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We love this simple drip coffee brewer with great features, including adjustable brew strength. The mid-brew pause option lets you take a cup before it's done brewing. It comes in 12-cup and 14-cup sizes and has a small-batch 4-cup option.
The lid of the carafe can be tricky to remove.
We appreciate the washable brew basket and large, rubberized button controls. Has programmable 24-hour advanced brew and 2-hour auto shut-off. The sneak-a-cup feature lets you enjoy a cup before brewing is complete.
A few customers note design issues with the filter.
You can use ground coffee or K-cup coffee pods. Nine size choices, from 6 ounces to a full 12-cup carafe. We love the choice of four brew styles: classic, rich, specialty and over-ice. The steamer arm lets you foam milk for specialty drinks.
Some users find the temperature on the low side.
This is a sturdy drip brewer that produces consistently good coffee. The thermal carafe holds 9 cups, and it kept our coffee warm effectively. The rainmaker showerhead saturates ground coffee in water evenly for a better brew.
There's just one knob to program various settings, which we didn't find particularly intuitive.
This robust coffee maker can craft your favorite morning brew quickly and with a consistent temperature to meet your preferences. The single-serve dispenser works faster than many similar models. 12-cup water reservoir can be moved to the back of the machine for a slimmer profile.
Lack of a dedicated hot water system means you can’t brew tea or hot chocolate.
After going through an intensive research process to narrow down our short list of top products in this space, we tested Bialetti Moka Pot 3-Cup to be sure that it’s worthy of our recommendation. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter and test to verify manufacturer claims.
Coffee makers are must-have appliances in most households. If you want to make the perfect morning pick-me-up or after-dinner drink, finding the best coffee maker for your needs is essential. There are some great coffee brewers out there, but it's easy to get overwhelmed by the number of choices.
The right coffee machine for you depends on the type of coffee you like, whether that's espresso or basic drip coffee. You might want a specialty coffee pot to make drinks like lattes and flat whites. Or you might want the convenience of a single-serve pod coffee machine.
The choice is yours, but we have the information you need to help you make your decision. To gain greater insight, we interviewed coffee expert Kirkland Glee, co-founder of Perfect Extraction. The BestReviews Testing Lab also tested coffee makers to see how well they performed. Out of the dozens of coffee makers we considered, the Ninja Programmable Coffee Brewer ultimately took the top spot.
Product Specifications: Coffee Maker Type: Drip | Carafe Size: 12 or 14 cups | Cup Settings: 2 | Filter Type: Reusable | Smart Features: None
What makes this coffee machine our favorite? Simple design, consistently good coffee and durability all play major roles. Sometimes, you just want a great drip coffee maker that’s built to last. That's what you get with this Ninja model.
It comes in two versions: one with a 12-cup carafe and one with a 14-cup carafe. While we focused on the 12-cup version, the 14-cup model is a great choice for anyone who needs a larger amount of coffee. You can brew either a full carafe or a smaller 4-cup quantity. We love that there are two brew strength options: classic and rich, the latter of which makes a stronger cup. If you want to grab a cup while the coffee is still brewing, this machine will pause mid-brew.
We appreciate the reusable filter basket that comes with this machine. It's also nice to have a range of programmable functions, such as a delay-start timer and a keep-warm function. The water reservoir is removable, so it's easy to fill. Plus, keeping it clean is simple thanks to the integrated cleaning cycle.
Best bang for your buck
Product Specifications: Coffee Maker Type: Drip | Carafe Size: 12 cups | Cup Settings: 1 | Filter Type: Paper | Smart Features: None
This is for anyone who wants a basic drip coffee maker and doesn't care about design or high-end features. It has a 12-cup carafe, and you can sneak a cup before it's done brewing. You can also keep your coffee warm with the built-in hotplate.
It takes paper filters, and we appreciate that you can remove the brew basket the filter sits in to clean it more easily. The timer lets you delay brewing for up to 24 hours so you can wake up to or come home to fresh coffee.
Although it might not be anything special, this is a solid drip coffee maker at an affordable price. It's probably not going to last a decade like some high-end models will, but it's sturdy enough and simple to use.
Best coffee maker for milk-based drinks
Product Specifications: Coffee Maker Type: Drip, pod and specialty | Carafe Size: 12 cups | Cup Settings: 9 | Filter Type: Paper| Smart Features: None
If you want a fancy coffee maker that can brew specialty drinks as well as basic drip coffee, the DualBrew Pro is an excellent choice. This coffee maker does an impressive amount. For starters, it can make nine sizes of coffee, the smallest of which is 6 ounces and the largest of which is a full 12-cup carafe. So, whether you need to make just one coffee or several, this machine has you covered.
It also makes four strengths or styles of coffee. Classic is a standard cup of drip coffee, rich is a stronger brew, over-ice is for chilled drinks and specialty is concentrated for making cappuccinos, flat whites and so on. You can use ground coffee in a paper filter or K-cups in the pod adapter for single-serve brews. Then, you have the steamer arm for making frothed, milk-based coffee drinks. The independent hot-water system lets you boil water for instant soups or oatmeal.
We love how adaptable this machine is and how much choice it gives the user. Its specialty drinks might not rival those made with an espresso machine, but they turn out pretty well.
Best thermal carafe coffee maker
Product Specifications: Coffee Maker Type: Drip | Carafe Size: 9 cups | Cup Settings: 2 | Filter Type: Paper | Smart Features: None
We tested the OXO Brew and liked it enough to put it in our top five. You have two size options to choose from: a smaller 2-to-4-cup setting and a larger 5-to-9-cup setting. In our testing, it took 5 minutes, 45 seconds to brew 4 cups. It took 8 minutes, 15 seconds to brew 9 cups.
The temperature of the coffee after brewing was 185 degrees. After an hour in the thermal carafe, the temperature measured 175 degrees, so we were impressed by how warm the coffee stayed, even without a hotplate. The pause-and-pour feature lets you grab a cup before the brew cycle has completed.
Overall, this is a great drip coffee maker. It feels durable, and we were pleased with the quality of the coffee. Cleaning it was a little fiddly, as it has quite a few parts that need cleaning, but that’s certainly not a deal-breaker.
Product Specifications: Coffee Maker Type: Drip | Carafe Size: 10 cups | Cup Settings: 2 | Filter Type: Paper | Smart Features: None
The Moccamaster is the best-looking coffee maker on our list. So, if you're serious about design or want something that'll look great on your kitchen counter, this is one to consider. It comes in 24 color options and has a simple design. You can choose to make half of a carafe (which took four minutes in our tests) or a full carafe (which took five minutes, 30 seconds). The half-carafe was 180 degrees after brewing, and the full-carafe was 185 degrees. This dropped to 170 degrees after 30 minutes on the hotplate and 165 degrees after 60 minutes on the hotplate.
During our testing, we were pleased with the coffee this machine produced, but we had a few qualms. It was a little tricky to clean the water tank, but the rest of the machine was easy to clean. The carafe rattled around a bit during brewing, which we found annoying in a coffee machine of this price.
While there were no programmable features, you can play around with grind size, ratios and brewing times to get the results you want, which is great for buyers who want a manual experience.
The first decision to make 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 and dripping it through a filter or filter basket. If you like a regular cup of black coffee or coffee with creamer, this is the option for you.
Espresso makers work by forcing pressurized water, heated nearly to its boiling point, through densely packed ground coffee. This results in a small, intensely flavored shot of joe. Many models have a built-in milk frother that imparts a flavor to rival what you’d find at trendy coffee shops. It's an apt choice for people who like espresso or espresso-based drinks such as flat whites and cappuccinos.
Single-serving coffee makers use coffee pods or K-Cups of ground coffee (and sometimes milk powder or flavorings) to produce a varied range of drinks. You simply put the pod in place, press a button and let the machine do the rest. Quality models feature removable water tanks that can produce multiple cups of coffee before needing to be refilled. They're great for people who want quick and easy coffee.
As the name implies, pour-over coffee makers work by pouring water over coffee grounds or coffee beans. A few models are powered by electricity, but most are manually powered. This method gives a home barista control over the water temperature for customizable results. Pour-over coffee makers are great for coffee lovers who want more control over their brew. They’re also a good choice for fans of beans with light roasts and fruity, acidic notes, as these taste especially good when brewed in the pour-over style.
Although we're not focusing on them in this guide, you can find a range of inexpensive manual coffee makers on the market.
While they certainly involve more work from the user, manual coffee makers can still produce a good cup of coffee, and you don’t need electricity to use them. A manual coffee maker can be a lifesaver on a camping trip.
Popular examples include the French press and the AeroPress. These methods of brewing tend to make fewer cups at a time, which is suitable for households with a single coffee drinker. However, if you want to brew a large pot of coffee, a manual coffee maker probably won't be your top choice.
Think about how many cups you need your coffee maker to make in one round of coffee production. If you're the only person in your home drinking coffee and usually only drink a single cup at a time, a single-serving machine or coffee maker that produces just a few cups would be ideal. While not exclusively a single-serve machine, the Ninja DualBrew Pro has a single-serve option.
If you have a large household of coffee drinkers or often entertain guests, look for a model that can make a larger number of cups in one go. The Ninja Programmable Coffee Brewer, for instance, comes in 12-cup and 14-cup options.
For machines that brew multiple cups at once, the “stop as you pour” feature can be a big help. This lets you stop the coffee from flowing when the carafe is removed so you can pour a cup right away, before the rest is done brewing. A number of our top coffee makers have this feature, including the Black and Decker 12-Cup Digital Coffee Maker and the OXO Brew.
Some coffee makers give you little control over how your coffee turns out. Others let you fine-tune your cup of coffee with brew-strength control. For instance, the Ninja Programmable Coffee Brewer has a standard-strength "classic" option and a stronger "rich" setting. Consider whether you're fussy about how your coffee turns out. If you're particular about your java, opt for a model that allows you to control the brew strength.
That said, it's not just the brew settings that influence strength and quality. Coffee expert Glee notes, "In order to release the complete variety of tastes locked inside a coffee bean, conditions like the exact temperature range of 195 degrees to 205 degrees and the grind size suited to the brewing method are crucial."
During testing, we checked out the temperature of coffee just after brewing to see if it was near the optimal brewing temperature range. We expected a slight drop in temperature following the brewing process.
In terms of grind size, different brewing methods require different brew sizes. For instance, espresso machines call for a fine grind, while drip coffee makers call for a medium grind. For optimum results, find out what grind size works best in your machine.
Imagine waking up to a freshly brewed pot of coffee ready to drink. If you choose a versatile coffee machine with a built-in timer, this could be your reality every day.
This feature is helpful 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. The unit 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 cheaper burr grinder. Machines with built-in grinders tend to be pricey, so we only recommend them if you have a large budget and want a great coffee-making experience that’s 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, 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 that can be ready at the press of a button. This is a wonderful choice if you like fancy coffees but don't want to bother making them from scratch.
Some espresso and drip coffee makers have filter baskets that filter coffee grounds during the brewing process, eliminating the need for paper filters. The size of the filter basket and the volume of the grounds placed inside before brewing impact both coffee flavor and strength.
Reusable filters save you money compared to paper filters because there's nothing extra to purchase. It's also a more eco-friendly option, as you produce less waste. The downside is that reusable filters aren't as fine as paper, so you're more likely to get some sediment in your coffee, especially if you grind your beans too fine.
As an alternative to the basic glass carafe, some coffee makers come with a thermal carafe to keep drinks warm. A thermal carafe keeps coffee warm for at least a few hours without the need for a heating plate. This is beneficial because hours of sitting on a heating plate can make coffee taste bitter.
You might love everything about your coffee maker — until it's time to clean it for the first time. Some models have a complicated cleaning process. Perhaps there are a lot of parts to disassemble, or it's difficult to get into the carafe or water reservoir to clean it. As our coffee expert Glee of Perfect Extraction says, "In order to make sure that their coffee maker is a friend rather than a challenge, buyers are advised to take into account not just the capacity or features but also the convenience of use and cleaning."
In short, look for a coffee machine that's easy to clean. Let's be honest: If cleaning is too tricky, you probably won't do it. And if you don't clean your coffee machine regularly, it can impact both the taste of your coffee and the longevity of the machine.
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. Choices 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.
Expect to pay anywhere from $40 to $350 for a home-grade machine (professional models can run into the thousands). Note that you're unlikely to get a model that makes great espresso for much less than $100.
Pour-over coffee makers range in price from around $15 for a small, generic model to $100 or more for a top-brand model with a carafe that holds several cups of coffee.
Electrically powered models cost a bit more and tend to fall in the range of $179 to $200.
We tested two of the coffee brewers on our list: the OXO Brew and the Technivorm Moccamaster. We took extensive notes on our use, and these are some of the aspects of each product we evaluated.
We timed how long it took to brew a pot of coffee. We compared how long it took to brew half of a carafe versus a full carafe.
We took the temperature of the coffee after brewing, noting temperature differences in the half and full carafe. We also took temperature readings after set lengths of time to test the hot plate or thermal carafe.
The OXO Brew has a rainmaker showerhead, and the Technivorm Moccamaster has a spray arm. We checked how evenly each dispersed water over the coffee grounds.
We cleaned the coffee makers to see how easy or difficult the process was for each. We noted any pain points and potential annoyances.
A. Regular coffee makers generally make drip-strength coffee. Specialty coffees start with espresso. So, if you want to make drinks such as flat whites, lattes and cappuccinos, you'll need a machine that can craft espresso or coffee of comparable strength.
Espresso makers are the obvious choice for this, but good ones are expensive. Buyers on a budget will likely get better results from a moka pot or AeroPress than a cheap espresso maker. You'll also need to be able to foam or steam milk. Some espresso machines have steamer arms specifically for this. Alternatively, you could buy a milk frother.
A. If you want to make coffee of the best quality, grind whole beans instead of using pre-ground coffee for fresher and tastier results. Now, you might wonder if you should buy a coffee maker with a built-in grinder or opt for a separate one. There are pros and cons to each choice.
Some people prefer the convenience of a built-in grinder. In addition to convenience, these machines can save you some counter space. Plus, it can be cheaper to buy them together. If you decide to buy a separate grinder, however, you’ll have more options. You can choose manual or electric, blade or burr, budget or high-end. The choice is yours.
It's also worth mentioning that if a built-in coffee grinder breaks, you’d either have to buy a separate grinder anyway or replace the entire appliance.
A. An average coffee maker lasts around 5 to 10 years. That said, high-end coffee makers can last well over a decade, while cheap models might break after a couple of years. Cleaning and descaling your coffee machine will help it last longer. You should also empty the carafe after every use so a buildup of grime doesn't form, causing your coffee to taste bad.
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