Coffee makers can be a great addition to your kitchen if you’re a coffee lover but they can be quite expensive. But is an expensive coffee maker worth it?
In this article, we are going to take a look at just that by delving into some of the possible benefits of getting an expensive coffee maker to see whether it is worth it.
Is An Expensive Coffee Maker Worth It?
Coffee makers can range from £30 – £50 for pod/capsule machines all the way up to £2,000 for the high-end bean to cup varieties. Having said that you can get some very good machines for around the £300 – £500 mark though even this is fairly pricey. The more premium level coffee makers tend to be around £800 – £1000. These are all fairly hefty figures.
Let’s take a detailed look at some of the reasons why it may be worth getting a more expensive coffee maker.
Better Coffee Grinder
One of the most important elements in great tasting coffee is how well the beans are ground. Firstly to get coffee as fresh as possible you ideally want your roasted beans ground only when you actually want to use them. When it comes to coffee makers this is typically only possible at home if you have a bean to cup coffee machine. These types of machines tend to be the most expensive of those available at home partly because their integrated coffee grinders can be expensive.
However, simply having a coffee grinder is not enough as they can vary in terms of their quality. Getting a high-quality bean grinder can make a big difference to the taste of your coffee so in this respect a more expensive machine with a better bean grinder may be worth it.
Burr bean grinders are typically said to be better than blade grinders as they actually grind the beans rather than just chopping them up. Indeed according to the US National Coffee Association burr grinders offer the best experience as they ground coffee evenly.
When it comes to grinders, you ideally need one that can grind the beans evenly to give you the best flavours. Many will also give you a range of options from finely ground to a more coarse grind. You typically find the more expensive a machine is the more grind levels are available on the grinder though this is not always the case.
Better Temperature Control
A major factor in the quality of taste you get for your coffee is the temperature of the water you’re using to brew the coffee. Too hot and it can burn the ground beans leaving you with poor tasting coffee. If it’s not hot enough though on the other hand, the beans will not be properly brewed and the coffee could lack real flavour. According to the US National Coffee Association, the ideal temperature for brewing coffee is between 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit (90.5 to 96.1 degrees Celsius).
Generally speaking, the more expensive coffee machines are the better their temperature control mechanisms tend to be therefore you are likely to get the benefit of this with higher cost models. This is not always the case though so be sure to pay particular attention to what existing users say about the temperature of the water in their reviews as it is something that users generally comment on.
Typicall Quicker To Operate
For a lot of people when it comes to making coffee at home, time is everything particularly if they make multiple cups a day. A key consideration when it comes to time is how long your coffee maker will take to heat up your water for brewing and also heating up milk for milk-based drinks.
The heating mechanisms in coffee makers are generally another feature that gets better with more expensive models with being able to provide faster heating times. For example at the near very high end of the market, some of the Sage (or Breville in other parts of the world) Barista range machines can heat up to brewing temperature in just 3 seconds.
A related factor to consider with coffee makers that also have milk warming functions is whether they can heat up both water and milk at the same time. In most cases the machine will need to switch from one function to another one after the other resulting in some waiting time in between brewing and serving the espresso and adding warm and frothed milk for example.
There are, however, some units that tend to be quite expensive that have dual boilers that are capable of heating up the milk at the same time they are brewing the coffee. Another option are units with heat exchange boilers which can alternate between the desired temperatures for heating water and milk relatively quickly as well.
Integrated Milk Frother
Getting the milk just the way you want for your latte or cappuccino can make a big difference to your coffee-making experience. But milk frothing can be difficult to master which is why many people look to automatic milk frothers when they buy a coffee maker. Milk frothers are usually provided as manually operated steam wands or automatic. Some automatic milk frothers are actually integrated into the machine meaning you only need to press a button or two to get your desired milk-based drink provided.
Generally speaking the more expensive the machine, the more likely it is that you will be getting an automatic milk frother or an integrated milk frother.
For many one of the main attractions of buying a more expensive coffee maker is getting a machine that has a high level of personalisation available. This can typically take the form of a machine that will allow you to create custom drinks options and save them for use time and again. Some machines will let you create a number of different personalised drinks and name them as you wish.
This can be quite a useful feature if you have specific settings you like for your coffee and don’t want the hassle of re-entering the information each time you go to use your machine.
Conclusion: Is An Expensive Coffee Maker Worth It?
So, is an expensive coffee maker worth it? Ultimately this very much depends on you as an individual and how much you value the key features you typically get with more expensive coffee makers. When you consider the various benefits of more expensive coffee machines it seems clear that there is a strong case for going for costlier machines but it all comes down to your own budget and what you need out of a coffee machine.
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