Many of us are really craving a decent cup of coffee or tea, but due to the pandemic, we are unable to visit our favorite coffee shops to drink that perfect brew. However, you can still make amazing coffee and tea at home with this selection of coffee makers, which we think would make an excellent addition to any home office.
You might even decide that your beverage tastes better than anything you could ever buy at a store or shop and that you did not have to spend over $4 for the privilege of getting it.
The AeroPress coffee and espresso maker is essentially a large syringe. Pour boiling water and coffee into the bottom of the unit and press down. The brewed coffee pushes through the filter paper into the cup, giving you a perfectly brewed fresh cup of coffee. This nifty gadget gives you the best of both worlds via a filter drip and French press mixture.
As the coffee is forced through the filter paper, it is similar to espresso, but it is far less messy than a French press. Furthermore, the AeroPress is far easier to wash, and there is less to throw away than a drip filter device as there is less filter paper, giving you a smaller impact on the environment. The coffee is clear with minimal grounds in the cup, and it's a better cup of coffee, as more taste is extracted from the grounds due to the stronger pressure through the filter. The Aeropress will make one large mug of coffee with a top-up or will fill a 16oz container.
- Lower environmental impact
- Small capacity if you want multiple cups
Found in every Italian kitchen, these espresso makers -- or Moka pots as they are sometimes known -- make great coffee. Place your coffee in the middle container, fill the bottom up with water, and place it on the stovetop. As the water boils, low-pressure steam is forced through the coffee grounds up the nozzle and rains down into the top of the device.
The espresso maker makes small strong Italian coffee and is one of the most environmentally friendly, as the only waste produced is coffee grounds. This pot can use either gas or electricity -- not induction. The only downside is that this unit is a bit of a faff to clean, and you do need a milk heater to warm the milk up if you want a hot coffee. Both are small prices to pay for a great cup of coffee.
- Gas or electricity stovetop pot
- Minimal environmental impact
- Lots of parts to clean
- Does not also warm the milk
In my mind, siphons are the geekiest type of coffee maker to make the best coffee out there. I have had this model of siphon coffee maker at home for years. Fill the jug at the bottom with cold water, add coffee grounds to the globe at the top, and turn the kettle on. The glob sits on top of the kettle using a magnetic seal, and when the water heats, steam is forced upward through the tube and bubbles through the coffee grounds at boiling point.
When the pressure differential reduces again, the coffee liquid is sucked down through the reusable cloth filter back down into the coffee jug. Remove the glass top (there is a handy stand to place it in), replace the lid, and pour yourself a lovely cup of coffee. It is very environmentally friendly, as the filter cloth is reusable and washable. All you need to throw away are the grounds. The globe is easy to clean -- if you leave it in its stand when you wash it, it is far easier to manipulate. This makes almost four pints of coffee.
- Piping hot water over grounds gives a richer brew
- Low environmental impact
- Geeky to watch it brew
- Does not keep coffee hot after brewing
If making coffee manually is your thing, but you prefer the geekiness of manual siphons, try the Nispira coffee maker. Light a flame under the water container, and as it boils, steam is forced through the pipe, coffee grounds, and into the glass jug.
Once there is no further water in the canister, the counterbalance pulls the water heater away from the burner. Once the pressure has equalized again, the counterbalance will rock back into place. This is the coffee machine to impress your friends.
- Pleasing to watch it brew
- No electricity needed
- Fiddly to clean multiple parts
If you want two cups of delicious espresso, then try this stovetop aluminum espresso maker. Fill the base with cold water, add ground coffee to the filter, screw the top back on, and set the cups onto the plate.
Place on to the heat source and heat to boiling. The hot coffee drips through the nozzles into the cups. This espresso maker is not suitable for induction hobs -- as the metal is aluminum, not steel. This unit is small enough to go with you anywhere.
- Compact and portable
- Intense espresso coffee
- Coffee pours from both spouts at the same time
No list of coffee makers would be complete without a cold brew dripper. Making cold brew coffee can be as simple -- or as complex as you want. This Nispira is at the top of the range for cold brew drip coffee makers taking three hours to produce an excellent cold brew.
Fill the glass hopper on the top with cold water and ice, add the ceramic filter, the paper filter, and then spoon in the coffee grounds. If you add filter paper on top of the grounds, the water will distribute more easily. Turn on the tap and watch the water drip through the coffee, round the tubes, and into the glass at the bottom. Enjoy your perfectly produced cup of cold coffee.
- Makes milder coffee
- Large 2.5-liter capacity.
What good is a perfect cup of coffee without frothy milk? If you use any of the above machines, you will need some way of warming and frothing your milk. The Breville has two frothing discs: one for Lattes, and one for frothy cappuccinos.
Set the temperature of the milk, turn it on, and go back to your coffee making. The Breville will turn itself off when it has reached the desired temperature. If you want to make hot frothy chocolate, add drinking chocolate powder to the jug and turn it on. Best of all, the jug is dishwasher proof for easy cleaning.
- Can wash in dishwasher.
- Auto switch-off.
Are these coffee makers dishwasher safe?
Some of the products in the list can be cleaned in the dishwasher. Others require dismantling before washing carefully by hand.
Are these coffee makers easy to assemble?
Some of the items in the list are simple to assemble and disassemble completely. Some are intuitive to use, and some are complex. Read the user guide that comes with the machine to make sure you learn how to do this correctly.
Is your coffee weak, and if so, how do you improve it?
Brewing your favorite brews in different machines might produce different flavored results depending on the machine used as the water temperature may be different. Experiment with different blends of coffee until you get the taste you prefer.
Which coffee maker is right for you?
When searching for the perfect coffee or tea maker consider the final flavor of the brew you want. Do you love intensely brewed beverages, or is a milder sweeter brew your choice? There are many flavor profiles for both coffee and tea that this should be the first thing to consider when you choose your machine.
Also, consider the following:
- How complex the machine is. Are there many moving parts that can go wrong? Is the machine difficult to clean, fragile, or fiddly? and does the trickiness of getting the perfect brew outweigh the enjoyment of the finished cup
- How geeky the machine is. Do you need complexity when you are not really bothered about the taste of the final brew? Will a jug and filter paper, or a teabag in a mug do the same job for you?
- How long does it take to produce the perfect brew? Waiting three whole hours before a cold jug of coffee is produced could be a step too far when you can leave your normal cup of coffee to go cold in far less time.
- How expensive is the machine? Some of these options are eye-watering expensive if the budget is tight.