What Is the Ideal Coffee Preparation Type for You?

Over the last half-century major changes have been made to make coffee and a quality espresso we can now enjoy them at home. But how can we choose from a wide range of coffee machines, drippers and percolators? Do you actually need an automatic coffee machine? If so, what will best suit you? Regardless of the beans brand reputation, a quality cup of coffee is not always guaranteed.

How often do you drink or need coffee?

Right at the beginning of your choice it is a good idea to think about how much coffee you actually drink and based on that, decide whether it makes sense to purchase an automatic coffee machine. When consumption is a lesser amount of coffee (approximately 6 cups)an ordinary french press or moka pot will be sufficient for your espresso. Alternately, a vacuum pot or Aeropress can provide the same, sufficient service. These variants are considerably cheaper when compared to an automatic coffee machine and the resulting cup of coffee possesses an almost comparable with taste with that of an espresso. If you know that you need a lot of coffee and insist on the genuine taste of espresso, it is beneficial to choose the right type of coffee machine for you.

Which type of coffee machine should you choose?

Manual coffee machine – this kind of coffee machine does not have storage for coffee. With every cup of coffee it is therefore necessary to fill the filter arms with ground coffee. The strainer (a little stainless steel container with multiple holes) is situated in the lever that is positioned in front of water dispensary. This water is then „forced“ through the coffee filter (in a similar principle to a Bialetti) into the cup. These coffeemakers are usually equipped with a steam nozzle to make milk foam, the quality depends on the quality of the machine. If you have the ambition to draw pictures of coffee latte art, whipped foam (microfoam) should be really soft and of good quality!

Portafilter detail

Portafilter detail

Automatic coffee machine – probably the most convenient (but most expensive) variant in the preparation of espresso. A majority of tasks are solved with the touch of a button and everything is done completely automatically – from the grinding of the beans, to compaction, the process of brewing and even afterwards it is self-cleaning.
It is ideal for places where coffee is consumed in large indeed (offices, plants, etc.). In compensation for the differences in each coffee, it is possible to adjust the height of the coffee outlets (the beak, from which coffee flows into a cup) to avoid problems with cup sizes, which, under a nonadjustable outlet, some cups may not fit. Almost every coffee machine of this type is equipped with a steam nozzle (for milk foam) and a heating element to preheat the cup into which you will serve coffee. Preheating is done because the coffee is cooled slower and retains the optimum taste and quality for as long as possible.

Capsule coffee machine – these devices are relatively inexpensive, but you should be careful! And each use is paid for. Capsules are in no way a cheap cup of coffee. They normally cost over CZK 5 (which may seem like an insignificant amount, but in everyday use it can impact your budget, 3 cups daily for two people a month comes to around 900 CZK). For most coffee machines you must purchase a specific brand which actually displays the fact that you can’t just take any capsules (apart from the Nespresso and Dolce Gusto coffee companies, where it is possible to use other capsule brands). Coffee is only available from capsules, without the option of using classic ground coffee. Similarly, as manual and automatic coffee machines, capsule machines can be found with a steam nozzle which allows you to prepare the milk froth.