The Bottom Line On The Best Coffee Makers
Coffee is complicated if you dive deeply into it, but the thing is, you dont really have to. If you want to get a kitchen scale, obsess over burr shapes, and relentlessly experiment, thats fine! But you can also, at any price point, snag yourself a coffee machine thats super easy and rewarding to use. Whether thats a $30 travel Aeropress, a $150 drip machine, or a $1,000 home espresso setup, you can make great coffee at any price point and degree of effort.
Best Drip Coffee Maker: Automatic But Coffee
Who this is for: Anyone who wants a solid drip coffee maker that will make a pot of great-tasting coffee that stays hot for hours. If you already own a great grinder and pay a premium for gourmet beans, this machine will get the most out of them.
Why we like it: The OXO Brew 9 Cup Coffee Maker is fast and convenient, with features like a programmable start time and an automatic pre-infusion cycle . In our tests for the best drip coffee maker, we found that the coffee was pleasant and much better than the coffee we made with some of the competitors. The coffee maker has a handsome design, with a well-made thermal stainless steel carafe that pours easily and keeps coffee hot for hours.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: The OXOs unintuitive interface means that programming the timer without reading the manual can be difficult, but its pretty straightforward once you get the hang of it. In our years of long-term testing, weve also noticed that the lid on the OXOs carafe tends to trap old coffee even a good rinse isnt enough to flush everything out. Another thing to note is that the OXO is tall at 17.2 inches, so you may have an issue fitting it under your cabinetsespecially because the lids for the water tank and the grounds basket need an additional five inches of clearance to fully open.
Dimensions: 15 by 8.3 by 17.2 inchesCapacity: 9 cups
Best Large Capacity: Hamilton Beach 45 Cup Coffee Urn And Hot Beverage Dispenser
Brews a cup per minute
Interior stains easily
Can’t see amount of coffee left
A single-cup brewer is handy for that jolt of coffee before work, but it wont work for big family celebrations or parties when everyone wants a cup of coffee at once.
This brewer will be a welcome guest at those parties, serving coffee and more, since it can also be used for dispensing other hot beverages. Use it for hot cider, mulled wine, or even hot water for a party full of tea drinkers. It holds up to 45 cups, which equates to a little over 200 ounces . The stainless steel exterior looks elegant and is easy to clean.
This is easy to fill and has a twist-lock lid that prevents spilling and helps to maintain an even temperature. It has large handles, and the cord is removable so it wont dangle when you have to move it. A ready-to-serve light lets you know when its coffee time.
Electric: Yes | Grounds or Pods: Grounds | Capacity: 45 cups | Dimensions: 11 x 11 x 16.12 inches | Warranty: 1-year limited
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Breville Precision Brewer Coffee Maker
You can get this brewer from Breville with a glass carafe or a stainless steel thermal carafe which is the one you want. It features a gold cup preset mode that automatically adjusts the water temperature and brew times to meet the standards set by the SCA. When the carafe is not in place, the steep-and-release valve automatically holds the water in contact with the coffee for brewing a small cup.
Best French Press: Frieling Double Wall Stainless Steel French Press
Finish is prone to spots and smudges
Heavier than other models
French presses are wonderful alternative brewing devices for all coffee lovers. They are known for making a cup of joe that’s stronger than what most drip machines can accomplish. They are also compact and, usually, affordable. Unfortunately, the Frieling Stainless Steel French Press is quite expensive, but for those who want the best French press out there this is the way to go.
The item’s double-wall stainless steel carafe provides top-notch heat retention, so you can grab a cup long after brewing. We tested it ourselves and our reviewer added that the stainless steel is “durable and wont shatter like glass beakers.” It’s available in a variety of sizes, starting at 8 ounces and working up to 44 ounces. You can also purchase it in a number of stylish finishes depending on what you prefer for your kitchen. Customers give the item high scores in several areas, including ease of use and, most importantly, flavor. It’s easy to clean too, as all parts are dishwasher safe.
Electric: No | Grounds or Pods: Grounds | Capacity: 8, 17, 23, 36, and 44 ounces | Dimensions: Varies by capacity | Warranty: 5 years
“The Frieling Double-Wall Stainless Steel French Press Coffee Maker is a high-style, impeccably engineered coffee maker for those willing to spend more money for great coffee.” Tracey Minkin, Product Tester
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Stovetop And Electric Percolators
Coffee percolators have been mainstays in the brewing process dating as far back as the late 19th century. Percolating is a cyclic process where the boiling water evaporates up a filtered chamber where the coarse coffee grounds rest. For stovetop percolators, the process ends when it’s removed from the gas, while electric models like the Presto 6-cup stainless-steel coffee percolator automatically shut off when the pot has reached a certain temperature.
Unlike other methods like the AeroPress and Chemex, which offer flavorful, nuanced cups of coffee, percolators have an inconsistent brewing process largely in part by how they’re built. As a result, they’re best suited for when you need to make large batches of coffee most percolators on the market make anywhere from six to 12 cups of coffee.
Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker
For our final product review, we have the famous Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker. Right off the bat, let’s make it clear that this machine isn’t a dual coffee maker in the same regards as the others. In fact, using the word “dual” would be misleading. Instead, a more suitable word would be “multifunctional”. Unlike the other models mentioned above, the Ninja is capable of doing more, much more.
For starters, the pot of coffee that the Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker produces is amazing. For those of you that have had pour over coffee made with a chemex, or a V60, this machine can brew an equally satisfying pot of coffee. Not only that, but you can do so with just a push of a button. No heating up water, no standing over your coffee for 4-6 minutes as you slowly pour water from your gooseneck kettle.
Now that we have discussed the fact that the Ninja makes a mean cup of Joe, what else can it do? Well, it has a few different brewing options that make it really stand out. Like the others on the list, it has a single serve option whether you want to brew a small, medium or large cup of coffee. Just be aware that these will be brewed in the same fashion as the pot of coffee, so you’ll need ground coffee opposed to a k cup.
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Best Coffee Grinder: Crucial For The Best Brew
Who this is for: If you want to take coffee seriously, the most important item in your brewing setup is a good quality burr grinder. Unlike blade grinders, which randomly chop coffee beans into smaller and smaller pieces, burr grinders pulverize coffee beans between two sets of burrs and deliver a way more uniform grind, which leads to better-tasting coffee.
Why we like it: The slim and trim Baratza Encore Coffee Grinder is lower-priced than most of the competitionabout $140 compared with about $200 for anything else in its echelon. In our testing for our guide to the best coffee grinders, the Encore performed as well as or better than any home grinder we tried. It grinds beans quickly and evenly, is simple to use and adjust, and is easy enough to clean and maintain that youll use it for years to come. The Encore makes it supremely easy to produce a great cup of coffee.
Weve been testing coffee grinders since 2015 and have yet to find a better value than the consistent, reliable, and repairable Baratza Encore.
Cuisinart Brew Central 12
- Carafe: Glass
- Programmable: Yes
The Cuisinart Brew Central Stainless Steel Coffee Maker is a reliable drip coffee maker with a large 12-cup carafe, making it a go-to option for those who drink multiple cups of coffee each day. This highly rated coffee pot is also equipped with a variety of useful features, including 24-hour brew programming, adjustable keep-warm temperature control, adjustable automatic shutoff and a time-to-clean indicator light.
This coffee makers glass carafe has an ergonomic handle, dripless spout and knuckle guard, and the machine comes with a gold-tone filter, measuring scoop and paper coffee starter kit. It might not be the fanciest machine out there, but the Cuisinart Brew Central gets consistently positive reviews from buyers who love its adjustable features and say it lasts for many years.
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Best Espresso Maker With Pods
Price: $$$Pods are prepackaged, single-serving containers of pre-ground coffee or espresso beans and typically designed to be brand-specific. While theyre more expensive than buying whole beans, many individuals appreciate their convenience factor.Nespresso is a company that produces its own espresso makers and pods.While they have several models, the Breville Nespresso Creatista is one of the best options, as it combines the convenience and flavor of Nespressos machines and pods with Brevilles micro-foam milk technology.Ready to start brewing in as little as 3 seconds, this machine gets great reviews for ease of use, the quality of its espresso, and customizable milk frothing temperatures. It also takes up less space on your counter than many other machines.As for the pods, Nespresso has an expansive line of capsules, including various strengths of espresso-style beans, single-origin capsules, pods, and lungo capsules, which are used for making espresso with double the amount of water.The Breville Nespresso Creatista comes with a 1-year warranty.
Best Coffee Machines And Coffee Makers At A Glance
- Best home espresso machine for aficionados: SMEG ECF01 espresso machine, £320
- Most stylish home espresso machine: DeLonghi Dedica EC685.M manual espresso maker, £181.99
- Best mid-range espresso maker: Sage Bambino Plus espresso maker, £399.95
Coffee pod machines
- Best for pod versatility: Nespresso Vertuo Next, £149
- Best eco-buy: illy ESE coffee pod machine, £115
- Best affordable coffee pod machine: Lavazza Jolie, £49
Bean-to-cup coffee machines
- Best bean-to-cup espresso machine: Sage the Oracle Touch bean-to cup espresso machine, £1,999.95
- Best smart bean-to-cup coffee machine: Smarter Coffee Machine, £179
- Best mid-range manual bean-to-cup coffee machine: DeLonghi La Specialista Maestro bean-to-cup coffee machine, £999.99
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Espresso Or Drip Coffee Machine
When wondering what coffee machine to pick, you have to decide what type of brewing is best for you. Drip or pressure brewing are the two options. The former is perfect for those who mostly drink traditional pour over coffee. Drip coffee machines have a holder for the filter to keep the grounds in place. The brewed coffee drips down to the kettle – placed directly under the filter. Such models are very simple and usually inexpensive. They dont make different types of coffee like espresso machines, which might be a drawback for some. Such devices also require more attention from the user.
Espresso machines are another option – in this case, you can choose between fully automatic and semi automatic models. They need less attention and have more functions than drip machines. Both types – fully and semi automatic use hot water that goes through coffee grounds under pressure. Compared to pour-over coffee, the beverage from an espresso machine contains more caffeine and the taste is less acidic. Most such devices have a milk frother.
Breville Bes870xl Barista Express Espresso Machine
With a built-in conical burr grinder, this product will precisely brew your beans from start to finish. Amazon
Espresso, which requires lots and lots of pressure to force hot water through coffee grounds, is an extremely precise and tricky type of coffee to make. You have to learn about water temperature, pressure, grind size, brew time to the second, and coffee weight out to the gram. This Breville Barista Express espresso machine doesnt hide that complexity, but itll guide you through it, and can do certain tasks automatically, so you dont have to.
Best pod coffee maker: Nespresso Vertuo Next Coffee and Espresso Machine
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Are Expensive Coffee Makers Worth It
Some of the best coffee maker brands charge incredibly premium prices for their creations. It should be noted, though, that some expensive coffee makers might not necessarily be worth it for the everyday consumer. Prices that range up to $600 or $700 often focus on flexibility and precise control over aspects of brewing like temperature, steeping times and intensities, bloom and grind density.
If you’re looking for a pro barista grade experience, these more expensive coffee maker options can be well worth their price. However, if you just need a quick shot to get you up in the mornings, we’d recommend steering clear of these more premium devices.
Which Type Of Coffee Maker Should I Buy
All the different types of coffee maker so you can get your caffeine fix
With one of the best coffee makers around, your morning ritual to make a nice cup of Joe will no longer be a chore. There are so many types of coffee makers on the market so youd be forgiven for losing track of which type does what.
Well be including all the main types of coffee makers, explaining what they do, and pointing out anything you should know before you buy one. When it comes to brands, youll also be spoiled for choice with well-known options such as the Nespresso Vertuo Plus going up against the likes of the Gaggia Gran Deluxe.
All the coffee maker types serve a different purpose and if youre not sure which is the right type for you, consider what youre going to use the machine for. This might sound strange since youre going to want to make coffee with it, but theres no point opting for a machine that has lots of fancy features that youll never use because you prefer your coffee simple and tasty. If you want endless choices for making latte art or a perfect cappuccino foam, choosing a coffee maker thats too simplistic will be equally frustrating.
Keep reading to find out more about all the different types of coffee makers for that delicious cup of java.
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Other Drip Coffee Makers We Tested
Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System
We tested two Ninja machines, both of which have some very appealing features. The hot and cold brew system brewed an excellent pot of hot coffee in less than five minutes, as well as a very tasty single cup , a less easy feat to perfect. It also brews coffee intended to be served directly over ice, an option that lots of consumers will like. We love the cool, minimalist glass carafe, though the lid features a big hole in the middle for pouring, which can lead to some splashing.
This machine, though prolific in function, lost points because the water tank plastic with prominent ridges feels cheap and devolves the user experience a bit . Another problem with this machine: The water tank doesnt have marking measurements, only half carafe, and full carafe, and two sizes of single cup. Without ounce or cup markings, how does one know how much water to add versus amount of coffee grounds? The Ninja machines come with a special-sized coffee scoop, different amounts on each end of the scoop, but it was bothersome that the water and the coffee amounts couldnt be more standardized without relying only on the provided removable accessories . A lot of performance features with this machine also means a busy control panel that also feels a bit high-maintenance.
Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker with Glass Carafe
Cuisinart PerfecTemp 14-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker
Cuisinart Coffee Center 10-Cup Thermal Coffee Maker and Single Serve Brewer
What Grinders Do The Best Coffee Makers Have
As mentioned, the best coffee machines have built-in grinders. Everybody knows that freshly ground coffee has the best flavour. The best coffee maker should have a grinder that breaks down coffee beans before brewing. Such a beverage is much more aromatic than the one made of pre-ground coffee.
Manufacturers equip their machines with burr grinders which crush coffee beans to the appropriate size. One can pick between two types: ceramic and still burrs. So, which coffee machine is better – with ceramic or steel grinder? Both types have the same construction and operation principle – the only difference is the material. Steel grinders are more durable, therefore they are more recommended. A ceramic grinder can break if something hard gets inside, e.g. a small stone. But there is also a belief that steel grinders impact the taste of coffee because they heat up when working. In fact, both types operate in the same way. As specialists say, they dont influence the taste of beverages.
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