What's the right coffee maker for you? One that dovetails with your coffee preferences and daily demands.

By Randi Gollin
October 09, 2020
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Courtesy of Brim

What kind of coffee drinker are you? A morning person who carves out plenty of time to leisurely sip a pour over and ponder the day ahead? A joe drinker who swigs cold brew on the run? An espresso diehard who can't resist an afternoon pick-me-up? Whatever your preference, if you're in the market for a new contraption, consider your coffee rituals before taking the plunge. You need a machine that not only makes the kind of coffee drinks you fancy, but one that matches your many moods (who said you have to be Team Americano forever?) and syncs with your lifestyle or schedule. Then again, there's no point in buying a coffee maker that makes umpteen kinds of lattes if you're only hooked on French press.

Courtesy of Williams-Sonoma

Plenty of Choices, Please 

Maybe your cravings change with the wind. Cappuccino one day, latte the next. Nothing could be better than a machine that masters all—unless your barista dropped by to take your order, that is. If a multitasker appeals, consider one with professional chops and loads of options. The Jura Automatic Espresso & Coffee Machine (from $2,099.95, williams-sonoma.com) meets the challenge, conjuring up 15 drink choices, including macchiato, cappuccino, espresso, and flat white. It has a foam frother for hot milk or froth and optimizes extraction time to brew barista-level coffee, even one or two cups at a time. 

The DeLonghi Dinamica Fully Automatic Coffee Maker & Espresso Machine ($899.95, williams-sonoma.com) brews warm and iced espresso drinks, plus drip-style coffee, and it features an adjustable steel burr grinder and a frother for foam and hot milk. The Breville Barista Pro ($799.95, amazon.com) also puts you in the grinding seat with a pressure-activated conical burr grinder delivering the precise amount of coffee for your Americano, cappuccino, espresso, or latte, while the manual steam wand lets you perfect your latte art. Oh, and it only takes three seconds to heat up and instantly transitions from espresso to steam.

Courtesy of Food52/Julia Gartland

Simplicity at Its Best

When it comes to coffee, you're a steady eddy: You know what you like, and you pretty much stick to it. Nix the mega-machines; bring on the singular specialists. 

Perhaps pour overs are your weakness. You find pouring the water over the coffee grounds almost meditative, the rich coffee flavor downright addictive. The Stagg Pour-Over Set ($99, food52.com) makes immersion brewing a cinch. The ratio aid ensures that you have the right amount of coffee while the hand-blown borosilicate glass carafe and silicone lid keep your java hotter for longer. If manual isn't your speed, make room on the counter for the Brim Pour-Over Coffee Maker ($179.99, amazon.com) an electronic brewer that follows the pour-over method, meticulously timing and calibrating the release of the water via a shower head to saturate grounds for full flavor-extraction. Best of all, it delivers your pour over with the touch of a button. 

Or maybe it's French press all the way. After all, there's nothing rushed about the way you greet the day, and that includes how you make, take, and linger over your coffee. The Frieling French press comes in five different sizes, from 8 to 44 ounces (from $79.95, bedbathandbeyond.com) and is made of 100 percent stainless steel with double-wall construction, keeping your coffee hotter for far longer than glass versions. Bonus: There are no sediments left behind thanks to its two-stage filter. Nordic design more your style? The Eva Solo French Press ($138, wayfair.com) is also made of stainless steel with an oak handle, a sleek addition to your appliances, plus it acts like a vacuum jug, keeping your coffee piping hot.

Courtesy of Williams-Sonoma

Drip Saves the Day

French press and pour overs may be fine on the weekend, but during the work week, you need your super-simple drip coffee maker to get the morning started. Flicking on the switch is almost a muscle memory. But no need to keep it basic. 

Colored in butter yellow, the handmade Moccamaster KBG Coffee Brewer ($329, moccamaster.com) is like a ray of sunshine, brewing a 40-ounce pot in six minutes. It stays hot on its unique hot plate, letting you choose between 175 and 185°F.  More eye candy: the Wolf Gourmet Automatic Drip Coffee Maker ($499.95, williams-sonoma.com) that mirrors the look of Wolf appliances. Programmable for that all-important first cup, it has a built-in scale to weigh grounds to your preferred strength and a stainless-steel carafe.

Which maker is right for you and the way you rise, shine, and greet the day?

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