Are you still searching for that perfect cup of joe?
Have you tried a dozen coffee makers and walked away unsatisfied?
Trust me, we feel your pain…
According to reliable research, 150 million Americans drink nearly 400 million cups of coffee every day. This is a clear indication that coffee is the go-to fuel in overcoming morning grogginess and in keeping the majority of us productive throughout the day, not just in the U.S., but all around the world. Whether you’re consuming it for leisure or as a necessity, there’s no doubt that coffee is the proverbial lifeblood of productivity, dynamism and relaxation.
This is actually the main reason why the domain of coffee makers that can give you the most desired cup/pot of coffee is as competitive and aggressive as any industry. While there are various factors to consider before purchasing a coffee machine, finding and purchasing the right coffee machine to suit your needs while consistently yielding great tasting cuppa should be your main priority.
Choosing the best coffee maker to use at home or in the office is a very personal decision, but a tricky one as well. This is principally the main reason why we are here: help you choose the right one, if not the best. Given that you’re going to spend your money to get a coffee machine that guarantee’s you your favorite coffee within the comforts of your home, you’ll want to make sure that the machine you choose is of great quality and has the features that you’re looking for.
Things to Consider when Looking for a Coffee Maker
There’s arguably nothing else that can perfectly boost your mornings than a fresh cup of coffee. Whether you’re a coffee aficionado or an occasional pick-me-up coffee drinker, you actually need no convincing on the benefits of owning your own coffee maker. Today, there are a plethora of coffee machines in the market.
From the traditional drip coffee machines, grinder coffee makers, and pump espresso machines, to the more stylish coffee capsule machines, these bad boys have become such a regular part of our daily life that they’ve become a necessity as a home appliance. However, choosing the right one is a huge decision that cannot be taken for granted. Many coffee lovers often find it difficult choosing the “best”. This is because the best mostly depends upon your individual needs and vary from person to person.
Benefits of Owning of a Coffee Maker
There are a lot of benefits that comes with owning a coffee maker. Some of main ones include:
Can save you money
Save both gas and time (you’ll skip the trip to the coffee shop)
You can become picky in choosing the type of coffee that suits you best
The coffee smell in your kitchen is an addiction in and of itself!
So, when choosing the best coffee maker for either your home or office, here are some of the things to look for:
The type of coffee machine is the first thing you should put into consideration before spending your money on any model. The most common versions include:
- Drip Coffee Maker/Coffee Brewer
- Single-serve/One cup Coffee Maker
- French Press
- Espresso Makers
Many of these machines have some similarities and differences between and so it’s important to know what you want before purchasing one
Coffee machines come in various sizes and capacity. For example, there are machines that brew up to 12 cups at once, while there are others that are meant to brew just a single cup. It is therefore important to know the capacity of the coffee machine and choose the one that perfectly fits your needs.
There’s no doubt that technology is immensely improving our daily lives. When choosing your coffee maker, it’s advisable to look at technology that can match and improve your lifestyle. Some of the most common technological features in coffee machines include:
- Programmable timer clock
- Water level indicators
- Auto shut-off features
- Auto clean features
- Sneak-a-cup features
A user friendly machine should be convenient and easy to use. When buying a coffee machine, it’s crucial to go for a model that will give you a good cup of coffee without fuss. Some of the things to look for include:
- Strength of the coffee
- Heater plate adjustability
- Easy cleaning
- Easy to use
- Easy to maintain
- Type of filter (metal filter, paper filter or water filter)
Speed matters a lot when it comes to coffee making. There are coffee makers that take quite some time, while others take only a few minutes to prepare your favorite coffee. Another factor to keep in mind should be renewal (the number of time you’ll have to fill the tank or fill coffee grounds).
In most cases, the durability and age of a machine is defined by the machine’s body. There are some that can deliver great coffee, but break down easily because they are constructed with fragile parts. A stainless steel body is a great option but the look and size also matters a lot.
Even with the above points, affordability still plays a huge role when buying a coffee maker. While prices may vary from one brand to the other, you should always keep in mind that some machines may be pricier than others but they may not hit your satisfaction point. You should also consider things like electrical usage, accessories and maintenance cost.
With these points in mind, here are the best coffee makers in 2018. These coffee makers will help you skip the tiring morning queues, heart-wrenching coffee expenses and make your own barista-level coffee all within the comfort of your home or office.
– Best Value-
Rated By Stoltzy’s Best
Black and Decker CM1160B
– Best Value-
Rated By Stoltzy’s Best
Ninja Coffee Bar
– Best Value-
Rated By Stoltzy’s Best
Bonavita BV1900TS – Editor’s Choice
When looking for a proper coffee maker, we coffee lovers, often look for a machine that’s not only going to improve our morning but our entire lives. Finding such a machine may be next to impossible, but thanks to modern innovation, we sometimes come across a coffee machine that exceeds our expectations. The Bonavita BV1900TS is one of such machine.
- Steel-line carafe makes it durable.
- Relatively small and simple profile.
- Sturdy design.
- Large shower head for even brewing.
- Powerful 1500-watt water heater.
- Simple one-touch brewing system.
- Offers a pre-soaking option.
- Lacks a hot plate.
- Its design is unattractive.
- The hole in the carafe is small, making pouring slow.
- Temperature not flexible.
- No delayed time or clock.
For a long period now, coffee makers have only done one thing: brew coffee. This is, however, changing as many coffee machine manufacturers are now adding more and more features, which in a real sense make them not only larger but debatably less adept at doing what they’re primarily expected to do. With that in mind, some critics may view the BV1900TS as too simple-minded because it is lightweight, small and sturdy and has no excessive features that are present on modern coffee makers. On the other hand, many coffee lovers find the BV1900TS to be the device they’ve been looking for. The BV1900TS is a proper drip coffee maker, but the question however remains; are drip coffee makers better when loaded with a lot of features, or can the quest for great coffee be found even in simpler devices?
Features and Design
To be honest, the BV1900TS doesn’t have many features. This may be a bit of a disadvantage, especially to those who like asking; “why is it not doing that?” Even though it can do a small number of things, it does them pretty much well.
This device has a metallic carafe. Many low-end devices do not install metal carafes because they’re expensive to install and prefer glass materials, which are cheaper. Having a metallic carafe gives the BV1900TS an advantage over devices that have glass carafes. It is durable and unlike glass carafe, doesn’t break easily. To make it even better, this metal carafe is lined on the inside with steel, which diminishes the worry of it cracking or breaking.
Just like with any other coffee maker, the BV1900TS has a thermal insulator, which is meant to keep the coffee hot for an hour. This may not be a long time, but it is in line with what other devices made of glass carafe and hot plate will do.
Again, the BV1900TS has a large shower head that interchanges between the right and the left sides while pouring. This shower head is designed to be large so as to distribute water more uniformly across the beans. This is crucial in increasing the taste of the brewed coffee while also increasing flavor profile. Many of its competitors use a single-drip technique where the shower head is smaller and drips water just on one spot.
This often results in a thinner and watered down brew and flavor profile. As you can see, a full taste of beans can be achieved when there’s a uniform spread of hot water on the beans in the sense that the water has to run through the vital oils from beans that haven’t been properly ground.
The BV1900TS also has a pre-soaking feature, which is optional to use. This means that the brewing process won’t start immediately, which crucially allows the carbon dioxide trapped in the beans to be released. In most cases, presoaking only takes a minute. In terms of hot water, this device may lack a hot plate for the finished brew, but its 1500 watt heater is powerful enough to heat up the water quickly and easily and will maintain the high temperature for the entire brewing process.
This fast heating is crucial in the sense that you’ll be enjoying a hot cup of coffee within 6 minutes of hitting the start button. This device also shuts off
automatically when the brewing process is complete and you don’t have to worry about it causing a fire hazard. Last but not least, this machine has an 8-cup capacity, which is crucial especially if you have your friends and family around.
Hot coffee is the name of the game, but unfortunately, the BV1900TS doesn’t have a hot plate to keep your coffee hot for longer than an hour. Having a hot plate could have given it a massive advantage over its rivals. The fact that this device has a steel-line metal carafe with a large shower head, which interchanges from right to left while pouring, makes the pouring process painfully slow.
The Bonavita BV1900TS can work best for those who treasure their coffee. It may take a long time during the brewing process (although 6 minutes really isn’t that long), but once it’s ready, it’s a cup of joe that out performs all the others. If there’s such a thing as coffee snobs, they’ll be hard pressed to find fault with the deliciousness this machine produces. This device is meant for those who want a gourmet coffee experience without any fuss. Saying that it’s the best of the best may be biased, but it’s a device of high quality at a reasonable price.
Black and Decker 12-Cup Programmable CM1160B – Budget Coffee Maker
If your main concern revolves around the temperature of your coffee rather than how the coffee itself tastes, the Black & Decker 12-Cup Programmable will be your best friend. This is a solid machine that will cost you a little more than the price of 3 bags of coffee beans. That’s not all; this is a coffee machine that promises to keep your coffee hot for two hours.
- Comes with an extremely thorough user manual
- Its controls are very easy to use
- The markings and indicators on the carafe and the tank are easy to read
- Shuts off automatically
- Comes with an auto-keep-warm setting
- Its water tank is hard to access
- Its optimal brew temperature is questionable
- Its “keep coffee hot for two hours” is dubious
Features and Design
An affordable coffee maker should obviously be easy to use while still able to make good coffee. This machine excels on both fronts, thanks to a plethora of features. It has QuickTouch programming, which has time settings to enable you brew your coffee within your own prescribed time. The best part of this feature is that it has large and clearly marked easy-to-press buttons that don’t require you to have reading glasses, let alone the fact that these buttons help you control the strength and size of your brew. This is enabled by its contemporary digital clock and timer, which gives you control over the machine and the flexibility to brew your coffee the way you want it.
Not many coffee machines come with a Sneak-a-Cup feature. Imagine a feature that enables you to momentarily stop the flow of the coffee just for you to grab your first cup before the entire brewing process is completely done. What is more; it allows you do this without worrying about making a mess. This is because of its perfect-pour 12-cup glass carafe design that’s intended to keep your counter spill-free by reducing dripping.
Even though this machine has a glass carafe, which may be prone to cracking and breaking if used for long periods, this is compensated by its even-stream showerhead. This machine is specifically engineered using this technology to ensure that there’s a uniform spread of hot water across the entire beans so that you can achieve not just an even saturation, but an optimal coffee flavor. This is aided even further by the one-to-four-cup brew option that enables you to optimize water temperature and brew duration even in small brews.
This machine also has a keep hot carafe plate that’ll keep your coffee hot for two hours. Given that you’ll have to lift a cover to access the water reservoir and brew basket, this machine comes with a one-piece cover, which is very advantageous to this end.
Better still; it has two water level indicators that enable you to view from any side while effortlessly filling water.
Despite having a whole lot of beneficial features, this machine has a drawback that just has to be mentioned. It is good that this machine has easy-to-read markings, easy-to-use controls and easy-to-access water tank and brew basket. Unfortunately, the fact that you have to lift the lid to fill the water tank and pull the tank out from under the cabinet makes the whole process tiresome. As noted earlier, its glass carafe is also prone to breaking and cracking.
Some of this machine’s features may be questionable, but that doesn’t make it a bad coffee maker. This is a machine that you can program and it will automatically shut in 2 hours. The fact that it can serve up to 12 cups makes it superb. It even allows you to sneak a cup before the brew is ready. What’s more; it’s affordable and perfect, especially if you are on a budget.
Ninja Coffee Bar CFO80Z – Versatile Coffee Maker
As a company, Euro-pro, the company behind Ninja brand is widely known for selling affordable kitchen blenders even after packing them with great features. Fortunately for coffee lovers, the company is bringing the same formula into the coffee game and its Ninja Coffee Bar CFO80Z is set to change the way we brew our coffee at home or in the office. This is a brewer is so versatile that it has up to five brewing options, all bundled into this single machine.
- Comes with 4 brew types
- Can brew enough coffee for either a crowd or an individual
- Glass carafe enables it to stay hot for two hours
- Sturdy design
- Can automatically measure water
- Takes up more counter space
- It over extracts beans making them bitter
- Lightweight plastic is far from luxurious
Features and Design
The Ninja Coffee Bar CFO80Z has multiple brewing modes including:
- Classic Brew – The smooth and balanced daily coffee that you already know and love.
- Rich Brew – Has more sugar, milk and other condiments. It’s richer than the classic brew thanks to its more pronounced
- Specialty Brew – Has a distillate akin to that of the traditional espresso. This enables it to make a great latte, as well as a frozen blended beverage.
- Over Iced Brew – This is a refreshing iced coffee that’s brewed hot on top of ice and neither thinned nor watered down.
Thanks to these amazing features (which the company keeps as a sensitive trade secret) you don’t have to worry whether the weather is too cold or too hot to handle. All you have to do is just press the button on your preferred beverage style and the Ninja Coffee Bar will handle the rest.
Another bewildering feature of this machine is its Auto-IQ Touch Intelligence, which enables it to control the amount of water it needs to use. All you have to do is activate the brewing mode that you want, the serving size, the appropriate measurement of beans and Ninja will automatically add the correct volume of water. This machine also gives you the flexibility of easily brewing a single cup or the entire pot.
The Ninja Coffee Bar has a host of fantastic features that most coffee lovers would be proud of. Unfortunately, it has some clear drawbacks that have to be highlighted. The main problem with this machine revolves around its size. This machine is quite big and no matter how large the kitchen is, it seems to never fit anywhere. This is a machine that requires a big space on your counter, and it’s important to consider this before you purchase it. Lastly, the Ninja Coffee Bar is made of black plastic and draped with a thin stainless steel, which obviously gives it a mass-market feel. However, it is not sleek and stylish enough especially when compared to other brewers on this list.
You may not expect the ultimate brewing performance with the Ninja Coffee Bar CFO80Z. It has a penchant for over-extracting the coffee beans, thereby making them bitter. Fortunately, this machine has an unrivaled list of features, versatility and capabilities that covers for its shortcomings. All in all, this is a special gadget that many coffee lovers would be very proud of.
DeLonghi Esclusivo DC514T-14-Cup-Programmable – Best for Families
DeLonghi is one of the most noticeable brands in the coffee machine industry, and its Esclusivo DC514T is a truly impressive machine with high standards. This is a 14-cup programmable drip coffee maker that has great benefits that will make the grade for families.
- Self-priming operation
- Produces a truly authentic flavor and rich aroma
- Is flexible enough to either serve a few people or up to 20 people
- Has a chlorine filter to eliminate any trace of impurity
- Has an aroma button to emit a nice fragrance
- Comes with a heated cup tray for keeping your coffee mugs warm
- Attractive design
- Great safety features with its automatic shut-off function
- The first few shots are horrible
- Cleaning is excruciating
- The program is complicated
Features and Design
The DeLonghi DC514T comes with a plethora of features that are all tailored with the intention of helping you brew a great-tasting coffee. This coffee machine may have the same basic features like many coffee machines on this list such as the programmable timer, but it goes further with new features that are new to the coffee game. For instance, it has an aroma button that nicely discharges slight amounts of hot water onto the grounds so as to bring a nice fragrance.
Another exclusive feature of the DC514T is its advanced water filtering system that has a chlorine filter, which is essential in eliminating even the slightest traces of impurities, as well as any bad taste or smell from the water. This is enabled by the presence of a cone-shaped gold-tone nylon mesh filter, which compresses the water into the grounds.
As a programmable machine, you can program the DC514T 24 hours ahead so that you wake up in the morning feeling the fresh taste of coffee. The better part is that it has a pause-and-serve technology, which allows you to grab a cup before the entire 14-cup carafe is completely brewed. Again, this brewer gives you the flexibility of either brewing an entire pot or a number of cups. When you have a group of say over 20 people visiting, this machine will never disappoint you as it works very fast to produce high-quality coffee. It can also produce lighter, stronger and smoother flavors, which is basically effective in giving your friends and family varying options depending on their individual tastes.
In terms of safety, this brewer offers an impeccable safety feature, thanks to its automatic shut-off function, and so you won’t have to worry about it getting scorched. The glass carafe is also clearly marked with water levels so that you can know the water level in the reservoir when you lift the lid.
Cleaning coffee brewers is not an easy task, but cleaning the DC514T is a little bit complex than most. When cleaning a coffee maker, it’s often advisable to run white vinegar through it instead of hard water, which can leave traces of lime scales inside the carafe. After running vinegar through it, you’ll only have to rinse it with clean water to remove the vinegar’s smell, but even that doesn’t work well on the DC514T. Another issue with this brewer is that its program is somehow complicated and you’ll have to figure out the way you want it to work before it can brew you a really tasty coffee.
The DC514T can brew fresh, aromatic coffee, but there’s a sharp learning curve before you can fully grasp how to perfectly use its complex program. If you’re looking for a coffee brewer that can produce a great brew, you shouldn’t mind finding out what it takes to make this machine work at its best.
Cuisinart DCC-3200AMZ 14 Cup Programmable Coffee Maker – Best Programmable Coffee Maker
If there’s one thing that both coffee lovers and coffee experts agree on is the fact that Cuisinart DCC-3200 can make an absolutely café-quality cup of java. This is a low-maintenance coffee brewer that will transform your mornings and make your days even better. This is a machine that’s designed not just to maximize the flavor of your coffee, but also to optimize both the temperature and the water flow.
- Easy-to-use controls
- Comes with a permanent filtration system
- Its design is sleek and modern
- Comes with several programming choices
- Cleaning is a breeze
- Easy to maintain
- Has a steel handle for better grip
- Can maintain temperature without losing flavor or quality
- Has no thermal carafe
- Too tall for fit in normal cabinets
- The showerhead is small, making filling it with water difficult
Features and Design
In terms of performance, the DCC 3200 has an optimal brewing temperature ranging between 195 and 200 degrees Fahrenheit in a span of 5 to 6 minutes. All you have to do is set the temperature that you want and leave the rest to the machine. Again, you need not wait for the coffee to cool down or make those tiring trips to the microwave because you don’t have to worry about your coffee not being hot enough. The fact that it takes around 5 minutes to brew about 8 to 10 cups is even more astonishing. This is a machine that essentially has all the features that you’d love present in a coffee drip brewer. Its programmability is top-notch. Imagine a brewer that’s 24 hour programmable. All you have to do is fill the machine with ground coffee beans and water at night and wake up in the morning with a pleasant coffee flavor waiting for you. If this isn’t cool, then nothing will be.
This machine has plenty of features, which give users the versatility to adjust to various elements of coffee brewing. Apart from enabling you to choose the strength or temperature of your coffee through its warming plate temperature settings, the DCC-3200 has a brew-pause capability, which is essential especially during those mornings when you wake up feeling weary and cannot wait for the entire pot to be completely brewed. In other words, you can sneak and grab a cup without the machine making a mess.
This brewer also has an auto turn off feature, which is designed to protect the machine from scorching even if you forget to turn it off at night. In essence, this is a 0-4-hour auto shutoff feature to make the machine safe from any fire hazard.
The DCC-3200 also has a permanent gold-tone coffee filter, which saves you from the stress of having to buy paper filters every now and then. Made from stainless steel, this brewer comes forth as a sleek and modern-looking machine that’s durable and compact. The cherry on the cake is that you won’t have to worry about cleaning the machine.It has a self-clean option that allows you to simply press a button and the rest will be perfectly taken care of, as well as a chlorine filter to make sure that your coffee is devoid of any form of impurity.
Apart from the fact that it’s not certified home brewer program by the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA), this machine doesn’t have a thermal carafe to maintain your coffee’s temperature for long periods. Additionally, this brewer has its water reservoir located at the top of the unit, which is a drawback as the water tends to leak or drip from the carafe when pouring.
As a midsize coffee brewer, the DCC-3200 has a lot of programming options that make the process of brewing coffee a stress-free adventure. This is a single to multi-cup size brewer that comes with solid features that makes it a great coffee brewer at an incredibly great price.
Keurig K55/K-Classic – Best Single Cup Coffee Maker
As one of the well-known brands in the industry, Keurig devices are known for their conveniences, and he Keurig K55 is no different. Imagine lifting the handle, inserting the pod, selecting your brew and enjoy a cup of great coffee 60 seconds later. In short, the K55 is a superb single serve coffee brewer that enables you to enjoy Starbucks-style coffee without having to leave the comfort of your home couch.
Convenient and easy to use
- Not limited to a particular K-cup pod
- Can brew multiple cup sizes
- Auto shut-off functionality
- Fast brewing time
- Comes with a great water filter
- Has a large and easily removable water reservoir
- Easy to clean
Has a sleek design
- Lengthy delay with auto shut-off
- Its electrical voltage is limited
- Buttons feel out of balance
- Its durability is questionable
Features and Design
This is a simple and straightforward coffee brewer. Its main mission is to make your life easier by enabling you prepare quick and easy coffee. The terms simple and straightforward should, however, not mislead into thinking that the K55 doesn’t have some great features. Despite being a single serve brewer. This brewer has different brew sizes including 6oz., 8oz. and 10oz to allow you brew coffee in different cup sizes.
The K55 also has a programmable auto shut-off feature, which is designed to ensure that the brewer automatically turns off after 2 hours, but you can program it according to your needs. This brewer also has a QueitBrew tech, which is significant in cutting the noise that’s common in other coffee brewers. Its K-cup feature makes this brewer compatible with basically all K-cup pods.
Moreover, this brewer is designed in a user-friendly manner with a prep-time of 60 seconds. All you have to do is insert the K-cup into the machine and wait for your coffee to brew. This is not just perfect if you’re in a hurry but also in ensuring that your brewer needs little or no cleaning because there’s no room for spillage or messes that need cleaning. The K55 is versatile in the sense that it has various temperature options that enables you to control the temperature at brew so that you can achieve your preferred perfect flavor and taste.
When it comes to coffee makers, speed is one of the most crucial features to look for. This revolves around how quickly and easily you can brew your coffee. The K55 is well aware of this and takes up to 4 minutes to startup and warm water. In essence, it takes a total of 5 minutes to completely brew a fresh cup of coffee. This brewer is also designed in 4 different colors, which makes it ideal for all kitchens.
The K55 may have some impressive features, but it has some noticeable shortcomings that would only be proper if mentioned. The low water indicator doesn’t usually appear when the water is low on the reservoir until after you try brewing your cup of coffee.
You’ll also notice that the coffee doesn’t sometimes come out easily and nicely.
One reason why single serve coffee brewers are among the best is because they’re tailored to brew a fresh cup of joe each and every time. The K55 follows on this tradition and is convenient as it can speedily brew a fresh cup. Even though the K55 may appear to lack some features that are available on more classy coffee makers, this machine is founded on simplicity without forfeiting its main function: brewing a great cup of coffee.