5 Popular Types of Coffee Makers and How to Use Them

22 January 2020

For such a universal drink, there’s a mind-boggling number of ways you can brew your coffee. Which is why it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it can take years for a discerning coffee lover to settle on the exact method that will produce their perfect cup of coffee.

We’ll cover the popular, tried-and-true types of coffee makers you can find – this guide is by no means exhaustive, but it does cover the more well-known techniques that you can easily adopt into your repertoire.

French Press

a French Press and vase of flowers placed next to a window
When brewed to perfection, the French press produces a flavourful yet pure-tasting cup of coffee. Photo from Ava Sol

A ubiquitous part of the coffee world, the French Press is often considered the fool-proof coffee brewing method for beginners. It uses the steeping method.

How to brew:

  1. Boil water.
  2. Put your desired amount of ground coffee in the French Press. Use a coarse grind.
  3. Pour the boiled water in, enough for however many cups you want to make, up to the capacity of the French Press you have.
  4. Place the plunger on top and let the coffee brew for around 2-4 minutes. Be careful not to overbrew it.
  5. Push down the plunger down until it reaches the bottom.
  6. Pour the coffee into a cup.

Pros: Simple and uncomplicated; natural oils from the coffee beans are retained.

Cons: There’s usually a fine coffee ground sediment at the bottom of your cup.

Perfect for those: Who like their coffee clean and mellow.

For all great coffee, it starts with freshly ground coffee beans. Make sure your beans are ground to the perfect size; choose from our selection at the De’Longhi eShop.


Pouring water from a kettle into an Aeropress
The Aeropress is a convenient and portable coffee maker that has become a hit amongst those who are always on the go. Photo from William Moreland

The AeroPress is a nifty coffee-making gadget that’s easy-to-use and portable, so it’s a hit among travelling coffee enthusiasts. You basically use air pressure to push brewed coffee through the sieve.

How to brew:

  1. Boil water.
  2. If you’re using a paper filter, place it in the plastic cap and pour a bit of hot water over it to keep the filter in place. (You can opt for a metal filter.)
  3. Add a scoop of ground coffee into the Aeropress.
  4. Pour in enough hot water for one cup.
  5. Make sure all the coffee is immersed in the water and leave it to steep for 30 seconds.
  6. Give the coffee a quick stir and leave for one minute.
  7. Screw on the plastic cap with the filter and place the Aeropress over your cup.
  8. Push down the plunger to push the coffee through the filter and into your cup.

Pros: Makes a rich and smooth brew; quick and lightweight; minimal clean-up.

Cons: Only makes one cup of coffee at a time; if you’re using paper filters, you’ll be generating some waste.

Perfect for those: Who must have their coffee fix while travelling.

Always on the move? Check out a portable coffee maker in this list of innovative coffee gadgets.

Moka Pot

The Moka Pot makes a rich and strong brew. Photo from Eric Barbeau

If you’re looking for a cheaper option to making espresso that doesn’t require you to splurge on an espresso machine, then a Moka Pot is for you. However, it’ll take a few tries to find the right way to make the coffee you want.

How to brew:

  1. Separate the Moka Pot into its three parts.
  2. Fill the bottom chamber with freshly boiled water.
  3. Add ground coffee to the filter funnel. Make sure it’s filled up fully.
  4. Reassemble the Moka Pot. But don’t screw the top on too tight – just make sure it’s secure.
  5. Put the Moka Pot on the stove and turn on the heat – enough to boil the water.
  6. Quickly remove from the stove when it comes to a boil and the top part starts gurgling.
  7. Pour the coffee into a cup.

Pros: Makes a bold brew; cheap; travel-friendly.

Cons: Requires a bit of trial and error to figure out the right grind and technique; multiple parts to clean.

Perfect for those: Who want to experience the traditional Italian style of brewing coffee.

Vietnamese Drip (Phin)

The Vietnamese Phin Filter produces a strong and robust cup of coffee – the way the locals like it. Photo from Indochina Voyages

The Vietnamese drip method uses a metal device known as the “phin”, which fits right on top of your coffee cup. It’s gained worldwide popularity over the years, thanks to the spread of the wonders of Vietnamese coffee.

Learn more about Vietnam’s coffee culture and how to make their signature coffee beverages at home.

How to brew:

  1. Boil water.
  2. Put medium-coarse ground coffee (slightly finer than you would use for French Press) into the phin and put the metal filter on top.
  3. Slowly pour hot water into the phin.
  4. Place the metal cover on top to retain the steam.
  5. Wait for the coffee to finish dripping into your cup, which should take 4-5 minutes.

Pros: Produces a dark, robust brew; portable.

Cons: Makes a single cup per brew; takes time to brew.

Perfect for those: Who have the time to savour their coffee.

Check out other Drip Coffee Machines here.

Cold Brewer

pouring a cold brew into a mason jar
Making a cold brew is fool-proof as long as you don’t over-steep the coffee grounds in water. Photo from Matt Hoffman

Cold brew coffee is a whole other animal compared to mere iced coffee. You can make it using either a dedicated cold brewer/cold dripper, French Press or even a mason jar. It’s made by steeping ground coffee in cold or room temperature water for several hours.

How to brew:

  1. Put coffee grounds in your brewer. Use a coarse grind. Freshly-ground coffee is best.
  2. Add either cold or room temperature water, giving it a good stir
  3. Let it steep for 12-24 hours.
  4. Pour the coffee into your cup. If using a filterless device, be sure to use a mesh strainer or paper/metal filter to separate the sediment from the coffee.

Pros: Produces a low-acid coffee with a unique taste; doesn’t require fancy equipment – you can even use a mason jar to brew your coffee.

Cons: Can take up to an entire day to brew.

Perfect for those: Who love their coffee smooth, iced and potent.

Perfect Coffee in an Instant

Low-tech coffee brewing methods like the ones listed above are great, as you get the satisfaction and control from making your coffee by hand. But if you want to take the fuss and muss out of coffee-making (especially those of you who aren’t morning people), your best bet is a fully-automatic coffee machine.

No need to feel any guilt just because you aren’t making your coffee manually – the latest range of De’Longhi’s coffee machines take all the guesswork out of the process, producing the perfect cup each time without fail.

the De'Longhi Prima Donna Elite coffee machine
Enjoy café-style perfection every time, for everyone in the family. Photo from De’Longhi

Whether you’re a novice in coffee-making or an expert, a fully automatic coffee machine makes life easier by delivering freshly ground coffee at the push of a button. Top it with intuitive touches like an easy cleaning system, adjustable grinder and customisable drinks, and you can see why it’s easy to be a fan.

If you’ve got your heart set on a fully automatic coffee machine already, the De’Longhi eShop is the place to go.

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