7 Best Coffee Makers by Consumer Reports

Nothing helps make you start your day fresh and energetic like a hot cup of coffee. Making amazing coffee in your home is now easier than ever before. You have plenty of options that will help you get the most out of your favorite beans. Coffee makers can do all sorts of things now. They have a lot of functions that have recently been added to boost your coffee making experience.

If you want to buy a coffee maker, you need to make an informed decision. Read through our buying guide and list of top products so that you make the right purchase.

Buying Guide

There are three things that you should consider before you buy a coffee maker. These three things are the type of coffee of maker, what features it has as well as certain factors that are unique to this product. We are going to start off by discussing different types of coffee makers.

Types of Coffee Makers:

  • Drip Coffee Brewer: This is the most common type of coffee brewer in the world. This is because it is easy to use and quite affordable as well. You also get to make a lot of coffee all at once which makes it perfect for offices or homes with lots of coffee drinkers. This also makes it unsuitable for people that just want to make a single cup in the morning. It also doesn’t let you make different types of coffee like espressos.
  • Single Cup Brewer: This is an alternative to drip coffee makers that allows you to make a single cup. The brewing process is the same but you don’t have to make a lot of coffee all at once. This also makes these types of coffee makers easier to clean. These coffee makers are perfect for people living alone. However, this type of coffee maker doesn’t let you make fancy coffees like espressos, just like regular drip coffee brewers.
  • French Press: French Presses are classic coffee makers. They can be used without electricity and are extremely cheap. An added benefit is that you don’t need to buy filters since there is one built into the device. This is a simple, lightweight coffee maker you can take with you while travelling. However, it doesn’t allow you to make coffee in bulk. Also, using it requires some skill otherwise your coffee won’t taste as good. Using it well can result in absolutely delicious coffee, however.
  • Espresso Machines: This is an automated coffee maker that would let you create delicious espressos. Most coffee aficionados go for espresso machines if they can afford them because they make the best kinds of coffee. They are quite expensive however. Not suitable for budget shoppers.

Features to Look For:

  • Programming Capabilities: Drip coffee makers and espresso machines can be programmed to make your coffee for you. This type of automatic coffee making is not available in French presses, though. An automatic, programmable coffee maker will usually cost more than a French press, but they are more convenient for people that don’t have a lot of time.
  • Bean Grinder: This is for true coffee enthusiasts. Grinding your own beans helps you get the type of coffee you love. Most pre-ground coffee has additives to prevent it from clumping. A bean grinder can help prevent that. A built in bean grinder will make your coffee maker more expensive.
  • Automatic Shutdown: Coffee drinkers are often in a hurry. If you leave your coffee maker on when you rush out of the house it can be dangerous. A coffee maker with automatic shutdown will help you prevent this from happening. You don’t need this feature on French presses, only on automatic coffee makers.
  • Built In Frother: Some people like coffee black. Others prefer it with milk. A frother, or steamer, can help you make a perfect cappuccino that would be a lot cheaper than one you’d get from coffee houses. Drip coffee makers often don’t have this unless they are designed for specialty coffees.
  • Brew Strength Control: This is another thing that hardcore coffee lovers would want. This feature controls the flow of water to give you complete control over how strong your coffee ends up being. This makes your coffee maker more expensive, but it’s worth it for people that are very particular about what kind of coffee they drink.
  • Serving Style: Drip coffee makers usually make the coffee and then pour it into the carafe you get with the coffee maker. These are called pause and serve coffee makers, because you have the pause the process to pour. Self pour coffee makers can be used to pour directly into a cup from the machine.
  • Water Filter: Coffee filters are necessary, but some people like to get water filters with their coffee as well. This is because water sometimes affects the flavor of your coffee. A charcoal water filter can neutralize any flavors in the water you’re using, helping your coffee taste better.
  • Self Cleaning: Cleaning a coffee maker can be a real pain. This feature helps make the process a lot easier. It can really drive up the price you would have to pay for your coffee maker though. It’s only for people that value their time more than their money.
  • Multiple Warmers: This is particularly useful if you have lots of people that want different kinds of coffee. You can make two pots of different strengths and keep both of them warm using the multiple warmers.

Factors to Consider:

  • Carafe Capacity: Do you need lots of coffee all at once or just a single cup? There are a lot of options to consider and all of them are good at their job. Carafe capacity needs to be taken into account if you want your coffee to come out right. Consider whether you need a coffee maker for your home or for the office.
  • Favorite Type of Coffee: There are lots of types of coffee. Brewed coffee is great for functionality. Espresso is the coffee of choice for enthusiasts. French press is great for more hipster coffee drinkers or people who are looking to try something new. All of these things should be taken into account before you buy a coffee maker.
  • Space in Home: Drip coffee makers can be quite bulky, and not all countertops have that much room. Single serving coffee makers are more compact, and French presses are the smallest of them all. However, the more compact the coffee maker the less high quality the coffee is going to be.
  • Daily Routine: French press is cheap and can make amazing coffee. However it takes a lot of time to use. Drip coffee makers are a lot faster, and espresso machines are the fastest of them all. Try to consider what your morning routine is like and buy a coffee maker accordingly.
  • Budget: This is perhaps the most pertinent question to ask. There are incredible drip and espresso maker combos you can buy that can make you any type of coffee imaginable. They are quite expensive, though. Keep a budget in mind. It will help you narrow down your options.

Top Seven Coffee Makers

7. Aicok Coffee Maker, 12 Cups Programmable Drip Coffee Maker

Aicok Coffee Maker, 12 Cups Programmable Drip Coffee Maker

  • 24 hour programmable
  • Keep warm function
  • DuraLife glass carafe
  • Built in filter basket

This is a nice little coffee maker that has a few cool features. One of the most prominent features is the large carafe you get. It lets you make a huge batch of coffee all in one go, and is very durable as well. This is great for clumsy people that might end up dropping the carafe and making a mess. However, although the carafe is durable and has great capacity it isn’t designed very well. There is a lot of unnecessary spillage that you will have to deal with.

An added benefit of this product is the filter basket which can help you a lot during the clean up process. You should keep in mind that this coffee maker has a few flaws, one of which is that it doesn’t keep the coffee hot so you might have to keep reheating it.

Pros

  • Large capacity carafe lets you make lots of coffee
  • Carafe is quite durable
  • Filter basket keeps things clean

Cons

  • Poorly designed carafe results in a lot of spilling
  • Fails to keep coffee hot

6. Cuisinart SS-15 12-Cup Coffee Maker

Cuisinart SS-15 12-Cup Coffee Maker

  • 12 cup glass carafe
  • Gold tone coffee filter
  • Reusable filter cup
  • Brew strength control

This is a slightly higher end model because it has a few better features. Firstly, it has a permanent filter which is a lot more efficient than disposable ones. Also, it lets you brew a whopping twelve cups of coffee all at once. This makes this coffee maker perfect for big houses where everyone loves coffee or for offices where lots of people will need coffee all at once.

Another great feature that this product has is the brew strength control. You can make strong or light coffee based on your preference at the push of a button.

A couple problems you might face with this product is the low durability and the long brewing time. This coffee maker takes way too much time to brew coffee. Also, you will have to be careful while using it because it is prone to breaking. It should be kept well out of the reach of children for this very reason.

Pros

  • 12 cup capacity makes it perfect for offices
  • Let’s you control brew strength
  • Easy to clean filter cup

Cons

  • Prone to breaking down
  • Takes a long time to brew coffee

5. Mr. Coffee Optimal Brew 10-Cup Thermal Coffeemaker System

Mr. Coffee Optimal Brew 10-Cup Thermal Coffeemaker System

  • Removable water reservoir
  • Thermal carafe
  • Delay Brew feature
  • Gold Tone permanent filter

The thermal carafe is a great feature because it helps you enjoy piping hot coffee for long periods of time. You also get a Gold Tone filter like the one in the Cuisinart coffee maker you read about above. Solid filtration plus long term heating makes this a great coffee maker, and the carafe helps keep the coffee fresh along with keeping it hot.

An added feature that you will enjoy is the delay brew feature. This will help you program the coffee maker to have hot coffee ready for you when you need it.

The coffee won’t be all that strong though. This is one of the negative aspects of using this coffee maker. Also, while the carafe keeps your coffee hot and fresh it’s not very durable, so there are definitely a couple of similarities to the Cuisinart coffee maker at number six. This product is also leakage prone.

Pros

  • Carafe keeps coffee hot for longer periods of time
  • Gold Tone filter provides superior filtration
  • Delay Brew feature helps keep coffee ready for later
  • Coffee stays fresh for longer periods of time

Cons

  • Prone to breaking
  • Water pours too fast, leads to leakage
  • Doesn’t make strong coffee

4. Technivorm Moccamaster 59691 KB Brushed Silver

Technivorm Moccamaster 59691 KB Brushed Silver

  • Glass carafe
  • Copper boiling element
  • 6 minute long brewing process
  • Auto shut off

Technivorm coffee makers are some of the best out there, so it’s no surprise that their first model on this list ranks no lower than fourth. There is an excellent copper boiling element that gets the coffee boiling quickly. It also maintains the temperature at just the right level to keep the coffee from burning and extract all of the flavor from the beans. You also get a fast brewing time which shows why this coffee maker is clearly better than the Cuisinart 12 Cup coffee maker at number six.

That being said, this product is a little more expensive than average as Technivorm products usually tend to be. In spite of this high price tag this coffee maker has a fragile carafe. One should be able to expect durability when paying a lot of money but that doesn’t seem to be the case here.

Pros

  • Specially designed carafe maintains flavor
  • Efficient heating element
  • Safe to operate
  • Fast brewing time

Cons

  • A bit on the expensive side
  • Thin carafe walls makes it prone to breaking

3. Keurig K-Elite Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Maker

Keurig K-Elite Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Maker

  • Brews multiple cup sizes
  • Strong brew button
  • 75 ounce reservoir
  • Removable drip tray

This coffee maker marks our entry into the top products on the market. The first thing we noted was how incredibly fast it brews coffee. You can get a full carafe in under a minute. This makes it perfect for high functioning offices where the coffee needs to flow quickly in order to have the desired effect! You can make lots of different cup sizes as well from espresso all the way to a fourteen ounce mega cup for someone looking to pull an all-nighter.

This coffee maker lets you make coffee of all different strengths, and it’s good for personal use as well. However, you might need to check the manual a couple of times before you can use this machine. It’s a little complicated, and the poor customer service doesn’t help matters either. These negatives don’t put too much of a damper on the positive aspects, though.

Pros

  • Brews coffee in under a minute
  • Accommodates lots of cup sizes
  • Good amount of control over coffee strength
  • Can make both small and large batches of coffee
  • Easy to refill

Cons

  • Not easy to use
  • Reports of poor customer service

2. Nespresso Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Machine

Nespresso Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Machine

  • Brews five cup sizes
  • Forty ounce water tank
  • Built in milk frother
  • Automatic shutoff after nine minutes

The first thing that you are going to love about this product is that it makes amazing coffee. It also makes several different kinds of coffee, from espresso to brewed coffee to cappuccinos and other fancy drinks. You will save a lot of money because instead of going to the coffee shop you will be able to get your favorite brew right at home.

This product also comes with complementary coffee capsules, and it also has an auto shut off option. This coffee maker can definitely help you save money in multiple ways, and it’s very convenient to use as well because you will be able to heat up your coffee in a mere fifteen seconds. However, the heating process might have been better if it took longer.

This machine makes perfect temperature espressos but the brewed coffee is often not hot enough. Also, while the initial savings are good, eventually the complementary pods will run out and you will end up having to buy the expensive pods that work with this machine.

Pros

  • Makes delicious coffee
  • Auto shut off saves energy
  • Can make different kinds of coffee
  • Comes with 12 complementary Nespresso Vertuo capsules
  • 15 second heat up time

Cons

  • Perfect temperature for espresso, not so much for brewed coffee
  • Only uses expensive coffee pods

1. Technivorm Moccamaster 59616 KBG Coffee Brewer

Technivorm Moccamaster 59616 KBG Coffee Brewer

  • Auto drip stop brew basket
  • Copper boiling element
  • Creates 10 cups
  • Automatic shut off

This coffee maker is a little too expensive much like the other Technivorm product on this list, but that is pretty much the only problem you might have with it. Apart from that one problem, this coffee maker has a lot of features that you will love.

The hot plate can keep your coffee at the right temperature for a hundred minutes. You also don’t have to deal with the noise that usually comes with brewing, even though this coffee maker can brew forty ounces of coffee in just under six minutes. The carafe is very durable which is a definite plus, and we once again get the signature copper heating element that we know and love. Overall, this is the best coffee maker on the market.

Pros

  • Hot plate keeps coffee hot for an hour and a half
  • Quiet brewing process
  • Makes ten four ounce cups in six minutes
  • Durable carafe and body
  • Copper heating element maintains temperature perfectly
  • Makes amazing tasting coffee

Cons

  • Rather expensive

Consumer Reports

  • Amy J. Gurganus: My main focus when buying a coffee machine is always to find something that will give me good coffee. This is the first coffee maker I’ve bought that genuinely did that, all the others are all about convenience.
  • Keith W. Webster: I love that this product has replaceable parts. I have bought coffee makers before and it’s always so annoying when they break down and I have to buy a new one. This one made things cheaper for me.
  • Erin D. Wall: Honestly, this product is just as good as a French press. In fact, I’d say it’s better because you can make so many different kinds of coffees with it too!
  • Robert S. Bunn: I think my favorite thing about this product is the copper heating element. Aluminum always gives coffee a bad taste, glad to see it wasn’t used here!
  • Cory B. Wood: This company has been doing things since 1964 and you can tell by the amazing coffee their machines make. This might just be the best coffee maker I have ever used, and I’ll probably use it for a long time because it seems quite sturdy and durable.
  • Louise M. Hruby: Boy does this thing make coffee fast! I can’t believe how good the coffee tastes too, usually fast coffee means bad taste.

These coffee makers are going to completely change your life whether you are a coffee lover or you’re just someone who wants to wake up feeling refreshed every morning. The Technivorm Moccamaster gets the top spot because it has incredible features that justify its slightly higher than average price point. However, if that’s not what you’re looking for pretty much any other product on this list will be able to get the job done quite easily. Make sure you read through the buying guide before you make a purchase, it will help you make the right decision even while using this list.

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