Classic, reliable design appreciated by coffee maker traditionalists. Cuisinart has included just about every feature you might want. Brews quickly and has great water filtration. Fully programmable and automatic, with 1-to 4-cup setting options and auto shut-off. Permanent filter.
Carafe is a bit awkward to fill and cleaning the machine can be somewhat challenging.
This is an impressive-looking coffee maker that can brew directly into a travel mug (not included) or a carafe. The brew strength selector, programmable timer, and auto-off are stalwart features that most individuals will use frequently. Programmable, so you can wake up to a fresh brew.
A few users have noted that the water intake is in an awkward position, which can make it difficult to fill if you keep the unit under a cabinet.
Extremely convenient for individuals. Accepts pods with any type of ground coffee in the most popular K-Cup sizes. Auto-off feature turns coffee maker off after two hours without use. Large water reservoir lets you brew six-plus cups before needing to be refilled.
Not ideal for large coffee batches. Difficult to diagnose and repair problems due to closed design.
Brews substantially faster than other home coffee makers. Can brew enough for a 20-ounce travel mug to a 50-ounce pot. Features a stainless steel, commercial-grade hot water tank. Includes starter filters. Package comes with 25 coffee filters to get you started.
A handful of consumers say the machine emits a plastic odor when brewing.
The 24-hour timer ensures that you always have fresh coffee when you wake. With the Sneak-A-Cup, brew-pause feature, you can pause the flow of coffee and grab yourself a quick, early morning cup. The front-facing window lets you see the exact amount of water inside the unit.
While some are appreciative of the two-hour automatic shut-off safety feature, others wish it would stay hot all day.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
Nothing sets your day up for success like that first cup of coffee. While some folks prefer to make their regular coffee run, these days it’s easier than ever to brew your own at home. Home-brewed coffee is an excellent way to save money, and you may learn to brew coffee just the way you like it.
But before you decide on a coffee maker, know that there are multiple kinds to choose from: espresso makers, drip coffee makers, and single-serving makers, for example. You also want to consider a coffee maker’s brew strength, capacity, ease of use, speed, and durability. Our reviews cover all these points, plus affordability.
We’ve recommended what we believe are the best coffee makers out there. To get fully ready to make a purchase, check out our reviews to learn about the features to consider for your next coffee maker.
The first thing to decide is what type of coffee maker is right for you. Let's examine the most common varieties.
A drip coffee maker brews a standard cup of black coffee by mixing ground coffee with hot water, then dripping it through a filter.
Drip coffee makers can make large quantities of coffee at a time.
You can find decent drip coffee makers for a relatively low cost, particularly when compared to the cost of espresso machines.
Drip coffee makers are convenient and easy to use.
If you make a large pot of drip coffee and keep it warm on the hotplate, it will scorch and turn bitter.
You don't always get the best flavor from a drip coffee maker.
Espresso makers work by forcing pressurized water — heated to near boiling point — through densely packed ground coffee, to get a small, intensely-flavored shot of joe.
You can drink your espresso straight or use it to make drinks such as lattes, cappuccinos, or even iced coffees and frappuccinos.
Espresso makers can produce extremely tasty coffee.
You can usually customize the strength of your brew.
A good espresso machine can be fairly costly.
It can take some time and practice to perfect making specialty drinks.
Single serving coffee makers use pods or K-Cups of ground coffee (and sometimes milk powder or flavorings) to produce a varied range of drinks.
Single serving coffee makers are extremely convenient and easy to use.
If you live alone, or are the only coffee-drinker at home, single-serving machines mean you won't make more coffee than you need.
You can buy pods that produce cappuccinos, lattes, flavored coffees, tea, hot chocolate, and more.
Using a plastic pod for each serving of coffee isn't environmentally friendly.
While some models let you make your own pods by adding your choice of ground coffee, many only let you use their choices of coffee, so your selection is limited.
Coffee connoisseurs tend to criticize the flavor and quality of coffee from pods.
Although we're not focusing on them in this guide, you can find a range of inexpensive manual coffee makers on the market.
Sure, they involve more work from the user, but they can still produce a good cup of coffee, and there's no need to have electricity to use them either. They can be life-savers on a camping trip.
Popular examples include the French press and the Aeropress.
Think about how many cups you need your coffee maker to produce in one round of coffee production. If you're the only person in your home drinking coffee, a single serving machine or a coffee maker that produces just a few cups would be ideal. On the other hand, if you have a large household of coffee-drinkers or you often entertain, look for a model that can make a larger amount of cups in one go.
For multi-cup models, our coffee expert Francois advises, "'Stop as you pour' is a great feature. The machine stops the flow of coffee when the carafe is removed, allowing you to pour a cup before the whole thing is done brewing."
Some coffee makers give you little input over how your coffee turns out, whereas other let you fine-tune your cup of joe with brew strength control.
Consider whether you're fussy about how your coffee turns out, or whether you're happy to drink it however it comes. If you're particular about your java, opt for a model that allows you to control the brew strength.
Imagine waking up to a freshly brewed pot of coffee ready to drink. If you choose a coffee machine with a built-in timer, this could be your reality every day.
This feature is perfect if you don't function well before that first cup, or if you're in a hurry to get out of the house in the morning.
A bean-to-cup coffee maker includes a built-in grinder, that grinds up the right amount of beans each time, without you having to put in any extra effort.
While we agree that freshly ground coffee tastes best, you could achieve the same result with a cheap coffee grinder. Machines with built-in grinders tend to be pricey, so we'd only recommend them if you have a large budget and want to your coffee making experience to be as hands-off as possible.
If you take your coffee black — maybe with a bit of cream when you're feeling fancy — then a basic drip coffee maker is all you need. However, if you crave espresso or specialty drinks like cappuccinos or lattes, then consider an espresso machine with a steamer arm for heating and frothing milk.
Single serving machines also offer pods with a huge range of drink choices, ready at the press of a button. This is a great choice if you like fancy coffees, but don't want to go to the trouble of making them from scratch.
Some coffee makers come with a thermal carafe to keep drinks warm, as an alternative to a basic glass carafe.
Here's what Francois had to say on the subject: "If you need to keep coffee hot for a few hours, go for a model with a thermal carafe. Even though models with glass carafes have a heating plate, this ends up making the coffee more and more bitter as time goes on."
A decent coffee maker needn't cost an arm and a leg, but it is worth a bit of an investment, especially if you're a regular coffee-drinker.
These start around $20 or $30. Most of these inexpensive models don't hold a candle to higher-end brands, but you can find a few diamonds in the rough.
These cost from $50 to $150. These include models with thermal carafes, programmable settings, and lots of other bells and whistles.
Expect to pay between $50 and $125 for these models. Cheaper models generally offer less control over factors such as cup size, and may not let you customize your own pods.
These cost between about $40 and $350 for home-grade machines (professional models can run into the thousands), but you're unlikely to get a model that makes a great espresso for much less than $100.
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