What Type Of Coffee Machine Should You Buy? (A Complete Guide)

There are so many various types of coffee machines and brewers available on the market right now, but each of them is intended for a specific type of coffee, and each of them has its own set of positives and negatives, so how do you decide which one you should buy?

The type of coffee machine that you buy should be based on your coffee drinking and brewing preferences. Choose a machine based on the coffee you like and how involved you like to be in the process. Espresso machines are very involved, but automatic machines require no input at all.

Choosing the best coffee machine for you can be a challenge. There are so many to choose from, and each has its own attributes to keep in mind before buying. Let’s take a better, deeper look at the various coffee machines commonly available and what they are like to use to help you determine which machine is best for you and your preferences.

What Are The Various Coffee Machine Types?

The type of coffee machine that you use is vital. If you enjoy coffee, you probably enjoy drinking your coffee brewed a certain way, and if coffee does not meet your standards or taste preferences, it is likely to be very unsatisfying for you to drink.

For this reason, knowing which type of coffee machine makes the type of coffee you like to drink is very important.

Another important aspect of a coffee machine is the degree of involvement required from the operator. If you are the type of human who enjoys the daily ritual of brewing coffee, and if you are very precise about brewing methods and recipes, a machine that has a more user-involved process is ideal.

However, if you would rather be involved as little as possible in the coffee brewing process, a more automatic machine may be the better choice for your preferences.

Regardless of how you enjoy your coffee, of whether or not you like to brew it yourself, there exists the perfect coffee machine for every type of coffee lover.

Let’s take explore the wide world of coffee machines and some of the brewing devices that are worth mentioning on this list to help you determine which type of coffee machine is best for you and which type of coffee machine will meet your coffee brewing and drinking preferences and requirements.

Espresso Machines

espresso machines

Espresso machines are what the name says – machines that make espresso. Espresso is a very strong, very intense, concentrated coffee drink that is brewed at very high pressure and with very little water.

Operating an espresso machine is a very involved process. Most espresso drinkers grind their own coffee beans at home, and dialing in the perfect espresso grind size for your machine can be a challenge.

Once the grind size is correct, the ground coffee must be placed into a portafilter and locked into the machine for brewing. Espresso brew times are very precise, and if the coffee brews for too long or too short, it can completely ruin the coffee.

However, espresso machines are capable of creating more than just espresso. These machines typically have an integrated steam wand which is used for steaming and texturing milk or milk substitutes to create espresso and milk drinks such as the cappuccino or latté.

These machines take a long time to earn how to use and maintain properly, but the rewards are worth the time and effort. Espresso machines are capable of producing excellent coffee and many varieties of delicious espresso-based coffee drinks.

Espresso Machine Pros And Cons

Espresso machines are very capable machines and can produce very good coffee drinks, but there are some pros and cons to owning an espresso machine.

Pros Of Espresso Machines:

  • Espresso machines produce very delicious coffee.
  • Espresso machines can make various types of coffee drinks.
  • Espresso machines are interesting and fun to use.
  • Espresso machines offer a good morning ritual if you enjoy that type of thing.
  • Espresso machines allow the coffee lover to delve deep into the world of coffee and the variety therein.

Cons Of Espresso Machines:

  • Espresso machines are challenging to learn how to use correctly.
  • Making espresso-based drinks takes a lot of practice.
  • Espresso quickly becomes a hobby rather than a simple morning routine.
  • Espresso machines are expensive.
  • Espresso machine accessories are expensive.
  • Espresso machines require a lot of maintenance.

Lever Espresso Machines

lever espresso machine

Lever espresso machines are similar to standard espresso machines in the fact that they pull shots of espresso, and some of them have steam wands for creating espresso and milk drinks.

However, the pressure required to brew espresso in a lever machine is not provided by a pump as in regular machines. Rather, the pressure is provided by the physical act of pulling a lever on the machine to pull the shot of espresso.

These machines are often beautiful to look at, but they are even more involved than regular espresso machines.

Lever machines can produce excellent coffee, but they can be very inconsistent due to the lack of automated processes.

Lever machines are ideal for the espresso lover who wants to control and dial in every single attribute of their coffee, down to the very smallest details, and are more well suited for more fanatical coffee drinkers.

Lever Espresso Machine Pros And Cons

Lever espresso machines are very interesting, but they do come with their own set of pros and cons.

Lever Machine Pros: 

  • Lever machines are beautiful to behold.
  • Lever machines are fun to use.
  • Lever machines are very precise.
  • Lever machines are capable of excellent coffee.
  • Lever machines are very versatile.
  • Lever machines require little maintenance.
  • Lever machines are simple to repair.
  • Leaver machines are usually cheaper than standard espresso machines.

Lever Machine Cons:

  • Lever machines are inconsistent.
  • Leaver machines are very difficult to use well.
  • Lever machines can be expensive if they have a built-in water boiler.
  • Lever machines are difficult to find.
  • Not all lever machines are of good quality.

Automatic Coffee Machines

automatic coffee machine

Automatic coffee machines are the type of machine that prepares every aspect of the coffee for you at the touch of a button.

These machines are capable of brewing the coffee using brewing methods such as espresso, immersion, pour-over, or a combination of two brewing methods. These machines can also steam milk to your specification directly into the cup you will use.

Automatic coffee machines remove all of the processes and rituals from making a cup of coffee but maximize convenience.

The convenience of automatic coffee machines is both the best and worst aspect of these machines. The way these machines make coffee is so devoid of human input that you cannot control what the machine does. 

This means that if you buy a machine that brews bad coffee, there is very little you can do about it, ad if you want to change some aspect of how it brews coffee, there is very little room for improvement.

Automatic Coffee Machine Pros And Cons

Automatic coffee machines are very convenient, and many make good coffee, but there are some pros and cons associated with using these machines.

Automatic Coffee Machine Pros:

  • Automatic coffee machines are very convenient.
  • Automatic coffee machines are consistent.
  • Automatic coffee machines are easy to use.
  • Automatic coffee machines are versatile.
  • Automatic coffee machines are easily available.

Automatic Coffee Machine Cons:

  • Automatic coffee machines are very expensive.
  • Automatic coffee machines do not allow for much user input.
  • Automatic coffee machines cannot alter brewing processes very much.
  • Automatic coffee machines do not always make good coffee.
  • The user cannot change all aspects of the brewing process in an automatic machine.

Pour-Over Machines

drip coffee maker

Pour-over coffee machines are the mechanized version of standard pour-over brewers such as the Hario V60 or the Chemex

This type of coffee machine uses automated processes to brew filter coffee. These machines are a good substitute for manual pour-over methods, but they are not often as precise as brewing the coffee manually.

Pour-over machines are versatile, as they are very programmable and many of these machines allow the user to program every aspect of the brew right down to the temperature of the water used for brewing.

This type of coffee machine is easy to use, and they produce repeatable results, but the results may not always be as refined or precise as you may want them to be.

Pour-over coffee machines are a more refined version of drip coffee makers, and so we will not include drip coffee makers here, as the results from pour-over machines are essentially the same or better.

Pour-Over Machine Pros And Cons

Pour-over coffee machines are a good substitute for the manual version of pour-over brews, but there are some advantages and disadvantages to this type of machine.

Pour-Over Coffee Machine Pros:

  • Pour-over machines are not very expensive.
  • Pour-over machines are very easy to use.
  • Pour-over machines are effective.
  • Pour-over machines produce repeatable results.
  • Pour-over machines are very programmable.
  • Pour-over machines are convenient.

Pour-Over Coffee Machine Cons:

  • Pour-over machines are not always very well made.
  • Pour-over machines do not produce perfect pour-over coffee.
  • Manual pour-over brewing produces better results than pour-over machines.

Immersion Brew Machines

immersion brew machines

Immersion brew coffee machines are machines that replicate the type of coffee that would typically be produced by a French press or a Clever Dripper.

Immersion means that all of the ground coffee is in contact with all of the brewing water for the entire brewing process. This type of coffee is very well extracted and can be the best way to experience all of the subtle flavors that a particular coffee has to offer.

This type of coffee machine is very simple and very easy to use. These machines are not challenging to learn, they produce very consistent and repeatable results, and they are not very expensive to buy.

For these reasons, this type of coffee machine is another big favorite among coffee drinkers internationally.

Immersion Brew Machine Pros And Cons 

Immersion brew machines are an excellent coffee machine option, but there are some pros and cons to using these coffee machines on a daily basis, especially when compared to manual immersion brew methods and other coffee machine types.

Immersion Brew Machines Pros:

  • Immersion brew machines are simple to use.
  • Immersion brew machines are readily available.
  • Immersion brew machines are consistent.
  • Immersion brew machines are not very expensive.
  • Immersion brew machines can make very good coffee.
  • Immersion brew machines are difficult to make bad coffee with.

Immersion Brew Machine Cons:

  • Immersion brew machines must be used well to make good coffee.
  • Only good-quality immersion brewers produce good coffee.
  • Immersion brew machines take a long time to brew coffee.
  • Immersion brew machines are difficult to maintain properly.

Coffee Pod Machines

Coffee pod machines are among the most popular coffee machines in the world. Billions of coffee pods are used every year, and many coffee drinkers swear by this type of machine.

Pod machines are incredibly convenient and offer the coffee drinker a wider variety of coffees to choose from. Many specialty coffee roasters suppl coffee drinkers with coffee pods containing coffee from all over the world.

This means that using a coffee pod machine is a good way to explore the world of coffee. 

However, coffee pod machines have caused a massively negative environmental impact, as the vast majority of used coffee pods end up in landfills. Still, there is an option with reusable coffee pods.

Coffee pod machines are very convenient, very easy to use, not terribly expensive, and very readily available internationally.

Coffee Pod Machine Pros And Cons

Coffee pod machines are exceedingly popular, but there are some pros and cons that come along with owning a coffee machine of this type.

Coffee Pod Machine Pros:

  • Coffee pod machines are very convenient.
  • Coffee pod machines offer a large variety of coffee types.
  • Coffee pod machines can be very affordable.
  • Coffee pods are very affordable.
  • Coffee pod machines are easy to use.
  • There is a wide range of coffee pod machines readily available everywhere.

Coffee Pod Machine Pros And Cons:

  • Coffee pod machines produce a lot of environmentally damaging waste.
  • Coffee pod machines do not produce the best coffee.
  • Coffee pod machines can be very, very expensive.
  • Coffee pod machines produce very small coffee drinks.

How To Determine Which Coffee Machine Is Best For You

There are so many various types of coffee machines on the market today, and each one of them is produced at various price points and varying levels of quality. 

The best coffee machine for you is the machine that best suits your coffee taste and brewing preferences. 

If you are the type of human who enjoys being very involved with the process and enjoys a wide variety of coffee drinks, then an espresso machine is likely the best machine for you.

If you prefer simple, filter coffee and don’t mind being somewhat involved in the brewing process, a pour-over coffee machine I the best match for you.

If you are a coffee drinker who would like to be involved as little as possible in the brewing process, then an automatic coffee machine is the best option for you.

All it takes to determine which type of machine is best for you is to understand what your coffee preferences are and then buy a machine based on those preferences and your budget.

Conclusion

Coffee machines are a part of daily life for many people. This makes the type of coffee machine that a person uses vital for the daily experience. 

If you have a machine that does not brew the coffee you enjoy drinking, your day will not start off as good as it could. 

Be sure to understand your coffee preferences and buy a machine according to what you like to drink and how involved in the brewing process you like to be.

If you buy a machine based on these criteria, you will start your day the right way, every day!