Coffee Makers

What Are The Different Types Of Coffee Machines For Home?

There are so many different types of coffee machines for home use, that it can sometimes feel overwhelming. Espresso, drip, pour-over, pod. All of these are good coffee machines, but they’re also terms which can put our heads in such a spin that we just carry on drinking the same old instant coffee.

So if you’re asking yourself, “There’s so many, what coffee machine should I buy?”, then don’t worry, I’m here to help. I’ve put together this coffee machine guide to help unravel the coffee confusion for you. If you’re wondering which type of coffee maker fits your lifestyle best, then read on.

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Types of Espresso Machines/Makers

These are the coffee brewer types you’ll need to get that barista style coffee at home. There are different types of espresso machines though. Choosing the right one will depend on how skilled you are and how much effort you want to put into making your coffee.

Manual Espresso Machine

As you can imagine by the name, this manual coffee maker allows you to control all aspects of your espresso. You control the pressure, tamping, and water flow to create a rich, dark coffee.

Although it only takes a couple of minutes, it can be tricky and can take a lot of practice to get right. If you’re a die-hard coffee fan, who loves the precise nature of coffee making, then this could be perfect for you.

  • Grind Type: Fine
  • Difficulty Level: Difficult
  • Speed: Moderate (depending on how good you are at it!)

Click here to check out our favourite on Amazon

Semi Automatic Espresso Machine

Semi automatic espresso machines are a step up from the manual type. They allow you to maintain some control, while automating other parts. Usually, they handle the pressure while allowing you to control how much water you use and the time spent to pull a shot of espresso.

This means they’re more flexible in that you can make an americano, as well as an espresso.

  • Grind Type: Fine
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate
  • Speed: Quick

Click here to check out our favourite on Amazon

Fully Automatic Espresso Machine

If you love espresso, or prefer the taste of a barista style coffee, but don’t want a lot of hassle in the morning, then a full automatic espresso machine is the one for you. These easy to use coffee machines are even easier than semi automatics as they also measure the water for you.

At the push of a button you have a barista style espresso whenever you wish. Die hard coffee fans may not like having no control, but for the majority of us, this is by far the easiest espresso machine to have.

  • Grind Type: Fine
  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Speed: Quick

Click here to check out our favourite on Amazon

Love a quick, barista style cup of coffee? Find the best espresso machine here!

Super Automatic Espresso Machine

These machines are a relatively new concept. They are a fully automatic machine but they go one step further and take every step of the process out of your hands. These machines will grind the beans, measure the water, pull the espresso and froth and deliver the milk.

Super automatic coffee machines are usually much pricier but also very high quality. I know people who have owned the same machine for 15 years plus without any issues. Many have the option to add either whole beans or pre ground and you simply press a button and walk away.

  • Grind Type: Fine
  • Difficulty Level: Very Easy
  • Speed: Super fast

Click here to check out our favourite on Amazon

Take a look at all of our automatic coffee machine recommendations!

Pod Coffee Machines

If you prefer a latte or flat white in the morning, then an espresso machine may not be your best option. While some espresso machines come with a milk frother, this can take time and so an easier option would be a pod coffee machine.

Companies like Nespresso have developed pre-packaged pods full of ground coffee beans, which have water pushed through to create the perfect cup of coffee. There a many types of Nespresso machines available, so it’s about finding the best fit for your lifestyle.

The main perk of this style of machine is the flexibility it gives you in terms of the drink you like. Cappuccino? There’s a pod for that. Plain black americano? There’s a pod for that. Caramel latte with skinny milk? Yep, you guessed it. There’s a pod for that.

  • Grind Type: Fine
  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Speed: Depends on the machine, but usually pretty quick

Click here to check out our favourite on Amazon

Take a look at our pod coffee machine buying guide and best Nespresso machine here!

Aeropress

If you’re looking for a portable coffee maker, then look no further. This clever little press makes rich, smooth coffee in under a minute. You put a filter in the press, add two scoops of ground coffee, pour in hot water, press the plunger down for 20 seconds, and there you have it… The fastest cup of fresh coffee you’ve ever experienced!

It’s quick and simple, and is a great option if you need a coffee machine for travel. You can also control the strength of your coffee easily, by adding more or less water to the press. Compared to other manual espresso machines it’s really very easy.

  • Grind Type: Fine
  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Speed: Quick

Click here to check out our favourite on Amazon

Take a look at our post on how to use an Aeropress next!.

Moka Pot

A Moka Pot is a beautiful thing. Apart from the fact that it makes fresh coffee (which makes anything beautiful in my book), it looks gorgeous in any kitchen.

Moka Pots create espresso using steam pressure, while being heated on your stove top. They are simple to use, make great coffee, and because they aren’t electric, they are perfect for camping. Just fill it up, stick it on your campfire, and there you go.

If you love a dark, rich cup of coffee without the expense of an espresso machine then the Moka Pot is the type of coffee pot for you.

  • Grind Type: Medium
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate
  • Speed: Medium

Click here to check out our favourite on Amazon

Check out our stovetop coffee maker buying guide!

Manual Coffee Makers

Many coffee connoisseurs believe that manual coffee brewing methods are far superior. You’ll have much more control over things like extraction time, water temperature and coffee ratio. Some coffee lovers take a very in depth approach to making coffee this way and others just like the fact that they are generally cheaper and don’t require power.

Pour Over Coffee Maker

A pour over coffee maker is a great option if you want more control over your coffee. Like many coffee makers, it works exactly the way you’d expect from the name. A cone shaped funnel, along with a paper filter, is placed over a cup and coffee grounds added. Water is added a little bit at a time, to first create a ‘bloom’ which prevents carbon dioxide from infusing into your coffee.

There are different types of pour overs, including the Chemex (which generally serves 3-6 people), and the V60 (which fits neatly over a mug and serves one). They are all manual, and much cheaper than an automatic coffee machine.

  • Grind Type: Medium-Coarse
  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Speed: Moderate

Click here to check out our favourite on Amazon

Learn more about pour-over coffee here!

Coffee Plunger or French Press

A French Press is one of the easiest coffee makers to use. They are globally popular, and allow you to control every aspect of the process.

Just-boiled water is added to coffee grounds and allowed to steep (how long depends on the strength of coffee you like). The metal mesh is then pushed down to move the grounds to the bottom of the press, leaving a rich coffee for you to pour out.

  • Grind Type: Coarse
  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Speed: Takes some time

Click here to check out our favourite on Amazon

Take a look at our post on the ultimate guide to the top coffee plunger next.

Ibrik (Turkish Coffee Maker)

If you like rich, strong coffee, then you need an Ibrik. The coffee is made on the stove top, by mixing very fine coffee with water in this small pot. The process can be completely controlled by you, from strength to flavours. Traditionally cardamom or cinnamon, along with sugar would be added while heating.

While a little complicated (there’s lots of stirring and removing from the heat before it boils), it is very quick and you’re left with a lovely espresso sized cup of very strong coffee.

The little pot is also pretty versatile and can be used in other ways, for example melting butter for those brownies you definitely won’t eat straight from the tin.

  • Grind Type: Fine
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate
  • Speed: Quick

Click here to check out our favourite on Amazon

Take a look at our post on How To Make Turkish Coffee!

Vietnamese Coffee Maker

Vietnamese iced coffee, known as Ca Phe Sua Da, is on another level. If you can’t live without your iced coffee, and you’ve never tasted this, buy one of these machines right now! 

This coffee maker works in a similar way to a pour over. Hot water is poured over the ground coffee beans into a glass which is usually filled with condensed or sweetened milk. Once the coffee is brewed, more milk is added, along with ice, to make a strong, sweet, iced coffee.

With just three elements, they are easy to use and easy to clean (some you can even throw in the dishwasher).

  • Grind Type: Fine
  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Speed: Moderate

Click here to check out our favourite on Amazon

More Coffee Maker Types

If you don’t like the idea of a full blown espresso machine but not sure you want to manually brew your coffee either, don’t worry! There are even more great types of coffee brewing you can do at home. Let’s look at some other options.

Percolator

A percolator works very similarly to a drop coffee maker, in that the grounds sit above the water, which is then drawn up and released over them to draw the coffee out. They are reliable machines, and when they’re working away they fill the house with the scent of brewing coffee.

Percolators are useful for brewing large amounts of coffee at once, so perfect for an office or if you’re having a party. Some models can brew up to 100 cups. The coffee itself is strong, rich, and very hot.

  • Grind Type: Coarse
  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Speed: Takes some time

Click here to check out our favourite on Amazon

Automatic Pour Over Coffee Maker

If you love the taste of pour over coffee, with its strong flavour from the ‘bloom’, but you find the process a little too much for your sleep deprived mornings, then an automatic pour over machine is here for you.

It works in exactly the same way as a manual pour over, except you don’t have to do anything except switch it on! The machine controls everything during the process, including keeping the water temperature level throughout. 

  • Grind Type: Medium
  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Speed: Takes some time

Click here to check out our favourite on Amazon

Drip Coffee Maker

Drip coffee makers are popular worldwide, due to their practicality and affordability. Ground coffee is placed into a filter, then water is heated and passed over the grounds to create the coffee which then drips into the container.

Many drip coffee machines also have a heated plate, which keeps the coffee warmer for longer, although it can burn it if left for too long.

Apart from the ease, the main draw of a drip coffee maker is the serving size. Although you can get smaller models, most serve between 12 and 15 cups.

  • Grind Type: Fine
  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Speed: Moderate (depending on how many cups you want to brew)

Click here to check out our favourite on Amazon

Take a look at our full article on the best filter coffee machine next!

Cold Brew Coffee Maker

This is one for the iced coffee lovers out there, and you have to love iced coffee, because this method can take anywhere up to 24 hours. Believe me when I say, though, it’s worth it.

There are a few different models out there, depending on the method you want to use for your cold brew. In a steeping coffee maker, coffee grounds are steeped in cold water for between 12 and 24 hours, until you ‘re left with a deep flavourful coffee extract.

In a drip coffee maker, the water drips over the coffee grounds over a long period of time, until you end up with enough coffee extract. The flavour of cold brew coffee is unlike any normal iced coffee, and definitely worth planning ahead to make for a summer BBQ.

  • Grind Type: Coarse
  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Speed: Takes a LONG time

Click here to check out our favourite on Amazon

Find other great cold brew coffee maker here!

Siphon Coffee Maker

This is one for you scientists out there. This is a seriously cool way to make a cup of coffee, imagine the looks when you bring this one out at your next dinner party! It looks more like a science experiment than a coffee maker.

The water is gently heated to create a vapour, which then rises to the carafe filled with coffee grounds. Once the vapour turns back into water it mixes with the grounds to make a delicate tasting coffee. When it drips back into the bottom carafe, a vacuum is created which strengthens the flavour of the coffee. See, I told you it was cool!

Many people believe adding boiling water to coffee burns the flavour, and so this is a must for any coffee purist. As well as coffee purists, this is definitely one for the coffee nerds, as it can be quite technical and time-consuming.

  • Grind Type: Medium-Fine
  • Difficulty Level: Difficult
  • Speed: Takes some time

Click here to check out our favourite on Amazon

Now you know about all the different coffee machines available read our ultimate guide to home coffee machines next!

Or read our article on the best gifts for coffee lovers or take a look at our coffee machine buying guides for more details.