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Built-in vs Counter-top Coffee Maker

Updated: Aug 15, 2022

In many homes the coffee maker is a staple in the kitchen. The best part about this appliance is that there is a lot of variety on the market. For this week’s blog I’m focusing on three ways to incorporate the coffee maker in your upcoming kitchen remodel: Built-in, Instant Pod, and Drip.


Built-in Pros:

  • The built-in coffee machine produces coffee differently; similar to what you would see in a cafe. Bean to cup with the press of a single button. Very convenient and easy to use.

  • The Taste. You simply can’t beat the taste of freshly ground coffee!

  • Remote programming. Most have WiFi connectivity. You can remotely program your coffee machine to ensure that you’ll have the hot beverages ready for you when you arrive in the kitchen. Making coffee while you’re still in bed? Yes please!

  • The top built-in coffee systems come equipped with whole bean grinders with direct water flow, automatic cleaning, integrated built-in sensors, and an intuitive control panel. Every element of the coffee can be adjusted. You can alter the coffee intensity, temperature, size, and coffee type to make your perfect cup.

  • Aesthetically the built-in design completes the high-end look of a kitchen. The clean and open counter-top is a desired goal for many dwellers.

Built-in Cons:

  • They are expensive.

For the real barista experience, nothing beats the home brewing system of Wolf. A division of Subzero, this is a real fan favorite. It’s sleek and stunning, has about 15 different brewing options, the LED panel makes it easy to use, and it has a large capacity water holding system which I recommend over a plumbed water line that can get icky build-up. I also love the warming drawer that can hold warmed mugs or a full drink while you brew a second, get it. For those creating a new or renovated kitchen, it's something to strongly consider when you are planning that new layout. Like all luxury appliances, there are hosts of places to see, price and buy, like perhaps your local Ferguson Appliances.


Instant Pod Pros:

  • The most powerful advantage of single-serving coffee pod is that it saves time. There is no need to grind beans, measure coffee, tamp it, or worry about water quantities and temperature. There is no more guesswork, and the coffee can be ready in 2, 3 minutes tops.

  • Each pod is consistent and will taste the same with every cup. Anybody can brew a cup a coffee without needing any experience.

  • Coffee preserves better in these individual pods.

  • Easy to maintain and clean.

  • They are a great option for people with mobility issues.

Instant Pod Cons:

  • Many pods are not recyclable.

  • While it mimics the taste and flavors very well, pod-coffee will never be the same as an espresso prepared by hand, especially not one prepared by a professional barista.

  • Variety is limited. Coffee is similar to wine. The Coffee beans are grown in several countries around the world, come in many varieties, and are roasted in different ways. There are also many ways to prepare coffee, but with coffee pods you're limited to their offerings.

  • It lives permanently on your counter-top.

For the best in pod systems, Nespresso gets top honors in several categories. Depending on your wants and needs, and budget, there are a couple that rate highly such as Nespresso by DeLonghi Lattissima and Nespresso VertuoPlus

For more options, Consumer Reports outlines the Best Coffee Pod Makers of 2022


Drip Coffee Maker Pros:

  • Easy to use and with a quick brew time. Just pour in the grounds, press a button and wait a short time while it prepares your coffee. Brew time is usually longer than that of a pod.

  • With 12-cup options, you can prepare coffee for many people, which is great for hosting.

  • Simple clean up. Just get rid of the filter, refill the water tank, and it’s ready to make another batch of coffee.

  • They are fairly inexpensive when compared to the other two options.

Drip Coffee Maker Cons:

  • Drip coffee maker creates an acceptable cup and keeps it hot, but it lacks a sort of artistry that you get with a built-in or when ordering from a cafe.

  • Aesthetics: It lives permanently on your counter-top.

For the best, best coffee - we suggest the Technivorm Moccamaster. It can be a real space user on the counter, but it's generally considered to be one of the best drip systems available.

For price and size, the Braun Brew Sense makes a great cup of coffee, is a great bang for the buck and doesn't hog all of the space in a small kitchen.


Of course these aren’t the only ways to make coffee. Items like french presses, pour overs, and percolators are great options if you have the time, desire, and aren’t interested in using an appliance to make your morning cup.



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