Last updated date: November 29, 2018
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We looked at the top Coffee Makers and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Coffee Maker you should buy.
Editor's Note March 19, 2021:
Checkout The Best Coffee Maker for a detailed review of all the top coffee makers.
In our analysis of 119 expert reviews, the Bonavita Bonavita Metropolitan placed 12th when we looked at the top 22 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.
From The Manufacturer
8 cup | sleek Black design | one-touch - with a Bonavita Coffee brewer, you're just one press of a button away from a perfect cup of Coffee. We've refined our brewers down to the essential elements so it's simple to consistently brew great Coffee.
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Our Expert Consultant
Julie Chernoff is a long-time member of Les Dames d’Escoffier (past president of the Chicago Chapter, and current co-chair of the LDEI Legacy Awards Committee), the Association of Food Journalists (AFJ) and the International Association of Culinary Professionals.
Chernoff is the dining editor of Better, a lifestyle website and print magazine. Her journalism started in the test kitchens of Weight Watchers Magazine. She holds a BA in English from Yale University and is a graduate of the California Culinary Academy. She has spent the last few decades styling, photographing, teaching, developing recipes, editing, thinking and writing about food.
Overall Product Rankings
An Overview On Coffee Makers
When you rely on a daily cup of coffee (or more!) to get your day off to a good start, a great home coffee maker is essential. While you can certainly still use a French press or even an old-school stovetop coffee maker, these days, most people rely on an automatic drip coffee maker for their day-to-day coffee needs. An automatic coffee maker uses ground beans and filters.
“Electric coffee makers take the guesswork out of making a perfect cup of joe,” explains culinary expert Julie Chernoff, food journalist, dining editor of Better magazine and member of Les Dames d’Escoffier. “For us creatures of habit — which describes pretty much any coffee drinker that takes time to make coffee at home — it’s all about consistency, reliability, and speed. And given the price of coffee today, you want to know what you’re getting every time. Considering you can brew a 10-cup pot of coffee at home for less than what you shell out for a single coffee at the local café, it’s also a money saver.”
Whether you want a basic model that will simply brew and pour, or something more elaborate, like a model that is capable of making specialty beverages, such as flat whites, lattes and mochaccinos, there’s a coffee maker for every type of drinker out there.
First, look at how much capacity you need. How many coffee drinkers live in your house, and how much of it do they drink? You may need just a small, one-cup brewer. Or, if you have multiple people who love their cappuccinos, you may wish for a fancier alternative with more options.
Some other features you may be interested in are the ability to program your maker (essential for those who can’t do a thing before their first cup of coffee in the morning), brew time and ability to adjust the strength of your brew. Many makers also have convenience features. For example, one model may have an adjustable keep-warm temperature-control function, while another is equipped with an automatic shut-off feature.
“An automatic shut-off timer is essential as a safety feature to help avoid evaporation and scorching,” Chernoff says, especially if you like to grab coffee while heading out or if you prefer to drink your coffee over the course of a few hours. “Timers that allow you to set up your coffee the night before and pre-determine when brewing starts in the morning are a lovely option. All-in-one machines that offer built-in grinders as part of the coffee-making process are not essential, but an added layer of luxury that you may or may not need.”
Other models are designed to perfect the taste of your coffee using an automatic pre-infusion cycle. This feature pre-wets the coffee before it begins to brew, which improves the extraction process. The extraction process determines how smooth or bitter the coffee will taste.
Another factor to keep in mind is the size of your maker. Since it will likely have a permanent spot on your kitchen countertop, you want to be sure it will easily fit and match the aesthetic of your space. Many machines these days have a sleek and stylish look that will seamlessly fit in with a variety of styles. Measure your space before you purchase, especially if you need to fit your coffee maker under a cabinet.
A higher price tag does not always mean a better product when it comes to coffee makers. But like any appliance, the quality will determine how long it will serve you. Be sure to factor in how much use you plan to give your maker while deciding how much you’re willing to invest in the right coffee maker.
The Coffee Maker Buying Guide
- For the best brew, start with quality beans. A lot of people prefer to grind their own rather than buy already ground coffee.
- To keep those beans super fresh, be sure to store them properly. That means using a sealed container with a one-way valve or a good, old-fashioned mason jar.
- You could also roast your own beans. There are a number of methods you can use, like roasting them in an oven or a pan or grill.
- While it may be tempting to wing it, measuring your coffee will give you better control over its strength and flavor. Try a ratio of about one part coffee to 20 parts water.
- Speaking of water, the quality of your H20 matters. Try lightly filtered water from the refrigerator or a pitcher with a filtering device.
- Are you the type to heat up your leftover coffee from the morning when the afternoon slump hits? Although old coffee is unlikely to make you sick, it probably won’t taste that great. That’s because coffee starts to lose its flavor just 30 minutes after it’s brewed. Within about four hours, the oils begin to go bad, which will further compromise the coffee’s taste. Your best bet is to brew a fresh pot.
- Keeping your coffee maker clean is a key component of maintaining its functionality. Wash removable parts after every use, by hand or in the dishwasher. Your carafe should be cleaned daily as well. On a monthly basis, you should “brew” a solution of vinegar and water to break down mineral buildup.
- Depending on the quality, the frequency of use and its overall maintenance, a coffee maker can last anywhere from a few years to a few decades. If the water is not getting hot enough, or it’s taking way too long to brew, it may be time to replace your coffee maker.
- If you want that coffeehouse taste at home, you don’t need a bunch of syrups or a super fancy coffee maker. Instead, you can actually use your traditional drip coffee maker and some common spices that you probably have on hand, such as ground cinnamon or nutmeg. Stirring in a few pieces of chocolate makes for an indulgent treat, too.
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