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The Best Coffee Machines for Less

Updated on July 15, 2012
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Keith Schroeder writes The Wealthy Accountant blog with 30 years experience in the tax field. He is the tax adviser of Mr. Money Mustache.

A coffee machine is more than an investment, it is the way you start your day. The coffee machine’s cost is small compared to the coffee that will pass through the machine over the years. Below, I will list quality coffee machines with several different brewing methods, including: manual and electric drip, French press, press pot, and cold brew.

The Manual Drip

The manual drip coffee maker is the cheapest and easiest to use. It is ideal for making excellent coffee on a camping trip. Care must be taken not to burn oneself.

Electric Drip

The electric drip is also known as the automatic drip coffee maker and is the most widely used coffee machine on the market. Ease of use, reduced risk of burn, and speed are the admired features of this style of coffee brewing machine.

The electric drip comes in all sizes and price ranges. For the average home or office, a nice machine can be had for $100 or so. Coffee on a burner for more than 20 minutes will turn stale and bitter. Pour the fresh brew into a carafe for a fresh drink all day.

French Press

The French Press is also called a press pot or plunge pot and is a superior way of making coffee over a manual drip. The French Press requires no electricity, has a lower risk of spill, and produces what some consider the best of all coffees.

Press Pot

The press pot is a more expensive way to brew coffee. Many consider it a superior way to extract maximum flavor and aroma from the grounds. It must be noted that the press pot does not boil water like a percolator, which is the worst way to make coffee and will not be reviewed here. In addition to coffee brewing, the press pot is also a piece of artwork. The beautiful design is attractive enough to display.

Cold Brew

It is a shame so few people cold brew. Coffee lovers that cannot tolerate the acid would benefit greatly from cold brewing where the acid is around 67% lower than hot brew methods.

The cold brew method produces a coffee concentrate that stores well in the refrigerator for two weeks; hot brewed coffee begins to stale in as little as twenty minutes. To prepare a fresh cup of Joe, mix a shot of concentrate into a cup of hot water.

Cold brew coffee machines are also economically priced and fit any budget.

Which coffee brewing method do you prefer?

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Important Note

In all hot brew methods of brewing coffee, it is important to brew at 195 degrees. Below 190 and the coffee is stale from the get-go and boiling water rips all the acid and bitter into the beverage. Most failure in producing a perfect cup of coffee boils down to temperature.

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