Most people can’t imagine starting the day without a cup of coffee. And in fact, the habit may only be getting more popular.
A market research report showed recently that coffee prices reached record highs in September of this year, with a monthly average of 170.02 US cents/lb –– an increase of 6.2% as compared to the 160.14 US cents/lb in August 2021. T
his was viewed a vital improvement following a multi-year lull in the industry, and the rise is due in part to the growing number of coffee-drinking millennials.
These younger consumers –– and even “Gen Z” beneath them –– have helped to give fresh fuel to the notion of coffee as a sort of subculture unto itself.
While coffee drinkers today are part of a surging market however, they also face some significant changes.
Among them is the fact that at-home coffee makers have improved significantly, to the point that one can now find an affordable machine that will brew café-quality coffee (and/or espresso) at home.
The only trouble is picking out the right one! Choosing the right coffee maker for your needs depends on what you want to get out of your coffee beans, and how you like your drink prepared.
Here are a few models to consider
Drip Coffee Maker
Perhaps the standard, most popular type of coffee maker is the drip coffee maker.
The way these machines work is fairly simple: A reservoir holds water, which is drawn up into a tube. Then a miniature showerhead of sorts sprays hot water over the coffee grounds.
The base of the coffee maker is comprised of an aluminum extrusion with a resistive heating element where the printed circuit board (PCB) is, as well as a tube for water to flow through.
This construction makes the drip coffee maker extremely easy to use.
This type of coffee maker is ultimately best for beginners, traditionalists, families (they come in different sizes), or those who regularly entertain guests.
Espresso Coffee Maker
Depending on your tolerance for coffee, you might want a stronger drink, based on espresso.
Some coffee makers are designed to perform more complex functions than others.
To that point, espresso coffee makers can be manual, semi-automatic, automatic, or super-automatic machines that heat water and run it through pressed coffee grounds at high pressure.
These machines require high-density interconnect PCB designs to perform multiple functions efficiently within a compact body.
These circuit boards have higher wiring densities per unit area compared to conventional boards, allowing them to be more lightweight and compact.
For the machine, this means a capability to run that high-pressure process which essentially amounts to the production of espresso (rather than just coffee).
This type of coffee maker is excellent for those who are experimenting with different drinks, such as lattes or cappuccinos (and their endless variations).
That said, prospective users should also be aware that an espresso machine typically takes up a considerable amount of space compared to a standard drip coffee maker.
So be sure to make room!
The French Press has gained quite a bit of popularity in recent years because of its convenience in producing single servings of quality coffee.
It works by gently steeping coffee grounds in water to create a rich and full-bodied taste.
You can control how strong your coffee’s flavor will be with the amount of time you steep the grounds. And really the process is quite simple.
To operate a French Press, you need only submerge the grounds in just-boiled water and slowly push a plunger mechanism to move the grounds to the bottom of the carafe that makes up the bulk of the apparatus.
That’s about all there is to it! This coffee maker is best for true enthusiasts who want a more full-bodied and flavorful cup of joe.
Cold Brew Coffee Maker
Another rising trend is the popularity of iced coffee drinks.
And if you count yourself as part of this trend, a cold brew coffee maker is a treat to own –– especially if you’re planning on brewing large quantities.
To make a cold brew, you steep coarsely ground coffee beans in room temperature or cold water overnight.
You then transfer the brewed coffee into another container for storage and servings. At that point, it can be used either over ice or as a concentrate to make hot coffee. This type of coffee maker is best for those who enjoy bolder, full-flavored coffee, whether hot or cold.
Whether you choose an Aeropress, a Keurig-brand machine, or a DeLonghi coffee machine, understanding how they work and what they’re best for will elevate your coffee drinking experience.