Testing coffee makers is fun.
But I am writing this with my shaky hands and with one of my eyes pulsing.
I guess there is such thing as “too much coffee”. Who would’ve thought!
You see, I am ready for sacrifices when it comes to picking only the best products for you.
And today, I’ve prepared 7 best coffee makers, each of which can make you that flavorful, perfect cup of your favorite hot beverage.
A Quick Preview
Best Value for Money
Bonavita One-Touch Coffee Maker (BV1901PS)
8-cup thermal carafe
195-205 F brewing temperature
Double-walled stainless steel carafe
Dimensions: 12.40 x 12.20 x 6.80 inches
What makes this machine special is the value for money it offers. While the recommended retail price is $150, this model is sold at only $110. Additionally, it has a simple design and shows excellent performance. For such a price, you get a whole lot of cool features and a perfect cup of coffee every time.
This top-rated coffee maker by Bonavita uses a smart heater technology. It releases water like a showerhead and maintains stable temperatures, between 198 and 205 degrees, which is ideal for coffee brewing. This is why the Bonavita belongs to the best SCAA-certified coffee makers, as this model meets the highest brewing standards for home coffee machines.
Now, this particular model has a stainless steel carafe, which can hold up to 8 cups of coffee, keeping your beverage warm and flavorful. There is an optional pre-infusion feature that makes the flavor even richer. The machine signals when the coffee is ready. Additionally, it comes with a 2-year warranty, which is a nice bonus.
This top-rated coffee maker is a perfect option for people who want the best value for money. It packs many cool features and makes a good cup of coffee (8 cups, to be exact). So, if you want something that brews flavorful beverages and if you don’t need your coffee to be boiling hot, this brewer is definitely for you.
Best One-Cup Dispenser Coffee Maker
Cuisinart Programmable Coffeemaker (DCC-3000)
Dispenses one cup at a time
Double-wall coffee reservoir
Charcoal water filter
Dimensions: 11.25 x 8.75 x 14.7 inches
This model truly deserves to be among the best coffee makers thanks to its efficient operation and the coffee quality it offers.
That’s not it:
This is the coolest drip coffee maker that dispenses one cup at a time and allows you to enjoy only fresh beverages. No need to deal with leaky or fast-cooling carafes!
“What’s interesting about this model is its brewing process, which is almost steam-free. This means, when reaching the needed temperature to make coffee, this machine does not eliminate much steam and can be placed pretty much anywhere in your kitchen, even under the wooden cabinets.”
This budget-friendly programmable brewer by Cuisinart is one of the top-notch coffee machines under $100. It holds the top place in numerous coffee maker reviews and combines affordability with consistently good performance. Additionally, it can be programmed beforehand (up to 24 hours in advance) and features an auto-off function to save energy.
If you have enough counter space and want your coffee one cup at a time without the hustle of reloading the machine, this model would be perfect for you. It’s also suitable for people who need to save a buck or two but still want a nice, quality product.
Best Fast Coffee Maker
BUNN GRB Velocity Brew Home Coffee Brewer
Brews a full pot in around 3 minutes
Brewing temperature: 200 F
Water capacity: 10 cups
Can brew 4 cups minimum
Dimensions: 14.8 x 7.1 x 13.8 inches
If you want the fastest and the best coffee maker, you should definitely consider this model by BUNN. While other machines take no less than 5-6 minutes to brew coffee, this one fills a pot in about 3 minutes!
“Because this model brews coffee very fast, the final result tastes better. You see, oftentimes when coffee steeps for too long, it becomes too bitter. With this BUNN brewer, you will not experience such an issue.”
Some coffee maker reviews note that this model isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing. However, it was built to last, and that’s what matters the most. The machine uses a stainless steel hot water reservoir that keeps the water at the optimal temperature for brewing. There’s also a special multi-stream spray head, which ensures that the water covers the ground coffee evenly for maximum flavor.
The carafe’s maximum capacity is 10 cups, but you can adjust the brew size according to your needs. For instance, you can use the BUNN as a 4-cup coffee maker, as that’s the minimal quantity you can brew at once. Or, fill the reservoir with just enough water for half of the carafe and enjoy your BUNN as one of the best 5-cup coffee makers. It’s up to you to decide how much your machine should brew on any given day.
This machine is perfect for users who want something simple (without those fancy extras) but capable of brewing a decent quantity of good coffee in almost no time.
Feel like this coffee maker will be perfect for you?
To brew the perfect cup of coffee, you need to know the right water/coffee ratio. Experts recommend using the 1/20 ratio (1 part coffee and 20 parts water). However, some people prefer a stronger brew and use 1 part coffee and 14 parts water, for example. It all comes down to your personal preference.
Best Versatile Coffee Maker
Hamilton Beach Programmable Coffee Maker (49980A)
Two-way brewer makes a single cup and a full (or part) pot
Adjustable drip tray for different cup sizes
Brew strength setting
Automatic shut-off feature
Dimensions: 13.9 x 12.23 x 11.08 inches
What makes this machine stand out from other coffee brewers is its versatility. It can work equally well for one person and for a big family thanks to its two-way brewing system.
“Conveniently, this coffee maker has two separate water reservoirs (one for the pot and another one for the single cup). This allows for accurate and fast brewing without even a drop of water being wasted.”
With two different ways to brew coffee and different strength adjustments, this machine by Hamilton Beach can be called one of the best dual coffee makers. It allows for very flexible use and gives you more control over your brew. Additionally, it’s extremely easy to deal with. You can even use soft coffee pods if you’re feeling a bit lazy. And if you want your coffee to be prepared in advance, use the handy programmable timer and set the machine up to start brewing coffee whenever you want (up to 24 hours in advance).
This coffee brewer is ideal for people who need one machine for different occasions. It makes beverages for one and for a company of people, which means it offers a rather flexible use.
Best Adjustable Coffee Maker
Cuisinart Programmable Thermal Coffeemaker (DCC-3400)
Two strength settings
Programmable and fully automatic
Thermal carafe holds up to 12 cups of coffee
Dimensions: 14.25 x 9 x 7.75 inches
What makes this coffee brewer so special is how adjustable it is.
Let me explain:
You can choose the strength of your beverage and set the hot plate temperature to the most optimal degree (or according to your personal preference). This gives you the freedom to get your desired perfect cup of coffee.
“This particular model allows you to get your cup of coffee even if you’re in a hurry and don’t want to wait for the brewing cycle to finish. This can be done using the handy Brew Pause feature.”
The Cuisinart coffee maker brews coffee at 200 F temperature. It features a showerhead system, which results in great tasting coffee. You can choose the strength of your beverage between regular and bold. This thermal carafe coffee machine works to maintain a proper beverage temperature and prevents it from turning stale. You can even turn the hotplate off, as the carafe’s construction is enough to keep your coffee warm for quite some time.
If you don’t mind some small issues with the carafe and want a good mid-level coffee maker, this model would be perfect for you. It has all the essential features, reliable design, and simple operation.
Buying Your Coffee Maker
Here’s the deal:
To buy a new coffee machine, all you have to do is figure out your coffee drinking habits. And then you just need to match them with a suitable maker. Easy, isn’t it?
Start by determining the following aspects:
What coffee do you like? Is it espresso, cappuccino, latte, or something more uncommon? Whatever type you prefer, make sure that the machine you’re considering is able to make it.
How much do you need? If one cup isn’t enough for you to start your day, you should go with a larger model that can brew around 10 or 12 cups at a time.
If you want a freshly brewed coffee to wait for you right after you wake up, get yourself a machine with a programmable timer. It will turn on automatically and prepare a hot beverage while you get out of bed. Just remember to add some water and freshly ground coffee the night before.
How much space do you have? You might want a large luxurious coffee maker, but if your kitchen is really small, chances are you won’t be able to fit it in there. Even if you will, it’s likely to look too bulky and feel out of place.
How often do you drink coffee? If you need it regularly throughout the day, it is better to get a machine with a carafe or an insulated mug. This way, you won’t have to brew coffee every time you want a hot beverage.
Who is going to use it? Now, this is when you might want to check the water reservoir of your desired coffee maker. For a family of coffee drinkers, you probably need something large, starting from around 50 or 60 oz. This way, you won’t have to refill the water tank too often. You can also check some of the best coffee makers with a water line. Those connect directly to the water supply and eliminate the need to use a reservoir at all. Instead, they just pump the needed amount of water for each brewing cycle. Keep in mind that using a water filter would be a great idea in this case.
Types of Coffee Makers
Investing in a coffee maker is actually a good way to save some money, especially if you drink coffee regularly and frequently. Don’t worry, the barista from your favorite coffee shop will not feel offended if you stop coming.
So, if you’re ready to make a purchase, you may be wondering about the types of coffee makers and your possible options. Well, the most common and popular are:
Drip coffee makers. These machines involve pouring hot water over the ground coffee, which is placed in a filter. You might also come across automatic pour-over coffee makers that have a slightly different design. Those machines have special water valves that work to disperse the water evenly over the grounds. Such an approach results in a more even saturation and an improved extraction. Basically, this makes the coffee taste better.
Espresso makers. In this case, a machine forces hot (boiling, to be exact) water through the ground coffee (which has to be very finely ground) and directly into a cup. These makers can be automatic and semi-automatic. Some of them have integrated bean grinders and belong to the list of good grind and brew coffee makers. Such models allow users to enjoy the freshest espressos without the need to spend time grinding (and potentially spilling the grounds everywhere).
Smart coffee makers. These involve using an app that controls the coffee maker’s operation. Many of them automatically froth milk or grind the beans (depending on the model) and operate as all-in-one coffee makers, doing all the work for the users.
Thermal (carafe) coffee machines. These machines feature an insulated carafe, in which the coffee is “stored” and kept hot and fresh (instead of being poured directly into a cup).
French press. Also known as Coffee Press or Press Pot, this type offers the simplest way to make a good cup of coffee. What you need to do is place some ground coffee in it and pour hot water over it. Then stir it and leave to brew for a few minutes. Press the filter down to keep the ground coffee at the bottom and pour yourself a cup of this hot beverage.
Moka (stovetop) pot. Its construction is rather simple. There’s a water chamber at the bottom. The coffee goes into the middle section. When the water starts boiling, it travels through the chamber and goes over the coffee. And voila, your espresso is done!
Cold brew coffee makers. The cold brew method requires more time than your regular coffee, but the results are worth the wait. The coffee turns out sweeter, less acidic, fruitier, and smoother. Many good Japanese coffee makers are suitable for the cold brew method, however, some automatic drip models have such a function as well.
Cleaning Your Coffee Maker
No matter how smart your coffee maker is, it cannot clean itself. Thankfully, this process isn’t that complex, so you’ll probably manage to deal with it in almost no time.
Here’s what you need to do to keep your coffee machine sparkling clean:
Fill the water chamber with a mixture of clean water and white vinegar (1:1). Put a paper filter into the basket and brew half of the water. Then leave the rest of the mixture to soak. After an hour or so, brew the rest of the water. This will clean the insides of the machine.
Change the paper filter and put another cycle on, but this time use only the clean water. This will rinse the vinegar out of the system.
Wipe inside the chamber using a damp cloth. If you notice any larger debris or loose grounds, gently scrub them with a sponge.
You can clean the carafe (if your machine has one) using some warm water and dish soap.
If the carafe has some dirt or spots on the outside, use a damp cloth. Try to avoid using anything abrasive since it can damage the exterior.
If the water reservoir has calcium deposits, you need to use a special coffee maker cleaning product. It might cost a bit more, but it will keep your machine operating properly.
Coffee Making Tips that Will Change Your Life
You might consider yourself a coffee expert. Or, you may be a coffee enthusiast who just wants to bring his or her coffee making skills to a whole new level. Whatever the case is, I bet these simple tips and tricks can change your life for the better.
Seriously, listen to the following advice, and each of your coffee cups will be perfect. Here’s what you should do:
Buy only fresh coffee (whole bean, of course). Pre-ground coffee is definitely a simpler (lazier, I should say) solution. However, it just doesn’t taste that good, no matter how cool your coffee machine is. Fresh coffee beans are of higher quality. Yes, you will have to grind them yourself, but your coffee will taste so much better. You just need to learn how to pick freshly roasted beans, and each of your beverages will taste amazing.
A quick tip: you can always find some freshly roasted beans at local coffee shops. Some of them even roast the beans right there on the spot, which means you will get the freshest roast possible.
Store your coffee properly. A vacuum-sealed container is a perfect option, but if you need a simpler solution, a good old Mason jar will do the trick. Some people store their coffee in the fridge, but I personally believe that it’s better to buy smaller batches and store them sealed in a jar in a dark and dry place. Whatever you decide, just don’t leave your coffee beans in a bag or in an open jar.
Know when to grind your coffee beans. To get the most flavorful, fresh taste, grind the beans right before brewing. Experts note that coffee tends to lose its flavor within half an hour after being ground.
Check the temperature. Many coffee makers fail to reach the proper water temperature for brewing. So, it’s better to set the temperature yourself if your machine allows for it (it should be 195-205 F).
Use clean water. Many users forget about this aspect (or believe that boiling the water makes it good). But the thing is, hard or unfiltered water compromises the taste of your coffee. At the same time, heavily filtered water can be just as destructive. What you need is distilled or lightly filtered water, which you can buy at pretty much any supermarket.
ConclusionI know that some people cannot live without coffee. Seriously, without their regular caffeine fix, they look like the most miserable people on Earth. If you are one of them (or even if you’re a beginner coffee enthusiast), I’ve got good news for you. There are 7 awesome coffee makers, each of which can guarantee a rich flavor and a good taste. However, there is one particular model, which I would not hesitate to buy for myself. I am talking about the Hamilton Beach Programmable Coffee Brewer (model 49980A). This machine combines everything you would want: quality build, flexibility in use, and excellent performance. It is suitable for a solo user and larger parties of people. And it offers great value for money. What else is there to wish for? Have you already picked your favorite? And how much of a coffee addict are you? Let us know in the comments below!
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.