Of all the many kitchen tasks that we can perform with electric kettles and coffee makers, making delicious homebrew coffee is one common task these appliances can do.
Depending on the type of coffee you prefer – whether pour over or drip coffee – these appliances have got a few features that give them an edge over each other: hence, the need for the electric kettle vs coffee maker debate.
To help you make an informed purchasing decision, we’ll delve into the coffee maker vs electric kettle debate.
Let’s find out the differences between a coffee maker and an electric kettle.
Differences between An Electric Kettle vs A Coffee Maker
The major difference between brewing coffee with a coffee maker and an electric kettle is in the brewing method.
An electric kettle is an appliance for boiling water for a wide range of purposes including making pour-over coffee using a manual or tea-making method. While a coffee maker is an appliance that is designed to heat water and brew coffee automatically using the drip method such that you can have your coffee in a few seconds at the push of a button.
The second major difference between brewing coffee in a coffee maker and an electric kettle is the quality of the drink.
When preparing pour-over coffee, an electric kettle offers better control such as extracting coffee with the right quantity of water needed and the speed of pouring the hot water to yield coffee with better consistency and taste. Coffee makers, on the other hand, can make higher-quality coffee drinks as they automate the brewing process.
To better understand which of these appliances will be great for handling your kitchen tasks, let’s explore both of them individually.
What is an electric kettle? An electric kettle is a kitchen appliance with a heating element at its bottom for boiling water in a short time. Kettles come with an auto-shut off feature to stop boiling water when it gets to the boiling point of 100 C. On average, it’ll take 4 to 5 minutes to boil water in a kettle whereas a pan boils water in 6 to 10 minutes.
Electric kettles can be used to boil water for a variety of purposes such as making tea and rehydrating vegetables, etc. But one of its most common uses is for heating pour-over coffee because of the amount of control it puts in the hand of the brewer and its cheaper price than a coffee maker and.
When using an electric kettle to brew coffee, first heat water in the kettle. Then place a filter or towel over a cup or container and gradually add water and allow it to drain into the container before serving it. Unlike the drip method of making coffee, pour-over method allows you easily pour the right amount of hot water to hit all the coffee grounds evenly and at a controlled speed.
What is a coffee maker? A coffee maker is an appliance also called a coffee machine designed specifically for brewing coffee from start to finish. It uses the drip method to filter the coffee, hence it’s also called a drip coffee maker.
Unlike pour-over coffee brewing that’s mostly manual, drip coffee-making is an automated process. Simply pour water (not hot) into the reservoir and add the coffee grounds to the filter, and the coffee maker will do the rest. The whole brewing process can take around 10 minutes, but it gives you the luxury of setting it and leaving it. When compared to other coffee machines, drip coffee makers are the most affordable and easiest to use.
Another good thing about drip coffee is that it’s very healthy because the thorough filtration technique filters most of the unhealthy oils in the coffee grounds. However, drip coffee is not as tasteful and flavorful as most other coffee drinks.
Superiorities of an electric kettle to a coffee maker
The benefits of owning an electric kettle over a coffee maker are its versatility, smaller footprint, more affordable price, and better brewing control. An electric kettle allows you to make pour-over coffee to your desired taste and consistency while being useful in making a range of other foods.
When comparing the uses of an electric kettle to a coffee maker in the kitchen, an electric kettle is a more versatile appliance.
You can use an electric kettle to boil water for a variety of cooking tasks such as making tea, boiling eggs, cooking rice, heating coffee, or making soup, etc. You can also boil drinking water in your electric kettle.
Coffee makers, on the other hand, are made to brew coffee, not boil water – they don’t head water up to 212 degrees Fahrenheit: instead, they heat water to 200 degrees which is ideal for brewing coffee. Because of this, they’re limited in their functions; although, you can use a coffee maker to heat water for tea and a few other purposes.
If you love to have control over the coffee brewing process, using an electric kettle to make pour-over coffee will be better for you.
With an electric kettle, you can gauge the exact amount of water you need to make your cup(s) of coffee. It also allows you to pour the hot water evenly on the coffee grounds at a controlled speed for better consistency and taste. Here are the use cases of an electric kettle.
While you can make great-tasting drip coffee with a drip coffee machine, you don’t have as much control as when compared to pour-over coffee due to the automated process.
One common thing homeowners and renters want is to economize kitchen space regardless of its size. In that case, an electric kettle will be a better appliance to have in a kitchen because of its smaller footprint. Electric kettles have some of the smallest footprints when compared with other countertop appliances.
Coffee machines are typically larger than electric kettles and have larger footprints. Even the smallest coffee makers, known as pod coffee machines are larger than electric kettles.
When compared to a coffee maker, an electric kettle costs less. The price of an electric kettle ranges from $15 to $90 while the price of a drip coffee machine is between $20 and $350.
Superiorities of a coffee maker to an electric kettle
The benefits of brewing coffee with a coffee maker instead of an electric kettle are its ease of use, faster brewing cycle, and versatility in the types of coffee it can make. Coffee makers use an automated process (which is faster and more convenient) to make coffee.
Best for making coffee
When compared to using an electric kettle, the best appliance for making coffee is a coffee machine. First, the machine automates the process so there’s no room for errors as it will evenly brew your coffee with the right consistency.
Secondly, there are a wide variety of coffee makers to make different types of specialty coffee. There are espresso makers, French presses, Aeropress, and Moka pots, etc. So whether you need a cup of espresso, drip coffee, or latte, etc., there’s a coffee maker for you. You can find more use cases of a coffee maker.
Kettles don’t offer this coffee brewing versatility and you’re prone to making mistakes in the process – this can ruin the taste of your java.
When compared to making pour-over coffee with an electric kettle, brewing filtered drip coffee with a coffee machine is much easier. The process is automated and you can set the machine and leave it to run while you attend to other activities around the house. You can also set a timer for the appliance to brew your coffee fix first thing in the morning. You can find more use cases of a coffee maker here.
On the other hand, using electric kettles require a bit of expertise as you’ll have to ensure that the water is heated to the appropriate temperature. You also have to pour the hot water evenly to avoid your coffee tasting sour or bitter.
Coffee makers brew coffee faster than electric kettles. It takes a coffee maker around 4 minutes to complete a brewing cycle, whereas, it will take around 5 to 6 minutes to make a cup of homebrewed coffee using an electric kettle. Also, the coffee maker can give you multiple cups in one cycle.
Food Differences between An Electric Kettle and A Coffee Maker
While coffee makers are specifically designed to brew coffee, they can make other foods and beverages. The same goes for the electrical kettle as it can make other foods other than boiling water. Let’s explore the uses of an electric kettle and a coffee maker.
What foods can be made in an electric kettle?
You can make the following foods in an electric kettle;
- Beverages: tea, milk, and coffee
- Boiled eggs
- Masala corn
- Instant meals: ramen, noodles
- Detox drinks
Here’s how to use an electric kettle.
What foods can be made in a coffee maker?
You can make the following foods in a coffee maker;
- Drip coffee
- Scrambled eggs
- Poach fish
- Mini cupcakes
- Espresso macchiato
- Hard-boiled eggs
Here’s how to use a coffee maker.
Using an electric kettle and a coffee maker
You can use an electric kettle and a coffee maker together in a kitchen. Electric kettles are great at boiling water for a variety of cooking purposes while coffee makers are specialty appliances designed to brew coffee.
What are the instances where an electric kettle and a coffee maker can be used together?
If you love having your coffee fix first thing in the morning, you can get a coffee maker so you can set it to prepare your beverage before you wake up. And if you’re a lover of pour-over coffee, you can use your electric kettle during the day when you’re more active. Also, you can use your electric kettle to boil water to prepare other foods such as noodles and rice.
What are the instances where an electric kettle and a coffee maker should never be used together?
You should not use both a coffee maker and an electric kettle if you prefer drinking pour-over coffee. Your electric kettle will suffice.
Electric Kettle vs Coffee Maker Purchasing Tips
Electric kettles and coffee makers can both be used in making delicious cups of coffee. But if you’re torn between getting either of the two appliances, here are the top factors you should consider before getting them.
What are the types of electric kettles and coffee makers?
There are four types of electric kettles based on the materials they’re built with: plastic, stainless steel, glass, and copper.
Plastic electric kettles are the cheapest kettles as they’re made of polypropylene. While this makes them easy to carry with little risk of breaking, boiling water with plastic may change the odor of your beverage. Also, there’s the scare of the material leaching BPA into your water.
Stainless steel electric kettles are durable and not hot to touch as they’re made with dent- and heat-resistant materials. However, they’re more expensive and heavier than plastic models.
Glass electric kettles have the most stylish build of all models. They’re made of transparent glass bowls that allow you to see the water level and observe the presence of limescale. However, they’re more expensive than plastic and stainless steel electric kettles.
Copper electric kettles heat water faster than most other units, making them the most energy-efficient units. They also last longer and come with a protective layer to avoid copper poisoning. On the flip side, they’re more expensive and likely to carry a dent than the other units.
There are more than ten types of coffee makers, but we’ll deal with four here: drip coffee maker, single-serve coffee maker, espresso maker, and French press.
Drip coffee makers are the most common coffee makers in homes. They’re affordable and easy to use. They also make multiple cups at a time: however, this could lead to wastage of coffee grounds when you want only a cup. And it only makes drip coffee – you can’t make espresso or other coffee derivatives.
Single-serve coffee makers are also referred to as K-cups or pod coffee makers. They are used in making only one cup of coffee and are easier to use and clean than drip coffee makers. As they brew only one cup of coffee, they reduce wastage. On the flip side, they’re not great for the environment because you’ll have to trash K-cups often.
Espresso makers are used for making shots of espressos – highly flavored coffee drinks that are rich in taste. They can make a variety of other coffee beverages like macchiatos, cappuccinos, and lattes. They’re also easy to use: however, they’re very expensive when compared to other coffee makers, and they can only make a shot or two of espresso.
French presses also make high-quality coffee. Unlike espresso makers that are expensive, these are more budget-friendly. They don’t need electricity and are easy to run.
What’s the capacity of these appliances?
If you live alone and just need your morning coffee fix to start your day, then a single-serve coffee maker will be great for you. If you have a larger coffee-loving family or host lots of guests, you can opt for a larger brewer that can make 4 to 10 cups per cycle.
Also, a kettle can make multiple cups of coffee. The most common electric kettles have capacities ranging from 1.5 to 1.7 liters which can make around six and seven cups of coffee should a cup require 250 ml of hot water.
What are the sizes of these appliances?
Regardless of the size of your kitchen, there’s a continuous battle for countertop space. If you’ve got a small kitchen counter, an electric kettle may be great for you. Although you may have to give up the convenience and your love for drip coffee that a coffee maker brings. While this may not be worth it, you can get smaller coffee makers like the pod or single-serve units, or better still, have a space in the cabinet for stashing your coffee maker.
How much does an electric kettle and a coffee maker cost?
Some of the bestselling electric kettles cost between $25 and $35, with higher-end models reaching around $100 and cheaper models that go for $15. The best selling coffee machines cost between $30 and $200.
So if you’re a lover of pour-over coffee and price is an issue, you can make do with a kettle.
Best Brands for Electric Kettles
The five best brands making the best electric kettles are Cuisinart, KitchenAid, Capresso, Hamilton Beach, and Chefman.
Cuisinart is a reputable name making some of the best kitchen appliances. Their units are easy to use and great at heating water with a consistent temperature. However, there have been complaints of their units not being durable.
KitchenAid has to be one of the most reputable names making some of the reliable kitchen appliances. Their electric kettles boil water very fast and are easy to use. However, they may be hot to touch: nonetheless, they’re affordable and good value for money.
Capresso not only makes some of the best electric kettles, but they also make some of the best coffee makers. Their glass electric kettles seem to be the ones people love the most. They look great and are durable.
Hamilton Beach makes some of the bestselling electric kettles due to their affordable prices. Their units also have impressive performances, good appearance, and they’re sturdy. However, there have been complaints of their kettles leaking.
Chefman has also got lots of positive reviews for the ease of use of their electric kettles. They also heat water very fast and have beautiful designs. However, they tend to be noisy.
Best Brands for Coffee Makers
The top five brands making the best coffee makers include Cuisinart, Black & Decker, Ninja, Keurig, and Mr. Coffee.