cezve
This type of coffee maker is one of the simplest and oldest brewing methods known, and the Turkish Cezve has many other names across the Middle East and Eastern Europe. It’s a very small pot that usually has copper or brass in the makeup, and it has a pouring spout with a longer handle.
To brew your Turkish coffee, you add water and ground coffee with sugar to the pot and bring it all to a boil. As soon as you see froth forming, you remove it from the heat and pour it into your cups. The coffee doesn’t get filtered, and the grounds will settle into the bottom of your cup.
The brewing method is very similar to what people in the United States call cowboy coffee, but the vessel is regional. The coffee usually takes on a burnt or bitter edge due to the boiling process, so it’s common to add sugar. However, it’s also common to add native spices like cardamom and cinnamon to it as well.
A siphon brewer has a lower and upper chamber with a hollow stem that connects the two at the most basic design. You’ll fill the lower chamber with water and add your coffee grounds to the upper chamber. When you put the lower area onto a heat source, the water will turn into steam and saturate the coffee grounds in the upper chamber. This is when extraction happens.
Then, you remove the brewer from the heat source to drop the pressure inside the lower chamber. This creates a vacuum that sucks your brewed coffee down into the lower chamber while keeping the grounds up in the upper chamber and out of your coffee.
17. Vietnamese Phin
The final type of coffee maker on the list is the Vietnamese Phin, and it has a perforated, rounded plate that has a brewing chamber on it. You get a second perforated insert that sits inside of your chamber to help compress the coffee grounds. The lid will keep the heat trapped inside. To brew, you add hot water to the top slowly to stop it from overflowing. Once you add all of the water and it filters through, you get a cup of very rich coffee.
Any coffee you tend to brew this way has a very syrupy, thick body to it. Robusta beans are a commodity in Vietnam, as are much darker roasts. So, you get a very intensive cup of coffee. You can add water to make it an Americano, but it’s more common to sweeten it using sweetened condensed milk and ice.
We’ve outlined 17 different types of coffee makers in this post to give you a decent idea of the more popular types on the market. You can mix and match and decide which one is going to work best for your needs and your household. If you get it right, you’ll get a delicious cup of coffee whenever you want it.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.