For many of us, the successful start of the day relies upon one thing and one thing only: Coffee.
Thankfully these days it’s relatively easy to make cafe quality coffee from the comfort of your own home. Grind and brew coffee makers allow for this to happen. In a matter of minutes your beans will go from their solid state to an aromatic blend of liquid heaven.
With the abundance of grind and brew coffee makers on the market, selecting the right one for your home can be a challenge. To get you on the right track we compiled this comprehensive buyer’s guide laying out everything there is to know about these nifty devices. We follow this with a detailed review of our pick of the top seven grind and brew coffee machines available to home makers today.
The perfect cuppa awaits…
Buyers Guide – Grind & Brew? What We Mean
The notion of grind and brew is one that came about with the advancement in coffee maker technology.
Previously coffee makers didn’t necessarily have the ability to process both beans and liquids to help create a beverage. Coffee beans would have to already be ground to powder before inserted into the coffee maker.
With the evolution of these devices, coffee makers now have the widespread ability to both grind and brew. This means coffee beans are inserted into the coffee maker in their full, solid states and the machine will take care of the rest. Bean grinders have been included in the construction of the device and form the first step in the coffee making process.
Upon request for a cup of coffee, the coffee maker will churn up the beans and feed them into the appropriate canal. There the machine will combine the product with water and/or milk to make a cup of coffee. Coffee makers will do this regardless of the type of coffee in question:
Beans are ground fresh each time.
The concept of grind and brew is a time saving one. It also allows for better quality coffee to be enjoyed in the home. Pre-ground, store bought coffee doesn’t always allow the customer to enjoy the artisanal side of the industry. The ability to grind and brew any & all coffee beans without question is of extreme value to any coffee connoisseur.
Benefits of a Grind & Brew Coffee Maker
The following are the most notable benefits of investing in a quality grind and brew coffee maker for your home or office space:
- Ability to grind any coffee from its solid bean state
- No need to handle powdered coffees in your kitchen; Less mess and less to clean
- Most grind and brew coffee makers offer tea brewing abilities as an added extra
- Cafe quality coffee at the touch of a button
- Time saving, simply press and wait—no other activity required
- Blend different coffee types by combining beans in the holding area—create your own unique coffee blends and flavors
- Impress dinner guests by serving top quality coffees after a meal
- Coffee makers are portable devices and can accompany you on trips or between the home & office
- Standby mode saves electricity while still keeping the coffee maker at the ready
It’s very likely you’ll identify an array of other benefits once you incorporate your own machine into your daily routine. That’s one of the exciting aspects of using these devices.
Where Can You Use a Coffee Maker?
The great thing about coffee makers, these days, is their compact designs. Their dimensions are nowhere near the industrial coffee makers we see in cafes, yet their performance is similar.
While grind and brew coffee makers are great additions to any home, their usage doesn’t stop there. Investing in one for your office is a great way to enhance communal engagement. It’s also an impressive device to have around when hosting clients or during important investor meetings.
A coffee maker in either your home or office also has simple portability. Take your coffee maker along on vacations and road trips where you’ll want your morning coffee too. Many happy customers report taking their coffee makers along on camping trips; all that’s required is some sort of power source.
Selecting the Right Coffee Maker for Your Space
What follows are a number of things to keep in mind in order to select the perfect coffee maker for your personal needs. Through a series of questions and analysis it will become clear what features are most important to you in terms of this investment.
Should You Consider the Water Tank Size?
This depends solely on the capacity of your household, particularly how many people intend to make use of the coffee maker each day.
Coffee makers have different cup quantity abilities depending on the size of the water tank. Households in which just one person drinks coffee would do fine with a unit with a smaller water tank.
Households in which two or more people intend to make use of the machine would do better with a bigger water tank. A bigger tank would allow them to refill the machine less frequently than a smaller tank would. This is purely for convenience and time saving purposes.
Does it Require Special Beans?
Typically, no. Grind and brew coffee makers have the ability to handle almost all coffee beans available.
You can enjoy the freedom of collecting coffee from different shops, manufacturers, destinations and restaurants. Take them home to enjoy their aromas thanks to your personal coffee maker.
Some people enjoy the idea of collecting an array of different beans and combining them to create their own unique flavors.
As with any mechanical device, certain parts will require cleaning from time to time. Coffee makers are generally made up of a number of compartments that work together:
- A compartment for the actual beans
- A compartment for water
- A compartment for milk
It’s likely, that the area requiring the most cleaning will be the front exterior of the coffee maker. The spouts that bring each substance to the cup can experience residue build up and need frequent wipe downs. The spillage tray that sits underneath the cup should also be cleaned frequently.
Think About Size
Due to the overwhelming popularity of these devices there are various shapes and sizes available.This means there’s a coffee maker to suit every home be it a tiny apartment or a spacious mansion.
Be aware of the spatial restrictions of your home when identifying the coffee maker for your kitchen. If you’re interested in a coffee machine that can accompany you on trips, then a smaller unit is most recommended.
Tea Brewing Abilities?
Yes, you read correctly. Some of the higher-end coffee makers have the added ability to brew coffee as well as tea. This is usually done through the insertion of a separate filter component specifically designed for tea leaves. The brewing concept is the same, only the grinding step will be left out.
Having a machine that’s able to brew both tea and coffee is a versatile appliance addition for a house hold. It allows the user to effortlessly switch between the two beverages as they day unfolds. You can also cater for all your guests’ whims.
As with coffee, the milk function will be optional when using this extra feature.
Auto Timer Feature
Something we believe should be standard to any quality coffee maker is the inclusion of an auto timer mechanism. This allows you to program a specific time into the coffee maker for it to automatically prepare a cup of coffee.
By setting up your coffee machine to prepare your cup just after your alarm goes off, for example,your morning beverage will be ready and waiting by the time you get to the kitchen.
This is another way that coffee makers save time and effort. No action necessary, just a preset time on the machine to let it know when you’d like your coffee ready and waiting. All you need to do is ensure there is sufficient water and milk in the machine.
You probably wish you have one already, so let’s show you the best on the market these days.
7 Best Grind and Brew Coffee Makers
Cuisinart DGB-900BC Grind & Brew Coffeemaker
Don’t let the affordability and compact nature of this coffee machine deceive you. This little unit by Cuisinart delivers impressive performance considering its size. We love the sleek black and silver exterior; the inside has features to match.
With coffee, metals and color tones are believed to alter the flavor of the beverage when they come in contact with your brew. Luckily the inside of this unit by Cuisinart features a charcoal toned water tank and a gold tone coffee filter. This ensures that the best aromas make it through to each cup of coffee every time.
The machine has the ability to make 12 cups of coffee before needing any refilling. This is an impressive amount considering the compact size of the unit. It also holds half a pound of beans inside.
The device features an auto shut off mechanism. This means you can quite literally grab your coffee and go; No need to worry about deactivating the program or shutting it off. It also allows you to select your coffee strength from one of three options:
We love that all the plastic parts on this device are 100% BPA free. This ensures that each cup is safe for consumption and free of harmful plastic contamination.
Dimensions: 7.86” x 12.7” x 15.86”
Material Type: Stainless steel
Color: Black & silver
- Compact and portable
- BPA free
- Only offers basic coffee abilities, nothing advanced
Breville Barista Express
Next we explore the much bigger and more complex coffee maker that is the Breville Barista Express. This unit is closer to an industrial coffee maker than it is to other home-based machines. To anyone interested in the full art of coffee making, this unit would be of incredible value.
Considering its size and ability, the price tag attached to this coffee maker really isn’t that astounding. The parts are Italian and originate from one of the coffee capitals of the world.
In the coffee capitals, it’s believed that coffee needs to be served at the exact correct temperature for optimum enjoyment. Impressively, this coffee maker by Brevilleactually measures and adjusts the temperature of the water accordingly during the entire brewing process. This means that by the time the coffee is servedit’s at the exact temperature to optimize your experience.
Another thing that real coffee connoisseurs appreciate is the ability to steam their milk manually. This coffee maker allows for both automatic and manual milk steaming—Do it the way you prefer.
We particularly like that the grind size of the coffee beans can be adjusted by the turn of a dial. This is said to affect the flavor of the coffee.
Dimensions: 13.25” x 12.5” x 15.75”
Material Type: Stainless steel
- Made with quality, Italian parts
- Automatic and manual milk steaming
- Closest you’ll get to industrial coffee making
- Set up takes a bit more time per cup compared to more automatic units
DeLonghi ESAM3300 Automatic Espresso
An impressive unit by a tried and trusted brand. The DeLonghi Magnifica is a well made and well sized home coffee maker.
What makes DeLonghi most unique is that its coffee makers tend to require half the cleaning time when compared to other machines on the market. Standard coffee makers require chemical cleaning tablets to be passed through the filters monthly. DeLonghi coffee makers can go up to two months before needing this kind of maintenance.
The rest of the parts are equally as easy to clean. A simple wipe down or scrape away of dried coffee is all it takes.
In the Italian spirit, the froth maker on this unit is entirely manual. While this does require extra time and effort by the user, the quality of each cup will be unmatched.
The machine features an astounding 13 different grinding options. You could essentially enjoy a different style coffee every day for two weeks. Working your way through each of these options will be an interesting and enjoyable process.
Dimensions: 15.3” x 11” x 14.4”
Material Type: Stainless steel
- Easy cleaning
- Array of grinding options
- Attractive unit
- Milk requires manual effort to froth
Saeco Intelia Cappuccino Espresso Machine
The machine for the coffee lover who is willing to splurge. These units by Saeco don’t run cheap. You do, however, get what you pay for. The coffee makers are exceptionally stylish and well made & deliver quality performance day in & day out.
The Saeco coffee maker requires little to no wait time between cups. The quick heating boiler means the machine can brew the coffee in a matter of seconds, as opposed to minutes.
The machine features a state of the art frothing chamber. Inside here, your milk will be perfectly frothed each time and every cup will be topped off with this delicacy.
The strength settings and temperature of each cup can be adjusted with ease. The actual coffee grinder also has 10 adjustable settings to choose from. All in all, this is a largely preference based unit that allows a lot of customization while making each cup.
Dimensions: 17.44” x 12.46” x 21.5”
Material Type: Stainless steel
Color: Silver & black
- Advanced technology
- User controlled preferences
- Brews in seconds, not minutes
Krups EA8298 Cappuccino Bar
This is a great user friendly and fully automatic device by Krups. This coffee maker was designed around ease of use and non-complex coffee making. It’s fully automatic, meaning the user is simply required to ensure the necessary compartments are full and the machine will do the rest.
The Krups coffee maker is a French made product. The milk frothing compartment features an impressive self-cleaning ability that reduces the risk of dry or sour milk contaminating the device.
The milk frother is also automatic and you won’t need to play any part in getting your milk from machine to cup.
The unit itself is compact enough to be portable, but not enough to appear insignificant. It’s flawlessly designed and finished in all black giving it a modern edginess.
The great thing about Krups is that there is a two year warranty coverage on its products. You’ll be covered for a significant period in relation to breakage or malfunction.
Dimensions: 15” x 11.3” x 19.4
Material Type: Plastic
- Significant warranty period
- Self-cleaning ability
- Attractive design
- Milk compartment needs more frequent refilling
Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System
Personally we’re blown away by this feature packed unit by Ninja. With a price tag to make any pocket smile, this coffee maker will warm your heart and your tastebuds.
This is the first and only unit we’re exploring that has dual coffee making & tea brewing abilities. The Ninja comes with an extra filtration component that can be inserted in order to brew tea leaves.
What’s more, the machine has another impressive ability that involves iced brewing. You’ll be able to blend cups of tea or coffee over ice, for a unique drinking experience on warmer days. This feature naturally takes a bit longer than hot brewing, as the beverage takes more time to steep.
The thing we like most about this coffee maker is its ability to alternate between brewing sizes. Instead of just single cups of coffee, the Ninja also offers full jug sized brewing ability including servings for travel mugs and carafes.
Dimensions: 11.81” x 10.01” x 15”
Material Type: Plastic, metal, rubber
- Range of beverage sizes available
- Tea and coffee brewing ability
- Not solely centered around coffee, which can be a concern for some customers
Black & Decker 12 Cup Mill & Brew
The perfect coffee maker for anyone looking to start out a journey in the coffee making world, without breaking the bank to do so. This machine by Black & Decker includes all the basics necessary for coffee making bliss.
The grinder is easy to remove and rinse in the sink. This is welcome news for anyone who isn’t entirely comfortable with the complexities of coffee machines just yet.
The control panel is easy to navigate and functions can be easily alternated between. The filter within the unit is bronze toned, so flavors are consistently crisp and fresh with each cup.
It has the ability to deliver 12 cups before needing refilling. This is a considerable amount when looking at the compact size of the device. It also makes it a practical option for an office setup.
In spite of being such an affordable option, Black and Decker includes a two year limited warranty with each purchase. This is a great entry level coffee maker for those looking to get involved in the industry.
Dimensions: 10” x 13.5” x 15.5”
Material Type: Plastic
- Extremely affordable
- Limited warranty period
- Impressive holding capacity
- All plastic body may be prone to wear over time
If you value your coffee—and who doesn’t—investing in an at-home coffee maker is the next logical step for you. Starting your day with quality beans sets even the most dismal of moods on the right track. So why not make the change right away?
Grind and brew coffee makers are the surest ways to bring cafe quality coffee part of your home or office lifestyle. By eliminating the need to purchase pre-ground coffee beans you’re ensuring the freshness of each cup.
Take pleasure in collecting beans from around the world knowing that your coffee machine can take care of the rest of the process for you.
Enjoy your coffee your way, every day.