Depending on the brand and model of coffee maker that you buy, these items can last either a few years or even a couple of decades if they are well maintained.
This time will vary depending on a multitude of factors, such as how frequently the machine is used, how high quality its components are, how frequently the machine has been cleaned and maintained by the user, and, of course, the competence of its manufacturers.
If you are wondering whether it’s time to invest in a newer model, but aren’t entirely sure, here are a few things that you should look out for.
1. The machine has stopped working
You might be rolling your eyes at this one. Clearly, if your coffee maker is no longer, well, making coffee, then that’s a pretty good sign that it’s time to move on to a newer device. However, it may just be a sign that one of the machine’s components needs to be repaired or replaced, which might be a cheaper option than buying a new machine altogether.
The machine could stop brewing coffee for a number of reasons. Sometimes the water pump malfunctions or a crack in the water tank causes water to leak out the machine and into its other vulnerable parts.
If you have a strong warranty for your machine, or it is a very costly model and you aren’t willing to part ways with it yet, then you should look into repairing it. If you think the machine has simply run its course, it might actually be simpler and cheaper to buy a new one.
2. Your preferences have changed
Change is the only constant, as we are constantly developing our palates and seeking out new things as we go through life. Coffee is changing too, and the variety of the kinds of coffee you can indulge in has expanded greatly and will likely continue to expand as years go by.
Coffee producers are more open about how they grow and produce their specialty coffees, as well as how they create certain flavor notes for their consumers. These specialty coffees are pricier, but many consumers appreciate the diversity and unique flavors available to them. In fact, they want to explore new kinds of coffee as they become available.
You may realize, eventually, that your old coffee maker simply cannot bring forward the full potential of these unique coffee concoctions, and it’s time to get a more modern machine that can really pull forward everything these specialty coffees have to offer.
3. A faulty boiler
In order to get the best flavor out of your coffee grind, you need a very precise temperature for the water being used to pull your espresso shot. The Specialty Coffee Association of America or ‘SCAA’ has asserted that for the ideal cup of coffee, the water temperature should be between 195- and 205-degrees Fahrenheit or 90.6 to 96.1 degrees Celsius.
Although this is the standard, many coffee makers don’t manage to reach these temperatures. Product testers of popular coffee machines have often found that they brew coffee at only 156 degrees Fahrenheit or 67.9 degrees Celsius. This means that, by design, a lot of coffee machines out there are failing to meet the standards required for a great cup of coffee.
For those machines that can reach the right temperatures, you often find that the heating component slowly but surely breaks down over an extended period of use. The user will likely taste the difference once the heating element is no longer working at optimum performance. The coffee may taste bland like it hasn’t been extracted properly and may even have a slightly sour twinge on the palate.
If you are committed to your coffee maker, the heating component is usually easily replaceable. However, a malfunctioned water heater may also be considered a sign, or at least a good excuse, to get an upgrade.
4. The elusiveness of coffee pods
As coffee machines that make use of compressed coffee in little pods have grown in popularity, many bean-to-cup machines have started to become less and less sought after. The problem is there are all kinds of different pod brands, all of which have somewhat ubique packaging shapes. If your pod coffee maker cannot make use of the latest pods or coffee types presently available, you’ll likely have no choice but to get an updated model.
Certain versions of coffee pods have been discontinued, and new kinds are being brought out all the time. It’s certainly difficult to keep up! The only alternative to upgrading your pod machines is to use your own coffee instead, but this is not a sustainable decision. In the long run, you’ll want to keep the convenience of pod-based coffee machines.
5. The need for multiple cups
A lot of coffee makers are designed to make one cup at a time, which is great if you live alone or in a smaller household but becomes quite tiresome and inconvenient if you are trying to serve multiple guests. If you find that you’ve become accustomed to entertaining lately, you’ll want to set aside your old manual brewer for a model that is capable of making multiple cups automatically.
An automatic multi-cup brewer will be especially necessary for office settings or for those with a large household full of coffee-drinkers.