I think many of us coffee lovers can agree than there is nothing quite like waking up to the smell of coffee. With the rich, smooth scent of roasted beans wafting through the air, triggering the feeling of wakefulness. While many of us presumably don’t have a butler serving us breakfast in bed with a steaming cup of joe, we probably have our best coffee maker as the next-to-best thing, serving us what we want. As one of the staple kitchen appliances in American homes, the drip coffee maker, for most, has become an integral part of our lives.
Without question, this type of maker is the most popular today. Because of its ease of use, affordability, and programmability, a great pot of coffee can be brewed in a matter of minutes without burning a hole in your pocket. If you’re looking to brew coffee for your family or friends, or if you’re always pressed for time, this maker is made for you.
Here are my drip coffee maker reviews of 2017 to quickly help you decide the best one to get.
Best Automatic Coffee Maker — Technivorm Moccamaster KBT-741 10-Cup Coffee Maker
Why not start off with a bang, as I present you the top-of-the-line, most-expensive pick on this list, the KBT-741? Award-winning and certified by SCAA and SCAE (Specialty Coffee Associations of America and Europe), the 741 is every bit acclaimed as it’s endorsed by experts.
Even for the untrained palate, the coffee produced by the 741, especially grinding before brewing, has been reported to be better. Its ability to get water brewing at the right temperature, from 195° to 205°F, within six minutes is something few can match.
But of course proper brewing is more or less expected with a premium coffee maker of this caliber. Accordingly, the 741’s prowess extends beyond that. Its thermal carafe is 1.25-litre and stainless steel, and it also includes a brew-thru-lid which helps maintain coffee temperature during brewing.
Right above the carafe sits the brew basket which has a manual lever with three positions. In this vein, the KBT-741 is different from the KBGT-741 which offers a brew basket with automatic stop-and-surf feature. Essentially what this means is that when you want to pour yourself a cup in the middle of brewing, you don’t have to pull a manual lever to stop the flow of water to the carafe as with the KBT. By activating the lever on the bottom of the brew basket when the carafe is in place, the basket will automatically stop it.
If there is something that many experts agree on the KBT though is that the button that disables the protection designed to keep you from brewing is not too effective. How it works is like this: when your carafe is in its position, a button also gets pushed to disable the protection so that you may brew your coffee. However, to make this work, the carafe’s position has to be exactly right. Even when if it’s positioned an eighth of an inch off, it has been reported that this button doesn’t get pushed.
That said, regardless of whether you decide to get the KBT or KBGT, you are sure to get a product steeped in quality and durability, as attested by many of its long-time users.
Best Speedy Coffee Maker — Cuisinart DCC-2650 12-Cup Coffee Maker
The Cuisinart DCC-2650 knows only one way to operate and that’s fast. Reported to brew at 25% faster than most coffee makers, it’s perfect for those who are always on the go.
But don’t think it’s all speed though, as the 2650 also comes equipped with some nifty features. (Well, a lot actually.) There is an auto-shutoff function, self-cleaning option, brew strength setting, and a brew pause feature. Additionally, there is also a setting to create smaller brew, 1-4 cups.
In terms of pricing, the 2650 is the same as its successor, the 3200, which begs the question: why is this older version on the list instead of the newer one? To answer this, first let’s see what’s different between the two.
First up, the DCC-3200 can hold 2 cups more than the 2650, making it a 14- instead of a 12-cup maker. Moreover the 3200’s interface features a LED-backlit LCD instead of without it and push buttons instead of a combination of buttons and dials. Without question, the 3200 is bigger in capacity and its control panels seem more intuitive, but when it comes to performance, the 3200 still lacks behind. That’s because the 3200 operates on 1050 watts of power whereas the 2650 operates on 1400 watts, thereby making it slower.
While it’s good to be good at many things, I feel that it’s even better to be great at one thing. This in effect makes me pick the 2650 over the newer 3200. The only compromise of being faster is that the 2600’s carafe has to decrease in size. Also, there have been some reports of leakages with it as well as overflowing with the filter basket.
Best Smart Coffee Maker — OXO Barista Brain 9-Cup Coffee Maker
Just like the Technivorm Moccamaster KBT-741, the OXO Barista Brain is also an SCAA-approved model. As a maker thought to only be narrowly surpassed by the Bonavita BV1900TS in flavor output, the Brain conclusively tips the scale in its favor with its ease of use.
To this end, the Brain features a timer that automatically starts the brewing cycle, a valve that allows you to remove the carafe before the cycle is complete, and a countdown that keeps time of your coffee’s freshness after the cycle is complete. All features are controlled by a single button/ dial, communicated by a large LED display.
As many have clamored for a maker that’s easy to clean, OXO has taken heed and made the plastic parts of the Brain dishwasher safe, including the filter basket, carafe head, and showerhead. And speaking about showerhead, the Brain features a five-port head that has been reported to disperse water evenly and maintain good temperature stability. In addition, it also gives you the option to pre-wet your grounds automatically before brewing, also known as pre-infusion, which is known to intensify the flavor of your coffee.
In terms of the maker’s carafe, much has been said about it. In fact, it has been reported that after going head to head with many makers, the Brain’s carafe came out on top in heat retention. It was at least 10 degrees warmer than most after hitting the two-hour mark.
One common flaw that most agree on though is that the Brain’s built-in brew-basket holder tends to drip, which will become all the more apparent when you remove the carafe in the middle of brewing. Also, standing at 15.2 inches tall, it may not be the most counter friendly. To be practical, it is advisable to measure your space allotted for the device before making any purchase.
You can get this maker here
Best Budget Coffee Maker — Bonavita BV 1900TS 8-Cup Coffee Maker
If you prefer a simple drip coffee maker that’s more in tune with “what you see is what you get”, then the Bonavita BV 1900TS will suit you like a glove. No LCD displays, no backlights, and no blinking buttons, this minimalist maker is as sleek as it is straightforward.
Only a single on/off button controls its operation, and a red light comes on when the machine is turned on. Only thing that requires extra effort is activating the pre-infusion function, which requires you to hold the button. What…were you expecting more? Just in case if you didn’t know what is pre-infusion, as mentioned earlier in the OXO Brain review, it is a function that pre-wets your grounds to enhance your coffee flavor before brewing. In this regard, the Brain gives you the option to activate it automatically, while the BV 1900TS manually.
Again stressing on being simple, due to the fact that there are fewer parts that make up the device, the BV 1900TS is also far easier to clean by hand. For example, when compared with the Technivorm which requires you to clean its lids, brewing arm, tube, tank, and carafe; the BV 1900TS only requires you to clean by hand its filter basket.
But make no mistake about the BV 1900TS, as taste is where it’s at. After rigorous testing, it has been reported that many tasters gave the BV 1900TS “two thumbs up” for its overall flavor and balance. It has also been reported to slightly edge the OXO Barista Brain in this one area. And in regard to speed, the BV 1900TS has been reported to clock in at 5 minutes, 20 seconds for a liter of coffee, including pre-infusion.
Only gripe about the BV 1900TS is that as a trade off to its simple design, it lacks some of the conveniences that most makers have including an attached cone filter and a brew-pause function, which may make brewing more messy than usual.
You can get the BV 1900TS here