If there were a choose-your-own-adventure guide to finding a coffee maker, there would be four choices that determined how the plot would twist.
First, paper filter or metal filter, and then immersion or pour-over. A paper filter lets less sediment and lipids through, explains Bailey Manson, the education and service program manager for Intelligentsia, a hip coffee roaster based in Chicago. That makes for a lighter, thinner mouthfeel and more aromatics.
A French press makes an immersion brew, in which water sits with the coffee, while pour-overs allow the water to briefly pass through the grounds.
Then there’s time: Do you want the morning ritual of a multiple-step process? Or do you need to push a button and get out the door? Finally, how much coffee do you need to make? A one-cup pour would do the trick if you’re a one-cup person, but if you’re making coffee for two adults and even grown children, a big pot should be considered.