For those us who can’t imagine starting our day without a cup of homebrewed coffee, the coffee maker can be our best friend or biggest nemesis. Not all coffee makers are created equally. While size may matter, there are five other features that all java lovers should considering before pouring out cash for a coffee maker. There are some features, like a “pour pause,” that generally come standard now even on less expensive models but before you say yes to a new coffee maker, there are a few steamy questions to ask yourself.
Does automatic shut off turn you on?
If you like to sip your coffee at home or the office over long hours then arriving mug in hand to find your machine off and coffee cold may make you steaming mad. On the other hand, if you’re one of the many people that have turned the car around unsure of whether or not you turned the coffee pot off, then an automatic shut off may be a necessity for peace of mind. If you’ve arrived to find an empty scorched pot, then this feature is certainly for you too.
To be or not to be insulated is an excellent question.
If you’ve ever poured coffee from a glass pot versus an insulated carafe, it would be hard to miss even in a morning stupor that insulated pots keep coffee hotter. If you’re going to pour and go, it may not make a difference but if you’re going to linger longer it can. An insulated pot will be more expensive but also more durable. On the other hand, if you’re hands or arms are physically challenged in any way, an insulated pot, especially one full of coffee, can be heavy and more difficult to manage.
Lights and action, yes but no camera, please.
If you regularly get up before the sun, lighted buttons may be your friend. You can find the on switch without having to light up the whole room before you’re ready. After all, you haven’t had a cup of coffee yet. Of course if you’re digital, you’ll have an option to preset a timer and have your coffee ready but the lighted buttons will still be a beacon in the early morning fog.
Is it time to ponder pods?
The latest trend in coffee makers is one serving pods of coffee. Some machines work with one serving pods only and a few feature pod and traditional options. Pods are great for people who know they only want to brew one cup at a time or enjoying trying different flavors with out buying them in bulk. If you share a pot or drink multiple cups, single serving pods can become pricey.
Water filters can filter tastes and your wallet too.
More expensive coffee machines sometimes feature a built in water filter to filter our tastes from your tap water like iron or chlorine. Like any filter system, they are only as good as the last filter you put in so this does add to maintenance and cost. If you are happy with your tap or already have a water filtering system in place, you may want to skip these added steps and cost but if not, built in water filters
One feature you don’t have to consider up front is a permanent coffee grounds filter. Whether or not your coffee machine comes with a permanent coffee grounds filter, these are easily purchased after the fact to fit any model. Some people swear by the improved, less “paper” taste. Others enjoy them for their green factor while some of us just love not ever running out of coffee filters.