Having too much coffee is just as bad as having too little of it.
When you over-brew and make too many cups of joe, you end up with a stale beverage that doesn’t have that much flavor unless you finish it within an hour.
That’s why a 5-cup capacity is often considered to be the golden mean. Today, we are going to look at the best 5-cup coffee makers and learn how to find what works for you. Let’s start!
|Best Overall –Editor’s Choice – Zojirushi Zutto (EC-DAC50)||9.5||Check current price on Amazon|
|Best Glass Carafe 5-Cup Coffee Maker – Krups Simply Brew||9||Check current price on Amazon|
|Best Budget Option – Hamilton Beach (48136)||8.5||Check current price on Amazon|
|Best Thermal Carafe 5-Cup Coffee Maker – Bonavita (BV1500TS)||8||Check current price on Amazon|
|Best for Specialty Coffee – Hario Technica Glass Syphon||8||Check current price on Amazon|
Our Reviews of the Best 5-Cup Coffee Makers
Best Overall — Editor’s Choice
Zojirushi Zutto (EC-DAC50)
- plastic exterior;
- glass carafe;
- automatic Keep Warm function;
- removable water tank;
- BPA-free components.
The first item among the best 5-cup coffee makers is this compact, minimalistic model by Zojirushi. This machine comes at a very attractive price which doesn’t affect the coffee quality. It’s a good option for those who want delicious coffee without bells and whistles.
What’s unusual about this model is the filter placement. Housed in the carafe, it makes the whole unit look smaller and sleeker. Plus, disassembling and cleaning are also fuss-free thanks to such design.
The Zutto by Zojirushi has a removable water tank for convenient refills. It is operated with only one button and has an automatic Keep Warm function for the glass carafe. This model comes with a replaceable charcoal filter.
|Extremely easy to use and to clean||No auto shut-off|
|Brews declivous coffee||Quite basic, might not be suitable for more demanding users|
|Includes a water filter|
Overall, this simple 5-cup coffee maker might pleasantly surprise you. It makes great (and hot!) coffee with just a touch of a button.
Best Glass Carafe 5-Cup Coffee Maker
Krups Simply Brew
- plastic construction;
- one-button operation;
- automatic Keep Warm function;
- reusable mesh filter;
- automatic brew-pause when the carafe is removed.
The Krups is another worthy contestant for the right to be called the best 5-cup coffee maker. This model comes with a quality glass carafe that will keep your coffee warm and fresh.
The Krups has an automatic pause function. This means you can take the carafe out during the brewing process and it will stop automatically. It’s a great option for hasty mornings when you are in a hurry to get your caffeine fix.
This model comes with a reusable mesh filter and a handy scoop. The water reservoir is placed on top and has a wide opening for convenient filling. There’s no auto shut-off, so you’ll have to turn the heating plate off on your own.
|Well-made||No automatic shut-off|
|Brews coffee fast||The water tank lid doesn’t open all the way, which may annoy some users|
|Makes great-tasting coffee|
To sum up, this is a great little coffee maker for the price. The Krups is compact, easy to use, and brews tasty coffee.
Best Budget Option
Hamilton Beach (48136)
- non-stick warming plate;
- cone-shaped brew basket (swing-away design);
- dishwasher safe parts;
- glass carafe;
- plastic construction.
If you are on a tight budget but still want to enjoy delicious coffee, the Hamilton Beach might be ideal for you. This model is quite cheap but brews surprisingly tasty beverages.
What makes the Hamilton Beach stand out from the crowd is its compatibility with the Smart Plug. This means you can connect the coffee maker to your smart home system (Siri, Alexa, Google Home, etc.) and use voice control to brew coffee.
Another cool thing about this model is how easy it is to maintain. The hotplate is nonstick, so you will only need to wipe it with a cloth occasionally. The carafe and the filter basket are dishwasher safe, which makes cleaning so much easier. Plus, the swing filter basket is very convenient to fill. You won’t have to deal with coffee grounds all over your counter.
|Very affordable||Doesn’t come with a reusable filter|
|Smart Plug compatible, can become a part of your smart home system||No auto shut-off|
|Automatic Pause and Serve||The carafe may spill if you pour coffee too fast|
|Easy to clean and to fill|
|Brews hot coffee|
To summarize, I have to admit that the Hamilton Beach managed to surprise me. It works super fast and makes good, hot (not simply warm) coffee. It is a rare find for such a price.
Best Thermal Carafe 5-Cup Coffee Maker
- brewing temperature between 198 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit;
- stainless steel line carafe;
- brewing time: up to 6 minutes;
- automatic shut-off;
- pre-infusion mode.
The next item on our list of the best 5-cup coffee makers is this sleek model by Bonavita. With its quality thermal carafe, it keeps coffee warm without sacrificing the flavor.
The Bonavita can often be found among the best SCAA certified coffee makers. Now, while the Association doesn’t certify such small capacity brewers, this model still meets its standards, including the optimal brewing temperature.
Despite its reasonable price, the Bonavita is a bit more advanced than the previous models. It has an automatic shut-off feature and even a pre-infusion mode that helps enhance the coffee flavor. The filter basket, carafe lid, and showerhead are dishwasher safe. Additionally, the showerhead has a special design that allows for an even saturation.
|Quality made||Some spilling is possible when pouring the coffee into a cup|
|Pre-infusion mode and even saturation for a better flavor||Can’t see how much coffee you’ve got left in the carafe|
|Thermal carafe keeps coffee warm without making it taste burnt|
|Easy to clean|
|Supports an optimal brewing temperature|
Overall, the Bonavita is a worthy investment. It uses quality components to brew delicious coffee. Plus, this machine keeps it warm without that annoying burnt flavor you can sometimes get from the hotplate.
Best for Specialty Coffee
Hario Technica Glass Syphon
- heat-resistant borosilicate glass bowls;
- stainless steel filter, stand, and burner cover;
- brass fasteners;
- aluminum windbreak;
- includes an alcohol burner.
If you are a fan of specialty coffee and don’t mind spending more time brewing, the Hario may interest you. This glass syphon coffee maker might require a learning curve, but the coffee flavor would be worth it.
Made in Japan, this is a manual 5-cup coffee maker. It boils the water and pushes it through the grounds to brew coffee. The process may take a bit longer than you are used to, but it results in a rich, bold aroma.
What makes Hario stand out from the competitors is the quality of its components. This coffee maker uses glass and metal parts, which are reliable and durable. The way it works is quite simple but does require more time. It’s a great option for those who want their coffee strong and rich.
|High-quality materials||Takes longer to make coffee|
|Superb coffee flavor||May require a learning curve|
|Reusable filter||Takes extra time to clean|
|Looks cool and stylish|
To sum up, the Hario is not the fastest 5-cup coffee maker out there. Still, the coffee it produces is definitely worth waiting for, as it is smooth, flavorful, and rich.
How to Pick the Best 5-Cup Coffee Maker
Without a doubt, a 5-cup coffee maker is a useful kitchen device.
But to get the most out of it, you need to find something that would suit your personal needs and requirements.
To pick a suitable 5-cup coffee maker, consider the following factors:
- Size. While most of 5-cup coffee machines are rather compact, some models can be bulkier due to extra details (a large screen, for example). So, it’s always a good idea to measure your counter space before purchasing a new device for your kitchen. Keep in mind that different manufacturers have different cup sizes too. This means, some of the best 4-cup coffee makers can actually have the capacity of a 5-cup model (and vice versa).
- Carafe type. Now, you have 2 options: glass or thermal. Using a glass carafe allows you to see how much coffee you have left. However, as glass carafes sit directly on a hotplate, it’s important not to leave it on for too long. This can make your coffee taste burnt (1). Now, thermal carafe coffee makers use insulated steel to keep your beverage warm. This means the coffee flavor would not be affected. However, using a thermal carafe, you won’t see how much coffee you have left.
- Auto shut-off. This function is energy-efficient and can also make you worry less about forgetting to turn your machine off. Typically, coffee makers shut off after 1-2 hours after brewing. The machines with a hotplate may turn off automatically after 40 minutes or an hour, depending on the model.
- Programmability. This feature is optional but very handy. A programmable timer will make your coffee machine start brewing automatically (2). This means you can wake up to a fresh beverage in the morning. All you have to do is program the machine an evening before.
- Ease of maintenance. A good 5-cup coffee maker should be easy to clean. Some models have removable parts that are dishwasher safe. Others have a self-clean mode, which can make maintenance much easier.
- Extra features. If you want bells and whistles, you may try to find the best all-in-one coffee maker, something that would offer you multiple brewing options and adjustments. Some models also allow for temperature and brew strength controls. However, keep in mind that such coffee makers usually cost more (around $200-300 on average).
- Warranty. A standard coffee maker warranty lasts for about a year or two. Models that have stainless steel construction may have a longer warranty, but they also cost more. Whatever the case is, always read the warranty conditions before making a purchase.
When it comes to durability, you should keep in mind that most coffee makers have a plastic construction.
Plastic components don’t necessarily make a coffee machine bad. However, it’s better to pick among the BPA free coffee makers as they are a safer option and don’t contain Bisphenol A.
When shopping for a 5-cup coffee maker, check the water tank. A removable reservoir is much easier to fill.
Who Will Appreciate Using a 5-Cup Coffee Maker?
According to the Statista Global Consumer Survey, 16% of Americans drink 4-5 cups of coffee per day.
Even if you drink 2-3 cups a day (like 44% of the US population), you can still enjoy using a 5-cup coffee maker. This capacity is suitable for different users, including:
- Couples. If you and your partner drink a few cups of coffee per day, a 5-cup machine would be enough for the two of you. You can share one carafe and then brew a fresh beverage for your next coffee break.
- Solo users who drink coffee multiple times a day. A 5-cup machine will help you save some time in this case. You can brew 5 cups at once and then enjoy them throughout the day.
- Families of coffee lovers. You can brew a full carafe and share it with everyone, and then brew a fresh batch again. With a 5-cup model, your family won’t have to deal with stale coffee.
- Small kitchen owners. 5-cup coffee machines are quite compact. They don’t take too much counter space while still brewing a decent amount of coffee.
- Small offices. Such a capacity can be enough for an office, provided that only a few people would use the coffee maker.
Another cool thing about 5-cup coffee makers is that they brew coffee rather fast. It’s an ideal option for busy users or someone who hates waiting for their coffee.
Types of 5-Cup Coffee Makers
The market has a lot to offer, which can make some shoppers feel lost and confused.
Let’s sort the types of coffee machines to see which one would be the most suitable for you:
- Manual. Stovetop coffee makers and pour-overs belong to the manual category. They are affordable but pretty basic. With a manual coffee maker, you are free to experiment with your coffee grounds, coarseness, water and coffee ratio, brewing time, and so on. However, keep in mind that manual coffee makers require more time (and effort) to brew your favorite beverage.
- Capsule. Capsule models use coffee pods instead of loose grounds. Most of them are single-serve coffee makers, but you can still find larger capacity models. Capsule machines are favored to their fast operation and user-friendly design. They are also rather compact and ideal for solo users.
- Bean-to-cup. These grind brew makers do all the work for you. They grind the beans and brew coffee with just a touch of a button. It is a perfect option for those users who want a fully automatic machine. Note that bean-to-cup models are quite pricey and may not be suited for shoppers on a budget.
- Drip. Drip coffee makers use a filter coffee system. They are quite versatile, and you can find many of them among the best dual coffee makers that offer multiple brewing sizes. This type is good for people who want simplicity combined with customization. Drip coffee machines are quite affordable too, although you can still find some high-end models, especially the ones that are SCA certified (3).
Drip filter coffee makers are the most popular ones, followed by capsule models.
This can be explained by their fast operation and ease of use. And luckily, drip models come in all shapes and sizes, including the convenient 5-cup capacity.
How many scoops of coffee do I need for 5 cups?
To brew 5 cups of coffee, you will need around 8-10 tablespoons (or 53 grams) of coffee grounds.
What kind of coffee filter is suitable for a 5-cup coffee maker?
You can use both paper and reusable mesh filters with a 5-cup coffee maker. Keep in mind that paper filters absorb some of the coffee oils and make milder tasting beverages. Metal mesh filters are more eco-friendly and budget-efficient.
When should you replace a coffee maker?
If the beverage quality has changed, or your coffee maker doesn’t heat the water properly anymore, it might be the time to replace it. Another sign is constant water leaks.
ConclusionTo find what works for you, you need to consider how simple or advanced you want your coffee maker to be. Many of them come with special features like programmability or temperature controls. But if you want something basic, a one-button machine should suffice. Keep in mind that most coffee makers have a limited warranty, so make sure to check the conditions before finalizing your purchase. And while the market has a lot to offer, I would like to recommend my personal favorite – the Zutto by Zojirushi. This coffee machine is plain and simple but makes delicious coffee. It is fast, extremely easy to use, and won’t affect your budget. What do you think? Which 5-cup coffee maker managed to impress you? Share your opinion in the comments!
- Mike Quinn (2018, April 07). Thermal vs. Glass Carafes: Which Is Better for Your Cup of Joe? Retrieved from https://foodal.com/drinks-2/coffee/brewers/thermal-vs-glass-carafes/#Glass-Carafe-Pros-and-Cons
- Marshall Brain, Jessika Toothman (n.d.). How Coffee Makers Work. Retrieved from https://home.howstuffworks.com/coffee-maker4.htm
- Specialty Coffee Association (n.d.). SCA Certified Home Brewer Program. Retrieved from https://sca.coffee/certified-home-brewer
My name is Yurii Brown. I am a passionate coffee geek and, concurrently, a certified coffee specialist.
I’ve been learning about coffee for a long time, testing various devices and practicing in home coffee brewing. I like to share my experience and insights with fellow coffee lovers so that my readers could enjoy the real taste of quality-brewed beverages.