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13 Different Types Of Coffee Makers For Your Home [With Pros And Cons]

Whether you favor an artisan flat white with stunning foamy art or are more of a black brewed coffee kind of person, you have a shared trait with millions of people globally: a love of coffee.

Now, more than ever, there are a myriad of ways to make coffee at home, with many different types of coffee makers on the market.

If you want to compare different types of coffee machines, are confused about all the coffee machine types available or you are looking for different coffee makers to brew coffee at home, you have come to the right place.

In this article we take a look at all the different kinds of coffee makers one can use to prepare a hot – or cold! – cup of joe. We compare coffee makers, highlight their pros and cons and explain how they brew coffee to help you choose the best coffee maker for your home.

Regardless of whether you’re a caffeine snob or new to the world of making coffee at home, you’re sure to learn something new!

different coffee brewing methods

What are the different types of coffee makers?

Coffee makers can be grouped into 4 general brewing methods:

  • Pressure
  • Immersion
  • Dripping
  • Boiling

Some coffee machines use a combination of these methods to brew coffee, but each method creates a different style of coffee with a distinctly different flavor profile, body and taste.

7 out of 10 Americans drink coffee each day according to the National Coffee Association, with the common drip coffee maker still the most popular brewing method in the home.

But as more of us brew coffee at home on a regular basis, there is growing interest in different types of coffee brewing.

From cold brewed coffee makers to french press coffee makers and espresso machines, there are so many coffee systems for home, all producing a very different style of coffee.

One of the best ways to make better coffee is to experiment with different brewing methods and taste the difference in order to discover the types of coffee making you enjoy the most.

To help you choose, here we share 13 different types of coffee pots for you to try.

Different types of coffee machines comparison table

Below we compare coffee makers in terms of their key design and brew features. Read on for our full explanation of each of the coffee maker styles.

Coffee MakerMethodFilter TypeComplexityGrind SizeBrewNo. Cups
Manual espresso makerPressureMetalHighFineStrong1
Espresso machinePressureMetalMediumFineStrong1-2
Moka PotPressureMetalLowFineStrong and rich2-10
AeropressImmersionPaperMediumMediumClean and bright1-2
Auto drip brewerDrippingPaperLowMediumBalanced4-12
Single serve coffee makerPressureMetalLowNAStrong1
Manual dripperDrippingPaperMediumMediumClean and smooth1-10
Vietnamese PhinDrippingMetalLowFineStrong1
PercolatorImmersion/BoilingMetalLowCoarseStrong and bitter2-12
Cold brewingDrippingMeshLowExtra coarseStrong and smooth4-16
French PressImmersionMeshLowCoarseFull bodied and rich4-12
Siphon BrewerImmersionPaperHighMediumClean and light3-8
IbrikBoilingNoneMediumExtra fineStrong and thick1-6

13 coffee maker types explained

1. Manual Espresso Maker

Method: Pressure
Skill Level: High

Also referred to as a piston-driven espresso machine or lever coffee machine, the manual espresso maker is credited as the first ever espresso maker.

Whilst early espresso machines designs were appearing in the late 1800s, the lever-operated mechanism was invented in 1945 by Italian Achille Gaggia. 

Does that name sound familiar? He’s also the founding father of the company Gaggia, which still manufactures professional espresso machines today.

Manual Espresso Maker

His initial design was powered by a lever, which is continually pumped by the user in order to pressurize boiling water before it is pushed through finely ground coffee.

Manual espresso machines are entirely run on the energy produced by pumping – no electricity required!

When coffee is prepared this way, all aspects of the process are controlled by the barista or home brewer.

Who are manual espresso coffee makers best for?

Hipsters looking for a cool kitchen display piece, home baristas who want to learn the entire brewing process, people who are happy to take their time, fans of off-grid living.

Pros

Aesthetically pleasing

Full control over brewing

Cons

Not great for beginners

Require hands on effort, no automation

No milk frother

2. Automatic Espresso Machine

Method: Pressure
Skill Level: Medium

Recognized as the ancestor of our modern day espresso machines, the very first automatic coffee machine, Illeta, was invented by Francesco Illy, a Hungarian-Italian who lends his name to a very popular coffeehouse chain and line of coffee makers.

Automated Espresso Maker

Espresso machines create coffee by pressurizing hot water and forcing it through finely ground beans.

Espresso machines range from semi-automatic to super automatic and typically have an integrated milk frother to heat and froth milk.

Whilst there are budget espresso machines on the market, the cost of a good coffee machine can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars.

Who are automated espresso makers best for?

Lovers of espresso based coffee drinks looking for a way to save money on coffee shop coffee drinks.

Pros

Fast brewing time

Can make café quality coffees at home

Have a milk frother

Cons

Learning curve to master

Expensive set up costs

3. Moka Pot

Method: Pressure
Skill Level: Low

Also known as a stovetop coffee maker, these bad boys were invented back in 1933 by Alfonso Bialetti, another Italian – are you sensing a theme here?

A take on the steam-powered espresso machine, they push boiling water under pressure through ground coffee, which is kept in a separate chamber.

Moka pot coffee maker

As such a simple gadget, it quickly became a household favorite in Italy, a love that soon spread across the world post-World War Two.

His company Bialetti Industries still makes the Moka pot to this day, trading as Moka Express.

Its continued success could be attributed to the deceptively easy but delicious flavors it produces.

The flavors vary depending on the roast level of beans used, as well as how they were ground and how hot the water is.

Who are Moka pots best for?

Wannabe baristas with no time or money to commit to the cause, those who want to enjoy a higher quality coffee with less effort, RV travellers.

Pros

Affordable and easy to use

Last for years with little maintenance

Portable coffee maker

Cons

Only work on stovetops

Little control over brewing

4. AeroPress coffee brewer

Method: Immersion/Pressure
Skill Level: Medium

Developed by Alan Adler, founder of AeroPress Inc (previously known as Aerobie) in 2005, this small but mighty coffee maker is one of the simplest in the world.

Simply using a cylindrical tube and an airtight, sealed plunger, it works sort of like a giant syringe!

Aeropress coffee brewer

Users simply steep ground coffee beans in hot water – in the same way they would with a french press (more on those later!).

Then use the plunger to force the brewed coffee through into your cup. It only takes 30 seconds!

Surprisingly, an AeroPress is capable of producing highly concentrated espresso style coffee, but it also works to produce filter strength and cold brew if those are more up your street.

Who are Aeropress coffee makers best for?

Lovers of clean tasting, smooth coffee who enjoy coffee at home and on the go, campers.

Pros

Versatile and compact

Perfect for travel

Clean and smooth coffee

Cons

Can only brew 1-2 cups at a time

All components must be washed each time

5. Auto Drip Brewer (Regular Drip Coffee Pot)

Method: Dripping
Skill Level: Low

The funkily named Wigomat is considered the first patented electric drip brewer, brought to the world in 1954 by German Gottlob Widmann.

Popularized by the Mr Coffee brand in the 1970s, these machines would eventually replace percolators in homes (which we’ll discuss later) solving the tendency they had to over-brew and make bitter coffee.

Auto Drip Brewer

As the name suggests, an auto drip brewer gradually pours hot water over coffee grounds placed in a paper or reusable filter, which then slowly drips into an awaiting pot below, ready to be poured.

When using the paper variety, the coffee produced is light and clear, but it lacks many of the natural oils that give coffee more body, solved by using a reusable metal filter.

Automatic batch brewers range in price from just $20 to hundreds of dollars, with the best coffee makers certified by the SCAA to produce consistently great tasting coffee.

Who are auto drip brewers best for?

Fans of the old school diner coffee experience, people in a hurry who want automatic coffee right on time, people who like to entertain with large quantities of coffee.

Pros

Affordable and easy to use

Can be set up to run automatically

Large capacity brewers

Cons

Coffee quality can vary

Regular cleaning required

6. Single Serve Coffee Maker

Method: Pressure
Skill Level: Low

Nespresso, Keurig, Dolce Gusto, Tassimo… what do all of these machines have in common?

They each utilize single serve coffee pods in order to produce an incredible variety of coffee based drinks.

Single Serve Coffee Maker

All you do is pop your pod of choice into the chamber of your machine and hit the button.

The coffee pod coffee maker will do the rest for you, forcing boiling water through the capsule. Lattes, mochas, americanos, single espressos… all can be made!

This is perhaps the most versatile coffee machine, as it offers hundreds of different flavors from recognizable brands like Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts and more, as well as independent and more affordable pods. Whatever you want, the choice is yours.

Who are single serve coffee makers best for?

Busy people with no time to wait around, those who really can’t get their head around manual coffee makers.

Pros

Simple to use

Large range of coffee pods available

Fast brewing time

Cons

Pods harmful to the environment

Coffee flavor not as good as other methods

Pods cost more than ground coffee

7. Manual Drip Brewers

Method: Dripping
Skill Level: Medium

Manual pour over coffee brewing is one of the simplest and affordable coffee brewing methods available to home brewers.

There are many different designs but they all follow the same concept – hot water slowly poured over ground coffee held in a filter over your cup or carafe.

Peter Schlumbohm’s 1941 invention of the Chemex, eventually manufactured by the Chemex Corporation in Chicopee, Massachusetts, is arguably one of the most elegant and simplest coffee makers in existence.

Maybe that’s why hipsters like them so much!

Chemex manual coffee brewer

The conical hourglass-shaped pour-over style flask was called “one of the best-designed products of modern times” by the Institute of Technology in Illinois, which is possibly why it appears in a collection at the MOMA in New York.

To brew, a standard thick Chemex filter is used, which is the secret behind the “cleaner” brew it produces than other coffee making methods.

Who are manual drip brew coffee makers best for?

Lovers of clean and bright tasting coffee who enjoy the pour over brewing process.

Pros

Clean and smooth coffee flavor

Gorgeous design

Cons

Learning curve to master

Brew flavor can be inconsistent

Slower hands on brew time

8. Vietnamese Coffee Maker (Phin)

Method: Dripping
Skill Level: Low

As coffee is so popular in Vietnam, the Vietnamese people have long made use of a single cup filter brewing system known as a phin.

The origins of this cute and convenient gadget aren’t known, but it is believed to have been invented in France. The French introduced them to coffee in the 19th century, after all, so it wouldn’t be surprising!

Vietnamese Phin coffee filter

By the sheer power of physics, a phin is a metal filter that holds finely ground coffee that you pour hot water through. The delicious caffeinated beverage is transferred directly into your cup!

Like a cross between the German pour over and French press methods, the flavor is strong and sharp, and this method of preparation works well no matter which bean or roast level is your favorite.

Who are Vietnamese Phin coffee makers best for?

Anyone who wants to enjoy a traditional Vietnamese style coffee on a regular basis, lovers of super sweet coffee, those who like to make a coffee with the fewest dishes to wash afterward.

Pros

Cheap and easy to use

Perfect for a single cup of coffee

No filters required

Cons

Only brews one cup at a time

Sharp coffee flavor not enjoyed by all

9. Percolator coffee maker

Method: Immersion / Boiling
Skill Level: Low

Although they have had a resurgence in the modern day, percolators were initially invented by Frenchman Joseph-Henrie-Marie Laurens, all the way back in 1818 and were the mainstay of home coffee brewing for over a century. 

Percolator coffee maker

Initial designs consisted of a pot with a tiny little chamber at the bottom, which is to be positioned directly above the heat source.

A vertical tube extends from the very top of the percolator to this miniature space, with a filter chamber in the middle.

Water is added, filling the bottom chamber – once heated the water begins boiling very quickly, sending water up the vertical tube, flowing over the perforated lid of the coffee chamber, so water can pass through the grounds and through to the bottom of the jug as brewed coffee.

In the 1970’s they were made almost obsolete by the invention of the automatic drip type of coffee makers, which is a much simpler method with far less chance of over-brewing and resulting bitter flavor.

Who are percolators best for?

People with time on their hands to stand and watch the pot, making sure the coffee doesn’t over-brew, but it probably will anyway… or event organizers who need a coffee urn.

Pros

No filter required

Simple to use

Portable and affordable

Cons

Coffee often tastes bitter and overbrewed

Little control over brewing process

10. Cold Brew Drip Coffee Makers

Method: Dripping or Immersion
Skill Level: Low

Cold brew has become one of the most popular coffee brewing methods in recent years thanks to the smooth and flavorful coffee the method produces.

There are two different cold brew methods – one immersion and the other drip.

Whilst immersion cold brewers simply soak coarse ground coffee beans in room temperature water for 12-24 hours, cold drip brewers slowly drip cold water over coffee grounds.

Incredibly similar to the automatic drip coffee maker, cold drip coffee makers are essentially the same type of coffee machine but over a much longer period of time it manually produces some of the most delicious cold brew you’ll ever have at home.

Cold brewed coffee makers

It’s difficult to pinpoint who invented the cold drip machine, though cold brew itself originated in Japan, hence why it is sometimes referred to as Kyoto-style coffee.

Cold water is slowly, drop by drop, poured over grounds into a waiting pot or cup.

Flavor wise, cold brewed coffee is a great deal stronger than a traditional iced coffee drinks. This is because the drip process created a concentrated brew that has extracted more flavor from the beans.

Who are cold drip coffee makers best for?

Cold coffee fans who wish for a stronger depth of flavor, coffee lovers living in hot climates, coffee drinkers looking for low acidity coffees and lovers of nitro coffee.

Pros

Strong and smooth coffee flavor

Can be made using basic equipment at home for little cost

Cons

Long brewing time

Need a larger quantity of beans than other methods

11. French Press coffee makers

Method: Immersion
Skill Level: Low

Ah, the humble French press. Referred to by fancy folk as a cafetiere, this was invented by two famous Frenchmen, Mayer and Delforge, who patented its predecessor.

The modern version we would now recognize as a coffee press, however, was – controversially! – invented by Milanese designer Attillio Calimani in 1929.

French Press coffee maker

To brew simply add coarse ground coffee to a plastic, glass or steel french press coffee pot and leave it for a few minutes.

Once ready, a filter is placed over top and plunged down to separate the grounds from the coffee.

Your coffee can be stronger or weaker, depending on how long you allow it to steep for, as well as the coffee beans you use and how long they were roasted for.

French press brewing is one of the easiest ways to enjoy a decent coffee at home for a budget friendly price and is one the best brewing methods for home.

Who are french press coffee makers best for?

Students who need affordable coffee and are sick of spending their hard earned money at Starbucks, busy parents wanting to chug down some coffee before the school run, lovers of full bodied coffee.

Pros

A full bodied and rich tasting coffee

Can be used to make hot and cold brew coffee

Affordable and easy to use

Cons

Taste too strong for some

Most brewers leave some sediment in cup

Coffee cools quickly

12. Siphon brewers

Method: Immersion
Skill Level: High

Sometimes called a vacuum coffee brewer, the siphon method of brewing coffee was created by German inventor Loeff in the 1830s and is one of the more unique coffee makers on the market.

Two chambers separated by a filter uses gravity to make an espresso style, concentrated coffee.

Siphon

Changing the temperature of the bottom chamber, through different styles of heating and cooling, vapor pressure is altered, which forces water from the lower vessel up and through the coffee grounds, then falling back through again nice and clear.

This sophisticated, high effort preparation style might sound too much like hard work, but the payoff is incredibly worth it – a rich, full flavor that’s clean and punchy.

Who are siphon coffee makers best for?

Wannabe scientists with a desire to create a laboratory in their kitchen, people easily impressed by the marvel of gravity.

Pros

Complex in a fun way

Clean and smooth brew

Cons

Slow and time consuming brewing method

Expensive to set up

13. Ibrik, AKA Cezve (Turkish Coffee Pot)

Method: Boiling
Skill Level: Medium

Whilst the word ibrik in Turkish simply refers to a jug, in the English language it is used to indicate a Turkish coffee pot, which the people of Turkey would actually call a cezve.

It’s adorably miniature and, like a Vietnamese phin, makes a perfect cup for one or two.

Cezve turkish coffee pot

A small pot is attached to a long handle – its pouring lip is specially designed for making Turkish coffee.

Traditionally made using hammered copper, you add cold water and a teaspoon or two of ground coffee (and sugar as an option) before simmering over a stovetop.

Cooking on the lowest heat setting, the very top of the ibrik should become foamy – it is tradition to continually pour this foam into your cup as it appears, only stopping when all of the mixture is gone. You may have to boil it twice over!

When made in this way, your coffee will have a bold, bittersweet flavor, similar to an espresso – it is often combined with sugar for an especially sweet taste.

Who are Ibrik coffee makers best for?

Anyone who desires a traditional Turkish coffee!

Pros

Small and portable

Affordable coffee maker

Great for lovers of strong coffee

Cons

Learning curve to master

Very strong and thick coffee not to everyone’s taste

Different kinds of coffee makers – FAQs

What is the best inexpensive coffee maker?

The French Press or the AeroPress, both of which brew beautiful coffee in a matter of minutes are two of the best inexpensive coffee maker options. The former can be picked up for less than ten dollars, though the better models usually come to around twenty or thirty bucks.

The latter is around thirty to fifty bucks depending on where you get yours from. Both of these are a fraction of the cost of an automatic espresso machine and even more so when you start looking at professional, barista-quality equipment.

An AeroPress works a lot faster than the French variety, giving you fresh coffee in an impressive thirty seconds in comparison to the slightly slower four minutes you usually wait using a cafetiere. Some people love the lingering process, though!

If you’d rather an automatic coffee maker but want to stay on the affordable side, then the electronic drip coffee machine is your best bet, or perhaps one of the more budget-friendly Keurig pod machines.

What is the quietest coffee maker?

If we’re talking about an automatic coffee maker, then probably the single use, pod style machines, which aren’t as noisy as their steam operated, pressurized counterparts. They do still make a bit of a rumbling noise as your shot pours, though!

For an even quieter atmosphere when making your morning cup, then an automatic drip machine is slightly less grating as it pours water more slowly.

For total silence, though, you’re going to have to go slightly more old fashioned.

Although they require more effort, a french press brews coffee with little to no noise at all.

Barista pouring hot water from steel coffee kettle into aeropress.

What is the best high-end coffee maker?

That depends on who you ask! There are so many different coffee makers out there now, and with humans being so fickle with their preferences, it’s difficult to suggest one high end machine that everyone would consider to be the best.

However, we can talk about some of the most popular and more expensive makers. Remember, though, it’s about quality, not cost – sometimes you’re really just paying for the good reputation that comes with the label of popular, mainstream brands.

The Technivorm drip coffee maker and Ratio Six coffee maker are considered best in class in batch brewers. In the home espresso machine market, Gaggia, Jura and Breville dominate.

Do coffee makers make a difference in taste?

Yes, definitely! One of the major characteristics that change a coffee’s flavor profile is the amount of pressure and process by which it is extracted.

For instance, a thousands-of-dollars barista style machine typically works at between nine and twelve bars of pressure.

This produces the “ideal” espresso, pulling water over coffee that’s been ground as finely as possible, at high speeds and an optimum temperature of between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit. You get a strong shot with a clearly defined layer of crema. 

The Moka pot attempts to emulate this, but they cannot deliver anywhere near as much pressure as a machine-powered maker is capable of.

An automatic drip coffee maker and pour over coffee makers will generate a lighter, clearer, crisper brew.

This is because the paper filters they are used with have a tendency to trap and store the oils found in coffee responsible for its rich and layered taste.

It’s also worth noting that the origin and type of coffee beans you use, as well as where it was grown and how it has been roasted for – amongst other important factors – will also impact the flavor of your coffee dramatically. 

What should I look for when buying a coffee maker?

Although your first thought might be the price of the machine itself, it’s actually more sensible to calculate the long term cost of using it.

Yes, price is important, but that is a one-time-only initial investment. Coffee, however, must be purchased often.

For instance, a single use Keurig machine costs far more when you calculate the price of regularly replenishing pods than it would if you were using a French press and buying bags of whole beans or ground coffee.

Once you’ve figured out what your options are based on finances, now consider how much time you have on your hands and whether your chosen method will fit around your lifestyle. It can be lovely to sit and wait for your pot to brew, but not in a hurry!

Likewise, how easy the machine is to disassemble and clean is also worth thinking about because one with a tonne of bits to remove that you have to wash by hand is way more complex than removable drip trays safely tossed in a dishwasher. 

Finally, does the type of coffee maker you’re looking at have any special features you’ll take advantage of, or would you be wasting hundreds of dollars on a machine you’ll only ever use one function out of many?

Drip coffee carafe with coffee cup

Does the quality of a coffee maker matter?

Somewhat! A cheap and cheerful cafetiere can still make a good cup of coffee, but the more complicated a machine is, the more it’s going to be impacted if you opt for a cheap version over the high end or branded edition.

That being said, unless you’re looking at those barista level machines that cost thousands of dollars a pop, the difference in quality between the drinks made by most coffee makers isn’t so huge that you’ll see a massive difference.

At the end of the day, it depends on how big a coffee snob you are! If you’re used to a Starbucks latte, you can make a pretty good imitation with the coffee from a french press and milk whipped using an electric handheld frother that only costs a couple of bucks.

Those who wait ten hours for their perfectly percolated cold brew will definitely be disappointed if they opt for an iced coffee made using a single use coffee pod however – a three second extraction time cannot compete with overnight refrigeration! 

How long should coffee makers last?

It really depends on which coffee maker you go for, and how well it is looked after!

The simpler the design, the longer it is likely to last. The fancier your machine is, the more tiny moving parts and mechanisms there are to potentially fail or break down over time.

A French press or an AeroPress could theoretically last for decades if well taken care of, though its filtration abilities will obviously weaken over time. 

Those that aren’t reliant on machinery and have been made using rust resistant, quality materials may well result in a coffee maker being passed down through generations! Again, it’s about how careful you are when using, maintaining and storing it.

On average, a good quality automatic coffee maker should last five years, though you’ll be able to nearly double that life span if you regularly descale and clean it.

Some people will find that there is a difference in quality quicker than others. If you drink an artisanal style hand-crafted espresso every day, you’ll probably want a new machine sooner than someone who is reliant on a Moka pot, for example.

Summary of coffee brewer types

So there you have it – a summary of 13 different types of coffee maker you can use at home.

Ready to choose a coffee machine? Find all our coffee machine reviews here or learn more in our brew guides. Alternatively, watch the video below for even more information.

More coffee articles:

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Illustration of coffee maker types with text overlay different ways to make coffee.
About Rachel R

Founder of Creators of Coffee, Rachel is a passionate coffee lover, SCA member and former barista, who also loves to research and share practical tips on everything to do with coffee. Favorite way to make coffee: With an Espresso Machine

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