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Best Specialty Coffee Makers

Gone are the days when coffee at home means lukewarm bean water in your favorite chipped mug. Today, thanks to the myriad of specialty coffee machines on the market, coffee at home can be just as good (if not better!) than a real deal cafe experience. Whether you like cold brew, pour-over, instant espresso, French press or a double lungo, the perfect specialty coffee maker in any of these categories is just a click away (and bound to save you mucho dinero compared to what you’d end up spending supporting your habit at a local cafe!) We hope this list of our top picks for the best specialty coffee makers has you brewing up cafe classics in the comfort of your own home faster than you can say “half caramel, half vanilla latte, decaf espresso heated only to 100° with nonfat milk and caramel drizzle on top”.

Best Pour-Over Coffee Maker – CHEMEX Pour-Over Glass Coffeemaker 

This elegant, refined pour-over coffee maker has been winning awards since the 1930’s. It’s an excellent example of the old adage that less is more, thanks to it’s gorgeous and intuitive design.

The CHEMEX Pour-Over Coffeemaker offers coffee lovers a silky smooth brew without any nasty bitterness. Chemex uses extremely durable food and shatter-safe non-porous borosilicate glass which will never absorb any odors, flavors, chemicals or residue, and will ensure you’re able to enjoy your Chemex for years to come.

The Chemex has a super simple design that will look incredible displayed on your counter or kitchen table. The glass carafe is adorned with a smooth wooden collar, complete with a leather tie accent. This collar not only looks great, it also allows you to carry the carafe safely while it is filled with hot coffee.

Thanks to the patented design, the Chemex allows you to cover and refrigerate leftover coffee for reheating later without losing any flavor

To use your Chemex simply grind your favorite coffee to a medium-coarse consistency and insert a cone-shaped Chemex Bonded Coffee Filter into the top of the carafe. Put one rounded tablespoon of ground coffee for every 5 oz. cup into the filter cone, and bring your desired amount of water to 200°F. Once the water is heated, slowly pour it over the grinds bit by bit (every 30 seconds or so) allowing the coffee to “bloom”. Finally, add the remaining water to the grinds, remove the used filter and pour a perfect cup!

The Chemex is easy to clean, simply remove the wooden handle and hand wash the carafe with warm soap and water, or place the coffeemaker securely in the dishwasher.

Pros:

  • Doesn’t take up much space and looks great out on your counter
  • Uses extremely durable non-porous borosilicate glass which will never absorb any odors, flavors, chemicals or residue and will last for years
  • The patented design allows you to cover and refrigerate leftover coffee for reheating later without losing any flavor
  • The Chemex is easy to clean and dishwasher safe (just make sure to remove the wooden collar)

Cons:

  • It requires some patience and precision to create the perfect cup
  • The device works best with special Chemex bonded filters that are more costly than other coffee filters, and usually can only be purchased online or in specialty stores

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Best French Press – Frieling USA Double Wall Stainless Steel French Press Coffee Maker 

Coffee aficionados everywhere rave about this French Press, and the Amazon reviews prove it. This stylish option comes in a  variety of finishes and sizes for all of your coffee pressing needs.

Made out of pure stainless steel, the Frieling USA Double Wall Stainless Steel French Press Coffee Maker with Zero Sediment Dual Screen will ensure your coffee stays hot and sediment-free for a very long time.

The patented dual-screen means zero sediment, making this press a great option for coffee or tea.

The unique two-stage filter system on this French Press uses a pre-filter, super-fine mesh filter and a metal wire inside the coil (that presses the plunger against the inside wall) ensuring no grinds escape.

The mirror finish on the stainless steel body is beautiful and nicely compliments the brushed metal finish inside. The full-length handle attached to the outside of the carafe is comfortable in the hand and makes for an easy pour.

The double-walled stainless steel carafe doubles as an insulated serving pitcher and will keep things hot for four times longer than glass.

Easy disassembly makes this dishwasher safe press very easy to clean. Enjoy a five-year warranty against manufacturing defects.

Pros

  • Durable double-walled stainless steel construction that keeps things hot up to four times longer than glass
  • Two-stage filter with dual-screen eliminates sediment
  • Dishwasher safe and easy to clean
  • Comes in a variety of sizes and finishes
  • Five-year manufacturer defect warranty

Cons

  • More expensive than some other options

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Best Manual Espresso Machine – Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine

This semi-automatic beauty is easy to use and comes with a lot of extras so you don’t have to waste time and money shopping for accessories to compliment your new espresso machine.

The Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine makes insanely good espresso and doesn’t have a super steep learning curve, unlike many other similar machines on the market. If you take the time to read the very detailed user manual, you’ll be making all of your cafe favorites like a pro in no time.

What we particularly like about this espresso machine is the fact that it comes with a lot of goodies, like a conical burr grinder, a ½ pound sealed bean hopper, a 54mm tamper, a steaming wand (perfect for frothing milk) AND a frothing pitcher! Most machines don’t come with all of these extras, so right off the hop, there’s a great added value.

You can make super rich espresso in the Breville BES870XL thanks to the 1600W Thermocoil heating system. Because it’s semi-automatic, the machine will automatically adjust the water temperature in order to make sure you’re able to extract maximum flavor from your beans.

The generous water tank (67 fl.oz or 2L) has a convenient handle so you can remove, clean and refill it easily. As a bonus, a replaceable water filter is included with your purchase.

The built-in burr grinder allows you to adjust the grind size and amount easily with a handy dial housed on the front of the machine. Choose either a single or double-wall filter and the grinder will know exactly how much coffee to dispense.

You can conveniently choose if you would like a one or two cup portion with preset functions, or, manually input any amount for a custom pour.

You can use the 360-degree swivel steam wand to quickly froth milk in the handy pitcher that comes with your purchase.

There is a removable drip tray to ensure clean up is nice and easy, and the machine will even notify you when it’s time for a cleaning. For ease, a cleaning kit comes with the machine when you purchase it. Make sure to follow Breville’s precise maintenance instructions while cleaning to keep your machine in tip-top shape.

Enjoy a one-year warranty that also comes with your purchase.

Pros

  • Comes with TONS of extras
  • Notifies you when it’s time to clean and a cleaning kit is included
  • One year warranty

Cons

  • It runs a little bit slower than some of the other options on the market

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Best Cold Brew Coffee Maker – OXO BREW Cold Brew Coffee Maker

This cold brew coffee maker is perfect for connoisseurs and beginners and it’s easy on the eyes so you can proudly leave it out for everyone to admire.

The OXO BREW Cold Brew Coffee Maker can brew up to 32 ounces of delicious coffee using a bucket style immersion brewing technique that allows more experienced cold brew enthusiasts to really experiment with their technique.

This cold brew maker produces a silky, concentrated brew with little to no sediment thanks to the ultrafine (and reusable) stainless steel mesh filter.

The strength and concentration of the coffee you can produce with this brewer will not disappoint, and because it’s strong, you can really stretch it out by diluting small quantities at a time, for up to a week.

The design of this brewer ensures it’s able to produce robust flavor due to the unique “rainmaker” lid that releases water slowly in order to evenly distribute it over the coffee.

After you’ve allowed your brew to steep for up to 24 hours all you have to do is flip a switch to drain the concentrated coffee into the decanter, and voila!

As a handy extra, you can also use this machine to make hot coffee.

The OXO BREW is small and compact and disassembles easily for quick storage. It’s also very easy to clean.

Pros

  • Produces fine coffee with little sediment
  • Makes cold brew and hot brew
  • Compact and easy to clean

Cons

  • You have to play around with the coarseness of your grind to ensure there isn’t any clogging

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Single Cup Coffee/Espresso Maker – Nespresso Vertuo Evoluo Coffee and Espresso Machine

This option is easy to use and offers a wide variety of functions. It’s a great place to start if you’re new to Nespresso and offers a compatible milk frother that you can bundle with it for an additional cost.

The highly reviewed and much loved Nespresso by De’Longhi Vertuo Evoluo Coffee and Espresso Machine doesn’t have some of the extras that other models have, but regardless, it’s an excellent and affordable choice that you can purchase on its own, or with an Aeroccino3 milk frother that will make it nice and simple to re-create all of your cafe favorites.

Use this machine to make coffee or espresso using Vertuo capsules. By reading a barcode on the capsule, the machine can automatically adjust its settings to brew specific types of coffee based on the individual pod being used.

This machine allows you to conveniently choose your cup size, from an espresso shot, all the way up to a large travel mug.

When it’s time for cleaning, the machine will conveniently alert you, so you don’t have to worry about remembering. It will also shut itself off if you happen to forget.

Purchase the Nespresso by De’Longhi Vertuo Evoluo Coffee and Espresso Machine on its own, or bundle it with a milk frother or some Nespresso capsules to get you started.

Pros

  • Choose from multiple drink sizes
  • You can bundle it with an Aeroccino3 milk frother for more versatility
  • Automatic shut off and cleaning reminders

Cons

  • One of the more expensive options in the Vertuo line of products
  • The capsule container isn’t as large as the one included on some other models

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Final Thoughts:

Specialty coffee is more popular than ever before, and the habit can really take a bite out of your bank account. Figuring out what your favorite type of brew is and investing in a machine that will allow you to make it at home is one of the best ways to satisfy your coffee habit, and save you some major mullah. Thanks to the ever expanding and competitive coffee market, every single day new devices with increasingly dynamic and affordable pricing are coming on the market to satisfy the overwhelming demand for specialty coffee at home. We hope that this list of our top picks (in a variety of specialty coffee categories) helps you pick the perfect machine for all of your at home specialty coffee needs.

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