The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Coffee Maker for Your Needs

WriterRachel Martin

13 February 2024

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The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Coffee Maker for Your Needs

Photo: Marcus McDonald

When it comes to getting your caffeine fix, there are numerous options available. From espresso machines to pour-overs, French presses to moka pots, the choices can be overwhelming. However, if you're looking for a quick-brewing, simple-to-use method that produces multiple cups in one go, a classic coffee maker might be your best bet.

Contrary to popular belief, coffee makers are not just for those who prioritize convenience over quality. While there are certainly some subpar machines on the market, there are also plenty of options that can deliver a nuanced and balanced brew. As someone who has tried various coffee makers over the years, I can attest to their ability to produce a delicious cup of coffee.

In this guide, I will walk you through the different types of coffee makers available and provide recommendations based on input from baristas, roasters, and coffee-shop owners. Whether you're looking for a machine that can brew multiple cups at once or a dedicated cold-brew maker for iced coffee, I've got you covered. And if you're interested in other coffee gear, such as grinders, electric kettles, espresso machines, and milk frothers, I've written guides on those as well.

Key Considerations

When choosing a coffee maker, there are a few key factors to keep in mind:

Capacity

The capacity of the coffee maker should align with your needs. Most machines on the market brew eight or ten cups, with a few larger options at twelve cups and one smaller option at four cups. Additionally, there are machines that can brew a single cup at a time, which is ideal for households with lower coffee consumption.

Size

Coffee makers, while not as large as espresso machines, still take up a significant amount of counter space. Therefore, it's important to consider the dimensions of the machine before making a purchase.

Temperature Hold

Most coffee makers come with a stainless-steel thermal carafe that keeps your coffee warm for several hours without reheating it from below. This method is preferred by professionals as it prevents the coffee from tasting burnt. However, there are a few models that do not have this feature, including two specifically designed for iced coffee.

Best Coffee Maker Overall

Bonavita Connoisseur 8-Cup One-Touch Coffee Maker

  • Capacity: 8 cups
  • Size: 12.4” x 6.8” x 12.2”
  • Temperature hold: Thermal carafe

The Bonavita Connoisseur is my top pick for an everyday coffee maker. It ticks all the boxes: it's simple to use, reasonably priced, and brews delicious coffee. The machine maintains the ideal brewing temperature and evenly spreads the grounds, resulting in a smooth and balanced cup. The insulated stainless-steel carafe keeps the coffee warm without affecting the flavor. Overall, this coffee maker delivers consistently excellent results.

Best Less Expensive Coffee Maker

Mr. Coffee 12-Cup Coffee Maker

  • Capacity: 12 cups
  • Size: 8.6” x 12.9” x 13.5”
  • Temperature hold: Reheated from underneath

If you're on a budget, the Mr. Coffee 12-Cup Coffee Maker is a reliable choice. It produces a smooth cup of coffee and is incredibly easy to operate. While it may not have all the high-tech features of other models, it gets the job done without any fuss. For those who prefer a more hands-on approach, you can even open the top flap while brewing to ensure all the grounds get hydrated.

Best Small Coffee Maker

Balmuda The Brew Coffee Maker

  • Capacity: 3 cups
  • Size: 5.5” x 11.7” x 14.9”
  • Temperature hold: Thermal carafe

If you don't need to brew large quantities of coffee, the Balmuda The Brew Coffee Maker is an excellent choice. It brews up to three cups at a time and produces a strong and nuanced cup of coffee. The machine works similarly to an electric pour-over, agitating the beans as it dispenses water. It's also sleekly designed, with a matte black exterior and stainless-steel details.

Best Less Expensive Small Coffee Maker

OXO Brew 8-Cup Coffee Maker

  • Capacity: 8 cups
  • Size: 9” x 14.8” x 16.1”
  • Temperature hold: Thermal carafe

The OXO Brew 8-Cup Coffee Maker is a versatile option that allows you to brew one to four cups of coffee. It features a valve hole in the lid that traps heat and aromatics, resulting in a better-tasting cup. The machine mimics the pour-over method, ensuring even water distribution and agitation of the grounds. It also has a pedestal that prevents splashing when filling a single mug.

Best Stove-Top Coffee Maker

Farberware Classic Series Yosemite Stainless-Steel 12-Cup Stove-Top Percolator

  • Capacity: 12 cups
  • Size: 8.86” x 7.28” x 10.83”
  • Temperature hold: Reheated from underneath via stovetop

For those who prefer a more traditional brewing method, the Farberware Classic Series Yosemite Stainless-Steel 12-Cup Stove-Top Percolator is an excellent choice. Made entirely from stainless steel, this percolator is simple to use and produces a great cup of coffee. It's also easy to clean and takes up minimal counter space. Plus, it can be used to brew tea as well.

Best High-End Coffee Maker

Technivorm Moccamaster Coffee Brewer, 40 Ounces

  • Capacity: 10 cups
  • Size: 12.3” x 6.5” x 14”
  • Temperature hold: Reheated from underneath or thermal carafe

If you're willing to invest in a high-end coffee maker, the Technivorm Moccamaster is worth considering. It's a favorite among experts for its stable temperature control and even brewing. The Moccamaster is made with high-quality parts and solid construction, ensuring durability and consistent performance. It also delivers a consistently better cup of coffee compared to other brewers.

Best Coffee Maker with Built-In Grinder

If you're looking for a coffee maker that also has a built-in grinder, consider the following options:

  • [Option 1]
  • [Option 2]

Best Coffee Maker that Also Makes Espresso

If you want a coffee maker that can also make espresso, the Ninja Stainless Steel Specialty Coffee Maker is a great choice. It offers both classic brew and specialty settings, allowing you to make a variety of coffee-based drinks. The machine also includes a milk frother and the ability to make iced coffee.

Best Pod Coffee Maker

For those who prefer the convenience of pod coffee, the following option is highly recommended:

  • [Pod Coffee Maker]

Best Cold-Brew Coffee Maker

Cold-brew coffee makers are essential for iced-coffee enthusiasts. Consider the following options:

  • [Cold-Brew Coffee Maker 1]
  • [Cold-Brew Coffee Maker 2]

Conclusion

Choosing the right coffee maker is a personal decision that depends on your preferences and needs. Consider factors such as capacity, size, and temperature hold when making your choice. Whether you're looking for an everyday coffee maker, a budget-friendly option, or a specialized machine, there's a perfect coffee maker out there for you. Happy brewing!

About the author
Rachel Martin
Rachel Martin
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Rachel Martin is an acclaimed Coffee Makers News Writer, celebrated for her in-depth reviews and barista-level expertise. With an innate passion for coffee culture and a knack for technical detail, Rachel's articles serve as a beacon for coffee enthusiasts navigating the world of home brewing.

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