The History of Coffee Makers

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Coffee has been used as a drink for well over 2000 years. The first methods of brewing coffee were pretty crude but they have advanced greatly over the centuries. People used to just chew the cherry that came off the coffee tree to get a stimulant effect. Inside the cherry was the coffee bean. Over time with experimentation, people started to roast and then grind the beans for better flavor.


As early as the the late 1700s, coffee makers began showing up. This made it easy for people to brew coffee and not worry about getting grounds in their cup. This was expensive and not many people had them. The basic design is similar to coffee pots of today. There was a pot on the bottom with a place to put your ground coffee on the top. This was connected to a chamber on top where you poured in your boiling water.

People tried many different types of coffee maker throughout the years since then. There have been percolators, vacuum coffee makers, and drip coffee makers. Percolators use a pot over a heat source that forces the water into an upper chamber where the coffee grounds are. The water drips through the coffee and back into the lower pot. You know it is ready when it stops making percolating noises which are easy to hear. Then you remove it from heat before it boils.

Vacuum coffee makers use what looks like two pots, one upside down on the other. As it is heated, the pressure forces hot water up into the top chamber where it infuses with the ground coffee. When you remove it from heat, the pressure is reversed and the coffee goes back to the lower pot ready to drink. Drip coffee makers are the kind we are all used to. Whether automatic or manual they work by dumping hot water over coffee grounds that sit in a filter. It strains through into a pot and is ready to drink.


With the advent of electricity, coffee makers became very popular and a little cheaper. In the early 1900s coffee makers really started to boom and by the 1970s almost everyone had a coffee maker in their home. These were usually of the automatic drip variety as they were the easiest to use.

Today’s coffee makers have many features. They have timers that allow you to specify when you want your coffee maker to turn on, have built in grinders, storage areas, and much more. You can buy home espresso and cappuccino machines also. Coffee makers today range from the single cup variety to commercial units that make gallons at a time so no matter what your need, you can usually find it.


As more and more people start to enjoy different kinds of coffee, coffee makers become easier to use and offer more features. Many combine espresso, cappuccino, and coffee all in one machine but it is rather bulky still. Look for these to shrink in the near future.

Electric Coffee Makers

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There are many types of coffee maker available on the market today. When most people think of a coffee maker, they think of an electric coffee maker. This means the coffee maker is plugged into an outlet and is powered with electricity. This is the most common way to power your coffee maker because of its simplicity. You just plug it in, add water and coffee, and push start. This is much easier than the older vacuum and stove top coffee makers from years past.

It can be hard to imagine not using an electric coffee maker. Many of us have grown up with them not knowing how hard it was to make coffee long ago. It used to take a lot of time to stand there by the stove and watch your coffee brew and make sure everything was going right. Lucky for us, we just have to push start and wait. The electricity heats the heating element which is in the water container. The water is heated to a specified temperature and then by gravity or a pump pushes the water over the ground coffee.

The result is a nice, easy cup of coffee. This has a great advantage over stove top coffee makers as you don’t have to worry about your coffee being too cold or so hot it takes the skin off of your tongue. Electric coffee makers don’t use a ton of electricity so you won’t even notice a change in your utility bills.

Electric coffee makers come in many different varieties. There is everything from a single cup coffee maker to a restaurant grade coffee maker that produces gallons at a time. By using electricity to heat the water, you are guaranteed the same temperature coffee every single time. Electric coffee makers also allow you to set a time for coffee to be brewed. This is handy for those of us on a tight schedule and don’t want to waste time messing with the coffee maker in the morning. Simply set it up the night before and it will start your coffee before you even wake up.


Expensive models come with all sorts of special features. There are some that only brew one cup at a time but use special pods of high quality coffee and might even top them off with foam. Other models can have built in grinders, a storage area for extra coffee and water, or be combination machines that make espresso and cappuccino as well as normal coffee. You have so many options available, you really need to choose the coffee maker that is right for you. If you have a lot of coffee drinkers in your home, you might pick a large one. If you live alone, a single cup maker might be perfect.

You can find electric coffee makers pretty much everywhere. Every store that carries a coffee maker will have 99% electric coffee makers. Occasionally they will have some that don’t use electricity, but these are either for professional coffee makers or campers.

Discount Coffee Makers

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Some coffee makers can be pretty expensive depending on the brand name and what features it has. There are many models that cost over $200.00 and don’t seem to do much more than a normal coffee maker. If you are on a budget or just like to live frugally, you might consider a discount coffee maker. A discount coffee maker usually doesn’t have many bells and whistles but for someone who just wants a regular cup of coffee, could be a very cheap option.

Discount coffee makers are usually of the automatic drip variety. You pour your water in, add a coffee filter, then dump in some ground coffee. All that’s left to do is turn it on and walk away. Discount coffee makers sometimes come with a timer but sometimes not. A discount coffee maker won’t make you espresso or cappuccino and usually have little or no options when it comes to changing the flavor or strength of your coffee. The only way to change the taste is to put in more or less ground coffee.

Just because you decide to buy a discount coffee maker doesn’t mean you can’t have a good cup of coffee however. If you go to your supermarket, there is usually an aisle dedicated to coffee. In this aisle, you can find all types of different coffee flavors that might appeal to you. Sometimes they will have a large machine where you can pick the type of coffee you want and have it ground to your specifications. By using this fresh ground coffee, it can make even a discount coffee maker produce a very nice and flavorful cup of coffee.


You can find discount coffee makers in a number of places. A large retail store is usually a good bet as they start as low as $15.00 a lot of the time. Supermarkets and coffee specialty stores usually carry coffee makers but not the cheap kind. A great place to find a discount coffee maker is at a thrift store. You can usually find one for $5.00 or so and they work just fine. If the idea of using a second hand coffee maker isn’t your thing, you could always try a website. There are many websites that sell coffee makers and often offer you free coffee or other deals. With websites you will need to check around as there are thousands of them.

Before you search for a discount coffee maker, you should know exactly what you are going to use it for as there are many types available. If you are looking to buy one for the workplace, it might be a good idea to get your employees opinion. If they want something fancy, have them all pitch in a few bucks and get something good. If nobody really cares, you might just bring an old one you have in your garage. It is hard to destroy a coffee maker so even the ugliest, dirtiest one can easily be cleaned up and used again and again.

Coffee Vending Machines

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As early as the 1960’s coffee vending machines started to show up at airports, hotels, and many industrial plants around the world especially in the USA. The first coffee vending machines used all freeze dried ingredients and mixed them with water then added your selected amount of cream and sugar. There wasn’t a whole lot of selection. Today, fancy coffee vending machines can make you espresso, cappuccino, hot chocolate, soup, tea, and many variations of coffee.

Coffee vending machines are very useful for many reasons. You don’t need an employee to run them, you can put them anywhere, the ingredients aren’t too expensive, and they make quite a bit of money in a good location. Coffee vending machines can make from 100 to 600 cups of coffee before you are required to refill the cup dropper. This is what drops the cup down before the coffee or beverage of your choice is dispensed into it. The coffee vending machines usually use one size cup that is around 8 ounces. The cups are recyclable and quality made to simulate a cup you would receive at a coffee shop.

Many new coffee vending machines have a very stylish look as opposed to the big square boxes of the 80’s and 90’s. They don’t take up very much room, produce a high quality product, and can make the owner a nice amount of money every month.

Espresso and cappuccino are becoming more and more popular and thanks to places like Starbucks, more people like them and know what they want to order. Many of the newer coffee vending machines let you pick and choose what type of espresso and cappuccino you want. You can also get lattes and mochas of many varieties.

There are many ways you can purchase a coffee vending machine. Most machines will have a phone number or other information so you can call the manufacturer. The easiest way is to use the Internet. There are tons of companies that sell coffee vending machines and will offer you low payment plans and many other deals that you mind find appealing.

Coffee vending machines are a great way for someone who wants to make a little extra income without doing much work. When used in conjunction with pastry and soda machines, if you have a large amount of coverage, you might not need a full time job at all! This is also great for retired people who want a little extra money each month. Some of the newer machines cost about $1.00 for the ingredients per cup and will make you about $2.50. Of course, wherever you place them will demand a percentage but that can be easy to work out.

Coffee vending machines have been around for over 50 years and chances are they will continue to be refined and upgraded. This ensures the busy employee or traveler that they will always be able to grab a cup of coffee even if there aren’t people there to make it.

Coffee Makers Online

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Coffee makers are usually bought in a retail store like K-mart and the like but with the advancement of technology, you don’t even have to leave your home to review and buy a new coffee maker. There are many sites on the Internet that specialize in selling you coffee makers. Many are brand name sites that are well respected and offer you a great product at a great price. There are also overstock sites, discount retail sites, and even auction sites you could browse around on before you make a decision.

When purchasing a coffee maker or anything else over the Internet, you want to make sure you are dealing with a legitimate company. The first one you see on Google might not necessarily be the best one either. Make sure you know the companies procedures and that they guarantee you will get your product by a certain time and nobody but them will have access to your credit card or bank account information. If there are testimonials or you know someone who has used that site it is even better. There are many scams on the Internet and you don’t want to end up with a coffee maker key chain for $50.00 or worse, nothing at all. Just use your discretion and stick with reputable sites you know, such as Amazon.


Many coffee maker dealers on the Internet will give you something with your order. It might be a free sample of their coffee or a subscription to a coffee of the month club. This can be fun and makes a great gift for a friend or loved one. A new coffee maker is always appreciated and if they receive something extra with it, it’s very nice and keeps on giving. You may receive some kind of membership which is usually free but read the fine print to make sure you won’t be billed. Unless you want to that is.

Brand name sites are usually the preferred method of buying over the Internet. Amazon, Gevalia, Wal-Mart, it doesn’t really matter. You know you are dealing with a respected company and are sure to get a good deal on their products. Discount websites might offer you even greater savings but you will get very weird brand names that might not be available in your area or country. Make sure they have the features you are looking for and aren’t going to fall apart or be a fire hazard.

If you look around on auction sites, you might find the perfect coffee maker you have been looking for. There are many new items up for auction so you won’t get a used coffee maker unless you specifically want one for some reason. Coffee makers aren’t light so you might have to pay a bit of shipping and handling.

Overall, the Internet is a great place to find a new coffee maker and you are sure to find the perfect one. Just use your judgment and you won’t be ripped off and might find an amazing deal.

Coffee Makers in the Workplace

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Many people have a coffee maker at work. This is a great idea because it lets employees and managers alike have something in common and lets everyone have a short break from work while they refresh their coffee mugs. Coffee makers are used in office buildings, manufacturing plants, and almost every type of business there is from fast food to convenience stores. The office coffee maker is a place everyone can go and chit chat for a few minutes similar to a water cooler.

 

 

The usual office coffee maker is of the automatic drip variety and makes about 12 cups at a time. The funny thing is, 12 cups from a coffee maker means about 5 ounces per cup. Nobody drinks that little so you might as well assume one pot will serve 6 people. For a busy workplace you may need a larger coffee maker to accommodate everyone and might even decide to use a coffee vending machine. If this is owned and operated by the company, they may lower the prices so they don’t make much profit. This will be made up with employee morale and productivity so it evens out.


Many people feel better and more alert after drinking coffee so naturally, a coffee maker in the workplace helps everyone. The caffeine in coffee is a stimulant and should help them feel that way. If your employee is alert, there is less chance of incomplete work and injuries as they should be paying more attention to the job at hand.

The type of coffee maker for the workplace will need to be discussed among all the coffee drinkers and if a fancy one is needed, everyone should help pay for it. A normal coffee maker costs between 10 to 40 dollars but fancy ones can be 60-90 dollars depending on the features. These higher priced coffee makers usually come with a foamer, grinder, or some other special feature that would cause the price to be so high. You may want to just get two cheaper ones as there is always someone who wants decaffeinated coffee and doesn’t like to mix the two types of coffee in one pot.

If you work in a large manufacturing plant or industrial building, chances are you will have to walk a long way to get a cup of coffee. Many of these workplaces use strategically placed break rooms that will have an assortment of vending machines. One of those may be a coffee vending machine or there might be a coffee maker on the counter for employees in your area to use. Make sure you have someone clean it before you clock out or management may take it away. I have seen this happen before.


With espresso and cappuccino becoming very popular, you might have one of these machines in your workplace. They cater to certain people usually but many come with a normal coffee pot on one side. This can help balance out two distinct tastes and make more employees happy.


Coffee Makers for Camping

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Camping is a great hobby and a fun pastime for many people. It can be very relaxing to get in touch with nature and spend a few days in the desert or woods enjoying nature. You can swim, fish, or just enjoy doing absolutely nothing. Just because you are in the wilderness doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a good cup of coffee though. There are many different ways you can brew a cup or a pot of coffee while camping.

There is a large variety of coffee makers that are designed especially for camping. There are small ones that will make just one cup or large ones that will make many cups at once. It all depends on how much you want to pack in with you and how many people are going that will want coffee. The most common coffee makers for camping are of the manual drip variety as all you do is pour boiling water over your coffee while it sits in a filter.

The filter sits in a holder and you just set the holder over your cup or mug. Other varieties might need to be set on a portable stove or set on ashes to boil the water. There are even some automatic drip coffee makers that have been designed for the camper who really wants that added convenience. These models are quite large and are not for the camper who is going to hike 10 miles for the perfect spot. They also require a camp stove.

Your best method for making coffee while camping would be a manual drip coffee maker that is specifically designed for camping. These come in a large assortment of shapes and sizes but are made to withstand uneven campfire heat. The best ones are made out of stainless steel or another fire resistant metal and have everything built in.


They usually look like one coffee pot set upside down on another. You put your ground coffee in a filter in the middle of the unit and water in the bottom. You set it on the fire until you see steam and then you flip it over and set it somewhere cool. The flipping process lets the water slowly drain through the coffee grounds resulting in freshly brewed coffee for everyone.

The filter holder method works well also. You take a filter holder, put in a filter and add your coffee. Set it over your pot or cup and pour in boiling water. This is a great method if you don’t need to brew a lot of coffee and don’t want to pack around heavy equipment.

If you ask an experienced camper or visit a specialized camping store, you will be able to find out which type of coffee maker might be the best for your next camping trip. There are many to choose from so you can decide on what will be the best for you. Retail stores usually have a camping aisle so you can browse around next time you are doing some shopping there.

Coffee Maker Style Guide

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According to some statistics, 52 percent of Americans are coffee drinkers. This translates to more than 100 million people who drink coffee daily. Americans are a diverse population and far from unanimously agreeing on what makes a good cup of coffee. Fortunately, there are several different styles of coffee makers available today.

Coffee lovers can choose the brewing machine that fits their preferences. Common coffee maker styles include Automatic Drip, Automatic Espresso, French Press, Percolator, Stovetop Espresso, and Vacuum style. Each has its own pros and cons and gives the user varying control over the end result.

Automatic Drip Coffee Maker

Automatic drip coffee makers are probably the most popular choice for Americans. They are easy to use and are inexpensive to purchase. Most operate on the same principle. Inside the coffee pot is a filter basket where a paper filter holds the coffee grounds. Cold water is poured into the reservoir where it is heated before being poured over the grounds. The resulting coffee flows into a carafe. The brewed coffee is kept warm by the hot surface beneath the carafe.

Those who don’t like to use automatic drip coffee makers complain that they do not make a good cup of coffee. Keeping the coffee maker and carafe clean, using quality coffee and disposable paper filters will help ensure a better result.


Automatic Espresso Coffee Maker

Automatic espresso coffee makers come in semi-automatic, fully automatic and super automatic versions. Semi-automatic models tamp the coffee grounds, brew the coffee, fill the cup and eject grounds. Fully automatic models also grind the coffee. Super models offer a wide variety of features, including built in water filters.


French Press Coffee Maker

French Press coffee makers are also known as press pots or plunger pots. The pot is a glass or porcelain cylinder which contains a stainless, mesh plunger that works as a filter.

The user measures coffee grounds into the pot and adds nearly boiling water. The plunger is put in place but not pushed until the coffee has steeped a few minutes. After steeping, the plunger is pushed and the coffee is ready.

There is no hot surface to maintain coffee temperature so the coffee must be served immediately or placed into a thermal carafe of some sort.


Percolator Coffee Maker

Percolator coffee makers are available in stove top styles and in electric styles. Most modern ones are both electric and can be programmed. Some models make only one cup of coffee, others can make 12 cups at a time. The large coffee urns used by many organizations work on the percolation principle but brew more than 100 cups of coffee at a time.

Percolator coffee makers are not used as often as they used to be. These machines continuously run the water over the grounds and the water is boiled. Many coffee lovers claim that both actions violate the laws of making good coffee.

Coffee made via percolator tends to be stronger and often bitter tasting than coffee made with other brewing methods.

Stovetop Espresso Coffee Maker

Stovetop espresso coffee makers are simple to use and can be made anywhere there is heat, whether on a stove or over a campfire. Water is put inside the bottom boiler. The funnel filter is then placed in the boiler and filled with coffee. The top is screwed on lightly and the unit is placed over the heat source.

Once the top of the boiler is filled with brewed coffee, the coffee maker is removed from the heat source and the coffee is served.


Vacuum Coffee Maker

Vacuum coffee makers look more like chemistry lab equipment than coffee machines. This type consists of two overlapped containers that are connected by a syphon tube. There is a filter in the bottom of the upper container.

The user places water in the lower container and coffee grounds in the upper container. The machine is then put on top of the stove where the heated water vaporizes and passes through the syphon tube into the upper container.

A brewing cycle lasts approximately three minutes. When the unit is removed from heat, the vapor turns back to water and is forced through the filter and back into the lower container. Farberware created the first automatic vacuum coffee maker model while Sunbeam made the first truly automatic modern one.

There are few companies making vacuum coffee makers these days. Antique stores and auction sites such as eBay carry the traditional Silex and Sunbeam machines.


Coffee lovers can choose from a wide variety of coffee makers. From inexpensive stove top coffee pots to high end super automated coffee makers, there’s a coffee maker for every preference as well as every budget.

Tips for Choosing a Coffee Maker

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Coffee makers have come a long way. From yesterday’s cowboy pots boiling coffee over the coals to today’s sleek gourmet brewers, there’s a coffee maker to fit every taste, every lifestyle, every budget and every counter space. So where do you begin finding the coffee maker of your dreams?

Before you head for the appliance aisle at your favorite store, do a little homework. Consider what kind of coffee you prefer, how often you drink coffee, how much space you have for a coffee maker, how much you can afford to spend on a coffee maker. These are the issues involved in deciding whether to purchase an espresso or a non-espresso coffee maker

Choosing a Coffee Maker: Espresso or No Espresso

Espresso coffee makers are fancy. They cost more than other coffee makers (some cost thousands of dollars) and make a variety of coffee types including cappuccino and lattes. Espresso machines often make only one cup of coffee at a time and require cleaning after each cup. The coffee is stronger than that brewed by other means.

True coffee aficionados often prefer to use the espresso coffee maker, especially the super automated models that do everything from grinding the coffee to pouring it into the cup.

Typical coffee drinkers who prefer to have a pot of coffee available at all times and aren’t interested in lattes or other versions of coffee tend to prefer non-espresso coffee makers. Non-espresso coffee makers work well for people who like to start the coffee brewing and go on about their usual activities while it brews. They buy coffee already ground and don’t bother with beans or grinding.

For coffee drinkers needing large quantities of coffee, non-espresso is the way to go. Large percolator type coffee urns can be used to make more than a hundred cups of coffee at one time.

They also prefer returning to the coffee pot time after time and refilling their coffee cup over making only a cup at a time. Non-espresso type coffee makers are much less expensive than espresso machines.

Choosing a Coffee Maker: Non-Espresso

These coffee makers are available in drip, French press and combination models. Drip machines often make 6 to 10 cups of coffee at a time. For those who need a lesser quantity, it’s better to buy a model that makes 4 cups (or less) at a time. Drip coffee makers are inexpensive and easy to use.

There are pod coffee makers available which use single serving pods to brew coffee. Pod coffee makers can be inexpensive but the coffee itself costs more than standard cans of pre-ground coffee.
French Press coffee makers are great for a few cups of coffee at a time. Combination coffee makes featuring both espresso and non-espresso coffee makers in one machine are also available. These machines give coffee drinkers the best of both worlds.

Choosing a Coffee Maker: Espresso

Espresso coffee makers come in semi-automatic, fully automatic and super automatic models. These machines make fewer cups at a time and may require more time and attention that a standard drip coffee maker.

The more automated an espresso coffee maker is, the more features it will offer. Some take care of everything from grinding the coffee beans to filling the cup with coffee and ejecting the used coffee grounds.

The more features the espresso coffee maker offers, the higher the price tag attached to it. These coffee makers can cost anywhere from hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars.

The first decision to be made in choosing a coffee maker is the need to determine whether an espresso coffee maker or a non-espresso coffee maker is needed. Coffee preferences, budget and quantity of coffee to be made are factors that affect the decision making process.

Cappuccino Machine

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A cappuccino is a wonderful Italian coffee based hot drink that is prepared with milk foam, espresso and hot milk. It is normally served in a porcelain cup; this is because these cups have a much better heat preservation compared to a normal mug or glass.


The foam that stays on the top of the cappuccino works as an insulator to help preserve the heat of the drink, letting it stay hotter for much longer. It is not advised to drink this cold, it tastes completely different, the hotter the better!

There are many different kinds of cappuccino machines available for home use as well as use in a restaurant. If you are looking for one of these machines by a specific name, that’s also okay as they are listed in alphabetical order by the brand names.

Although all these machines are great, some may find it easier to work with the smaller ones, because it has less buttons and appears less confusing, where as others will prefer to use the big ones. As long as you know what you are doing, it does not matter what the size of the machine is.

For those that like to use the smaller cappuccino machines, this classic machine is excellent. It is a solid performer; with a thermo-block heating system that will prevent any water from escaping from the machine while it is being used. The pod sieve allows use of standard 45mm round espresso pods, with an 18 bar power pump, self-locking filter holder, 40oz removable water container with an automatic close valve and individual high-speed setting for hot water. This machine allows you to make a fresh hot cup of tea in just over thirty seconds.

There are two important facts that need to be remembered when using a dual frother as the metal cylinder only has two functions;

Frothing and steaming – when the metal sleeve is pointing downwards

The metal cylinder will stay locked in place on the tip of the black frother. The air and the hot steam are inserted straight into the milk; this is what makes the best cappuccino!

Steaming only – when the metal sleeve is pointing upwards

No air will be inserted into the milk, just the hot steam and this is what makes an ideal latte.

One of the slightly bigger ones is the semi-automatic machine. It is vigorously heated by circulating water that’s drawn off the boiler. It has a 1550 watt heating element, 2 liter boiler with a heat exchanger, 1/8″ thick boiler walls making it very safe to use, 1 gallon water reservoir, a hot water dispenser that gives you hot water almost instantly and a stainless steel easy-to-clean drip tray.

So, whether you own a restaurant and need new equipment or you are tired of having to go to a restaurant to get that great boost of cappuccino, there is one that will look great in any kitchen! There are so many different cappuccino machines to choose from, you’ll find one you just can’t get enough of!