The best coffee maker for your household
From that first morning coffee to a post-dinner espresso, coffee is an integral part of many people’s days. Owning the right coffee maker for you will let you brew the type of coffee you want, whenever you want it, whether it’s a rich cappuccino or a humble mug of filter coffee.
It’s essential to choose the right type of coffee maker to meet your needs while considering other features, such as milk steamers and built-in bean grinders. The Keurig K-Café Coffee Maker is the top featured coffee maker, thanks to its ease of use and versatility.
What to know before you buy a coffee maker
Types of coffee makers
The term “coffee maker” is often used to describe classic drip or filter coffee makers, but you can find many other types of coffee makers on the market.
Those looking for affordable coffee makers might want to consider options such as French press coffee makers and moka pots, both of which make surprisingly delicious coffee at a low cost.
Even if it doesn’t always give you the highest-quality brew, people who value speed and convenience should look into pod coffee makers that brew various types of coffee at the press of a button.
Espresso makers are ideal for people who like drinking espresso coffee or using espresso shots to make specialty drinks, like lattes, cappuccinos and flat whites. They usually feature steamer wands for heating and foaming milk.
When buying a coffee maker that can brew multiple cups of coffee at once, it’s important to learn the cup capacity. You should also consider that 1 cup is equal to 8 ounces, which is smaller than an average coffee mug, so it might hold less coffee than you think. What’s more, when you’re looking at espresso makers, the cup capacity refers to 2-ounce demitasse cups or espresso cups, so an espresso maker that fills four espresso cups would only produce 8 ounces of coffee in one go. Of course, you drink smaller volumes of espresso than you do filter coffee and can dilute it with hot water or steamed milk, so it’s all relative.
Some types of coffee makers have settings that let you adjust the strength of the brew. With coffee makers that are manual rather than automatic, you won’t have any strength settings, but you may be able to make stronger or weaker coffee by adjusting the amount of ground coffee you add to the machine. For instance, if you want to make more robust coffee in a French press, just add an extra scoop of ground beans.
What to look for in a quality coffee maker
Some large drip coffee makers offer a brew pause feature that lets you temporarily stop the flow of coffee to pour yourself a cup before the whole carafe is filled. This means you can get your first cup of coffee sooner without making a mess.
If you want to make specialty drinks, like cappuccinos and lattes, you’ll need a milk steamer to heat and froth your milk of choice, whether dairy or non-dairy. Espresso makers usually feature steamer wands to steam milk, though some coffee makers have alternative milk steamers.
The best coffee uses freshly ground whole coffee beans. Usually, you need to buy a coffee grinder separately and blitz your whole coffee beans before adding them to your coffee maker. However, some coffee makers feature built-in coffee grinders that do the work for you. This takes one step out of the process, but consider whether it’s worth paying extra.
How much you can expect to spend on a coffee maker
The majority of coffee makers cost from $20-$300. However, some high-end espresso makers can cost several thousand dollars.
Coffee maker FAQ
What’s the best type of coffee maker?
A. The fact is, there’s no single best type of coffee maker for everyone. A $2,000 espresso maker may produce better coffee than a cheap drip coffee maker. Still, not everyone wants to put in the hours it takes to learn to make high-quality espresso, and some people just prefer the taste of classic filter coffee. Instead, you should consider the type of coffee you like best, how much time you want to put into making it and how much you have to spend on a coffee machine.
Do I need to clean my coffee maker?
A. Yes. The carafe or other brewing area will become stained, tainted with old coffee and harbor bacteria if you don’t clean it regularly. Coffee machines with water reservoirs can build scale inside if not adequately cleaned. Some coffee makers you must handwash, others have parts that can go in the dishwasher and some have self-cleaning modes. If in doubt, check the manual that came with your coffee maker.
What’s the best coffee maker to buy?
Top coffee maker
What you need to know: This is an excellent option for people who like the convenience of pod coffee makers but want the capacity to make specialty drinks.
What you’ll love: It features a simple built-in milk frother, is compatible with all K-cups, has an LCD screen and brews in under a minute.
What you should consider: You’re somewhat restricted by the use of K-cups and other coffee pods.
Top coffee maker for the money
What you need to know: This is a fantastic drip coffee maker for anyone who wants an affordable option.
What you’ll love: It is easy to use and program using the digital display. It includes a sneak a cup feature, 12-cup capacity and a window to view the water level in the tank.
What you should consider: Could be more durable.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This option looks and feels high quality for those who want a drip coffee maker that will last.
What you’ll love: It has simple controls that are easy to use, a self-clean function, adjustable heating plate and a brew-pause feature. It’s also available in a range of colors.
What you should consider: The small opening to the water reservoir is a little inconvenient.
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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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