Coffee machines come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and perform many different tasks. On this site, we focus on the bean to cup makers, but it’s important to understand that this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the total range of machines that are available.
There Are Several Types Of Coffee Maker
Hot drinks makers will typically be priced according to the type of market they target, so the low cost machines tend to be aimed at the mass market, for people who like coffee enough to want something better than a cup of instant from time to time. On the other hand, bean to cup coffee machines are more likely to appeal to the coffee lover, someone who is happy to invest time and money into being able to make a hot, steaming, freshly brewed drink that they can sit down and savour.
As a result of this division, you can usually expect to invest upwards of £300 into a good coffee machine, and in return, you’ll get something which can start with raw coffee beans and freshly grind them down. They typically also make use of pressure vessels to create a full, rich aroma and strong flavour from the drink that you ultimately find in your cup. It’s an entirely different process to the cheaper machines, which are filled with pre-ground coffee and create their results in just a minute or two. These latter models simply allow the water to pass through the filter coffee, in a brewing process similar to using a tea bag, but normally involve placing a scoop or two of the ground coffee into a semi permanent filter for the hot water to pass through.
For many people, the mass market coffee machines are perfectly good for their needs, so if you’re not looking for a really high end premium model, you might prefer to see some of the amazing deals that Amazon have on offer here.
How Bean To Cup Coffee Machines Work
To really understand the process that bean to cup coffee makers use to deliver such fulfilling coffee, we need to consider what we’re trying to achieve. The fundamental concept is that everything is happening fresh wherever possible. Of course, we can’t do everything inside a relatively small box. For example, while some machines filter the water to purify it as far as is reasonable, it’s not realistic to expect pure water (in the scientific H2O sense) to be possible in the comfort of your own kitchen – you’d need a lab for that!
What is possible, though, is to buy coffee beans from a supplier that gets them to you as soon as is feasibly possible after they’re harvested, and put those into your kitchen’s coffee machine. Bean to cup ranges come with built in grinders, which are of varying quality depending on the calibre of your machine. This means that there is very little lost in terms of flavour due to time, and when you get used to the home ground experience, you’ll really start to notice the difference.
The science goes further than that too – you’ve probably heard about the dangers of boiling water and coffee, and this even applies to instant coffee granules. It’s very easy to burn the coffee if you pour boiling water over it, so most experts tend to aim to let the water meet the coffee somewhere in the 90-95 degrees Celsius range. The objective is to be hot enough to really encourage the brewing process to infuse the flavours as far as possible, but not so hot that in the coffee is damaged on impact. As you might imagine, the more you spend on the coffee machine, the more likely it is that a lot of thought, engineering and precision has gone into making this process as close to perfect as possible. When these processes are automated, the beauty is they’re instantly repeatable again and again, so you can enjoy the benefit of scientist’s work in creating perfect cups of coffee in your home.
Convenience Comes Built In
Beyond the process of making coffee, premium machines go a lot further in the convenience stakes. You’ll likely have experienced first hand, or at least seen someone else cleaning out one of those late eighties or early nineties coffee percolators, trying to scrape out ground coffee from the chambers and clean filters without ripping them. Today, things have come on a long way, and the removable built in filters can usually be emptied into the bin, given a quick rinse under the tap and the machine handles the rest, usually with a one touch self clean cycle. This all happens using functions that the machine is already capable of, such as using boiling water, which we all know is great for killing nasty germs and general cleaning. It makes you wonder why this wasn’t the case with those ‘ancient’ coffee makers!
While all machines have slightly different features, these are the sorts of things to look for. In addition, if you like the frothy coffees such as cappuccinos, make sure to choose one with a good nozzle for steaming the milk. While our reviews try to give you the information you need, there’s no substitute for different people’s opinions, and that’s one of the many reasons why we love Amazon. You’ll find that wherever possible we provide a link to the product on their site from our review pages, and that will let you see short reviews from people who have previously bought that model.
We hope that this a short explanation of how bean to cup coffee machines work has been helpful, and that you find your perfect machine to buy.