Cheap vs. expensive drip coffee maker

What do you expect from a home decoction machine?

First of all, it's good to be clear about what you expect from a drip coffee machine? For example, how often you will be making coffee in it and for how many people.

If drip coffee is more of an occasional thing for you, you probably don't want to invest a lot of money in the machine, is it worth it?

The price of drip coffee machines

What is the price difference between a cheap and a more expensive drip coffee machine? Thecheapest ones start at around 600 CZK. These are usually brands that you may know as manufacturers of other kitchen or non-kitchen appliances.

The more expensive ones from coffee accessory manufacturers start at around CZK 4,500. That's roughly 8 times as much. So it's not a small difference. But why shouldn't you make a decision based on price alone?

The design of the drip coffee machine

The first of the differences you'll probably come across at first glance is the workmanship. Money is usually saved on the material used, which is usuallyplastic. This is what makes the coffee maker a cheaper piece not only on the bill but also on the eye.

While the more expensive pieces are made of stainless steel such as theMoccamaster. Moreover, the material used gives stability to the whole coffee maker.

Melitta vs. Wilfa

What better way to compare cheap and more expensive coffee drippers than on specific coffee machines. For the comparison I chose the Melitta 1023-04 Easy II Top and the Wilfa Classic. The Melitta is not one of the cheapest pieces, but it's not the most expensive either. You'll pay less than a grand for it in the store. TheWilfa Classic costs about 4500 CZK.

I've already covered the look and the materials used a few lines above, and this is also the case. Thecheaper Melitta is made of plastic and the more expensive Wilfa is made of stainless steel.

Looking inside the Melitta (the same is mostly true of other cheaper coffee makers), we find that a single heating element on the bottom heats both the water, which is then used to make the coffee, and thebase of the kettle. Whereas in more expensive coffee makers, the heating is split and you can either turn the kettle heating on or off.

It's better to turn the heating off after making coffee in a cheaper coffee maker, otherwise your coffee will literally boil over and definitely won't taste as good afterwards. In more expensive coffee makers, the heating plate under the kettle is primarily for maintaining the temperature of the coffee.

Differences in coffee extraction in a drip coffee maker

You pour in the water, it heats up. Using steam, it is then pushed upwards where it flows over the coffee bed. Yes this is the normal process of how a drip coffee machine works in a nutshell. However, this is not quite the case with the cheaper ones.

The first thing that heats up is the hot plate. Then the water starts to gradually heat up, but it slowly rises and starts to flow out onto the coffee bed. Yes, you're right, the water is not at the temperature it should be. Thewater heats up gradually so that it is colder at the beginning and very hot at the end. And it certainly doesn't compensate for the temperature. So the solution may be to use hot water in the coffee machine.

The basket in which the coffee is extracted is large enough to make a litre of coffee. Even though the same size is given by Melitta, it had a problem with preparing a larger amount of coffee at once.

Despite the same coarseness of grind, there is also a difference in extraction time . The cheaper machine is slower by about a minute. Why is this important, you ask? Longer extraction time means that the coffee is extracted more, which often results in the coffee beingmore bitter.

For better extraction, it is a good idea tostir thecoffee during the extraction process . You can also extend the process by blooming. Use by stopping the coffee machine after about 20 seconds for another 20 seconds or so.

One other shortcoming cheap coffee makers have. The coffee water flows out in one stream, which creates a sort of crater in the metal bed. This makes thecoffeeon the sides of the basket less extracted than that in the middle.

Summary of drip coffee machine comparison

I think the whole comparison is best summed up by a phrase my mother once said to me: "We are not so rich that we buy cheap things." A cheap coffee maker doesn't come out of this battle as the worst option. But the question is, did you buy a coffee maker so that you would have to make extra adjustments to be even slightly satisfied with the taste of your coffee?

And with that question goes one more? Will a plastic, manufactory-made coffee maker or a handmade stainless steel coffee makerlast you more , do you think?