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The world of coffee can be intimidating. Several factors can influence the flavors in your cup, including where your coffee beans are from, how they’re roasted and how they’re brewed. For some, it may feel like having an experienced barista in charge is the best way to ensure you’re getting a good cup of coffee.
“A common misconception is that coffee from a shop is always better,” says Daniela Velasco, Creative Director of Drift, a coffee and travel magazine started in 2015. “In reality, brewing at home offers more control over various factors, often leading to a better cup.”
Whether you drink your single-origins black or are a loyal pumpkin spice latte fan, there is a diverse landscape of home brewing equipment out there that can make brewing coffee at home an easy, enjoyable or even meditative process.
Jump To: Best For a Single Person | Best For a Household | Best For Camping | Best French Press | Best Pour Over | Best For Cold Brew | Best For Near-Instant Cold Brew | Best That Does Everything | Best With a Milk Steamer and Frother
We spoke to coffee industry experts — including Velasco and Michelle R. Johnson, CEO and Co-Founder of Ghost Town Oats and the first and only Black woman to compete at the US Barista Championship — about the best coffee makers for every type of coffee drinker.
What To Look For
“A good coffee brewer should enhance the ritual of coffee making and cater to individual preferences and lifestyles,” says Velasco.
In other words, what kind of coffee brewing experience best suits your lifestyle or specific needs? For example, do you want to build a meditative, multi-step coffee routine that allows you to slowly start your day? Or do you want a coffee brewing process that squeezes neatly into more fast-paced mornings?
With your preferred brewing routine in mind, consider then whether an automatic or manual brewing method is right for you. The choice between automatic and manual immediately narrows down your focus on coffee brewing options, says Johnson. While both leave room for customization, manual coffee brewers may give you more control over your brew. However, automatic machines may free you up to do other things while your coffee is brewing.
When it comes to coffee makers, you could easily spend anywhere from $20 to several hundred dollars. Pick a budget range that you feel comfortable with and remember — you can always upgrade or add to your brewing equipment down the line.
Our Recommendations for Best Coffee Makers
1. Best For a Single Person — Kalita Wave 155 Stainless Steel Coffee Dripper
Routine: Requires a few minutes of your morning | Method: Manual | Investment: About $37 (does not include paper filters)
The Kalita Wave 155 Coffee Dripper is beloved by coffee novices and professionals alike. The drip brewer’s flat bottom, three extraction holes and patented wave filter make it easy to create a “foolproof,” evenly extracted cup. Brewing just over a cup of coffee, “its size is perfect for individual use,” says Velasco.
- Pros: Straightforward, simple process, Budget Friendly
- Cons: Requires multiple brews for those who drink two or more cups
2. Best For a Household — OXO Brew 8-Cup Coffee Maker
Routine: Simple and quick | Method: Automatic | Investment: $200
“The OXO 8-Cup Coffee Maker is a personal favorite of mine because of its dual capability to brew up to eight cups of coffee or a single cup,” says Johnson. As such, the OXO 8-Cup brewer’s versatility makes it a great kitchen staple for households with multiple morning coffee drinkers that might want to go back for seconds. The OXO 8-Cup Coffee Maker is even Specialty Coffee Association-certified, confirming it hits marks for both quantity and quality.
- Pros: Requires minimal effort, Good for two or more people
- Cons: Some may want more control over brewing variables
3. Best For Camping — DripKit Best Sellers Pack
Routine: Simple — no prep or cleanup | Method: Manual | Investment: Around $36 for three packs
You don’t need to sacrifice good, craft coffee while on-the-go with Dripkit’s pour-over packs. These unique paper drippers come pre-packaged with ground coffee, so you simply tear off the top, prop the dripper on your mug, and add hot water. Dripkit drippers come packaged with coffee from several well-known roasters, including Stumptown and Rival Bros. “While not a traditional coffee maker, DripKit’’s convenience makes it perfect for camping and traveling,” says Velasco.
- Pros: Highly portable, No set-up or cleanup, Fast
- Cons: Only good for one cup, Less control over the brewing process
4. Best French Press — Clara French Press by Fellow
Routine: Brew time is about five minutes | Method: Manual | Investment: $99
The French press is a classic home brewer for those looking for bold and nuanced flavors in their coffee. What makes the Clara French Press by Fellow stand out, however, is its insulated walls, which keep your coffee hot longer than traditional glass French presses.
Plus, the Clara’s ultra-fine mesh filter promises to keep silt and grinds out of your cup. “My favorite feature of the Clara is the mesh filter,” says Johnson. “I’ve never had as smooth a cup of coffee from a French press than with this one.”
- Pros: Brings out nuanced flavors, Easy to use, Durable
- Cons: More time intensive
5. Best Pour Over— Origami Dripper
Routine: A more methodical process | Method: Manual | Investment: $40 (does not include dripper collar or paper filters)
If you’re looking for a pour-over coffee maker that is both eye-catching and capable of creating some great brews, check out the Origami Dripper. This pour-over option is made from minoware clay — a high density clay that retains heat during the brewing process — and features a folded design for better airflow. “When I want to slow down my coffee routine, I reach for the Origami Dripper,” says Johnson.
- Pros: Compatible with conical filters, V60 and Kalita Wave filters, Comes in several colors
- Cons: Requires a more time intensive routine
6. Best For Cold Brew — The Hario Cold Brew Wine Bottle
Routine: Requires overnight steeping| Method: Manual | Investment: About $30
While many cold brew coffee makers require a decent amount of storage space, the Hario Cold Brew Wine Bottle features a sleek design that easily fits in the door of your fridge. “This one is simple and efficient,” says Velasco. Simply place your coffee grounds in the strainer, add cold water, and let steep in the fridge for eight hours. The Cold Brew Wine Bottle comes in five colors, including mocha, deep teal, cranberry red, brown and black.
- Pros: Straightforward brewing process, Compact design, Budget-friendly
- Cons: Requires advanced preparation
7. Best For Near-Instant Cold Brew — The HyperChiller
Routine: Brew coffee normally, then chill for 60 seconds | Method: Manual | Investment: About $13
“I’m constantly forgetting to make cold brew the night before,” says Johnson. “But with the HyperChiller, hot coffee becomes iced in a minute.” The HyperChiller features two water-filled chambers that freeze when you store it in the freezer overnight. Brew your coffee as normal, pour into the HyperChiller’s middle chamber, swirl for 60 seconds and you have an ice cold, undiluted cup of joe. “This option is not only affordable, but doesn’t require a specialized recipe to create iced coffee — your go-to brewed coffee recipe will do just fine,” says Johnson.
- Pros: Requires less prep than most cold brew makers, Budget friendly
- Cons: Holds 12.5 ounces — may require multiple “swirls” for multiple cups
8. Best That Does Everything — Breville Precision Brewer Thermal
Routine: Includes six presets so you can “set and forget” | Method: Automatic | Investment: $330
If you’re looking for an automatic coffee maker that can satisfy just about any coffee need, check out the Breville Precision Brewer Thermal coffee maker. This Breville model really does everything: Use it to automatically brew coffee for groups, brew a single pour over, whip up cold brew and more. If you’d like more finetune control over your brew, the Breville Precision Brewer also lets you adjust everything from bloom time to water temperature and flow rate.
- Pros: Highly versatile, Save your preferences or use a pre-set setting
- Cons: On the pricier side
9. Best With a Milk Steamer and Frother — The Breville Bambino
Routine: Craft espresso-based drinks by hand | Method: Mostly manual | Investment: $300
The Bambino is the coffee brewer of choice for those that want to take the time to craft barista-level lattes or espresso-based drinks from the comfort of their own home. The Bambino includes a 54mm portafilter to brew the perfect shot of espresso, plus a powerful steam wand. “The power on its milk steamer is comparable to some commercial espresso machines,” says Johnson. “It’s super affordable for a starter espresso machine and takes up very little space on the countertop.”
- Pros: Compact, Excellent for drinks like lattes
- Cons: On the pricier side
- Daniela Velasco, Creative Director of Drift, a coffee and travel magazine started in 2015
- Michelle R. Johnson, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Ghost Town Oats