Each and every day millions of people wake up, walk to the kitchen and press the brew button on their coffee maker. Before doing anything else; before brushing their teeth and before getting dressed, coffee lovers must have that first sip of Java to get them going. While some of the fortunate few love their electric coffee makers and the fine cup of coffee that they brew, others are less than satisfied. This could be for a variety of reasons. Perhaps they don’t like the temperature of their coffee or maybe they don’t completely enjoy the finished cup. It could be that they’re not satisfied with the size of their machine and the counter space it takes up. Fortunately, for those concerned about the size of their machine there are many small coffee maker options that perform well and look great. Whether for the home, office or small kitchen remodel, there is a place for the small coffee maker that simply cannot be filled by the big, bulky coffee machines that most are accustomed to.
Product manufacturers are great at filling market niches and understanding the needs of their consumers, and the same holds true for producers of coffee machines. A simple search on Amazon reveals nearly 200 results for small coffee makers, from 1-cup electronic brewers to 8-cup French presses and beyond. With so many different options it can be tough to settle on a decision unless you know what to look for. Listed below are some of the most important features to consider when searching for the best coffee maker:
1. At what temperature does the machine brew at? This question may seem trivial, but the simple fact remains that coffee is best brewed at a temperature of around 200F, or between 195-205F. Temperatures below this will not extract the appropriate amount of flavor from the grounds and will result in a weak cup while temperatures above this will tend to produce a bitter cup due to over-extraction. I cannot stress enough how important this factor is, which is why I’ve placed it at #1.
2. Does the coffee maker come with a carafe option to hold the finished brew at the proper serving temperature? This is important, since many glass carafes will continue to be heated by the hot plate, causing the coffee to quickly become stale and burnt. If the machine you’re interested in doesn’t feature a stainless removable carafe, one can be purchased separately. Alternatively, one can simply turn off the coffee machine once the brewing process is finished to avoid burning the coffee.
To be honest, the first 2 points listed are the most crucial. Other considerations are simply personal matters of choice such as the color of the machine and its general appearance. Without paying close attention to the brewing temperature and serving method, no machine will produce a consistently great cup of coffee. And a great cup is what we’re all after when choosing the best small coffee maker.
keep looking »