Buying a Coffee Maker

Whether it’s the fuel to start your busy day or a new flavour to serve to friends, making a great cup of java is easier with the right brewer. This guide to buying a coffee maker helps you find what works for you.

Coffee Makers 101

Your coffee maker needs to fit your lifestyle. Start by considering when and how you want to make coffee. Will you brew every morning or just occasionally for guests and entertaining? Do you prefer regular coffee or experimenting with different flavours and specialty coffees? Does your household consume a lot of coffee or a little? Answering these questions will help you decide which type and size of coffee maker best suits your needs, be it a full-size drip model or a single-serve machine.

Types of Coffee Makers


Drip Coffee Makers

Drip coffee makers are popular because they’re easy to use and maintain. Simply fill the reservoir with the amount of water equal to the desired amount of coffee, load the coffee into the filter, put the carafe in place and turn it on. The two standard designs are those with cone filters that use fine ground coffee, and basket-filter machines that use regular ground coffee. The type of grind really does matter: using a fine ground in a basket machine will slow the brewing process, which makes for a bitter tasting cup of coffee.  

Single-Serve Coffee Makers

Single-serve machines are ideal for light coffee drinkers. They quickly brew a single cup of coffee using pre-packaged sealed pods, which dispense the brewed coffee directly into your coffee mug instead of a carafe. The pods are specific to each coffee maker’s brand and come in a variety of flavours and strengths, including espresso. Single-serve coffee makers can also prepare individual servings of tea or hot chocolate.


Percolators brew and dispense coffee from the same container, either through a pour spout or a tap in the case of large-capacity models. A heating element on the bottom of the machine boils the water, then forces it up a tube to percolate through your coffee at the top of the machine. The brewing cycle is longer for a percolator, but once it’s brewed the coffee inside will stay hotter for a longer period of time.

Coffee Presses

Also known as a French Press, this popular method uses a glass carafe with a stainless steel mesh filter to separate the water from the coffee grounds. The grounds stay at the bottom and the strained coffee stays above the filter, ready to pour. French press coffee is meant to be consumed immediately. If you let the coffee sit with filter in the plunged position it will continue to extract flavor from the grounds and become too strong. If you want hot coffee available for a longer period of time, simply decant the coffee into a thermos after brewing.

Espresso Makers

An Espresso machine pumps water into a boiler, heats it up, then forces the water through tightly-packed coffee under pressure. The result is a dark and intensely flavoured coffee. Espresso is usually dispensed in small one-ounce servings, though some models can make two cups at a time. Most espresso makers also have a steamer attachment to froth and foam milk for cappuccinos and lattes. 

Coffee Maker Safety Considerations:

• Do not immerse the heating element or controls in water when cleaning coffee maker
• Place your coffee maker on a hard, heat-resistant surface
• Ensure your coffee maker is beyond the reach of small children

Coffee Maker Features

Programmable settings +

A built-in timer allows you to choose when you want the machine to start brewing so you can wake up to the aroma of fresh coffee. It’s also a great option for preparing coffee ahead of time for family gatherings and dinner parties.

Automatic shutoff +

This is an excellent safety feature for busy families. It makes for one less thing to worry about because the heating element turns off automatically. Most coffee makers have a fixed time span before they shut off, but some machines do provide a timer.

Thermal carafe +

If you like to brew a pot of coffee for drinking throughout the day, you may want to choose a coffee maker that brews into an insulated carafe rather than a glass one. It will keep your coffee hotter and fresher compared to leaving it on a heating element for a long period of time.

Small-batch settings +

This setting is available on some coffee makers as an option if you’re brewing only one to four cups of coffee rather than a full pot. It ensures that your coffee isn’t too weak or too strong.

Water filters +

If you’re not already using filtered water to make coffee, some coffee makers offer a built-in filter designed to eliminate the chlorine or iron taste from coffee.

Permanent coffee filters +

If you don’t like the taste of paper or want to reduce waste, some coffee makers do come with a permanent coffee filter. They are made of fine-mesh plastic or metal and are available in both cone and basket shapes. Permanent filters can be purchased separately if not already included with your new coffee maker.

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Cleaning Your Coffee Maker:

  1. Purchase a descaling solution or make a mixture of equal parts vinegar and water
  2. You should clean your coffee maker or espresso machine every month to remove scales and impurities
  3. Insert a filter into your coffee maker
  4. Pour the solution into the water reservoir
  5. Turn on your coffee maker and let the solution cycle through
  6. Discard the filter and solution once complete
  7. Repeat the process using plain water
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



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