That first sip is magical. It signals your brain to start the day, brings comfort that any obstacle can be faced, and picks you up when that late-day slump threatens to bring you down. Oh, coffee, is there anything you can’t do?
It’s a simple indulgence, and yet such an important one. With so many appliance choices for coffee lovers, it’s hard to know what products will achieve the perfect cup. Need help? This coffee-lover’s guide is here to help. Read on to determine what’s right for your home.
How bold will you go?
First up, ask yourself, do you want a quick pick-me-up, bold in flavor with a smooth finish? Do you want options to craft a cappuccino, latte, macchiato and more? Or do you often opt for the traditional cup, with flavors ranging from mild to bold?
Your answer will help you decide whether you want an espresso or coffee maker – or even both.
Café now offers barista-worthy results and countertop-worthy aesthetics with the Café Specialty Drip Coffee Maker and the newly launched Café Espresso Machines with integrated grinders and frothers. In stylish finishes like matte white, matte black, stainless steel, and steel silver (a beautiful complement to your stainless appliances), each machine features copper accents and delivers exceptional performance. The Specialty Drip Coffee Maker is also SCA certified, meaning the products have been reviewed by coffee science experts and professional coffee testers. When any coffee maker earns the SCA’s stamp of approval, the results are going to be impressive.
If coffee is your preference, the next step is to determine what type of brewing method to use. Whether you’re after the richness of a black coffee that hits all the right notes or a Café au lait, learning to perfect your brew is key. Here are three popular and time-tested methods for brewing coffee:
French Press: Manual and easy - Add ground coffee beans to your French press and pour hot water over the grounds. Let the coffee steep for a few minutes then press the plunger down and pour. French presses work best for coffee lovers seeking darker, richer roasts.
Drip: Classic and straightforward - Scoop your coffee, pour it into the filter, then add water in and press start. Café’s Specialty Drip Coffee Maker can be controlled with the SmartHQ™ app, Alexa, and Google Home. Voice-to-Brew controls deliver a conveniently connected perfect cup.
With Café’s drip coffee makers, choose a glass or thermal carafe. Thermal carafes typically keep coffee tasting fresh and hot for hours longer than glass.
Pour Over: Manual and accurate - The pour-over coffee maker’s title describes exactly how you brew the coffee and requires a special kind of filter. Fans of this method love that it allows you to control the strength of the coffee, plus the pots are super easy to clean.
Single Serve: Popular and measured - For those who have no desire to brew a whole pot of coffee, whether it’s because they are the lone coffee drinker in the home or because they prefer a cup-at-a-time approach, a single serve coffee maker like the Keurig can accomplish the task. Pop in a pod or measure out your desired coffee amount into the reusable filter, pour water in, and push a button. A cup-for-one is ready in no time. For even greater convenience, Café also offers a refrigerator with integrated K-cup brewing system.
If options for strong shots or coffee-shop-worthy drinks is what you’re craving, an espresso maker is the right choice.
Moka: Finicky and strong - While the Moka pot doesn’t produce a true espresso, the drink is so similar, we included it under espresso drinks. Moka pots need a heated surface, such as a stovetop or hotplate. Keep a close eye on it while brewing. When the Moka pot’s water is spent, remove the pot from the heat surface to avoid a burnt-like taste. The longer you leave it running, the stronger the coffee will be.
Espresso Machines: Balanced and beautiful - The best way to get a jolt of espresso at home is investing in a quality countertop machine. There are a multitude of options that vary in complexity, from simple styles that use pods to double-barrel machines that require a plumbed in water line. In the middle are automatic and semi-automatic styles, like those Café recently launched: the Affetto Automatic Espresso Machine + Frother and the Bellissimo Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine + Frother. Both have a copper-based boiler system, which provides consistent temperature control and precise, superior quality extractions. Built-in grinders allow for adjustable grind size, giving you the ability to customize the fineness of the grounds to suit your tastes. Both are also WiFi-enabled, offering convenience via the SmartHQ App.
The difference? The automatic Affetto offers one-touch convenience, with buttons that dispense espresso, Americano, hot water, or your favorite drink via a programmable “My Cup” setting, while the semi-automatic Bellissimo is perfect for the espresso-lover who wants a little more control. An Italian-made 15 bar pump and 15 precise grind settings on the Bellissimo allow for full flavor extraction. It also includes a steam frother, bean hopper and quick heating system.
Now that you’re armed with a bit more knowledge on your options, it’s time to choose. Will it be an espresso or coffee maker on your countertop? Or perhaps both? Whatever your choice, make sure it’s a quality appliance and one that best suits your caffeine needs - and your style. Happy brewing!