The coffee maker is the sun that your kitchen revolves around: As the first cups of coffee brew in the morning, the day grows and wanes until the last pot of decaf is ready.
As a result, purchasing a new machine can be a major undertaking, with the happiness of the entire household hanging in the balance. Here are some things you should know before you start.
Consider the long-term cost.
Purchasing a coffee machine is not a one-time cost. If you choose a single-serving machine, such as a Nespresso or a Keurig, you’ll be spending money on the necessary pods and capsules, which can range from $5 to $7 for each package. If you purchase a drip machine, you will need to purchase replacement filters and grounds or beans (plus maybe a bean grinder). Weigh your alternatives and consider what is best for you — and your budget.
Examine the brewing temperature.
The ideal brewing temperature for a pot of coffee is 196°F to 205°F, so if you’re serious about (good-tasting) coffee, invest in a machine that can brew at high heat. Hint: Most high-end machines will specify their brewing temperatures on the box or online. If the information is lacking, it could be a red flag to stay away.
Take an inventory of how much you drink.
If you drink one cup of coffee each day, a single-serving machine may be ideal for you. If you prefer an IV of java to keep you going all day, go for the largest pot possible. Look for machines with a capacity of up to 12 cups.
Consider the unique qualities.
Without a cup of coffee, can you even put your feet on the ground? Next, you’ll want a machine that can be scheduled to start the night automatically before. Are you feeling completely flustered as you rush out the door? Please choose a model that automatically shuts off, so you don’t have to worry about it as you race to work.
Consider how simple it is to access and clean.
It’s not ideal if you have to flip open a lid to add the coffee, and the lid strikes the bottom of your top cabinets before it can open all the way. Check that the pieces will fit in your kitchen – and your lifestyle. Meaning, if you’re considering a machine with a carafe that must be hand-washed and you’re not sure you have that type of time every day, consider something that can go in the dishwasher.
Choose the type of carafe you desire.
There’s more to a glass carafe versus a stainless steel thermal carafe than meets the eye. Glass pots allow you to view the coffee as it is brewed, and they are also open-air, allowing the fresh aroma of coffee to permeate your kitchen. If the routine of preparing coffee is part of what you enjoy, that fragrance may be unavoidable. A glass pot will keep you warm for about 20 minutes; a thermal, stainless steel pot will keep you warm for up to an hour. It must be cleaned by hand when finished, whereas a glass pot can be placed in the dishwasher (see above!).
Examine your purchasing alternatives.
You don’t want to be stuck with a coffee maker you despise, so get it from a retailer that will let you return it if you despise the model you bought. Macy’s is recognized for having a great return policy — you can return any item in good condition within 365 days — so keep your box if you’re not sure you’ll like your coffee maker. Costco likewise accepts refunds on all products, and Kohl’s and Target pledge to accept returned merchandise for a full refund.