A warm welcome coffee friends!
You are here for a reason, you're on a mission to find that perfect coffee maker for your home, am I right? However, getting a new coffee maker these days can be absolutely mind-boggling!
Should you go for the French Press with the glass or stainless steel carafe? What's the right coffee machine to brew that heavenly espresso you live for?
Is it time you ungraded to a single serve machine that works with K-cups? What in Robusta's name is a K-cup?
Don't worry... grab a cup of coffee and settle in... we got you covered!
This Guide will help you narrow down your options, with coffeemakers broken down into several categories that include the latest price, brewing preference and specifications.
New Coffee Maker Checklist
Yes, navigating the many varieties and models can seem daunting at first. But it’s actually simpler than it seems. Before you whip out your credit card and go shopping for a coffee machine, you need to sit back, make a vow of complete honesty and ask yourself the following questions.
What's My Consumption?
This ought to be the first question to ponder when getting started. If at all you’re a coffee guzzler or happen to have a family that loves their Joe, then you should definitely opt for machines that make a number of cups at a go.
The trusty drip coffee machine is perfect at this, with most of them having the capacity to produce 10-12 cups. But if you consume just one cup at a time, then a single-serve machine would be the way to go.
What's My Taste?
Coffee drinkers are as diverse as the varieties themselves. There are the connoisseurs that critic every aspect of the brew, those that like their Joe strong enough to knock down a horse and some that love to constantly surprise themselves with exotic varieties.
Well, for the true aficionados, a French Press would be the perfect companion; percolators are brilliant for those that love their coffee extra strong; and a pod coffeemaker allows you to experiment with different exciting blends with total ease. For espresso lovers, there are machines specifically crafted to cater to your exacting tastes.
What's My Schedule?
If you normally have incredibly hectic mornings, then a fully automated coffee maker would be the perfect companion. With a little programming, these babies do everything by themselves, allowing you to find those car keys you’ve misplaced; again. And a thermal carafe or mug is good for keeping coffee hot for extended periods of time, so that you don’t have to brew anew every time you need a hot cup.
How big is My Kitchen?
First take a look around your kitchen and determine just how much counter space you have to spare. Some of the drip machine models can be pretty sizable, so it’s wise to get a feel of your space first. You can also opt for grind and brew coffee makers, which come with an in-built grinder helping you conserve both space and time.
Different Types of Coffee Makers
So now that you have all your answers, it’s time you narrowed down all the options on the market. We’ve come a long way since the humble days of the percolator (we still love it). Now machines have the capability of automatically grinding your beans, preparing your coffee and doing your taxes. Okay, maybe not yet, but it will happen.
Overall, there are some great choices when it comes to choosing the right coffee maker. It all comes down to your personal preference and what your current needs are when it comes to making your cup of coffee in the morning.
After going through our checklist and deciding on your brewing needs, we have broken it down into brewing preferences! Let's start with Drip Coffee Makers!
What's a Drip Coffee Maker?
Probably the most common type, drip coffee machines are cherished for the incredible convenience and ease-of-use that they offer. All you need to do is fill the water reservoir, place your grounds into the filter basket, press a couple of buttons, and voila! You can now enjoy your caffeine fix.
Drip machines make up to 12 cups of coffee, and take anywhere from 7-10 minutes to brew an entire pot. And although they sometimes get a bad rap when it comes to brew quality, it’s mostly because of improper technique. Using the right method, you can brew a truly delectable cup of Joe.
Three Tips for Choosing a Drip Coffee Maker
Automatic Vs. Manual
Fully automated models allow you to input some settings and allow the machine to take over. So you don’t have to worry about waking up in the morning to start brewing; the coffee maker will do all this for you.
But if you’re fine with working the controls, or afraid that machines are slowly taking over the world and don’t want to be party to their cause, then a manual drip model will work just fine.
Thermal Carafe Vs. Warming Plate
If you’re interested in keeping your coffee hot, then it is best to go with an insulated stainless steel carafe. Warming plates that mostly come with glass pots are known for overcooking coffee, resulting in a bitter taste.
Permanent Filter Vs. Paper
Both of these have their pros and cons. If you favor convenience above everything, then go for paper filters. Just ensure you get the right quality so as not to compromise on taste.
But if you don’t mind a bit of washing, then a gold-tone metal filter will be friendly on your wallet and on lovely Mother Nature.
This Coffee Maker is For You If:
Our Top 10 Picks In Drip Coffee
Zojirushi EC-DAC50 Zutto 5 Cup Drip Coffee Maker
Discover the excellence of the Zojirushi that is classified as a 650-watt drip coffee maker that is capable of producing 5 cups of coffee in one go. Furthermore, this unit also comes with a unique filter cone that sits in the interior section of the decanter to make it more compact and simple to use.
Coffee enthusiasts will also appreciate the concealed and detachable water reservoir that for added convenience. Another excellent feature of the EC-DAC50 is that it comes with automatic keep warm function to let you enjoy hot and fresh coffee each time.
More so, this drip coffee maker also comes with a replaceable water filter along with an ample sized measuring spoon for your unique coffee preparation needs. The cone is designed to be housed in the decanter basket for long lasting performance results.
One complaint with this drip coffee maker is that it doesn’t come with auto shut-off feature.
Learn more about: The Best Drip Coffee Makers
Cuisinart Perfect Temp 14-Cup Programmable Drip Coffee Maker
Improve your coffee preparation regime with the Cuisinart DCC-3200 drip coffee maker that comes with state of the art technology to allow for hotter coffee with compromising on the flavor or aroma of the coffee. Furthermore, this unit also comes with a unique brew strength control feature that lets users conveniently select the `regular` or `bold` coffee flavor results.
The DCC-3200 also allows for fully automatic and 24 programmable features, such that you can wake up to or perhaps arrive home to freshly prepared coffee. Users will also appreciate the self-clean design along with auto shut off features for added coffee preparation convenience.
This unit also comes with an adjustable keep warm temperature control feature to achieve the ideal coffee temperature results. The inclusion of the gold tone, the commercial style filter, lets you achieve the best possible results for your coffee brewing.
One main drawback customers found with this drip coffee maker is the lack of a pause and poor function. Many users also noted that the water tank is not removable.
Read more about: The Best Cuisinart Coffee Maker Reviews
BUNN GRB Velocity Brew 10-Cup Home Coffee Brewer
Prepare the best-tasting coffee with the BUNN GRB Velocity Brew 10 cup home coffee brewer that can brew well over 4 to 10 cups of coffee in less than 5 minutes. The GRB 10 cup coffee brewer also features a new Pour O Matic Drip-free glass decanter for enhanced efficiency.
In addition, the unique spray head provides even and complete coffee flavor extraction results each time. More so, the GRB ten cup also comes with a stainless steel internal hot water tank that keeps the water heated to optimal brewing temperature averaging at 200 degrees F.
Best of all, this coffee maker also features a unique glass carafe and porcelain-coated warming plate with a lighted on and off switch.
While this coffee maker has several solid performance features, a few customers reported smelling burning plastic when first turning on this device.
Learn more about: What's the Best Home Coffee Maker
Bonavita BV1900TS 8-Cup One Touch Coffee Maker
Experience the superior quality of the Bonavita BV1900TS 8 Cup Carafe coffee maker that provides convenient one-touch brew operation along with automatic-switch of functionalities. Besides that, this unit also comes with a robust 1500-watt heater that is perfect for controlling the brewing temperature for your unique needs.
More so, the optional pre-infusion mode wets the freshly roasted ground coffee to enhance the degassing process before brewing. Users will also appreciate the flat-bottomed filter basket along with the ample sized shower-head to allow for optimal saturation and extraction results.
Further lending to the superior qualities of this coffee maker is that comes with a durable steel lined thermal carafe for long lasting performance.
One of the customer complaints with this drip coffee maker is that you have to turn the thermal carafe upside down to get that last cup of coffee.
Read more about: The Bonivita 8 Cup Coffee Maker w/Thermal Carafe
Behmor Brazen plus Temperature Control Coffee Machine
Make an excellent impression on your peers with the Behmor Brazen Plus coffee maker that comes with a fully customizable design for producing rich and flavorful coffee each time. Additionally, this unit comes with a unique pre-soak option and temperature calibration for high altitude.
Further lending to its superior design features is that it comes with an over-sized shower head and pulse to fully saturate your coffee grounds for flavorful coffee. The brazen plus can also be programmed such that you can wake up to or perhaps come home to freshly brewed coffee results.
The inclusion of the double walled stainless steel carafe helps to maintain the temperature of coffee for hours without the use of a warming burner. The carafe also has a special `brew through` lid such that the heat is kept in during the brewing.
While this is a great drip coffee maker, there are a couple of downsides to this particular device. First, users have experienced condensation build-up in the reservoir lid.
Another issues is that it takes a bit of time to brew a full pot of coffee and the thermal carafe cools down pretty quickly.
Learn more about: The Behmor Brazen Coffee Machine
OXO On Barista Brain 9 Cup Coffee Machine
Enhance the quality of the coffee that you consume with the OXO On Barista Brain 9 cup coffee maker that comes with a special microprocessor controlled brew cycle. To be specific, this microprocessor brew cycle replicates the pour over method to produce well over 7 cups of superior quality coffee results. Additionally, the water in this unit is heated and held at the perfect temperature for your coffee preparation needs.
The inclusion of the unique rainmaker shower head helps to evenly disperse water over the coffee grounds for enhanced saturation and optimal flavor extraction results. Further lending to its superior design qualities is that it comes with an intuitive LED interface that has back-lit capabilities and can also display the coffee maker status along with freshness level.
With its single dial feature, this unit lets you customize the average number of cups by using the well-positioned 24-hour timer.
Having said that, the only drawback of the OXO On Barista Drip Coffee maker is that the carafe cools rather quickly.
Did you know that OXO also makes a 12 cup version, a cold brew coffeemaker, and a grinder as well?
Learn more below:
Moccamaster KBT 10-Cup Coffee Brewer with Thermal Carafe
Change the way in which you have been preparing coffee with the Moccamaster KBT 10-cup coffee brewer that features a manual drip stop brew basket for superior quality coffee results each time. Besides that, this unit also comes with a stainless steel thermal carafe that is perfect for preparing hot coffee each time.
With the inclusion the exclusive copper heating element, the KBT 10-Cup coffee maker will shut off automatically after the brew cycle completes. By the same token, the unique copper element brews at consistent temperature with a pulse action for perfect coffee extraction and bloom results.
Coffee enthusiasts will also appreciate that this unit can brew ½-carafe coffee in less than 4 minutes. Further lending to its superior design qualities is that it features a unique brewing housing that is made of high-quality, durable metal for long lasting performance.
This drip coffee maker also features a manual adjust drip stop brew basket along with automatic shut off features after the brewing procedure.
The main drawback of this coffee maker is that it that it takes up a fair amount of counter space. This isn’t an issue for most people, but if your counter-space comes at a premium (like me) then you better make sure you have room.
Read more about: The Moccamaster Brewer w/Thermal Carafe
BUNN MCU Single Cup Multi-Use Home Coffee Machine
Realize the superior benefits of using a top rated coffee machine by using the BUNN MCU Single Cup coffee brewer that brews the superior quality coffee each time. Simply put, the MCU single cup drip coffee maker brings you the convenience of single cups along with the versatility of being able to brew flavorful coffee or tea as well.
This unit also comes with benevolent design features such as the cup, pod and hot water drawers as well. The inclusion of the pulse brew option helps you extract the best coffee flavor aroma and flavor each time.
Users will also appreciate the inclusion of the removable drip tray that fits perfectly with various types of travel mugs. It also comes with a stainless steel hot water tank that maintains the perfect water temperature for optimal flavor extraction results.
One of the complaints about this one cup drip brewer is that it is very loud. Also, the industrial look might be a turn-off for some users.
Read more about: The Industrial looking (MCU Single Cup) Brewer
Hamilton Beach 49980A Single Serve/Full Pot Coffee Brewer
Take your coffee preparation regime to the next level with the Hamilton Beach 49980A coffee brewer that provides two methods of brewing. This included the single cup or perhaps the 12-cup glass carafe to suit your unique needs. It also comes with a standard size `single serve-side` water reservoir that allows for simple and one-time filling results.
Besides that, this unit features a unique carafe-side water reservoir with large capacity and measurement markings for added convenience. The `single serve-side` brew basket features a unique mesh filter to hold the ground coffee or the pre-packaged soft pods.
Users will also appreciate the versatile pod holder that snaps easily to the single serve basket to hold the soft pods. With the inclusion of the brew strength selector, the user can easily brew `regular` or bold coffee results each time. The 49980A coffee maker also comes with a well-positioned control panel and display, with well-indicated timers.
This biggest user complaint with this coffee machine is that carafe warmer turns on when using the single-serve side of this brewer.
Mr. Coffee Optimal Brew 10-Cup Thermal Coffee Machine
Enjoy the superior quality of the Mr. Coffee PSTX91 Optimal Brew coffee maker that can be used to brew faster and with optimal temperature levels as well. In fact, this coffee maker can brew well over 10 cups in less than seven minutes to provide thorough extraction and full-bodied flavor results. Users will also appreciate that this unit can eliminate the effects of chlorine for enhanced coffee flavors.
The inclusion of the smart brew timer lets you set ahead such that you can wake up to freshly brewed coffee. More so, this Mr. Coffee PSTX91 unit features a unique freshness timer that evaluates the freshness level of your coffee each time.
With its unique cleaning cycle, this coffee maker informs you when it’s time to clean such that you enjoy odor free and rich coffee results each time. It also comes with a unique stainless steel thermal carafe that is perfect for regulating the temperature of the coffee.
The only drawback users reported with this coffee machine is that the thermal carafe is not dishwasher safe.
Is this the right coffeemaker for you? Click here for our in-depth review
What's a Coffee Maker With In-Built Grinder?
This is basically a drip machine with an in-built grinder. They may cost a bit more than the standard types, but the results are more than worth it. Grinding your own beans is the best way to ensure that you get all that amazing flavor that your beans have to offer.
Yes, you could buy a separate grinder, but these models save you some valuable space while automating the whole grinding process.
They use a burr grinder that is perfect at achieving uniform results as opposed to a blade grinder. You can choose everything from grind fineness, brew amount and strength, and the machine will figure out just the right amount of beans to get the job done. Easy peasy.
3 Points to Consider for Choosing Drip Coffee Maker with In-Built Grinder
Level of Customization
Grind and brew machines come with a plethora of settings, but they differ from model to model. But options always are a good thing. So it’s always wise to go with the one that allows you to do the most.
Some of them can get loud! Loud enough to wake you up from that deep slumber, which isn’t always a bad thing. More expensive models have better noise insulation, so if peace and quiet is your thing, then the extra cash will be worth it.
The little compartment where you place the beans comes in various sizes. If you happen to brew the same kind of beans, then getting a large one is the best option. But if you’re the adventurous type; always switching between blends, then go for a smaller hopper that will allow you to brew through the beans quicker.
Also ensure that the bean hopper effectively keeps out moisture, to ensure freshness is preserved.
This Coffee Maker is For You If:
Our Top Pick In Drip Coffee with In-Built Grinder
Cuisinart DGB-625BC Grind and Brew Coffee Maker
This Cuisinart coffee maker for home use is all about customization. While many of its features are automated for ease of use, all it takes is the press of a button to fix it to your needs. The Auto On function lets you pick a time for it to start brewing all by itself--like before you wake up or when you’re about to come home from work.
It can also be set to turn itself off after a set period of time. The auto grind feature can be turned off when using pre ground beans, and the brewing process can even be stopped for up to twenty seconds to pour yourself out a cup of mid-brew coffee. With a 1-4 cup setting, even smaller amounts of coffee can be made without any waste.
Some people have found that the coffee this machine makes can be weak if they try to make too much at a time. It would be wise to stick to smaller amounts, or at least to not make a full pot of coffee.
Other issues are that the coffee doesn’t stay hot for long enough and that the machine and all of its parts can be difficult to clean.
Read more about: The Cuisinart Coffee Maker w/Built in Grinder
What's a French Press Coffee Maker?
If you cherish good coffee more than you do your kids, this one’s for you. To make a moan-worthy cup of Joe, you have to carefully take into account time and temperature. And the French Press is king at this.
The brewing method itself is pretty simple. You steep grounds in hot water for a stipulated time, then use a plunger fitted with a filter to separate the grounds. Coffee made with this method is known for its rich flavor as the oils are not trapped in the filter as is the case with drip machines.
3 Points to Consider for Choosing a French Press
Integrity of Filter
French press-made coffee may be utterly heavenly, but you may end up with grounds in your cup due to flimsy filters. So ensure that the filtration system is above par so as not to ruin the whole experience.
Fragility of Carafe
French Presses are things of beauty, but they can be very delicate as well. In addition to borosilicate glass, go for carafes that are housed in some sort of protective shell to give them enhanced protection.
Glass Vs. Stainless Steel
Glass carafes have a timeless appeal to them and allow you to see exactly what is going on inside, which is half the fun. But they fail in one regard: maintaining temperature. And that’s where stainless steel comes in. These variants are double-walled, allowing coffee to remain hot for some time. So if that’s a priority for you, then go with the latter.
This Coffee Maker is For You If:
Our Top Pick In French Press Coffee
Kona 8 Cup French Press Coffeemaker
The Kona french press is a good coffeemaker for both home and work. With easy instructions and a highly effective filter, this little machine can make up to four cups of coffee at home with little hassle. Additionally, because it’s so tiny, it’s perfect for taking with you to work or out on a picnic.
The sturdy glass is resistant to both heat and cracks and the outer shell will protect it from any damage caused by being jostled around in a bag. As it’s non electric, all that’s needed is boiling water and your favorite ground bean and it’ll be ready to quietly brew up a nice cup of coffee wherever you are.
When it’s done, it’s easy to take apart and clean by hand or in the dishwasher.
There are only a few recurring issues that owners seem to have with this press. Many say that the filter doesn’t last long and must be replaced after a while of extended use.
Others have complained about the protective shell being clunky or just not necessary for them and expressed disappointment at not being able to take it off.
Learn more about: The Best French Press Coffee Makers
What's a Cold Brew Coffee Maker?
When it comes to coffee maker, as mentioned the drip coffee maker is the most popular. However, what if it is a hot summer day and you are craving a cold drink? You want to enjoy a cup of coffee, but would love it to be a cold drink instead of a hot one.
This is where cold brew coffee makers come into play. Cold brew does not simply involve throwing some ice cubes in your coffee. Instead, cold brew coffee makers will use a steeping technique that will highlight the natural floral, fruity, and chocolate notes that coffee is known for.
This steeping process will also help reduce the stale, bitter, and watered down flavor that comes with putting ice in your hot coffee.
3 Points to Consider for Choosing a Cold Brew Coffee Maker
With most things you may think that bigger is better, but this may not always be the case with a cold brew coffee machine. Since you will be brewing a large amount of coffee concentrate, these brewers can be large, which makes it difficult to store them during the brewing process. There are some cold coffee brewers that have a large circumference, which will take a lot of room up in your fridge.
There are also some cold brewers that are very tall and may not fit on the shelves of your fridge. If you do not have a lot of space, choose a brewer that has a slim profile and is shorter or an all in one unit that combines the carafe and brewer together.
Filters: What Type Is Best?
There are some cold brewers that will use a paper filter. These filters are good to help get an extract of coffee that is free of sediments. However, if the filter spills or breaks it can be quite messy to clean up.
Other brewers will use a mesh metal filter. These filters will minimize waste and are easy to clean. However, they can lead to a bit of extra sediment in your cup.
Both types of filters work well and it will really just depend on your personal preference.
Like any type of home brewing equipment, there is some technical knowledge that is necessary. There are some brewers that will require you to understand agitation, blooming techniques, and a proper grind consistency. Other types are more simple to use, so it really depends on what you prefer.
Since it takes up to 24 hours for these brewers to work, chances are you are going to want to go with one of the simpler options.
Our 2 Top Picks In Cold Brew Coffee
Takeya Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker
This cold brew coffee maker features a silicone handle that is non-slip and helps to minimize spills. This is a one quart coffee maker so you will get about 4 servings out of it each time that you use it.
One thing that stands out about this coffee maker is the leakproof lid. This lid will not only protect your coffee from being leaked, but will also lock in the freshness of your brew. You can also use ground coffee with this cold brew machine.
While this is a great cold brew coffee maker, there are some downsides to this particular device. First, it is a bit time consuming. However, if you are looking for great cold brew coffee you are going to have to wait for it.
Another issue is that there is sediment left behind. This does not bother some people, but others do not like to drink the leftover sediment.
Another complaint about this particular cold brew coffee machine is that it does not have a water fill level indicator.
Click Here: To learn more about the Takeya Cold Brew Coffee Maker!
Toddy Cold Brew Coffee Maker With 2 Extra Filters
The Toddy uses a patented wool fiber filter that is thick and durable. This filter works as both a filtration device and a grounds guard. The machine is simple to use, easy to put together, easy to take apart, and easy to clean.
There are a ton of resources that can be used with your Toddy including many drink recipes as well as tips for using your Toddy and frequently asked questions, all found on their website.
There are a couple of issues that people have when using the Toddy cold brew coffee maker. First, cleaning it up can be a bit messy unless you purchase and use additional paper filters along with the one that it came with.
One other problem is that if you do not insert the rubber plug correctly, the bottom of the brewer will leak.
Read more about: The Toddy Cold Brew Coffeemaker
What's a Pour Over Coffee Maker?
One of the hottest trends in coffee right now are pour over coffee makers. These are manual drip or hand drip coffee makers. One of the reasons these are so popular is because with a little bit of know how and skill you will be able to create a great cup of coffee at home.
3 Points to Consider for Choosing a Pour Over Coffee Maker
Time is something that is important to everyone. When choosing a pour over coffee maker you will want to consider the amount of time it will take to make your coffee.
Typically, a pour over coffee maker will take around three to five minutes to brew your coffee and then another three to five minutes to prepare the coffee afterwards. This means that you will be using about 10 minutes to get your cup of coffee. Make sure that before you buy a pour over coffee machine that you realize this.
The next thing to consider is the portability of the pour over coffee maker. There are going to be times when you need to make coffee on the go. Many pour over brew methods have tools built directly into them.
These are typically made from either metal or plastic. A ceramic pour over is great for using at home, but is not good for travel as they can easily break. If you are planning to take your pour over with you make sure that you consider its portability.
Consistency And Your Current Skill Level
Pour over coffee makers are operated manually. This means that there are many variables that will need to be done throughout the brewing process. This includes the weight of the ground coffee, brew time, pour aggressiveness, water temperature, as well as other variables. Each of these make it hard to consistently brew the same great tasting coffee every time.
There are different pour over coffee makers that allow you to customize your coffee to the way that you like it. However, these are a bit more difficult to use. If you are new to this method of brewing coffee choose a pour over coffee maker that is a bit more forgiving.
Bodum 11571-01US Pour Over Coffee Maker With Permanent Filter
This pour over coffee maker from Bodum is a great budget choice. It is really good for beginners because it is affordable and makes an excellent cup of coffee. To use, simply fill the filter with coffee that is freshly ground and then pour a small amount of heated water over the grounds until they are soaked.
Next, slowly pour the rest of the water through the filter. The coffee will then drip into the carafe. In about three or four minutes you will have a great tasting cup of coffee.
Remove the filter before serving the coffee.
This pour over drip coffee maker comes in several different colors and three sizes, which makes it a good choice for any kitchen decor.
One complaint that has been made about this particular pour over coffee maker is that it is quite fragile. The glass can easily break even during a gentle hand washing. It is safe to be in the dishwasher, but you will want to be careful with it if you do.
Click Here for our in-depth review of the Bodum Pour Over!
Premium Pour Over Drip Coffee Maker
The premium pour over drip coffee maker helps you save money and reduce waste. It uses a stainless steel mesh filter instead of messy paper filters.
This pour over coffee maker is very easy to clean, just dump out the grinds, rinse the filter and the carafe and let them dry. You can also put it all in the dishwasher.
This small carafe and coffee maker is good for those who do not have a lot of space as it is very lightweight and small. In addition, it can be set on any counter as a conversation piece because it is quite lovely looking.
One of the complaints about this particular pour over coffee maker is that some people feel that the filter is not large enough. The coffee is a bit weak for some individuals who have used this particular coffee maker.
Read more about: The Premium Pour Over Drip Coffee Maker
What's a Single Cup Coffee Maker?
The newest kid on the block, these machines are steadily eroding the popularity that drip machines have enjoyed for quite a while now. The reason behind this surge? It all has to do with convenience and variety. Also known as pod coffee makers, they involve hot water being run through a sealed pod or K-cup to brew a single serving of coffee.
They are a whole less messy than drip machines and you can choose from a wide variety of exciting pods. On the flip-side though, they are more expensive to buy and operate than traditional coffee machines.
Perhaps you are simply looking for a great and fast way to make a decent cup of coffee before you head out to work in the morning. Making an entire pot of coffee seems like a waste when you are just taking a cup out the door with you in the mornings.
If you are like most people who are rushing out the door each day, a single cup coffee maker may be just what you are looking for. Single cup coffee makers allow you to simply make a cup of coffee at any time of the day or night.
What to Consider When Choosing a Single Cup Coffee Maker
Grounds Vs. No Grounds
While single-serve coffee makers are designed to work with pods or K-cups, there are some that allow you to use grounds as well. They may require an adapter but the increased functionality is a good touch.
This Coffee Maker is For You If:
Our Favorite Single Cup Coffee Maker
Keurig K55 Single Serve Programmable K-Cup Pod Coffee Maker
When it comes to single serve coffee makers, the Keurig brand is the number one choice. This single serve coffee maker from Keurig comes with a 48 ounce water reservoir so you can enjoy several cups of coffee before you need to refill.
You can choose from three different brew sizes, six, eight, or ten ounces, which means that you can use any size cup that you have. The removable dip tray allows you to use your larger mugs and cups with the machine.
One concern that people have about this product is that it does not seem to last long. There are complaints that these single serve coffee machines do not provide the greatest cup of coffee and that they are expensive to maintain as well.
Learn more about: The Best of Single Serve Coffee Makers
What's a Coffee Percolator?
The first percolator came into being over 130 years ago, and even in this day and age, this coffee machine is still going strong. The first of its kind were stove tops models, but you now have the convenience of the electric kind. It works by repeatedly pushing hot water through coffee grounds. This results in a scalding-hot percolate coffee brew with a distinctive strong flavor.
2 Points to Consider When Choosing a Coffee Percolator
Stove Top Vs. Automatic
Stove tops are cheaper to get but have that nagging problem of temperature control. Wait too long and your coffee will taste bitter and burnt. Automatic models eliminate this problem completely, producing robust flavor that isn’t tainted. But a stove top is a total life saver during any camping trip.
Speed of Preparation
Go for a percolator that takes the shortest time to heat the water to optimal temperature. If it’s automatic, you want it to take 4 minutes during percolation in order to get the most out of the beans without going overboard.
This Coffee Maker is For You If:
Our 4 Top Picks In Perked Coffee
The Presto coffee maker is small and elegant but still efficient. With a powerful little system, it can make twelve cups of coffee at up to a cup a minute so you don’t have to wait long during busy mornings in a full house.
Once the coffee is made, an indicator light will let you know and the pot’s auto temperature regulator will keep it hot and fresh. Clean up is made easy with removable parts that just need a gentle soapy rinse.
High quality stainless steel will withstand years of use without breaking down, making it much more durable than the usual aluminium material used in coffeemakers.
There does seem to be a few issues with the pot that mostly boil down to it being a little finicky and precise. To prevent weak cups of coffee, make sure the metal tube is lined up with the receiving hole in the bottom of the pot.
Skipping the paper filter and using only the metal basket provided also seems key to getting a strong cup.
Learn more about this amazing coffee percolator with our in-depth review!
For those that need a stronger kick in the mornings but don’t want to be bouncing off of the walls, the Bialetti espresso machine fits the bill. The aluminium material diffuses heat equally throughout the pot to bring the water to a boil quickly and allow for an even consistency and flavor.
This machine also lets you enjoy a more authentic brewing experience as it uses stove-top heat instead of making its own. Clean up is a quick job by hand and the machine reassembles easily for future use.
Several buyers have noted that the espresso shots this machine makes aren’t strong enough to be “real” espressos. This holds some truth, but only due to a misunderstanding in definition. This particular Bialetti is made for moka espressos.
They're made in a similar way, but with much less pressure and a lower temperature. Simply put, mokas are at a level of strength somewhere between between coffee and espresso. Those that understood beforehand what they were buying had no other big problems with the machine.
The Hamilton coffeemaker is a simple, user- and beginner-friendly machine. The old fashioned percolator style process allows for a controlled brew without all of the hassle and in much less time.
The glass lid twists and locks into place to prevent over boiling and spilling while also letting you look inside of the pot to see how things are going. Built into the handle is a long viewing window too.
When the coffee's done, the machine lets you know with an indicator light and lowers the heat to a gentle warmth that keeps it from cooling down too much.
The cool-touch handle and no-drip spout allow for easy transport and pouring as well. The permanent steel filter basket comes out easily and is dishwasher safe.
This coffee machine comes with only a few small complaints. For some, the cord was a little short and made it difficult to pour comfortably. Others were bothered by the amount of noise that the percolator made as it brewed, but many didn’t mind.
Read more about: The Twist Lid Percolator by Hamilton Beach
This little Farberware coffeemaker is good for lazy mornings or small get together's. Once started, it will brew coffee at a rate of one cup per minute--that’s less than five minutes to have a full pot. Once it’s done it will be kept warm but not too hot by the pot’s self regulating heat cycle.
When you want more, the cool-touch handle lets you pick it up right away with no problem. Sturdy stainless steel will resist damage and corrosion even over long periods of time as well so there’s no need to worry about letting the coffee sit.
A few concerns have been raised about the automatic keep warm mode included in this coffee machine. Instead of the temperature of the coffee and keeping it at a constant temperature, the pot instead cycles between heating it up and letting it cool back down a little.
This winds up perking the coffee, making it stronger and stronger each time. If you enjoy a strong cup of coffee this should be fine, but if not, it’s probably best to keep an eye on it.
Learn more about: The Little Farberware Coffee Percolator
Espresso Maker, What's That?
Espresso is a different animal altogether and needs to be given the respect it deserves. It’s the main reason most people fork out ridiculous sums of money just to have a little cup of that inexplicable goodness. But save your change.
There are machines that allow you to make an espresso right from your own kitchen. They work by forcing hot water under high pressure through finely ground coffee. You can either get a stove top model, steam machine or the electric pump variety. For full automation, the electric pump model is your best bet.
2 Points to Consider When Choosing a Latte or Espresso Maker
Proper pressure is a crucial part of the espresso equation. If it is lacking, then you won’t get that sought after 'crema’. A machine that produces about 19 bar is certain to get the job done.
Get your coffee to hot and you will ruin it. So ensure your espresso machine has a thermoblock that heats water up to the optimal temperature. About 195 degrees Fahrenheit is the sweet spot.
This Coffee Maker is For You If:
Our Top 5 Picks In Espresso Coffee
This Breville Espresso Machine does little luxuries in a big way with it’s almost commercial grade setup. With a dual stainless steel boiler system, one boiler heats the water to the perfect temperature while the other creates instant steam.
Both the temperature and pressure are precisely monitored and controlled to ensure a strong shot of espresso that won’t be overdone and bitter.
An auto turn-on feature lets you program the machine to wake you up with a hot cup and other user-friendly customization options let you make it your own personal barista. It also includes a descaling function and instructions so you can clean buildup yourself without paying any extra.
For such an expensive machine, there aren’t too many big issues surrounding it. Some have complained that the instructions manual is too long and convoluted when all they want is a simple shot of espresso, but others enjoy the recipes and variations it gives them.
Many people have also noted that the foaming wand doesn’t froth milk well.
Learn more: Here's our in-depth review!
The Krups automatic barista is a good machine for people that have specific tastes but can never get things to turn out right on their own or don’t have the time to go out to a café every day. Right out of the box seventeen different recipes from straight black coffee to a fancy cappuccino are programmed into the machine for you to try.
From there, simple controls let you tweak and customize each recipe’s strength, flavor, grind, and temperature. You can also make your own cup manually if you want a more personal touch.
Cleanup is easy with a water filter, cleaning tablets, descaling powder, liquid cleaner, and an automatic steam cleaning nozzle to do the work for you.
There are only a few small complaints with this machine. Apparently, a 10 oz cup is the largest single drink the machine will make. if you want more, you’d have to make two separate drinks.
Also, the bean container isn’t included in the cleaning cycle and has to be done by hand, though a simple wipe down with a clean paper towel or sponge will be enough.
Click Here: Learn more about the Krups Automatic Espresso Maker
This little DeLonghi Espresso Maker is non too fancy but more than a basic coffee maker, this machine is a good addition to the kitchen for a daily cup of coffee. Its self-priming operation starts up the process with little fuss and the self-regulating thermostats will maintain the proper temperature to brew multiple cups in a row.
The dual function filter holds both coffee grounds and pods for cappuccinos. For espressos, the three-in-one filter holder allows for single shots, double shots, and pods. The stainless steel boiler resists damage and build up but when cleaning is needed, removable parts make it simple.
A problem that people seem to have with this machine is that it produces watery espressos; however, this can be avoided by using proper technique when preparing the grounds. For best results, it is advised to use a large amount and tamp them down firmly.
It has also been noted that when the machine is working, it vibrates on solid counter-tops enough to jiggle the cups away from the spout. Users have fixed this problem by putting it on top of a towel or stabilizing pad.
New to the world of espresso and looking to get started? The Delonghi EC155 might be for you... here's a review!
The Nespresso brand is known for it’s unique flavors and exclusive content. To keep using this machine after the first sixteen uniquely flavored coffee capsules are used up, you’ll have to purchase more online or through one of their stores, but it should be well worth the trouble.
The Nespresso Pixie's high pressure and temperatures make strong shots of espresso with powerful aromas. It can also make lungo shots for a less concentrated dose of caffeine. As it has a smaller tank than most coffee machines, a handy water level detector will let you know when it’s time to refill it.
If no new cups are made after nine minutes, the machine will turn itself off to conserve energy. If another shot is needed after that, it doesn’t take the machine more than thirty seconds to get back up to temperature.
The only big problem that people seem to have with this machine is the cost of buying replacement pods. However, many others agree that the price is reasonable for a shot of luxury caffeine.
Read more about: The Pixie Latte & Espresso Maker
The Mr. Coffee machine makes simple cups of coffee and espresso with little effort. The user-friendly control panel lets you choose between making an espresso, cappuccino, or latte, as well as how many servings of each. Included with the machine is a little recipe book with ten different drinks to try out.
The water tank holds enough to make several cups of coffee in a row and the automatic milk frother runs at the same time so everything is ready at once.
An adjustable cup tray will fit any size from small demitasse cups to big travel mugs without spilling. Clean up is fast with removable parts that are easy to reassemble after a quick rinse with warm water.
Most problems that people have with this machine were fixed with a little adjusting and patience. Instead of starting right away, it’s best to wait a few minutes for it to heat up to the proper temperature.
The filter also takes a little extra push to really lock into place in the machine.
Don't Forget The Coffee Grinder
This buying guide can’t be complete without mentioning grinders. These are a must-have if you want to experience the total punch that coffee has to offer.
Blade grinders are the cheaper option and do a decent job once you get used to them. But they never achieve the supreme results of conical burr grinders. These may be a bit of an investment, but they also never disappoint.
And there you have it!
All there is to know about the oftentimes perplexing world of coffee makers. So you will now no longer have that doe-eyed look as you go through reviews online.
Whatever your preference, one of these bad boys is sure to spice your life with that auburn magic that we call coffee.
Enjoy & Happy Brewing!