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Everybody has a different coffee order. Some people love a simple cup of black drip. Others want a shot of chocolate in a mocha latte. And, ya know, a Crystal Ball Frappuccino is a thing that exists now.
But no matter what your coffee order is, one thing is true: Coffee is expensive!
Fortunately for those of us hoping to save some money while also getting our caffeine fix, there are a variety of high- and low-tech home coffee makers available for the modern coffee addict. Some machines will make you drip coffee, others have coffee waiting for you when you wake up in the morning. Still others will make you coffee on the go.
So, which one is right for you?
Read on for the best high- and low-tech coffee makers.
High-tech coffee makers
If money ain’t no thang, there are a numerous decked-out coffee makers that’ll make you your cup of joe and more. While these devices cost more than their low-tech counterparts, high-tech coffee machines can make brewing your coffee simple, easy, and in some cases, downright cool.
If there’s one thing that sets Keurig apart from other coffee makers, it’s convenience. With little to no effort, users can make a single serve cup of coffee — just pour water into the back, pop in a K-cup, and press a button.
The K-Elite is a standout in the Keurig lineup, with a new feature that allows you to brew both hot and iced coffee with relative ease.
The downside of a Keurig is … the device is suuuupper bad for the environment. In a 2017 article, Mashable executive editor Damon Beres explained, “Keurig sells billions of coffee pods annually, but they’re practically impossible to recycle” and “those coffee pods are made from plastic in a manufacturing process that is itself harmful to the environment.”
If you’re looking for a more eco-friendly option, environmental organization Sierra Club has a few recommendations for sustainable alternatives to K-cups, including compostable OneCoffee pods and reusable Ekobrew pods.
Sometimes you just don’t have time to brew a cup of coffee before running out the door. That’s where the MoJoe mobile brewer comes in.
The device is basically a travel mug with a coffee maker built in. The MoJoe uses a VacDrip system that heats water in your thermos, then pushes that water through a coffee filter in a tube. The resulting coffee is stored in a separate reservoir so you can enjoy coffee without having to sip the grounds.
The MoJoe mobile coffee brewer ships in mid-2018.
Every coffee lover dreams of waking up in the morning to a fresh cup of joe just waiting for them. That wish can become a reality with the Barisieur.
The Barisieur is a combination alarm clock/coffee maker starts brewing coffee based on whatever time you set. Refresh the grinds and filter, pour water into the carafe, and the next morning, the Barisieur will nudge you awake with the smell of fresh coffee. That means you can better time exactly when you’ll get your caffeine fix — whether you want a cup of coffee first thing in the morning, or if you know you’ll need a caffeine refresh at a certain time.
If you’re looking for a coffee maker that can withstand anything, check out the Makita CM501D. Perfect for campers with a coffee addiction, the CM501D is battery powered, has an easy-carry handle, and works with both Makita coffee pods and instant coffee.
Whether you’re embarking on a big adventure or really just can’t be trusted with a coffee machine in your kitchen (I dunno, I don’t know your life), you can still have your coffee and drink it too.
Nespresso is to espresso what Keurig is to coffee. The device brews you a cup of espresso with just the push of a button. The CitiZ&Milk also features a sleek design, and it comes with a milk frother so you can make more elaborate espresso drinks.
If you’re ballin’ on a budget, good news: low-tech machines are a great way to get your caffeine fix while still saving some dollars. While they may involve a bit more effort to make a cup of joe, these coffee makers give users more control over the brew they are looking for.
For anyone who wants delicious coffee but doesn’t want a bulky machine taking up valuable counter space, check out the Chambord French press. The beauty of French press coffee is how no-frills the brewing method is. Put in your coffee grounds, fill with boiling water, let the grounds steep for a few minutes based on your desired coffee strength, and press the filter down. You’ll have fresh coffee in just a few minutes. Plus, the Chambord is easy to clean after you’ve had your coffee fix.
Just because it’s a classic method of coffee brewing doesn’t mean French presses have to be boring.
For anyone who wants to add a little quirk and character to their caffeine, check out ThinkGeek’s R2-D2 coffee press. The press will transport you to a galaxy far, far away with its blue and silver design (which holds 32 ounces of coffee, making sure you get your caffeine kick).
Bonus: the device bleep bloops while brewing for anyone who wants the full Star Wars experience.
If you’re too busy to brew coffee at home before dashing out the door, check out the AeroPress. The device is basically a portable French press that allows you to make single serve cups of coffee. To use, put a filter in the AeroPress tube, add coffee grounds to the filter, pour in hot water, and then gentle press. With its compact design, the AeroPress can easily fit in a backpack or other bag so you can still brew fresh coffee, no matter where you are. And, bonus: The AeroPress brews both coffee and espresso.
If you really want control over the flavor of your coffee, a Chemex is a must-have.
Chemex is a glass carafe for pour-over coffee. “Equal parts brilliance and common sense, the Chemex remains a staple in every coffee enthusiast’s arsenal,” say the gurus at Blue Bottle Coffee.
The process of brewing via pour-over is involved, requiring patience as brewers slowly run hot water through coffee grounds. But with that patience comes better control of the temperature, fullness, and flavor of the coffee.
And with a beautiful glass design, a Chemex means your pour-over coffee will look as good as it tastes.
Dripkit — $28 (for a packet of 10)
The Dripkit is an all-in-one pocket-sized pour-over kit that allows you to brew coffee on the go. Each package includes a filter and 14g of ground coffee sealed neatly in away in an envelope. To brew, simply open one of the kits, place the package on top of a cup, and pour in hot water. Cheers!