Coffee maker differences can be seen in many ways just by looking at them, but there are differences that can’t be seen as well. One obvious difference that can be seen is in the types of coffee maker such as French press, vacuum, drip coffee maker, pre-heated water, espresso maker, percolator and urn. Other obvious differences can be seen in size by the number of cups of coffee they make at a time. Not only the maximum, but the various amounts of coffee they will make at a time.
One last obvious difference is what the coffee is brewed into. These include one that has an internal thermal holding area such as in a brew station where coffee is poured by pressing a lever so it goes into a cup, mug, thermal mug, carafe of some kind or a thermal carafe or container of some kind.
French press makers require hot water from a separate source while a vacpot, which is called a siphon brewer or vacuum brewed coffee uses hot or cold water depending how one wants to use it. Another that requires hot water may not be considered a coffee maker, but the coffee dripper that has a filter in it and sits on your cup or mug does make coffee.
The most common maker is a drip coffee maker. This is true whether it is a pour over where hot water is poured over the grounds or hot water is pumped up from a side source and allowed spray water over the grounds. These makers have two shapes of filters known as the cone and the basket shape that has more drip area. Some drip makers offer a low electric heated hot plate while others offer radiant heat. Drip makers come in closed, sealed and open coffee dispensing. Closed and sealed dispensing systems often close off the flavor and aroma while the coffee is being made.
Those that pre-heat the water include Bunn coffee makers. These are great when you need another pot of coffee in a hurry. Some offer a fresh 12 cups of coffee in as little as 2.5 or 3 minutes. Another advantage of this type of maker, which is claimed by many, is that the preheated water makes a much better tasting cup of coffee.
Espresso coffee machines make coffee under a pressure system that is usually at 15 bar of pressure. Note here, there are other coffee machines that make coffee under pressure, but true espresso machines are at 15 bar. The coffee grounds are much finer than regular thus a thicker liquid is produced by the steam that is driven through the coffee. Espresso machines also appear different and work differently as well. A manual pump machine is just that a manual machine where you do every step. A semi automatic does some of the process and can be set on how to do them. The super automatic is fully automatic. It will make different kinds of espresso that you can select, it will then grind the coffee to your specifications and brew your selection the number of times you want it made. Some super automatic machines allow you to make different selections of an espresso at the touch of a button.
Percolators and urns are also different in appearance, but make coffee the same way. Cold water is put in the bottom and heat is applied to the water. Once these makers are turned on the water begins to heat and be pumped up through a tube that ends above the coffee basket. Some makers wait for the water in the bottom to heat some before the perking process begins. When the perking has finished the coffee is ready to drink piping hot. Many feel this is real coffee as it is usually a stronger tasting coffee than other methods.
The unseen differences are in the way the coffee maker is made. Does it have more plastic than others, is it programmable or digital and how much does it cost. Other unseen differences are in warranties, how the coffee will taste and the wattage it will use to make the coffee. Whether it is a single coffee maker, a pod maker, or a multi-cup coffee maker, percolator, urn or espresso machine they all make coffee, but how well and for how long often remain the greatest unseen differences of all.