Coffee Machine Buying Guide:
Filter Coffee machines : Well, they are perfect for making brewed coffee. If this is your thing, you should really get one for your home. You can make a large amount of brewed coffee with these babies, which means that they are perfect if you have a lot of family members in your home. This is the most common type of a coffee maker. These are the machines that we are going to review here.
Pump espresso and cappuccino coffee makers : These things have a separate tank which heats the water up to get an optimal temperature. This water goes through the filter holder to get you a nice and smooth espresso. Needless to say, these coffee makers are great for making cappuccino too.
A new trend, programmable pod coffee makers : These machines are very small in size. The way they work is that they hermetically seal the capsules where the coffee resides. But before that, the coffee is roasted, grounded and blended. It’s interesting that these capsules can stay fresh for nine months in total. The advantage of these machines is that you don’t have to mess with the filter holder and you don’t get any spillages whatsoever. Also, it is important to note that they make one cup at a time.
Bean to cup programmable coffee makers : These are the most powerful machines at this moment. The will grind the ground beans on demand and deliver them straight to your cup. Some machines include a milk frother too. They are also easiest to use.
Let’s take a look at the most common category: the programmable filter coffeemakers. I’ll list the best ones, with all the pros and cons of every single one.
Best Programmable Filter Coffee Makers
Mr. Coffee BVMC-SJX33GT 12-Cup Coffeemaker
This coffee maker has a removable filter basket. The “pause-n-serve” option allows you to get your coffee even if the machine is still brewing the rest of it. A special cleaning cycle option which tends to make cleaning easier. One other cool thing is the water window – you can check how much water is left inside of it.
This coffee maker is very cheap. You can choose between the thermal or glass carafe, and the machine will automatically adapt to your choice (hot plate on or off). Well designed. What do I mean by that? Well, if the cover is by any chance closed, the hot water spout will automatically be placed over the coffee. Very easy and smooth controls.
Sometimes you will smell plastic flavor and odor which is caused by the water that passes through it. The instructions are pretty bad. The most important thing to remember is this: place your basket and carafe precisely, or your water will spill all over the counter.
Cuisinart CHW-12 Coffee Plus 12-Cup
You get 2 charcoal water filters, 1 measuring scoop, a manual, and 1 extra gold tone filter. Comes with 12-cup carafe made of glass. A neat hot water system. This unit also comes with a built in brew-pause funtion and a 24 hour timer.
It has capacity of 58 ounces so you don’t have to refill it twice each morning when you’re driving to your workplace, because the mug will be full. It only keeps a small amount of water heated, so you won’t have energy consumption problems. Uses a cone filter; this means that coffee will be better then the one which passes through a flat filter.
The hot water dispenser is not programmable. It also has a bad taste, and you won’t have an easy time to get rid of it, even if you use all the suggested tools like vinegear or lemon juice. For every 32 oz that you put in, the dispenser will only pass around half of it. This means that sometimes you will get water which is older than a few days.
Cuisinart DCC-1200BW Brew Central 12-Cup
A 12-cup glass carafe. A feature that enables brew pausing. It also has a 24 hour advance start. Size: 14-8-10 inches. You get a 3 year limited warranty. Included: charcoal water filter, gold tone filter, manual and a scoop for measuring.
Very good features for its price. It is actually worth the money you spend on it. Some consumers report that this programmable coffee maker makes better coffee than those professional, commercial units. The taste of coffee is very smooth. Very good design; it’s attractive, but it also looks very serious. Good, solid and balanced carafe. Heavyweight plastic – this means that it is well made. The gold tone filter that comes with it is superb. What’s also great is the fact that there is an auto shut-off feature. No more forgetting! You also get a solid manual, which really is a surprise.
The top area where you pour the water is pretty narrow. You have to constantly change the charcoal filters, which means quite heavy maintenance (in contrast to other unit models). Several design flaws such as the water reservoir (its placement is behind). The gold filter, although useful, is very small.
Mr. Coffee DRX5 4-Cup Programmable
Removal filter basket, which is handy for cleaning (and filling). A very good shipping package. The amount of water is shown by the dual water window. Pause-nserve function. A big on-off indicator. You will know when it is turned on.
Brews around 4 cups in five minutes. Very easy to use, since it only takes a few minutes to put the filter, add the grounds and brew. The taste is also great. A quick tip I would give you is to pour the filtered water (such as Britta) inside. Very good for college students.
The clock timer is not very reliable because you have to adjust it a few times to get it working. Also, some consumers report that it stopped working after a few months.
Hamilton Beach Two Way Brewer Single Serve and 12-cup Coffee Maker
Single serve or full pot brewing options. You can brew into a regular mug, or a 12-cup glass carafe. Bold or regular coffee – you decide. It has a programmable functions for coffee strengths. Stainless steel construction.
The coffee that this programmable coffeemaker makes is super hot, and it’s really easy to get the hang of it. There are two options available: pod coffee or filter coffee. The water warmer is also great for making tea.
The pod coffee making option is not a strong side of this machine. The coffee, although very hot, doesn’t stay hot for a very long time.
Melitta 46893 12-Cup Coffee Maker
A very durable stainless steel construction. Also has a pause-n-serve function. The filter is coned so your coffee will be extracted better. You can program it to shut off after two hours max. Quite a few settings for all kinds of coffee.
Very reliable for a medium-priced coffee maker. The setting option (stronger or weaker brewing) works very well. The coffee stays hot for a very long time (maybe too long). Stays in function for a long, long time.
The carafe is easily broken. This is really the only con of this machine.