One of the first things you should consider when looking for a coffee maker is whether you want standard drip coffee, or if you want to make it through percolation. Each method creates coffee with a distinctive taste and is either a preferred or reviled, depending on whom you are talking to. Likewise, if you need a solution for brewing and transporting coffee, consider the Airpot Coffee Brewers or Satellite Brewers in this category. These types of brewers will brew coffee directly into an insulated air pot or satellite server and they tend to work best for high volume service needs where the coffee is served far away from where it is brewed.
Percolation is the original method for making coffee. Inside the brewer, there is a chamber to hold the grounds and a tube that connects that chamber to water at the bottom of the unit. When placed over a heat source, water rises in the tube and trickles through the grounds to create coffee. This is a difficult method to master because over extraction and re-brewing will create bitter or tasteless coffee.
A simpler, more common method for making coffee is called drip brewing. For this method, coffee grounds are placed in a filter, a heating element heats up stored water which then passes through the grounds and into a pot or server. This is pretty much a fool-proof method for making coffee and several makers are available that can brew a single pot or two pots at once. When it comes to decanter style coffee makers, you can choose between Automatic Coffee Brewers and Pour Over Coffee Brewers, there is one distinct difference between the two. Automatic Brewers are attached to your water source directly, whereas Pour over brewers have a water tank that must be filled.