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12 Best Drip Coffee Maker (2021 Reviews)

A poor cup of coffee can ruin the start of a perfect day. Even if you choose the best grounds money can buy, the maker does all the brewing. So how can you avoid the dangers of bad coffee? By finding the best drip coffee maker you can afford.

What are the best coffee makers you can choose from? What makes them best? The answer depends on your coffee brewing needs, budget, and your kitchen. And we’re here to help you choose!

At A Glance: Our Top Picks

How to choose the right coffee maker

Product Details Button
Best Drip Coffee Maker Breville BDC450 Precision Brewer Breville BDC450 Precision Brewer
  • 14 x 9 x 16 inches
  • 12 cup capacity
  • Thermal carafe
amazon-logo SEE ON AMAZON
Best Value for Money Cuisinart DCC-3200 Programmable Coffee Maker Cuisinart DCC-3200
  • 7.75 x 9 x 14 inches
  • 14 cup capacity
  • Glass carafe
amazon-logo SEE ON AMAZON
Budget Pick Mr. Coffee Coffee Maker Mr. Coffee Coffee Maker
  • 12.3 x 11.8 x 13.8 inches
  • 12 cup capacity
  • Glass carafe
amazon-logo SEE ON AMAZON
Best Small Capacity Zojirushi EC-DAC50 Zutto Zojirushi EC-DAC50 Zutto
  • 6 x 9 x 11 inches
  • 5 cup capacity
  • Glass carafe
amazon-logo SEE ON AMAZON
Best with Built-In Grinder 61c7OH5VjfL._AC_SL1242_-2 Cuisinart DGB-550BKP1
  • 7.5 x 11.2 x 15.2 inches
  • 12 cup capacity
  • Glass carafe
amazon-logo See on amazon
Best for Pour Over Lovers Technivorm Moccamaster 59462 KBG Brewer Technivorm Moccamaster 59462 KBG Brewer
  • 14 x 12.8 x 6.5 inches
  • 10 cup capacity
  • Glass carafe
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Best with Preinfusion Bonavita BV1900TS Coffee Maker Bonavita BV1900TS Coffee Maker
  • 12.4 x 6.8 x 12.2 inches
  • 8 cup capacity
  • Thermal carafe
amazon-logo SEE ON AMAZON
Best Value for Money Cuisinart DGB-900BC Coffee Maker Cuisinart DCC-3200
  • 7.75 x 9 x 14 inches
  • 14 cup capacity
  • Glass carafe
amazon-logo SEE ON AMAZON
Best Thermal Carafe Oxo On 9 Cup Coffee Maker OXO Brew 9 Cup Stainless Steel Coffee Maker
  • 8.3 x 15 x 17.2 inches
  • 9 cup capacity
  • Thermal carafe
amazon-logo SEE ON AMAZON
Fastest Brew BUNN GRB Velocity Brew BUNN GRB Velocity Brew
  • 14.8 x 7.1 x 13.8 inches
  • 10 cup capacity
  • Glass carafe
amazon-logo See on Amazon
Best Single Serve Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker
  • 13.3 x 9.8 x 13 inches
  • 6 cup capacity
  • No carafe
amazon-logo SEE ON AMAZON
Best For Small Spaces Hamilton Beach The Scoop Coffee Maker Hamilton Beach The Scoop Coffee Maker
  • 8.35 x 6.7 x 8.67 inches
  • One 14-ounce cup
  • No carafe
amazon-logo See on Amazon
Breville BDC450 Precision Brewer
Best Drip Coffee Maker Breville BDC450 Precision Brewer
  • 14 x 9 x 16 inches
  • 12 cup capacity
  • Thermal carafe
Cuisinart DCC-3200
Best Value for Money Cuisinart DCC-3200 Programmable Coffee Maker
  • 7.75 x 9 x 14 inches
  • 14 cup capacity
  • Glass carafe
Mr. Coffee Coffee Maker
Budget Pick Mr. Coffee Coffee Maker
  • 12.3 x 11.8 x 13.8 inches
  • 12 cup capacity
  • Glass carafe
Zojirushi EC-DAC50 Zutto
Best Small Capacity Zojirushi EC-DAC50 Zutto
  • 6 x 9 x 11 inches
  • 5 cup capacity
  • Glass carafe
Cuisinart DGB-550BKP1
Best with Built-In Grinder 61c7OH5VjfL._AC_SL1242_-2
  • 7.5 x 11.2 x 15.2 inches
  • 12 cup capacity
  • Glass carafe
Technivorm Moccamaster 59462 KBG Brewer
Best for Pour Over Lovers Technivorm Moccamaster 59462 KBG Brewer
  • 14 x 12.8 x 6.5 inches
  • 10 cup capacity
  • Glass carafe
Bonavita BV1900TS Coffee Maker
Best with Preinfusion Bonavita BV1900TS Coffee Maker
  • 12.4 x 6.8 x 12.2 inches
  • 8 cup capacity
  • Thermal carafe
Cuisinart DCC-3200
Best Value for Money Cuisinart DGB-900BC Coffee Maker
  • 7.75 x 9 x 14 inches
  • 14 cup capacity
  • Glass carafe
OXO Brew 9 Cup Stainless Steel Coffee Maker
Best Thermal Carafe Oxo On 9 Cup Coffee Maker
  • 8.3 x 15 x 17.2 inches
  • 9 cup capacity
  • Thermal carafe
BUNN GRB Velocity Brew
Fastest Brew BUNN GRB Velocity Brew
  • 14.8 x 7.1 x 13.8 inches
  • 10 cup capacity
  • Glass carafe
Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker
Best Single Serve Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker
  • 13.3 x 9.8 x 13 inches
  • 6 cup capacity
  • No carafe
Hamilton Beach The Scoop Coffee Maker
Best For Small Spaces Hamilton Beach The Scoop Coffee Maker
  • 8.35 x 6.7 x 8.67 inches
  • One 14-ounce cup
  • No carafe

The two main things to look for if you are to choose among quality drip coffee makers are brew speed and temperature. Both elements are heavily regulated and there is even a certification program. But as you know, a great machine does more than just keep hot water over the ground.

The following sections provide a quick guide to all the desirable features. We will focus on a wide range of home drip coffee makers, so this guide will not cover units like pour over coffee makers, portable coffee makers, french presses, cold-brew coffee makers, or stovetop Moka pots.

The two main things to look for if you are to get a quality drip coffee maker are speed/brewing time and temperature. Both elements are heavily regulated and there is even a certification program. But as you know, a great machine does more than just keep hot water over the ground.

Brew Speed/Time

The optimal brewing time is between 4 and 8 minutes and the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) is very rigorous about this (1). Brew your coffee for too long and it is likely to turn out bitter. On the other hand, brew it too quickly and it’ll be bland and too mild.

Related: Best SCAA certified coffee makers

The brewing speed also depends on the type of ground. For example, coarse coffee grounds should be brewed between 6 and 8 minutes, and you shouldn’t brew fine coffee grounds for more than 4 minutes. Plus, there are specially-engineered drip coffee makers that can brew coffee in under 4 minutes and still give you a rich flavor profile.

Brew Temperature

If you’re wondering how to use a drip coffee maker to the best effect, there is no cutting corners with the brew temperature. The optimal temperature for coffee brewing is 200°F +/- 5°F and the nearer you get to the target, the better your brewed coffee turns out. Remember, hot water is the extraction agent and it is responsible for dissolving and extracting the oils and solids to bring out the full flavor profile (2).

Coffee shall exhibit a brew strength, measured in Total Dissolved Solids, of 11.5 to 13.5 grams per liter, corresponding to 1.15 to 1.35 percent on the SCAA Brewing Control Chart.

SCAA Golden Cup Standard

To put things into perspective, the Golden Cup standard refers to a machine’s ability to hit the right temperature, resulting in proper extraction. Similar to wrong timing, if the heat is too high, the coffee becomes bitter and too heavy. If it’s too low, you’ll be drinking a sour-ish tea-like thing.

optimal brew settings for drip coffee

Carafe Type

There are two carafe types – glass and thermal; each type comes with its benefits and downsides.

Glass carafes are usually more affordable, there are a bunch of different styles, and you can see how much coffee is left at any given moment. However, they require a hot plate and are not that good at keeping the coffee warm for hours.

A thermal carafe is usually more durable, and there is no risk of overheating and oxidation, which allows for better coffee flavor. This type of carafe keeps coffee hot. As for the cons, thermal carafes are heavier and they all look pretty much the same. However, this is a small compromise to make for superior durability and performance. If you can choose a thermal carafe over a glass carafe, do it. If making sure that your coffee stay hot for hours is important to you, check out the best thermal coffee makers list here.

Consider your Budget

You don’t need to spend a fortune to get a really good machine that brews coffee nicely. The prices range between $50 and $100, and you get automatic presets, ample capacity, and decent build quality. But why settle for just a good brewer? After all, you are looking for the best drip coffee maker.

These set you back $300 plus and, rest assured, you money is well-spent. In general, you are getting superior heating elements, pre-infusion settings, better water shower, and more. And if you go for one of Technivorm products, the units are also handmade.

If you’re looking for coffee makers made in western countries like the USA or Europe, you’ll need to significantly increase your budget. Smart coffee makers you can control with your phone can also be pricier.

The 13 Best Drip Coffee Makers

Bellow is the list of best drip coffee makers we’ve reviewed. You’re bound to find the one that suits your needs.

1. Breville BDC450 Precision Brewer –  Best Overall

“Breville

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 14 x 9 x 16 inches

  • Capacity: 12 cup
  • Carafe: Thermal
  • Programmable: Yes

From eye-catching design to impressive specs, the Breville Precision brewer is the mother of all drip coffee makers. But don’t take our word for it – take a closer look at its features and see for yourself.

“Having the flexibility of a really awesome batch brewer is pretty rare… and if you’ve got a little bit of disposable income, it’s definitely worth a look.”

RealChrisBaca on the Breville BDC450

The Breville has automatic brew time and temperature adjustments to meet the SCAA standards. In case you didn’t know, the water temperature should be around 200°F when it contacts the coffee grounds. [3] To ensure proper temperature, this maker utilizes Thermocoil heating which is superior to aluminum.

In this automatic drip coffee maker, you also get digital temperature controls to zero in on the contact time, flow rate, and, of course, the temperature. There is a user-friendly backlit LED display to preview all the settings, but the main highlight is My Brew. It saves your preferences so you have a perfect cup every morning without wasting any time.

Aside from My Brew, there are five other brewing presets, including Strong, Cold Brew, Gold, and Fast. Plus, this drip coffee machine features the Steep & Release valve which is soon to be patented by Breville.

Best suited for those looking for a premium drip coffee maker that delivers an exceptional brewing precision.

2. Cuisinart DCC-3200 – Best Value for Money

“Cuisinart

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 7.75 x 9 x 14 inches

  • Capacity: 14 cup
  • Carafe: Glass
  • Programmable: Yes

The Cuisinart Perfectemp DCC-3200 can fit any budget, but there’s more to this automatic drip coffee maker than just its low price. It features cutting-edge auto-brewing technology to get you a great cup of coffee that excites the palate and reinvigorates the senses.

To start with, this easy-to-use drip coffee maker has a glass carafe that can hold as much as 14 cups of coffee. And rest assured, it yields the same flavor profile when you brew only a single cup. To get an ideal brew, the DCC-3200 utilizes simple-to-use automatic flow and temperature controls. But the goodies don’t stop at that.

This maker can be set to auto for 24 hours in advance. In other words, you can have it brew coffee automatically and your drink will be ready to pour by the time you reach the kitchen. There is also an option to set an alarm to inform you as soon as the brewed coffee is ready.

If you’re still having second thoughts about this brewer, you should know it comes with a three-year limited warranty. The only downside is the size, but that is to be expected from a 14-cup model.

Best suited for coffee lovers on a tight budget.

3. Mr. Coffee Coffee Maker – Budget Pick

“Mr.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 12.3 x 11.8 x 13.8 inches

  • Capacity: 12 cup
  • Carafe: Glass
  • Programmable: No

The Mr. Coffee brand is famous for its low-cost appliances and serves as a good reminder that coffee machines don’t have to break the bank to be worth your while. You might not get some of the advanced features that you’ll find on more expensive machines, but you will get everything you need to brew a pot of coffee.

The plus side to fewer features is that the Mr. Coffee is as simple as it gets when it comes to operating. A simple on-off switch is the only thing you need to start your brew. The 12 cup capacity makes it great for a big family or small office. There’s a minimum recommended four cups per brew – so if you only want one or two cups a day this might not be for you. You can, however, stop mid-cycle if you just one cup before the pot is ready.

Thermal carafes are one of the features that push up the price, so as expected you’ll only find a glass carafe here. But the hotplate will keep your coffee warm for up to two hours before the auto-off switch kicks.

The water reservoir has two graded windows to prevent overflows and it allows you to hit the right amount of water per cup of coffee. Finally, the maintenance is a walk in the park. The filter/brew basket is easy to remove, and it is advisable to clean the whole unit using common household items.

4. Zojirushi EC-DAC50 Zutto – Best Small Capacity

“Zojirushi

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 6 x 9 x 11 inches

  • Capacity: 5 cup
  • Carafe: Glass
  • Programmable: No

The Zojirushi Zutto 5-cup maker has a lot going in its favor. It offers Japanese engineering and attention to detail, as well as build quality that’s hard to rival. Plus, the unit comes at a reasonable price tag and includes a complimentary measuring spoon.

Style and size-wise, this drip coffee maker is well-designed to fit kitchens with small counter space. The unit measures 6×8.8×10.4 inches and the filter is hidden in the decanter for additional compactness and better usability. The Zojirushi Zutto has metallic gray housing and a glass carafe with an integrated filtration system.

As for the operation, this is a standard easy-to-use switch brewer which automatically keeps your coffee hot. The device is UL-listed, which means it adheres to the U.S. manufacturing and safety standards. There is a one-year limited warranty, though this is not that much compared to the competition.

Best suited for small families or singles who like to have the coffee ready at all times. 

5. OXO Brew 9 Cup Stainless Steel Coffee Maker –  Best Thermal Carafe

“OXO

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 8.3 x 15 x 17.2 inches

  • Capacity: 9 cup 
  • Carafe: Thermal
  • Programmable: Yes

Most thermal carafes use the same basic design – a double wall of stainless steel insulation – but that doesn’t mean they are all created equal. The OXO Brew stands out among others in its class for its ability to keep your coffee hot for longer, maintaining a temperature above 150F for an incredible 5 hours. 

This great carafe is not the only thing going for the OXO. This coffee machine replicates a pour over brewer with its Rainmaker shower head. This ensures even dispersal of water over the surface of the coffee grounds, rather than just in the center. Instead of using a constant flow of water, it pumps on timed cycles to further help with even extraction. 

A silicon tube mixes the coffee inside the carafe, so you get complete consistency from the first cup to the last.

This tech is designed to do all the thinking for you, so you won’t find any options to adjust your brew. All you need to do is choose how much coffee you want to brew, from as little as 2 cups. There’s no single-serve option, but thanks to the Pause and Pour feature you can grab yourself a cup at any time. The machine will automatically resume the brew cycle if the carafe is replaced within 60 seconds.

It’s not the cheapest coffee maker on our list, but it does come with SCAA certification. So this is pretty good value for something that has been recognized as an “exemplary home brewer”.

6. Technivorm Moccamaster – Best for Pour Over Lovers

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 14 x 12.8 x 6.5 inches

  • Capacity: 10 cup
  • Carafe: Glass
  • Programmable: No

The Technivorm Moccamaster has special appeal. Its industrial look and rugged design hint at its durability and build quality, but the true highlights hide behind the metal housing.

This brewer has a copper boiling element which ensures optimal brewing temperature even after months of heavy use. Its capacity is 40 fluid ounces, which means it can make a pot of coffee that’s equivalent to 10 cups, and it takes six minutes to brew a full pot of coffee. The brew basket has a 9-hole arm shower that drips water over at temperatures between 196°F and 205°F to provide the best extraction.

There are only two switches at the base – one controls the hot plate temperature and the other powers the Technivorm Moccamaster on and off.

If you forget to switch the machine off, its auto shutoff works after 100 minutes and keeps your coffee at 175°F all the while.

More importantly, this model is handmade and comes in 22 different finishes. However, premium engineering, design, and top-notch materials come at a price. But remember, this is a real tank of a brewer, so it’s well-worth the money. Plus, don’t forget the SCAA certification.

Best suited for those wanting a drip coffee maker that produces the best tasting filter coffee.

7. Bonavita BV1900TS Coffee Maker – Best with Preinfusion

“Bonavita

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 12.4 x 6.8 x 12.2 inches

  • Capacity: 8 cup
  • Carafe: Thermal
  • Programmable: No

The 8-cup thermal coffee pot is surely the thing that sets this Bonavita drip coffee maker apart from the competition. But upon closer inspection, you’ll realize that the entire unit is designed to brew a great pot of coffee.

You get to choose the pre-infusion mode that moistens the grounds to degas them before brewing. The shower head is rather large to ensure even drip and better saturation. This model has a flat-bottomed brew basket which is there to improve the extraction process. And then, there’s the Bonavita heater.

At 1500 watts, the heater is quite powerful for an 8-cup brewer and keeps the temperature between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit. As for the stainless steel carafe, it is double-walled with thermal lining that prevents heat transfer and keeps your coffee hot for hours without any significant effect to its flavor.

You should also know that the shower head, filter basket, and carafe lid are all safe for dishwasher-cleaning. Mind you, manufacturers usually advise against placing these elements into the dishwasher. Finally, the Bonavita plastic elements in this unit are all BPA-free.

Best suited for small-to-medium size households. Plus, it sports an aesthetically-appealing stainless steel design that suits both contemporary and traditional kitchens.

8. Cuisinart DGB-550BKP1 Grind and Brew – Best with Built-In Grinder

“Cuisinart

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 7.5 x 11.2 x 15.2 inches

  • Capacity: 12 cup
  • Carafe: Glass
  • Programmable: Yes

True coffee connoisseurs know that using freshly ground beans will get you a better cup of coffee than with preground. With this drip machine, you don’t need to get a separate grinder to do that. The Cuisinart DGB-550BKP1 is an all-in-one drip machine that comes with a built-in grinder.

Not only are you saving yourself the added cost, but you’re also removing one step from the coffee making process, so you’ll get your morning brew with less hassle. Once the beans are loaded up, the machine will grind your coffee and make a fresh pot at the touch of a button. Don’t need the full 12-cup pot? There’s a 1-4 cup brewing option that will automatically adjust the brew settings so that you still get a perfectly extracted coffee.

When it comes to 24-hour programmable features, you get all the bells and whistles. There is the brew pause functionality, the grind-off option, auto shutoff, brew strength control, and program button.

Because of the added grinder, this drip machine is somewhat bigger and heavier compared to other models. However, this doesn’t make it bulky, and you should be able to easily find a place for it on your countertop.

9. Nostalgia RCOF12AQ Retro 12-Cup – Coolest Design

“Nostalgia

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 7.8 x 10.3 x 14.3 inches

  • Capacity: 12 cup 
  • Carafe: Glass
  • Programmable: Yes

If you’re bored of the modern black and stainless steel that dominates the design of most appliances, this machine will add a pop of color and a hint of yesteryear to your kitchen. The Retro 12-cup drip coffee maker lives up to its name, with a color palette and jukebox styling that comes straight out of the 1950s.

You’ll be pleased to know that the interior workings are all modern, however, with all the features you’d expect to find on a drip coffee maker. Brewing is a simple one-touch operation, or you can program the cycle to start up to 24 hours in advance. With a carafe that holds 12 cups, you can brew enough for the whole family (or office), and a pause and serve features lets you pour a single cup at any time.

Once the brewing cycle is complete, the Retro will switch to keep-warm mode, giving you hot coffee for two hours. After two hours it will automatically switch off, saving on energy and preventing the pot from boiling dry.

The drip coffee maker has a cone-shaped filter basket that takes #4 cone-shaped filters. But if you run out, or just don’t like the idea of wasting paper, there’s a reusable filter included as well.

10. BUNN GRB Velocity Brew – Fastest Coffee Maker

“BUNN

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 14.8 x 7.1 x 13.8 inches

  • Capacity: 10 cup
  • Carafe: Glass
  • Programmable: No

Speed can be the enemy of the brewing process, but the BUNN Velocity Brew 10-cup coffee maker gives you a completely different kind of speed. So, how does it do it?

The internal water is hot at all times and ready to thoroughly soak the grounds. The BUNN GRB features special spray-head showers with multiple streams to provide even distribution. The coffee filter is flat-bottom and there is a specially designed funnel to improve the extraction process.

These specs are great, but you are probably still wondering about how fast the BUNN actually is. According to the manufacturer’s testing, the brew time is about 3 to 4 minutes. This applies to both 4-cup and 10-cup batches, as well as anything in between. Of course, there’s more to it than just speed.

The BUNN GRB is slim and compact, measuring 7.1×13.8×14.3 inches. The carafe features a special spout design to prevent dripping and spillage, and the entire thing looks and feels premium.

Best suited for those who want a fast cup of joe, without sacrificing quality.

11. Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker – Best Keurig Coffee Maker

“Keurig

Specifications

  • Holds three different cup sizes

  • Makes coffee in 1-minute
  • Removable water tank
  • Three color options (black, white, and red)

Some coffee aficionados believe that a K-cup machine doesn’t come near traditional brewers, but the Keurig K-Classic is there to prove them wrong. The main highlights are the ease of use and brewing speed, but this Keurig unit incorporates other smart features, as well.

You get descaling, which prevents the accumulation of scale that builds up after some time. Operation-wise, this easy-to-use machine’s button controls are simple and intuitive. You just need to insert the cup and press the button to select the desired amount, and the machine does the rest of the job.

This single-serve machine takes three different K-Cup sizes – 6, 8, and 10 ounces. If you want a strong brew, it’s advisable to use a 6-ounce cup. In addition, the water reservoir holds up to 48 fluid ounces, which is enough for six servings. It is easy-to-clean, plus it’s removable so refilling is a breeze.

Of course, this easy-to-use machine has an automatic shutoff feature that initiates after the machine has been idling for 2 hours. You can also remove the drip tray and use the Keurig to fill up a 7.1-inch mug. 

Best suited for anyone who wants an easy cup of joe that takes just a minute to make. If you like the idea of a push-button coffee maker – see our guide to the best Keurig coffee makers here.

12. Hamilton Beach  –  Best For Small Spaces

“Hamilton

Specifications

  • 90-second brew time for a standard cup

  • 2 brew strength presets
  • Stainless steel design

This single-serve model looks like a K-Cup coffee maker, but it borrows the loading method from espresso machines, while the extraction process is that of traditional drip machines. Like many single serve coffee makers, the Hamilton Beach maker is so compact that it won’t look strange on the top of your desk.

But first things first, it pays to take a closer look at how it all works. The Hamilton Beach has a mesh filter scoop that resembles an espresso machine portafilter. The scoop holds enough ground coffee beans to fill up a single serve of 14-ounce or 8-ounce cup, and the best thing about it is the speed.

An 8-ounce cup should be ready in under 90 seconds, and it takes less than three minutes to brew 14 ounces of coffee. That’s a lot of minutes less compared to when brewing a full pot of coffee. Plus, this easy-to-use machine adapts to different coffee brands at a simple press of a button. For example, the BOLD preset is great for finely ground coffee beans, while REGULAR is perfect for the usual drip.

Finally, there is the size. The Hamilton Beach measures only 7.6×9.8×13.5 inches and weighs 5.2 pounds. It’s not the lightest drip coffee maker on the market, but most of the weight comes from the abundance of stainless steel elements.

Best suited for busy entrepreneurs limited on time.

13. Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker – Most Versatile

“Ninja

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 12 x 8.8 x 15 inches

  • Capacity: 10 cup
  • Carafe: Glass 
  • Programmable: Yes

Drip machines are some of the simplest coffee makers, as they have just one task: to make a pot of black coffee. While the more advanced machines might include options for brew temperature or strength, they’re still designed for this single operation. This is where the Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker is different. You’ll find a range of drink options on the Ninja that you won’t get from any other drip machine on our list. 

For those that do want the classic coffee machine experience, you can have drip-style coffee in six different sizes, from a single cup up to half and full carafe options. Choose a regular brew, or hit the “rich” option for a stronger style of coffee.

The specialty coffee button produces a 4 oz espresso-style concentrated brew. This is designed to be the base of drinks like lattes and cappuccinos, which you can make with the fold-out milk frother. There’s also an over ice setting. It won’t make you a cold brew, but instead gives you a strong coffee that won’t taste watered down when you add it to ice.

For ease of use, there’s a brew delay, so you can wake up to a fresh pot of coffee, and a Drip Stop switch that lets you take a single cup when brewing a half or full carafe.

The Verdict

When all is said and done, the best drip coffee maker should help you brew a a great-tasting cup of coffee at home. It gives you the option to automate the entire process and it looks really cool in your kitchen counter. Our best overall choice is Breville BDC450 Precision Brewer.

Yet, with so many choices reviewed in this article, you are bound to find at least one coffee machine that fits your needs.

FAQs

Drip coffee is not the same as pour over, but it’s easy to see why the two can be confused. On paper both methods are the same: hot water is poured through coffee grounds that are contained in a filter. As with most things coffee, the difference is in all of the variables that make up extraction.

With pour over coffee, you have more control over these variables, from preinfusion and ratios to water temperature and probably most importantly, the way that the water is poured over the coffee. Some more advanced drip makers attempt to emulate the pour over style with preinfusion features, temperature selection, or even timed water flow, but they can’t give the same level of control you have with a manual brewer.

The coffee you get with a pour over is generally considered superior to drip, but nothing compares to the ease and convenience of machine-made coffee. It also requires zero coffee knowledge to make.

Preinfusion is a process of wetting the coffee grounds with a small amount of hot water prior to the actual brewing process. This is left for around 30 seconds, in which time the coffee grounds are said to “bloom”. Once coffee is roasted, CO2 gas begins to develop inside the beans. The biggest problem with CO2 when it comes to extraction is that the gas repels water (4). By blooming your coffee you are allowing the CO2 to be released rapidly, allowing for a better extraction and a fuller flavored brew.

Preinfusion is also used when making espresso, but it serves a slightly different purpose. By prewetting the coffee puck at low pressure, you are evening out the coffee grounds. This prevents what’s known as “channeling” in which the pressurized hot water passes through some parts of the puck more quickly than others, creating coffee that can be both over extracted and under extracted.

The best grind size for a drip machine will depend on the kind of filter you use. Whether your machine has a built-in reusable filter or requires you to use paper filters, it will be one of two shapes: cone or flat bottom. And it’s this shape that makes the difference when it comes to grind size. 

The reason comes down to water flow. One of the variables that affect how your coffee is extracted is how much time the water spends in contact with the grounds. In a flat bottom basket, the water spends more time in contact with the grounds, so a medium grind is used to prevent over extraction. With a cone shape, the water flow through the grounds is much faster. To compensate for the reduced extraction time, it’s better to use a medium-fine grind. The greater surface area allows the water to extract the coffee more quickly.

It might be worth noting that most preground coffee is a medium grind. So if you’re in the market for a new coffee maker and you don’t plan to grind your own coffee, look for a machine with a flat bottom filter.

You should clean your drip coffee maker daily, along with a deep clean once a month. After each pot of coffee, you need to toss the grounds (and any paper filter) immediately. At the end of the day, you’ll need to wash the filter basket, lid and carafe in soapy water. The natural oils in coffee can build up on your machine, resulting in a bitter brew.

A deep clean is required to remove any limescale buildup. This is essentially mineral deposits from tap water, which can impact both the efficiency and lifespan of the machine. To descale your coffee maker, start by filling the water reservoir with one part water and one part white vinegar. Add a paper filter if your machine usually requires it, then run a full brew cycle. Discard the vinegar mixture then repeat the process twice using fresh water. You may want to wash the carafe and filter basket with soapy water to remove any remaining vinegar smell.

Your drip coffee could taste bad for a number of reasons. One of the most common causes is a dirty machine, but if you follow our cleaning instructions above, you can eliminate this cause of bad-tasting coffee. Another common cause is that you’re starting off with bad beans. This could either be beans that were badly roasted, or some good beans that have spent too long in the cupboard and are now past their prime.

With a drip machine, you also have to consider how long your coffee has been left sitting after it’s brewed. While most machines come with a hot plate that’s designed to keep your coffee warm for hours, this can end up burning your coffee in the end. If you find this is an ongoing problem (and you still want to linger over your pot) you might want to look at a coffee maker with a thermal carafe instead.

References
  1. Brewing Best Practices. (n.d.). Retrieved August 1, 2019 from http://scaa.org/?page=resources&d=brewing-best-practices&source=post_page
  2. Brewing Standards (n.d.). Retrieved August 1, 2019 from http://www.scaa.org/?d=brewing-standards&page=resources
  3. Protocols & Best Practices. (n.d.). Retrieved August 1, 2019 from https://sca.coffee/research/protocols-best-practices?page=resources&d=coffee-protocols
  4. What is pre-infusion? Tiong Hoe Specialty Coffee. (2020, October 21). Retrieved from https://www.tionghoe.com/post/what-is-pre-infusion

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