A grind and brew coffee maker can be a great addition to your daily lifestyle. There just isn’t anything quite like rolling out of bed all groggy and sleepy to find your coffee is already waiting for you, freshly brewed from fresh-ground coffee beans. But not all grind and brew machines are equal. Some may cause you more headache than a regular coffee maker.
First of all, you want a grind and brew coffee maker that is easy to maintain. Take a close look at how a particular model is designed. If the grinder is placed right above the brewer and it doesn’t specifically state that the grinder is airtight, then you will have steam rising from the brew process enter your grinder and make a sludgy mess.
This makes your fancy new coffee machine a pain to clean because you have to wipe out that sludge after every brew. It actually makes the process more work than a simple coffee maker.
Secondly, you want to make sure your grind and brew coffee maker uses a burr grinder rather than a blade grinder. Blade grinders slice beans in a way that causes them to oxidize more quickly and thus brew a less fresh and tasty pot of coffee. Most modern coffee mills now use a burr grinder, but always check because some cheap models try to cut corners.
Last but not least, you want a grind and brew coffee maker with a thermal carafe. When brewed coffee drops into a standard open pot upon a heating plate, oxygen exposure oxidizes it (reducing flavor and freshness) and the heating plate condenses it, making its texture more syrupy and its flavor more burned and bitter over time.
I hope these three key steps to identifying the difference between cheap grind and brew coffee makers and quality machines help you find just the right coffee machine for you.