17 Best Drip Coffee Makers For 2020: Top Brewer Picks & Reviews 2020
Breville BDC450 Precision
OXO Barista Brain
Ninja CE201 Programmable
The importance of finding the best coffeemaker cannot be emphasized enough. Nearly everyone needs one at home or in the office.
The US National Coffee Association (NCA) estimated that roughly 63 percent of American adults drink coffee every day in 2019 (1). Some of them simply take this preference to a whole new level and make it a significant part of their overall lifestyle.
Serious coffee connoisseurs consider brewing as a work of art for which the most favorable results can be largely determined by the most appropriate instrument. Not exactly the built-in coffee maker (also known as the under the counter coffee maker) that requires relatively vast resources and extensive interior wall renovation but something much of a much smaller and cheaper scale.
What you think are the best coffee makers you can purchase at electronic stores might not be the most ideal for others. Hence, you need to know what specific qualities or parameters you consider to be the most ideal for your choice.
So what is the best coffee maker? Here are some of the devices worth evaluating based on each of the 17 unique viable characteristics:
✔ Outstanding preset mode
✔ Highly customizable dials
✔ Very precise adjustments
✔ Precise brewing temperature
✔ Balanced concentration/p>
✔ Durable high-quality steel coffee pot
✔ Easy to operate buttons
✔ Impressive capacity
✔ Extra accessories and features
✔ Seat attachment optional
✔ Suitable for kids and beginners
✔ Twist-grip acceleration throttle
✔ Double speed modes
✔ Multiple riding modes
✔ A kinetic energy recovery system
✔ Diverse features
✔ Great coffee taste
✔ Impressive capacity
✔ Outstanding coffee pot quality
✔ Easy to operate buttons
✔ Impressive features
✔ Excellent overall design
✔ Diverse features
✔ Has a built-in grinder
✔ Efficient customization
✔ Versatile: brew basket or pod
✔ Includes additional supply of coffee
✔ Balanced brewing quality
✔ Built for tough conditions
✔ Very easy to use
✔ Can brew both hot and cold
✔ Can brew both coffee and tea
✔ Customizable time and temperature
✔ Easy to use and clean
✔ Excellent auto shut-off
✔ Durable and portable
✔ Easy to use
✔ Safe overall design
✔ Affordable cost
✔ Excellent taste
✔ Easy to use and clean
✔ Good warranty
✔ Impressive features
✔ Easy to use and clean
✔ Best affordable coffee maker
✔ Impressive design
✔ Can brew tea and cocoa
✔ Can brew hot and iced
17 Best Drip Coffee Makers: Top Brewer Picks & Reviews
1. Breville BDC450 Precision
The experts from the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) have chosen a total of 28 top coffee makers out of the countless that vied for such a prestigious category. One of the most well-rounded among these select coffee machines is the Breville BDC450 Precision brewer. True to its namesake, this brewer has really pushed the envelope in terms of overall precise customization standards. Both the experts and absolute beginners would love using it.
Elite aficionados who want to experiment can manually dial on the control panel to fine-tune the bloom time, flow rate, and temperature. This sterile white coffee maker has a sophisticated ‘thermocoil’ heating system that makes the standard aluminum tube look inept by comparison.
But why would you risk errors playing around numbers when there is a shortcut to attaining the highest quality that impresses the SCAA elites? Indeed, the ‘Gold Cup Standard’ preset enables this coffee machine to activate a bypass cheat mode that ordinary coffee lovers can use. This preset automatically dials the most ideal water temperature and brew time for that enviable brew quality.
Another outstanding quality of the Breville BDC450 Precision brewer is that the broad range of temperatures provides you with the luxury of serving either hot or ice-cold coffee. Unlike any ordinary coffee maker with thermal carafe, this device also has the option of adjusting the coffee’s strength. This special feature really nails the versatility department that few SCAA coffee machines ever could.
Curiously, you could not even let this coffee machine fairly compete in the brewing speed category since it confirms one of the very sophisticated notions of theoretical physicists – that math can control time itself. And just when it has enough technological superiority to blow the minds of experts and noobs alike, the Breville BDC450 Precision shows off its impressive volume capacity. 12 cups of gold-standard brewed coffee is never a small feat.
So is there any practical downside to choosing this coffee maker? Indeed, all these features come at a relatively hefty price. If coffee makers are automobiles, you are pretty much buying a mid-range sports car.
2. OXO Barista Brain
The next best coffee maker in 2020 featured in this review article naturally also comes from the ranks of the illustrious SCAA. The OXO Barista Brain has a number of impressive features that ‘nearly’ competes with the Breville BDC450 Precision Brewer. While it seemed a pale shadow to the latter’s overall numerical accuracy and flexibility, it also ‘nearly’ costs roughly a hundred bucks less. It is almost unthinkable to forego such a comparative bargain.
The OXO Barista Brain has the right math in terms of excellent brewing temperature passing the SCAA standards (2). As one of the best rated coffee makers, this machine is engineered for superb concentration balance. Precise extraction starts from the 5-hole showerhead inside the brew basket that equally distributes hot water on all angles. It then ends with the meticulous flavor dispersion within the carafe’s internal mixer tube.
Speaking of which, the best things you can get from this product is mostly found in its small coffee pot. The double-walled steel both preserves the integrity of your brew from within while withstanding a kinetic threshold that usually batters ordinary thermal kettles to disrepair. Most importantly, the carafe boasts of its refined arc outflow when pouring into a cup.
Lastly, the OXO Barista Brain can be considered a possible champion if a drip coffee maker is judged for its aesthetic design. This brewer may as well represent the face of post-modern minimalism as it looks sleek and smooth-angled from head to foot. Unfortunately, its superficial edge is equally marred by its infamous ‘unwieldiness.’
The controls prove to be the common source of headaches for both beginners and intermediate users. It is one thing to fumble around multi-tiered commands on a single dial even for a perfectly functional machine and have second thoughts about it.
A deal-breaker for some is the troubleshooting malfunctions and defects with tech support.
3. Ninja CE201 Programmable
The two previous examples demonstrate how quality is often relative to the price tag. There are always exceptions to this rule and, truly, it is possible to own a best drip coffee maker that serves an awesome fresh brew but does not cost more than two game consoles. Enter the Ninja CE201 Programmable coffee maker.
For something that costs significantly less than a hundred bucks, it might be hard to believe that this machine has a programmable feature. And indeed, many coffee aficionados are inclined to say that it is almost rare to expect sophisticated tech within that cost range. But the ability to configure the timer within 24 hours in advance is just one of its few great wonders.
If there is anything commendable about the top coffee makers manufactured by Shark Ninja LLC, it is that their overall design proves to be very user-friendly. This machine does not shy away from revealing every button you need to push. After all, brewing the best coffee should never be as complicated as coding a software program (sequencing multi-level commands).
The Ninja CE201 Programmable also has extra accessories not often included in most models for a single unit purchase. In addition, this model has an impressive brewing capacity. Yet despite its advantages, this coffee maker has certain flaws.
For one thing, the average brewing time is quite slow. It could have been a very unpopular product if not for its namesake programmable time feature. On top of that, the service contract is comparatively short. You do not want this machine malfunctioning after a year. Being the best affordable coffee maker, how else can the manufacturer make a relatively decent profit off it?
4. Technivorm Moccamaster KBT 741
Many people hold the traditional view that expensive things need to bring out the best value. The same is true for serious coffee enthusiasts. While the same philosophy applies to those who are inclined to buy the best overall pick for this review article, there are those who are more of a stickler for popular opinion. As far as global popularity goes, several online coffee maker reviews point to the Technivorm Moccamaster as the poster child brand for their ideals.
The Technivorm Moccamaster KBT 741 is just one of the several models in the series that prove to be one of SCAA’s hall of fame stars (if there is such a thing). Among the many reasons that justify its premium cost pertains to its pedigree manufacturing.
This coffee maker is made from high-grade material components designed to last for generations. Its stainless steel thermal carafe is a testament to the brand’s dedication to aesthetic and functional excellence – making it one of the best coffee pots in SCAA’s list.
The Technivorm Moccamaster KBT 741 is one of the many devices that prove how superior craftsmanship could produce equally superior outputs. The fact that this machine is, by comparison, very low-tech all the more makes it very impressive. It brews SCAA-approved coffee flavor in a relatively short time thanks to its viable copper boiler.
Unfortunately, not every coffee enthusiast is a traditionalist in terms of the art of brewing. You cannot enjoy the convenience of setting the brewing time hours in advance. This machine is often meant for serious aficionados willing to make a serious investment for it.
5. Hamilton Beach 49981A
One of the best ways (if not entirely the best way) to test how easy it is to use a certain technological device is to let elders operate them. After all, they often have the least amount of patience or familiarity with complex machines. The best home coffee machine that fits the highest standard of ‘elderly simplicity’ is the Hamilton Beach 49981A.
Not only is this machine extremely easy to operate with its three steps and two buttons. It is also hassle-free to clean up after use. The Hamilton Beach 49981A also goes with its own scoop so you can benefit from not having to work so hard measuring the ground coffee volume. In addition to the scoop, another curious mechanical feature is its capability to adjust to more than one cup size. You would hardly need a carafe even if there are coffee pots on sale.
For a single-serve coffee maker that does not test the finances and forbearance of our forefathers, you may expect this machine to be low-tech. Not quite! In fact, not only does it provide you with the option to choose the coffee’s strength. It also features an automatic shut-off when it is idle – a feature that is often overlooked in most modern coffee machines.
The Hamilton Beach 49981A has a record-breaking brew speed. Yet for the same exact reason that this review article does not choose it as the ‘Best Speedy Brewer,’ this machine has a reputation for producing a subpar Cup of Joe in terms of flavor quality.
Apart from sacrificing quality for speed, the coffee maker is reportedly doing a poor job sifting out sediments. Lastly, you need to be very careful to avoid seeing your brew basket overflow during the process.
6. Cuisinart DCC-3200
A programmable timer feature that conveniently synchronizes the readiness of your brew within 24 hours in advance is not particularly unique for a standard coffee maker. But it is often difficult to find the best home coffee maker with an impressive array of benefits in addition to this main feature. The Cuisinart DCC-3200 makes a perfect pick in this part of the review, considering that it was included in the list of Best Coffee Makers in Consumer Reports as of 2020 (3).
Not only does this coffee maker look sleek with its neatly placed buttons, but it is also capable of actually brewing flavorful coffee. Such performance from one of the best drip coffee makers in 2018 comes from three important elements:
- A charcoal water filter
- 200 degrees temperature
- A showerhead spray inside the brew basket
You are therefore using purified quality water percolated at an ideal heat intensity that is evenly distributed to the coffee grounds during extraction. The taste is one decisive factor that could completely define the best programmable coffee maker.
Hence, the Cuisinart DCC-3200 is one of the few models wherein brew speed does not come at the expense of output quality. It is also important to take note that this home brewer has one of the largest volume capacities you can find in this review.
But if you think that this coffee maker is done dazzling you after filling up a large glass coffee pot, think again. It automatically shuts off when left idle for 4 hours (in case you have forgotten). It even cleans itself.
Both the permanent gold-tone filter and charcoal water filter tend to be a double-edged sword. The latter is a bit complicated to prep and the former needs to be replaced almost every month. Caution: it might look like this machine is overheating but this unsettling effect is a common glitch. You can only guess whether something is already broken in it or just a false alarm.
7. Black + Decker CM2035B
As mentioned earlier, it almost always proves to be very challenging to find a low-cost home brewer that exceeds its expected value. It is for this reason that the Black & Decker CM2035B proves to be a sought-after thermal carafe coffee maker for people who are on a tight budget.
Judging from its exterior design, it is hard to believe that this machine costs less than a premium bottle of wine. But indeed, this coffee maker offers more than just a sleek curvaceous image. The buttons on this device are neatly placed around the small LCD monitor, making it easy to operate. The quick-touch button is impossible to miss (no matter how nasty your hangover is).
As the best automatic coffee maker, the programmable 24-hour clock is just one of the few more extremely helpful features. This includes 2-hour auto shut-off, a brew strength option, and a pause brew mechanism that safely allows you to grab and pour in the middle of the brewing process. But of all its mechanical advantages, it is the thermal coffee pot that stands at the limelight of all its wonders.
Up to 12 cups of the freshly brewed best coffee are safely contained within the double-walled and vacuum-sealed steel container. Indeed, the Black & Decker CM2035B does not joke around when it comes to trapping every ounce of the coffee’s essential spirits.
If not for its inability to produce optimal brewing temperature and retain its warmth for at least two hours, the SCAA might have taken notice of its overall efficiency. Nonetheless, it surely is the best coffee maker under $50 for this review.
8. Cuisinart DGB-550BKP1
The juxtaposing balance between price and quality has always been a recurring concept that serves as the basic reference when shopping for the best home brewer. Getting the most out of both criteria is surely a win-win. It is only natural for shrewd consumers to bet on the safest price range and buy the best coffee maker under $100. The Cuisinart DGB-550BKP1 somehow embodies that shrewdness in each of its coffee and espresso maker.
This machine is almost exactly similar to the Cuisinart DCC-3200 in terms of the programmable clock and other mechanical features. It also has both the gold-tone permanent filter in its brew basket and a charcoal filter in its reservoir. Yet unlike the Cuisinart DCC-3200, this machine’s overall design proves to be a significant improvement by comparison.
It sports an elegant Italian style that suits well in a classy minimalist kitchen. Speaking of such, the device’s aesthetics is only surpassed by the combined beauty and mechanical efficiency of its glass carafe. This container comes with an excellent handle grip, a dripless spout, and a knuckle guard shielding against the heat residue.
While it serves a maximum of 12 cups, the Cuisinart DGB-550BKP1 has a particular setting that lets you choose only up to 4 cups (which somehow deems this model as the best 4-cup coffee maker). This customization, on top of the 24-hour advanced brew setting, makes it irrelevant to accurately determine the varying durations of the diverse brew cycles. All you need to know is that your Cup of Joe is fresh and ready exactly when you want it.
While it can be the best coffee brewer at a medium range cost, it is not without its few shortcomings. One of the most common complaints from previous buyers pertains to its unpleasant noise. It is pretty much expected from units with built-in grinders. Considering the number of components this coffee maker has, the whole clean-up procedure proves to be an unwelcome prospect.
9. Keurig K-Duo
Even coffee connoisseurs with deeper pockets would expect great value from a coffee machine that costs no more than $200. All the more so for an average income earner who merely wants to buy oneself a luxurious present. Hence, the Keurig K-Duo happens to represent one of the top coffee makers within this price limit.
One of the most important advantages you can get from choosing this coffee maker is that there is a neat mathematical system that establishes uniformity for both volume and brew time. It makes you feel smart since you know exactly how long it takes for each of the following volume options:
- 6 cups = 5 to 6 minutes
- 8 cups = 6 to 7 minutes
- 10 cups = 7 to 8 minutes
- 12 cups = 8 to 9 minutes
Apart from the fact that it is easy getting around with the buttons, the best thermal carafe coffee maker under $200 also excels in terms of relative versatility. As it happens, there are two ways you can get your fresh Cup of Joe – either via the measured amount in a glass coffee pot or via single-serve coffee pods poured directly into your cup or travel mug.
Lastly, what makes this the best thermal coffee maker (in terms of overall investment value) and best dual coffee maker is that you are not only getting the device itself. A single purchase from online stores like Amazon also throws in a single bag of coffee grounds or a few coffee pods from one of its 15 trusted partner brands (e.g. Green Mountain).
While it may be an awesome experience to use this coffee maker, the same exact opposite is expected when it comes to its clean-up. The technical complexity is compounded by a relatively large number of detachable components. Since it only has a one-year limited warranty, you must take extra care with its maintenance right after the service contract’s expiration date.
10. BUNN BT Velocity
While a couple of previously featured models possess very impressive brewing speed, it is important to understand the idea of getting the best deal for it. By comparison, the Breville BDC450 Precision is very expensive and the Hamilton Beach 49981A produces a grossly substandard taste. Hence, this review article considers the BUNN BT Velocity as the best thermal coffee maker for this specific category.
This mid-range coffee machine is not only engineered for its impressive brew time but is also designed to produce great tasting coffee. A great deal of its quality comes from two important mechanical features. The brew basket’s spray head enables a more thorough and balanced extraction. The thermal carafe is made of the quintessential double-walled airtight chamber that seals in that rich flavor-enhancing coffee spirit. It is one of the high end coffee makers worth splurging on.
This machine only has one button to start the entire brewing process. It does not get any simpler than that. Curiously, the BUNN BT Velocity is specially made for households living in areas 5000 feet above sea level. Such a remarkable feature makes it unique among many coffee makers in comparison since temperatures get tricky in higher altitudes.
Although its steel carafe is lauded for retaining the coffee’s richness, several user complaints point to its inability to hold its outflow properly. Yes, watch out for possible mild scalding when you pour some into your cup. Another drawback to choosing this speedy coffee machine is that it could visibly increase your monthly electricity bill.
11. Ninja Hot & Cold Brew System (CP301/CP307)
If you are looking for a smart coffee maker that far exceeds the capabilities of other similar machines, there is rarely any model that competes with the Ninja Hot & Cold Brew System. You might even go so far as to describe it as the Swiss Knife of coffee makers due to its superb level of versatility. This machine does not make idle boast of its ability to serve outstanding coffee on both temperature extremes.
If you think you will be impressed by its capability to serve both hot and cold, think again! The Ninja Hot & Cold Brew System goes beyond the definition of a coffee maker. If kitchen devices are judged for their designated purpose alone, what this model is capable of doing may well be described as cheating. It can also serve a fair variety of both hot and iced tea.
In every online store, you may discover that this model certainly has a weird full name. While most brands only have one alpha-numerical suffix, the Ninja Hot & Cold Brew can either go with model codes CP301 or CP307. In case you are one of the many curious potential buyers who cannot help but wonder about it, these codes pertain to the kind of carafe you prefer.
Yes, this brand just takes versatility to a whole new (if not insane) level. If it is not enough that the machine can serve hot, cold, coffee or tea; you can even choose between a glass carafe and a steel carafe. The former goes with the code CP301 and the latter is CP307. This coffee maker is truly best at providing plenty of options for every user – overshadowing some of its flaws (both glaring and benign).
12. Chulux Single Serve
Most coffee connoisseurs probably do not consider choosing a device that they can personally bring outdoors or somewhere far away from their kitchen. After all, the art of coffee appreciation is often considered to be a stationary indoor pastime. Yet for those who are more restless than their peers, the most appropriate coffee machine has to be lightweight and durable. Enter the best small coffee maker: Chulux Single Serve.
There is more to this coffee maker than just its portability and sleek ruggedness. One of the key advantages that makes it a suitable traveling companion is that it is also very easy to use. Just like the BUNN BT Velocity, you only need to press one button to start the brewing process. It is also interesting to mention that the Chulux Single Serve is compatible with most (if not all) coffee pods and tea/cocoa capsules.
Another very impressive feature about the Chulux Single Serve is that its automatic shut-off program is nearly as fast as its brew speed. Indeed, this programmable coffee maker deactivates in 4 to 5 minutes of idleness – nearly 3 hours and 55 minutes quicker than other coffee makers with this specific feature. Take note: you still need to plug this device, just in case you mistakenly assume that it also has remote power storage.
Another design limitation is also characterized by its inability to brew coffee grounds without the plastic container. Some prospective buyers might also expect this coffee maker to run smoothly due to its portable build. Unfortunately, this small coffee maker competes with bigger machines in terms of loudness.
13. Mr. Coffee Optimal Brew
If you have to assess your indoor environment by how much coffee its inhabitants can consume, 10 cups pretty much tell you a lot. In a domestic setting, you are looking at a household of 5 members that rarely entertain visitors or a single studio apartment frequented by a small group of guests. If it is a workplace setup, you are looking at a typical state high school faculty lounge. Mr. Coffee Optimal Brew is the best office coffee maker in this situation.
One of the best perks of choosing this coffee maker is its user-friendliness. When it comes to how to use a coffee maker, nothing spells easy better than seeing all the buttons you need to operate this machine straight away. Programming the brew clock at exactly any specific time within 24 hours also seems a simple task as well.
Not only is Mr. Coffee Optimal Brew designed for convenience, but it is also built for higher standards of safety. This device has a pause-brew feature that lets you grab the coffee pot in the middle of the brewing process without accidentally leaking 205 degrees of hot water. The removable water reservoir allows you to refill water directly from the taps (and away from a possible source of electrocution). Lastly, this coffee maker automatically shuts off in two hours.
All the decent necessary features that enhance both performance (e.g. pause brew) and quality (e.g. water filter) are expected to burn a hole in your wallet. However, you can hardly anticipate its namesake ‘optimal’ characteristics for a device that only costs less than $100. Indeed, you got yourself an excellent bargain from Mr. Coffee Optimal Brew.
One of its major setbacks comes from the fact that, by comparison, this machine has a relatively slow brew time. The Technivorm Moccamaster KBT 741 serves 10 cups in 5 minutes while the Cuisinart DCC-3200 can finish 14 cups in 6 minutes. If there is anything worse than falling short in the speed department, you will have to bear with 7 long minutes of loud whirring.
Nevertheless, it can also be the best inexpensive coffee maker for you if you can live with these flaws. After all, this coffee machine at Walmart costs roughly around $100.
14. Cuisinart DCC-1200
As mentioned in the previous part of the review article, choosing a coffee maker based primarily on its volume capacity depends on two key factors: the number of people in the area and (of course) how much of a coffee lover these individuals are.
10 cups give you a decent range more fitting for a domestic setting. But if you have to choose a 12-cup coffee machine, it only means you are expecting a bigger crowd on a more regular basis. Enter this review article’s best office coffee maker: the Cuisinart DCC-1200…
Just like the Cuisinart DCC-3200 featured earlier, this stainless steel coffee maker is designed to concoct a relatively superior coffee flavor. This is largely a result of its charcoal water filter and a brewing temperature that falls within the lower optimal temperature range (190 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit). You can even adjust the 2-hour warming plate temperature to three basic settings (low, medium, and high).
The Cuisinart DCC-1200 also has simple navigable buttons and knobs that prove to be user-friendly. Not everyone has the adept working knowledge of programming the clock’s precise brewing time but even beginners can work their way around it with relative ease.
The same user-friendliness translates across the clean-up process. This coffee machine has a self-cleaning button that goes well with a notification mechanism. Such a unique feature is welcome additional characteristic considering other aspects of its operation and maintenance that prove to be a little inconvenient.
The reason why a lot of coffee lovers appreciate a detachable water reservoir is that it provides relative ease when refilling it. The rear tank is fixed firmly into the Cuisinart DCC-1200 itself and it is a bit difficult to access. In line with that, the water filter needs to be replaced every 60 cycles. How accurately do you keep track of the exact number of times you have used your coffee maker? Exactly…
15. Braun Brewsense KF7150BK
Aesthetics is just one characteristic that determines a coffee maker’s design but even that could not give you much since the concept of beauty is often subjective. In this particular case, a more objective reference is defined by two factors: symmetry and efficiency. The Braun Brewsense KF7150BK easily outshines the other models out there when it comes to the proportionate and functional overall design of a coffee machine.
Ordinarily, elegance is characterized by smooth curves. The Braun Brewsense model series embodies one of the rare occasions wherein cube-shaped objects look very stylish. Judging from its dimensions, the lateral sides have the same exact measurement – a keen testament of Braun Household’s superior craftsmanship. The designers maintain the element of equal proportion down to the last detail. You can pretty much notice it the way the keys are neatly lined up right under the relatively wide-screen LCD display.
The design also ensures that anyone will have a favorable experience using it. Every customization feature is represented by a button. Apart from being able to program the brew time 24-hours in advance, you can even customize the standard auto shut-off 1 to 5 hours after its last usage. This machine also has a pause brew that prevents spillage when removing the carafe in the middle of the brewing process.
Like most of the Braun Brewsense KF models, this coffee maker boasts of its ‘pure flavor technology.’ This feature guarantees that its overall rich flavor is equally distributed to all areas of the coffee pot (from the surface to the depths). This same feature exists in other remarkable devices like the Cuisinart DCC-3200 and Keurig K-Duo.
While the coffee machine itself is an example of excellent construction, the glass coffee pot must be handled with care. Another glaring flaw about this machine is that it is one of the slowest (if not the slowest) coffee machines in this review article. 15 minutes for 12 cups is (arguably) a sad performance.
16. Keurig K-Elite
There is always that awkward feeling of being left out if you are an avid coffee lover and you live in a household or work in a circle that does not share your passion for it. All the more so if you are the kind of individual who feels personally obligated to share this enthusiasm with others. In case such a drive would also strongly influence you in choosing a new (or replacement) coffee maker, the Keurig K-Elite can be your best ‘public relations’ instrument.
From the looks of it, this coffee machine seems to embody the latest futuristic style. It is sleek and curvy but not in a gentle chic manner. In fact, the Keurig company is an exemplar of manufacturing robust avant-garde appliances. The relatively colossal 75-ounce water reservoir is detachable as well as the drip tray. It is designed to make every simple (but often overlooked) aspect of brewing adjustable for your convenience.
Like several of the coffee makers mentioned earlier, the Keurig K-Elite is the one coffee maker with the timer that allows you to choose when you want this coffee served within 24 hours in advance. At this point, big deal, right? But that is just one part of it. The other amazing part is that you can customize when you want this machine to shut off.
Similar to the previously featured Ninja Hot & Cold Brew System, this coffee maker also proves itself to be quite flexible. In fact, the main reason why this machine works best for singled-out coffee enthusiasts is that this device can help you make friends with those who are fierce aficionados of tea and hot chocolate. Its capability to brew iced coffee is a welcome addition if you wish to indulge in a more leisurely atmosphere (literally chill).
But to set the record straight: You might be wondering why this coffee machine was not picked in the ‘best speedy brewer’ category when it clearly outpaces the BUNN BT Velocity. Unfortunately, it only serves beverages in plastic pods. No pods, no brew. It is just a very fast brewer. On the bright side, as a testament to Keurig’s generous deals, buying this device already includes 6 coffee pods from one of its trusted partner brands (e.g. Folgers).
If you are a frequent coffee drinker (which is exactly why you are reading this review), you may not be too thrilled about the fact that this device needs a more frequent thorough cleaning – not the short-term water and vinegar swirl but the time-consuming removal of calcified water residue. This is not going to be your best pick if you are saving energy bills or maintaining a low environmental footprint.
17. KRUPS KM785D50
Some coffee connoisseurs believe that it is better to grind whole coffee beans yourself than buy packed ground coffee. This comes from the interesting scientific fact that ground coffee contains high oil residue – oils that attract contaminants and progressively ruin its flavor. Hence, whole coffee beans are better options (4) because they have superior longevity and they are easier to store (never mind that they cost more). The KRUPS KM785D50 is highly recommendable for the enthusiasts on this side of the argument between ‘ground vs whole’ coffee beans.
This review article has featured the Cuisinart DGB-550BKP1 as another example of a large coffee maker with a built-in grinder. But the main reason why it was not chosen for this category earlier is that it does not perform its particular multi-tasking job exceptionally by comparison. The KRUPS KM785D50 comes with 5 different grind settings.
The ability to customize varying degrees of grinding whole bean coffee makes the entire experience of dabbling with brew strengths all the more engaging. After all, the ground coffee’s specific consistency makes a keener element in the whole time-temperature equation. As one of the few devices that bear the moniker of ‘best tasting coffee maker,’ this machine is an excellent choice for elite aficionados who enjoy tweaking around and expanding both their working knowledge and fine coffee palate.
The KRUPS KM785D50 is one of the many examples of fine craftsmanship. Not only is this coffee maker easy on the eyes like the Braun Brewsense and Keurig (K-Duo and K-Elite), its level of ‘programmability’ makes it possible for you to be completely hands-off with the brewing process itself. This device has both the auto-on and auto-off setting.
Overall, this coffee machine is fairly easy to operate. But while one can enjoy the simplicity of the basic brewing keys, the same cannot be said about the special settings that bring the best out of this machine. If only there is a single-button bypass to its ‘ideal tweak’ like the Breville BDC450 Precision…
Another common glaring flaw that consumers have complained about is the volume capacity. Not only is the bean hopper relatively small, but manufacturers have also warned about putting too many whole beans in it. Indeed, there seems to be a perfect ratio that prevents residue coffee from getting stuck around the inner walls, making it a taxing job to clean up after.
You may have certain specific strong points for buying a relatively sophisticated kitchen device like a coffee maker. That was the main reason for featuring all the 17 best ones earlier. Each of them is unique in the sense that they excel at one specific over their competitors.
However, it is important to understand that not all buyers know exactly what they are looking for in a new coffee maker. It would take a passionate connoisseur to be able to make a very precise selection – one that already weighs other factors. For the benefit of those who are new to delving the depths of the ‘art of coffee appreciation,’ one must bear in mind that your chosen device comes with a number of scientific factors.
Choosing the best coffee maker takes more than just knowing one best thing. In fact, that is just one side of the whole brainstorming task. The other main aspect of keeping a well-informed choice altogether requires knowing these following aspects:
Carafe: Size, Type or None
The volume capacity is one of the most obvious criteria for choosing the best coffee machine – so much so that in most online sellers the number of cups is attached in the overall product name. So how much coffee for 10 cups? Your carafe will tell you. But there is more to the carafe than merely its size (capacity). The type of carafe that goes with your coffee makers also makes a valid basis.
Your carafe can either be made of glass or thermal stainless steel. Each of these material varieties has its own pros and cons. Choosing between them depends on which advantage weighs heavier (e.g. cheaper polymer glass or more durable steel). Curiously, there is also a third option relating to this carafe dichotomy…
Between glass and steel, some buyers choose none. Yes, because some coffee makers are built for single-serving. As mentioned earlier, these kinds of single-serve brewers receive premium coffee pods. This third ‘no carafe’ option works well with those relatively solitary individuals who prefer convenience as their top priority.
Reservoir: Detachable or Not?
Another factor worth considering for choosing top rated coffee makers is the kind of reservoir that is built within the coffee maker. As it happens, some brewers are designed with detachable types while others keep their water storage system permanently fixed. This duality provides buyers with keener analysis in terms of the overall user-friendliness.
Some people consider the task of drawing water a big deal. It somehow pays to consider the advantages and drawbacks of these two types of reservoirs. After all, knowing how to fill the tank proves to be one of the most basic steps of operating this machine.
Quality: What is SCAA?
There is no doubt that specific types of coffee makers directly affect the quality of your fresh brew. But if you think about it, the taste of your coffee does not have a very obvious direct connection to your chosen machine. In fact, some potential buyers would think that quality pertains to the brewer’s overall mechanical performance than merely the flavor it produces.
So is there an objective basis for judging quality? Arguably, yes. It helps to know whether or not your machine is one of the names certified by the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA). The organization is responsible for rating not only coffee makers but also the specific brand of organic coffee distributed worldwide. It is expected that many of the best coffee maker reviews of the last 5 years would pick a few among their 28 chosen models.
If you are not a fan of mainstream official accreditations, having an SCAA label for your coffee maker would also mean that it would be challenging to find its flaws. Take note: it gets a little trickier to be looking for the best budget coffee maker among the SCAA roster.
Time Value: Programming, Auto Shut-off, and Warranty
“Time is gold,” and indeed no person in his/her right mind would seriously argue against the wisdom of this short adage. For some coffee aficionados, the value of time becomes a principal basis for choosing the right machine for them. As demonstrated repeatedly in the earlier parts of this review article, it is important to know how long it takes for a coffee maker to do its simple job. However, that is just one of the few aspects of estimating the value of time.
Apart from speed, timing also proves to be a valuable advantage that not every machine can provide. But if you buy something that is programmable, you can enjoy the luxury of having a fresh Cup of Joe at the exact time you prefer. Why wait for 4 to 8 minutes when you can have it steaming hot the very second your wake-up alarm clock starts screaming hell?
The value of time can also directly translate to how much energy it can save and how much stress (if not danger) you can avoid. This is why most of the astute buyers would also look for this feature called ‘auto shut-off.’ A plugged-in coffee maker that continues to consume power long after its intended use can either leave you with a costly light bill (at best) or cause an electrical accident that potentially burns your house down (at worst).
Speaking of stress, product defects are certainly more avoidable than any possible misfortune that comes from choosing a particular coffee maker. It is for this reason that keen buyers are seriously keeping an eye out for the warranty period. Other than the duration of the service contract, it is also important to understand the scope of possibilities included in the warranty. After all, what good is a lengthy warranty (2 to 3 years) if the only thing the company can offer is a one-time free replacement?
Extra features: Pause Brew, Water Filter, Etc.
Smart buyers would not only settle for one particular stand-out feature and all smart coffee reviews know how to market these traits. Most of them would like to get as many advantages as one machine could possibly offer. Hence, anyone that expects to own a coffee machine that exceeds normal expectations/standards is definitely looking for extra features. Here are some of the most notable examples you would expect:
- Pause Brew: Most coffee makers have a built-in mechanism that safely allows you to grab the carafe and pour a cup while in the middle of the brewing process, therefore preventing accidental burns.
- Water Filter: Some coffee makers tap on the superior quality of purified water to not only provide a better-tasting brew but also enable easier cleaning process (lesser calcium deposits).
- Built-in Grinder: Some coffee makers already have a fixed grinder that allows you to pulverize premium (arguably more superior-tasting) coffee beans.
- Hot/Cold Option: Some coffee makers may allow you to choose between the common hot brew or the quintessential cold (iced) coffee that goes well with desserts.
- Shower Heads: Some coffee makers have balanced multiple spray outlets inside the brew basket to achieve a higher level of extraction, hence a superior-tasting brew.
- Wireless Control: The wifi coffee maker synchronizes with your tethered mobile device whenever your home internet signal is online.
Self Cleaning: Some coffee makers have an automatic cleaning programmed at appropriate times of the season/year, completely sparing you the hassle of doing this thankless chore yourself.
Who would have thought that a simple Ethiopian herder in the 9th Century AD (5) made a lasting legacy that keeps modern people constantly productive and alert just by simply discovering a strange berry plant by mere accident? A precious commodity that kept the wheels of commerce turning for many centuries began its first spin the moment those goats kept jumping out of control after nibbling at a bush.
Now an ever-growing giant industry worth $100 billion (as of 2018) (6) owes that legendary goat herder and the Arabian monks that shared a cup with him. This is the same colossal industry that works so hard to bring that special dark-colored beverage to our homes and continues to provide us the tools to acquire it at our best convenience.
With everything that is said in this review, your choice of coffee maker ultimately comes down to knowing what works best for you. In theory, any of these coffee machines can be the best instrument as long as one truly acknowledges its flaws as openly as one would delight in its positive qualities. Finding the balance between desire and necessity can help you determine your best pick among the 17 drip coffee makers featured in this article.