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filter coffee machine

Buying tips and recommendations for filter coffee machines

The filter machine is the absolute classic in Germany. Hardly any coffee-making device enjoys such uninterrupted popularity - across all age and income levels. If you look around the market, you will be overwhelmed by a huge flood of offers. It's easy to lose track of things.
Don't worry! In this article we will explain to you what types of filter coffee machines there are and how they differ. We also introduce you to devices that have performed well in tests so that you can find the perfect machine for you. But first of all, we want to show the advantages of a filter coffee machine.

What are the advantages of a filter coffee machine?
The filter coffee machine is wonderfully uncomplicated and easy to use: fill the tank with water, filter paper Insert, ground coffee, press a button and off you go. In no time at all, it prepares several cups of coffee for larger households and works continuously without a murmur. So it's no wonder it's so popular. The price-performance ratio also contributes to this. Good devices are already available from 50 euros. They are also easier to clean than e.g. B. a coffee machine.

And how about the taste? No matter how skeptical the hand filter advocates may be: Even professional baristas say that a filter coffee machine can prepare very good coffee - if you pay attention to a few things, i.e. use good coffee and not too hard brewing water, find the perfect coffee powder-water ratio , rinsed the paper filter and didn't leave the finished coffee on the warming plate forever.

Modern filter coffee machines: equipment and functions
Anyone who deals more closely with the topic of "coffee machine test" today will stumble across a bouquet of possible functions, equipment features and technical gimmicks. Some things really make sense, others are purely a matter of personal preference or even humbug. Here are the most common features advertised by many device manufacturers and reviewed by testers:

Possible equipment of a filter coffee machine

  • Number of cups Most filter coffee machines manage between 7 and 12 cups. But there are also "jumbos" that produce significantly more, or mini machines for single households. In general, the more cups a machine can handle, the bigger it is.
  • Permanent filter This is a coffee filter with a fabric or plastic mesh into which the coffee powder can be placed directly. You can often find such a thing in cheap models, where the aroma is unfortunately limited - because no permanent filter filters as well and as finely as filter paper!
  • Water tank Most machines have a permanently mounted water tank. Models with a removable tank have the advantage that not only is it easier to fill with water, but cleaning is also easier.
  • Glass jug vs. stainless steel thermos jug This is where opinions differ. Glass jugs are often combined with warming plates, on which the finished coffee should not be left for too long, otherwise it will burn and become bitter. Thermos flasks, on the other hand, do not need a warming plate, but they only make sense if the brewing water has been properly heated by the machine beforehand and the flask stays warm for a long time.
  • Power or wattage How many watts does a coffee machine need? Here too there is disagreement. The more watts, the higher the power consumption, but the better the water is heated and the faster the brewing process runs.It is also important whether the machine continues to draw electricity in standby mode, how much is needed to keep the coffee warm and when it switches off automatically
  • Grinder Coffee made from freshly ground beans always tastes better than coffee from already ground beans. If you don't have a separate coffee grinder at home, you can look for a model with an integrated grinder.
  • Water filter In many places, tap water is too hard, which not only affects the taste of the coffee but also the lifespan of the machine. Therefore, there are models in which the water hardness can be adjusted and a water filter is already integrated. Of course you can also use a separate table filter, which can also be used for other drinks.

Possible functions of a filter coffee machine

  • Automatic switch-off Older filter coffee machines usually run continuously and therefore consume a lot of electricity. For this reason, devices in Europe have had to have an automatic switch-off since 2015, which must switch on no later than 5 minutes (models with thermos flask) or 40 minutes (models with glass flask) after the end of brewing. However, the time after which the device switches off can often be changed manually.
  • Automatic switch-on Many models with a display and digital clock can be programmed to e.g. B. automatically start the brewing process in the morning. This is certainly very convenient, but it is also possible without this feature, considering that the brewing process should take a maximum of 10 minutes.
  • Modern brewing principle For perfect aroma extraction, the brewing water should be around 95 °C hot and poured evenly over the ground coffee. However, many filter machines heat the water too little - the result is coffee that tastes bland - or to over 100 °C, so that the coffee burns and takes on a bitter taste. Models with the "direct brewing principle" or similar names really bring the water to a boil and thus use it at the optimum temperature for brewing. Devices with "surge brewing processes" first collect a large amount of boiled water and then apply it to the ground coffee with a large brewing head. This prevents the brewing water from cooling down too quickly and the coffee powder in the filter from being under-extracted.
  • Cleaning and descaling program Even a filter coffee machine needs to be cleaned and descaled regularly. There are practical models that remind you of this, or those that even do everything by themselves. In our opinion, this feature can be dispensed with in many cases, because the processes can also work well manually thanks to the removable tank and separate jug.
  • Drip stop This means that the brewing process is automatically interrupted as soon as the pot is removed and everything stays nice and clean - an indispensable feature that every modern filter coffee machine should have today.
  • Pre-brewing or pre-infusion Here the coffee machine moistens the coffee powder in the filter before the brewing process in order to initiate the blooming phase, i.e. the process of swelling and outgassing. This facilitates the extraction of flavors, a useful practice borrowed from hand-filtering.

Filter coffee machines tested
The market for filter coffee machines is huge and most of the devices are very similar. Here are a few examples we can recommend:

Cheap options: Philips, Melitta and Siemens
The Philips Gaia (approx. 50 euros) is according to the manufacturer been on the market for 10 years and is an absolute bestseller.It has a drip stop and switches off automatically after brewing The Melitta Enjoy Top Therm (almost 50 euros) and the < have exactly the same features t116>Siemens TC. But the latter is almost twice as expensive as the other two models - probably due to the unusual design.

Expensive choice: Moccamaster by Technivorm
Those with a little more budget might be interested in the legendary Moccamaster by Technivorm, which is hyped as the best filter coffee machine in the world. The device itself has received certification from the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA for short). This makes the Moccamaster the only filter coffee machine that meets the high technical and taste standards of the SCA. The products are particularly impressive in terms of design, quality and constant brewing temperature. However, they really cost a lot of money at 180 euros and up. But you also get a decent, long-lasting filter coffee machine.

Good option with grinder
Coffee machines with an integrated grinder are often criticized for wanting to combine too many functions and therefore "everything a little bit", but not doing anything right. You don't have to worry about that with the Philips Grind & Brew (approx. 157 euros). The device has a compact design with an innovative rotary switch with which you can conveniently set the coffee strength, the degree of grinding and the number of cups. It even has two bean compartments to choose between different types or to mix them before they are freshly ground by the integrated 9-stage stainless steel grinder (can also be switched off as an option). There is also a timer for programming the brewing process. In addition, the keep-warm function can be regulated between 10 and 120 minutes. The disadvantages: There is no descaling and cleaning program and the water tank cannot be removed.

Perfect choice for singles
Perfect for anyone who has little space, e.g. B. living in a hall of residence or a small apartment, or simply not always wanting to make a whole pot of coffee on your own, is the WMF kitchen minis aroma coffee machine. The many customers who rate the mini filter coffee machine with "good" to "very good" think so too. For a really fair price you get a high-quality device that comes with a thermos flask and thermos mug made of stainless steel, has a digital display with a timer function and a descaling program.

The main thing is that the ingredients are right
So don't be afraid to buy or use a filter coffee machine. Maybe you're swimming against the tide at the moment. But if the convenience of pressing a button is important to you, you're best served with a simple filter coffee machine.

Because if it doesn't taste good, the main cause is usually not the device, but the main ingredient - the roasted coffee.