Coffee & Espresso Maker Buying Guide

Before we get into our coffee and espresso maker reviews, Queue the Reviews is going to spend a little bit of time just to give you some info on what to look for when purchasing, and also the difference types of machines available to you.

Likely, most of you are familiar with the drip or filter style coffee makers. These models come in a huge variety of styles and price range, from the very cheap to the very expensive.

Also available over the last couple of years are the new style of pod coffee makers. Mostly single serve brewers, these use either pods which resemble round tea bags, or little cartridges, which contain your coffee grounds.

We also have espresso makers, which again range in price from moderate to the more high-end models, some costing thousands of dollars.

Let's address some of the features of the filter style or drip coffee makers. Perhaps the most obvious choice is whether to go with a coffee maker that has a metal filter or whether you going to use paper filters. As far as the quality of a cup of coffee produced, either are acceptable. There is no noticeable difference to the taste of your coffee. However, there might be some environmental or health issues you want to consider. Clearly, using a metal filter means you're not constantly throwing out paper filters. So if you're doing your best for the environment, then you would probably want to consider using a metal filter. If your major concern is your health than think about going with the paper filter. The oily part of the coffee contains something called cafestol, which is a stimulator of LDL cholesterol. Using a paper filter will absorb nearly all of the cafestol. So if you are concerned about your cholesterol levels, do yourself a favor and go with the paper filter.

If freshness is a factor, and you generally grind your own beans, consider getting a grind and brew coffeemaker. Each cup of coffee will be made from freshly ground beans. Of course, this also means you no longer need two pieces of equipment — one machine to grind your beans and another to brew. Instead, buy a grind and brew coffee maker and save some countertop real estate.

Drip coffee makers also come in a variety of sizes. You can generally find models that will serve either 4 or up to 12 cups of coffee in a pot.

For those who enjoy a stronger, more full-bodied, cup of coffee, you might want to consider percolator. While not as popular as they were decades ago, they are making something of a comeback and there are some nice models available. Percolator's differ from drip machines in that the boiling water bubbles up through a center column and then drips over the coffee grounds, as opposed to the drip filter in which the hot water comes from above and drips down over the grounds.

Another option that is been around for years, but is still quite popular with coffee drinkers is a French press. In this method, course coffee grounds and boiling water are mixed together in a pot and then the grounds are pressed down to the bottom of the pot.

And of course if you want to turn your kitchen into a barista, you want to get an espresso machine. Here you have an array of options and the sky is pretty much the limit when it comes to price. First of all you want to decide if you want a fully automatic, semi automatic, or manual espresso machine. And let's not forget the super automatic — the espresso maker that lets you do it all with the push of a button.

While true espresso aficionados will likely go with the manual or semi-automatic machines, I know there are many of you who would prefer the ease-of-use of the fully automatic machine. One thing to watch out for when buying an espresso machine. There's a little bit of marketing propaganda going on in the industry, where certain manufacturers are touting the BAR pressures available on their machines. Frankly, that's irrelevant. Nine BARS of pressure is about perfect for espresso, so anyone that's telling you you want to buy their machine because it will offer 16 BARS of pressure — well that's just crazy.

All right, let's move on to what you really want to read — our coffee maker and espresso maker reviews.

Now for your Coffee/Espresso Maker Reviews...

Miele CM5200 Countertop Coffee System

{rating}Let's talk about the Miele CM5200 Coffee/Espresso Maker.  Granted, Miele isn't the first – or second or third, for that matter – brand name that comes to mind when I think of countertop appliances, but that shouldn't hold you back from considering this machine.  The name they have … [Read more...]

Breville BES870XL Barista Express

{rating}If you're looking to buy an espresso machine, Breville's BES870XL Barista Express was the winner of the SCAA's (Specialty Coffee Association of America) Best New Product award in the Coffee or Tea Equipment category in 2013!Click for further details and current pricing/deals.If … [Read more...]

Hamilton Beach 49983 2-Way FlexBrew Coffeemaker

{rating}A good cup of coffee doesn't need to cost you a fortune! And the Hamilton Beach 49983 is proof of that.Click for further details and current pricing/deals.This model has only be available for about 6 months, and isn't that different from the Hamilton Beach 49980Z that's been … [Read more...]

What to Look for in an Espresso Machine

Need more than a simple coffeemaker and have decided you need to know what to look for in an espresso machine? To help you along the way I will outline some of the key features that you will want to look for in an espresso maker.First though, I want to make it clear that cost does not … [Read more...]

What to Look for in a Drip Coffee Maker

So you've narrowed your choices and have decided you want a drip coffee maker.  But what to be on the lookout for?  What options are available to you and what are the most desirable?  Below you will find all the info you need to help you make a final decision.  And one that is right for you, not … [Read more...]

Coffee & Espresso Makers: Feature Comparison Chart

Back to: Coffee/Espresso Makers Buying Guide … [Read more...]

Nespresso D60 Pixie Espresso Maker

{rating}As the word Pixie suggests, the Nespresso D60 Pixie Espresso Maker is a small size espresso maker great for those that have limited counter space.Click for further details and current pricing/deals.Before we go any further, let's address the differences between the Nespresso … [Read more...]

Nespresso D111-US-BK-NE1 Citiz Espresso Maker

{rating}If you're looking for a super simple, automatic espresso maker, you need to check out the Nespresso D111 Citiz Espresso Maker, available in Black and Fire Engine Red.  It's a fraction of the cost of many other espresso makers, but it delivers.Click for further details and current … [Read more...]

CBTL – Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Americano Beverage System

{rating}If you're looking for a combo espresso and coffee maker, you need to check out this CBTL — Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf — Americano Beverage System.  This machine is manufactured by CaffItaly and is available in black, red, and silver.Click for further details and current … [Read more...]

Mr. Coffee BVMC-ECMP1000 Café Barista Espresso Maker

{rating}Consider the Mr. Coffee BVMC-ECMP1000 if you're looking for an inexpensive espresso maker.  As a matter of fact, this is the least expensive espresso maker I've found that still offers some quality.  So if you're not some kind of espresso connoisseur that feels he has to spend … [Read more...]

DCC2800 Perfec Temp 14-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker

{rating}The Cuisinart DCC2800 PerfecTemp coffee maker is one of my favorite models.  It's a basic drip brewer with a few extra features that make it well worth the money.Click for further details and current pricing/deals.When choosing a new machine for my own kitchen it came down to … [Read more...]

Capresso SG120 12-Cup Stainless Steel Coffee Maker

{rating}Check out the Capresso SG120 if you're looking for a reasonably priced coffee maker – especially one that can brew a great cup of coffee, whether you are brewing for one or twelve.Click for further details and current pricing/deals.This is a fairly basic drip coffee maker, but … [Read more...]

Breville BES840XL the Infuser Espresso Machine

{rating}Take a look at the Breville BES840XL Infuser if you're looking for a reasonably priced espresso machine.  If you've been doing some research already, you know they can cost into the thousands of dollars.Click for further details and current pricing/deals.Breville introduced this … [Read more...]

Nespresso D520 Gran Maestria Espresso Maker

{rating}Consider this.  The Nespresso D520 Gran Maestria is manufactured by a company that has been creating Espresso Machines for nearly 30 years.  That's more than enough time to perfect things.  And while granted, nothing in life is perfect; the D520 does its best to achieve … [Read more...]

Bonavita BV1800 8-Cup Coffee Maker Review

{rating}While it's true the Bonavita BV1800 coffee maker has been around for about a year now, I do feel that it warrants a review.  Especially if you like your coffee piping hot.Click for further details and current pricing/deals.There are countless coffee makers.  With all types of … [Read more...]

BUNN MCU Single Cup Multi-Use Brewer Review

{rating}There's a new kid on the block. The BUNN MCU single cup multiuse Brewer — also known as My Café — is the newest in a long line up of single cup coffee makers.  And from every indication, this one is a winner.Click for further details and current pricing/deals.In a sea of … [Read more...]