The high demand for coffee machines is accompanied by fierce competition between manufacturers. As a result, today the market offers a variety of coffee machines of various types, which differ significantly in price and parameters. Accordingly, functionality and technical characteristics of coffee machines also varies in a wide range. Of course, these factors affect the choice of the optimum coffee machine. But even a simplified classification can simplify this task.
Modern models are divided by action principle on the drip coffee makers (filtration), espresso coffee machines (including capsular models) and Bialetti (Moka) coffee makers. Market also offers french-press coffee pots, combined and build-in models.
Drip (filtration) coffee maker
Drip models take the second place in popularity after espresso coffee machines. These models use percolation method.
– simplicity of making coffee; p>
– large amount of coffee with a selected strength per one cycle;
– almost all models provide cup warmer;
– relatively low cost;
– rapid cooling during percolation requires constant heating up that reduces the aroma of coffee;
– absence of foam due to low water pressure;
– costs on purchase of new filters;
– drip model do not has of built-in coffee grinder and can use only the ground coffee;
– function of making coffee with whipped milk or cream is absent.
History of espresso coffee machines
Today, these models are the most popular among consumers. They provide a minimum consumption of coffee per serving at a very high quality.
Brewing coffee use passing the water through coffee under high pressure. Espresso name comes from the Italian word combination “es presso” what is translated as “at a pressure”.
Edward Loysel de Santais first presented a prototype of compression coffee machine at an exhibition in Paris in 1855. This device was used steam for punching the hot water through ground coffee. The model had high performance which was reached of two thousands cups per hour. But complex design and very large dimensions have become an obstacle to its wide distribution.
Of course, a new way of making coffee has interested many inventors. Luigi Bezzera from Italy has patented a coffee machine with high pressure in 1902. But this model was intended for cafes. It was called Ideal. Coffee machine had a vertical boiler. Gas burner or electricity provided a high pressure. The model had the brewing groups on both sides, a filter for ground coffee and provided a pressure of 1.5 bar. Cooking time of one cup was a 1 minute.
Of course, its simple and safe design has interested of many producers. La Pavoni Company two years later bought the patent and began commercial production.
Modern espresso coffee machines
Modern models use cappuccinatore or milk frother that many companies offer as separate attachment.
Of course, model must have a second boiler for whipping milk froth by means of steam.
Espresso models are divided on the manual, semi-automatic and automatic devices by control type.
Device makes coffee as follows. Initially, ground coffee is placed in a special holder. Then, the water is heated to the desired temperature and mixture of steam and water is passed under pressure through ground coffee and a fine filter. Then, ready beverage is poured into cup.
Additionally, some models can use coffee pods or provide a simultaneous preparation of a few cups. But such devices usually have a built-in coffee grinder with adjustable grinding degree.
Bialetti (Moka) coffee makers
These models use the filtration for brewing coffee. Devices include the lower water container, filter for ground coffee and an upper container for collecting the finished coffee. The upper and lower parts of device normally are fastened together by threaded fasteners. These models are considered to semi-professional due to high quality coffee.
Experts recommend using coarsely ground coffee because finely ground coffee quickly clogs the filter.
Bialetti coffee makers are divided into electric and manual models. Of course, manual model has no electrical heating element and is heated on a conventional gas stove.
The process of making coffee is as follows. Filtered water is poured into the lower container before a certain point. The filter is filled by coarsely ground coffee without tamping. The steam with boiling water rises upon a special pipe, passes through the filter with coffee and gets into coffee pot. Low speed brewing process provides a high strength of the finished coffee.
Simplicity and ease of use, great taste of coffee, good price-performance ratio, compactness and the possibility of brewing tea and herbs are the main advantages of these devices.
Low performance, a possible oxidation of aluminum models and the lack of built-in coffee grinder are their disadvantages.
Capsule coffee machines
These devices use coffee capsules or coffee pods. They are compact and have relatively low cost compared to other automatic coffee machines.
Special sealed capsule is placed in the brewing group and is pierced from several sides. Capsule content intensively is mixed with hot water with the help of air flow. Companies also offer special capsules for the cleaning that, of course, simplifies the care. The video at the end perfectly illustrates their operation principle.
Coffee pods are made in form of compressed tablets. They contain 7 grams of roasted ground coffee and are packaged in paper. One tablet is designed for one cup of espresso or cappuccino.
Most models have accumulation systems of water supply.
Taste espresso depends on the tablet quality and on the temperature stability of water and vapor in device. Some models provide temperature stabilization with special function that is uses electronics.
Capsular models are easy to maintain. They require only periodic descaling. The process of making coffee is simple and neat. The range of commercially available coffee capsules earlier was limited. But it’s constantly expanding and today the market offers a fairly wide range.
The design of capsules and coffee pods substantially is similar. But the capsules are significantly cheaper.
Combined coffee makers
Combined devices combine the possibilities of espresso and drip models, providing a choice between espresso and classic coffee.
Advanced features are their main advantage. Individual cleaning and various grinding coffee for each part complicates the use and is a major drawback.
French-press coffee pot
As known, french-press coffee pot was invented in France in 1920 and put into production by Melior Company. This mechanism is very popular due to ease of use and high coffee quality.
Besides, this device does not require electricity, and can be used for tea brewing. But other beverages (cappuccino, espresso, etc.) are absent.
Design is similar to the shape of traditional coffee pot.
Device consists of a heat-resistant glass housing, lid and piston-pusher. The piston with fine-meshed strainer moves within the housing. A lid in most modern models turns in the horizontal plane, opening and closing the spout. Ground coffee and hot water are placed directly in housing.
Making coffee lasts 4-7 minutes. Then precipitate is wrung out with the help of piston on lid. The maximum full-bodied taste and aroma is achieved due to ground coffee of very coarse grinding (0.8 mm). Volume of models varies from 0.33 to 1 liter.
Low cost, compactness and the possibility of using in any conditions are the main advantages.
But this type has some drawbacks:
– metallic filter passes more sediments and coffee oils compared to paper filter in drip models;
– lack of automatics;
– physical effort while using a piston;
– additional device for heating water;
– cleaning after each making coffee.
Modern models are divided into freestanding, recessed and integrated coffee machines.
Embedded models are usually integrated in kitchen furniture or devices. For example, many companies offer refrigerators with a built-in coffee machine.
Telescopic slides provide a convenient movement of device for cleaning and filling the containers by water and coffee.
The higher cost is the only drawback of such models.