Don’t you hate it when you reach out for an extra cup of coffee and it tastes stale?
I hate that too.
When only the first cup is fresh in your carafe, you need to consider getting a thermal one. That’s how you will drink your coffee the right way — with every cup staying flavorful.
That’s why I’ve prepared my review of the best thermal carafe coffee makers. Read it and find out which one can keep your coffee as fresh as you like it.
|Best Overall – Cuisinart DCC-2750||9||Check current price on Amazon|
|Best Drip Coffee Maker with Thermal Carafe – Zojirushi EC-YTC100XB||8.5||Check current price on Amazon|
|Best High-End Coffee Maker for Specialty Coffee – Ninja CM407||8||Check current price on Amazon|
|Best 12-Cup Coffee Maker with Thermal Carafe – Hamilton Beach Programmable Coffee Maker (46391)||8||Check current price on Amazon|
|Best Value for Money – Mr. Coffee Optimal Brew (PSTX95)||7||Check current price on Amazon|
Our Reviews of the Best Thermal Carafe Coffee Makers
Best Overall — Editor’s Choice — Cuisinart DCC-2750
- stainless-steel thermal carafe;
- 10-cup capacity;
- adjustable shut-off;
- charcoal water filter;
- 24-hour programmability;
- small-batch setting (1-4 cups).
I want to start my review of the best thermal carafe coffee makers with the Cuisinart for one simple reason. This model is a rare find for the money, and it was designed to surprise.
“What makes the Cuisinart stand out among the competitors is the handy Brew Pause feature. It will let you enjoy a cup of fresh coffee without the need to wait for the whole carafe to be filled up.”
If you are looking for a coffee maker that combines all the essential features, then this model would be great for you. The Cuisinart comes with a double-wall insulated stainless-steel carafe that is made to keep your beverage warm and fresh longer. You can control the brew strength, which may come in handy if you watch your caffeine consumption.
Another cool feature of this coffee maker is the showerhead. It’s quite large, which allows it to distribute the water over the ground beans quite evenly, resulting in a more balanced, flavorful coffee. And great news for solo users: you can brew coffee in smaller batches and enjoy it fresh. This feature makes the Cuisinart one of the best 4-cup coffee makers, allowing for versatility when it comes to brewing size adjustments.
|Fast brewing||Keeps coffee warm, not hot|
|Keeps coffee warm longer||May be too noisy for some users|
|Adjustable brew strength and timer|
|Various brewing batches available|
|Integrated water filter|
|Easy to clean|
|Good value for money|
Overall, this is a great example of what a good thermal carafe coffee maker should be. The Cuisinart combines quality, functionality, and affordable pricing. To me, that’s more than enough to love it for!
Best Drip Coffee Maker with Thermal Carafe
- 10-cup capacity;
- 200-degree brewing;
- vacuum-insulated thermal carafe;
- permanent stainless steel mesh filter for coffee;
- timer and digital clock included.
The next model I would like to mention in my review of the best thermal carafe coffee makers is the Zojirushi. This stylish model will allow you to enjoy delicious drip coffee, just like in your favorite coffee shop.
“If you really appreciate the quality of your beverages, the Zojirushi can offer something special for you. This coffee maker has a pre-infusion cycle. It wets the ground coffee evenly before brewing to achieve a richer taste and aroma.”
Now, the Zojirushi is a drip coffee maker that uses a mesh coffee filter and brews at the optimal temperature. You can use it for both hot and cold beverages. The water tank is removable, which makes filling extremely easy.
The carafe deserves to be mentioned separately. The Zojirushi uses a stainless steel carafe that is vacuum-sealed. It keeps your coffee hot without a hot plate, thus eliminating that unpleasant burnt flavor. If a 10-cup carafe seems too much, you can use your Zojirushi as a 5-cup coffee maker by simply brewing half of the carafe.
|Great quality||May be too noisy for some users|
|Easy to refill||Can be a bit challenging to clean|
|Optimal brewing temperature|
|Keeps coffee hot longer|
|Great tasting beverages|
|Both cold and hot coffee options|
|Pre-infusion feature for a richer flavor|
To tell the truth, when I was reviewing this thermal carafe coffee maker, I didn’t expect it to surprise me. It turned out to be able to make a great cup of drip coffee, just like the one I usually order at my local coffee shop.
Best High-End Coffee Maker for Specialty Coffee
- 6 brew size options;
- integrated milk frother;
- 4 brew strength options;
- 10-cup thermal carafe;
- removable water tank.
If you’re really a coffee connoisseur, you’re going to love the next candidate in my review of the best thermal carafe coffee makers. The Ninja is a device that will allow you to enjoy a different beverage every day and master your home coffee making.
“The manufacturer wanted to make the cleaning process effortless for you. That’s why many parts of the Ninja are dishwasher safe, including the flip-top lid, water tank, frother whisk, filter holder, and the brew-through lid.”
Now, the Ninja allows for superb versatility, so you can easily call it one of the best single-serve coffee makers. You can make specialty coffee for your favorite cappuccinos or other types of coffee shop beverages, which makes this model a good all-in-one coffee maker. Additionally, there are 6 brew sizes, from a single cup to a full carafe, and 4 brewing styles, including over-ice coffee. Plus, the Ninja works quite fast, so you won’t have to wait for your beverage for too long.
Another cool thing about this model is that the Ninja belongs to the best SCAA-certified coffee makers. What does it mean, you may ask? It means that this coffee machine meets the highest brewing standards for home coffee makers. It maintains an optimal temperature for proper extraction and great coffee quality.
|Superb versatility||May be too expensive for some users|
|Easy to clean||The frother doesn’t steam milk, which might be a disappointment for some|
|Multiple brewing sizes||The carafe keeps coffee warm, not hot|
|Stainless steel carafe|
|Brews tasty coffee|
The Ninja can easily find a way into your heart if you love coffee. This thermal carafe coffee maker is packed with cool features and can make your kitchen feel like a coffee house.
Best 12-Cup Coffee Maker with Thermal Carafe
Hamilton Beach Programmable Coffee Maker (46391)
- 12-cup carafe capacity;
- immediate shut-off function;
- vacuum sealed carafe;
- 3 brew options.
The next item in my review of the best thermal carafe coffee makers is the Hamilton Beach, or as I like to call it, the Big Guy. This coffee maker is perfect for large families of coffee lovers as it can brew up to 12 cups at once.
“The Hamilton Beach will be safe for your counters. No need to worry about spilling and those nasty water stains thanks to its front-fill design. All you have to do is lift up the lid and add water.”
This model brews coffee in 3 different styles. You can enjoy your beverage regular or bold, or brew 1-4 cups when you don’t need a full carafe. There’s also an automatic shut-off function that turns the coffee maker off right after brewing is done, which makes the Hamilton Beach more energy-efficient. Another cool thing about this model is the vacuum-sealed carafe for improved insulation.
|Large capacity for bigger families||The carafe may drip when pouring coffee|
|Good values for money||May be too noisy for some|
|Easy to use and to clean|
|Automatic shut-off for power-efficiency|
|Reusable coffee filter|
|Keeps coffee warm for a few hours|
As this is a 12-cup thermal carafe coffee maker, I’m sure that you and all your family members will enjoy using it daily. The Hamilton Beach packs all the essentials and makes good-tasting beverages. To me, that’s a great combo!
Best Value for Money
Black + Decker (CM2035B)
- double-walled thermal carafe;
- 12-cup capacity;
- brewing in smaller batches available (1-4 cups);
- no-drip carafe spout design;
- Evenstream Showerhead for even saturation of the grounds.
Looking for a budget-friendly coffee maker that doesn’t sacrifice quality for affordability? Then the Black + Decker might be the right choice for you. This simple coffee machine comes with an attractive price tag but brews delicious coffee. Plus, it has a few more tricks “up its sleeve”.
The Black + Decker machine allows for customization when it comes to beverage sizes and brew strength. This coffee maker is programmable, so you can enjoy freshly brewed coffee first thing in the morning without much effort. Additionally, this model is super easy to use and would work even for less experienced users.
Now, if you are concerned about the plastic parts and want to find one of the best BPA-free coffee makers, you should know that the company does not state which plastic parts of this coffee maker may contain BPA but says that they are safe nonetheless and meet all the manufacturing standards.
|Good coffee flavor thanks to the even saturation and proper extraction||Plastic parts (not the most durable option)|
|Reasonably priced but offers great value||The coffee might not be hot enough for some users|
|Super easy to use|
|Can keep coffee warm without affecting its flavor (no hotplate)|
|Programmable brewing available|
|Works fast and quietly|
|Easy to clean|
All in all, this model deserves your attention, especially if you want to save a few bucks. The Black + Decker is a worthy find that combines all the necessary features to achieve great-tasting coffee without affecting one’s budget too much.
Things to Consider When Shopping for a Thermal Carafe Coffee Maker
Picking a suitable thermal carafe coffee maker is quite a straightforward task when you know what you’re looking for.
The following factors can help you make up your mind and figure out what you want exactly:
- Capacity. Firstly, you need to consider how much coffee you usually drink. For a healthy amount (which is up to 400 mg of caffeine, or around 4 cups of coffee per day) (1), a standard 8-cup carafe would be more than enough for two users. However, if you are an avid coffee drinker or your whole family drinks coffee too, there are models with larger carafes available, up to 14 cups. Keep in mind that there are dual coffee makers available, which can brew both a full carafe and a single cup, depending on what you need on any given day.
- Features and programmability. Now, the more extra features your coffee maker has, the more expensive it will be. But if you want superb programmability and controls, it will be worth the money. Many thermal carafe coffee makers include such functions as automatic brewing (so that you can wake up to freshly made coffee), adjustable brew strength, cold coffee, built-in grinder, pre-infusion, and so on. Even some of the best coffee makers under $100 aren’t that limited in terms of functionality and may allow for brew strength control (regular and bold) and might even have a programmable timer. However, this can vary depending on the model. Another interesting feature you might keep an open eye for is water dispersion. Some of the top-notch automatic pour-over coffee machines use a special system to saturate the grounds evenly. This results in a greatly improved flavor.
- Temperature settings. Being another handy feature that’s definitely worth your money, temperature adjustments can help you achieve the best tasting beverage. The optimal brewing temperature is considered to be no lower than 195 degrees Fahrenheit (with 200 degrees being ideal) (2). So, you may want your coffee maker to allow you to control that.
- Price. Now, for thermal carafe coffee makers, prices usually vary between $50 and $200. There are also high-end models that come packed with extra features, but you can get all the essentials within the limit of $200. It’s up to you to decide how limited (or unlimited) your budget is.
- Built-in grinder. If you want the freshest coffee, you may need a grind and brew coffee maker. This way, you will be able to not only enjoy freshly ground coffee but also control the size of the grind, which can determine the final taste of your beverage (3). However, if you buy ground coffee, a simpler coffee maker without an integrated grinder would suffice.
- Brew time. Some models brew coffee faster than the others. If your mornings are usually hasty, this may be the decisive factor. In this case, you might want to consider getting yourself a capsule Keurig coffee maker, as this type is usually the fastest one when it comes to the brewing time. By the way, if you’re not pressed with time, you may want to try one of the cool Japanese coffee makers. To use one of them, you need to be patient, but the final brew is worth it.
- Materials. You can stumble across various materials used for different types of coffee makers, including glass, plastic, and stainless steel. Steel is certainly the most durable one, but it’s also more expensive. As for plastic, you might want to check if it’s BPA-free before purchasing, as this chemical may affect your health. Luckily, most insulated thermal carafes don’t have plastic parts.
- Water reservoir. Just like coffee machines come with different carafe capacities, their water tanks may also differ. If you are an avid coffee drinker (or share your machine with someone), you should consider a larger water tank (starting from 50 oz.). However, there’s another option, which would come in especially handy if you don’t want to bother with constant refills. There are many good coffee makers with a water line that can be connected to the main water supply in your home. Such machines do not store water in the reservoir. Instead, they pump the needed amount for each brewing cycle, allowing the users to forget about the refills.
- Portability. Do you often switch homes or travel? Then you may need a smaller coffee maker, something that’s easier to carry. But if you don’t require a more portable device, you are free to choose a bigger model, especially if you have a big family of coffee drinkers. Also keep in mind that a thermal carafe coffee maker would require enough counter space in the kitchen.
“If you are an experienced coffee drinker, you probably know that warming the beverage up on a thermal plate can really spoil the taste and reduce the freshness. That’s why a thermal carafe is a good choice. It will keep your coffee warm without exceeding the temperature and giving it an unpleasant flavor. It may also reduce your electricity bills (4).”
ConclusionNow you know that enjoying a fresh cup of joe every morning doesn’t require much effort on your part. You just need to pick the right coffee maker. And luckily, you have 5 top models to choose from! When I was reviewing them, I could clearly define the champion. I’m talking about the Cuisinart DCC-2750. This little guy has a lot of potential. It brews delicious coffee and allows users to control the process. It also comes at a very attractive price, which may surprise you given its high functionality. Do you think it’s worth a place in your kitchen? Or have you picked another favorite? Let me know in the comments!
- Mayo Clinic Staff (2020, March 06). Caffeine: How much is too much? Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/caffeine/art-20045678
- Catherine Santore (2007, February 15). Secrets of the Perfect Cup. Retrieved from http://www.bu.edu/articles/2007/secrets-of-the-perfect-cup/
- Taylor Martin (2015, December 22). Coffee grind size: Why it matters and what you should be using. Retrieved from https://www.cnet.com/how-to/coffee-grind-size-why-it-matters-and-what-you-should-be-using/
- Doityourself Staff (2009, September 23). Comparing Glass and Stainless Steel Coffeemaker Types. Retrieved from https://www.doityourself.com/stry/comparing-glass-and-stainless-steel-coffeemaker-types
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.