Best Coffee Maker Brands
Whether you consider it a necessity or a luxury, coffee is an enduring comfort and enjoyable pick-me-up. Thanks to modern coffee makers, you no longer have to drink a bland cup of homemade coffee. Here’s what to look for before you buy your next coffee maker.
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Cuisinart is a home products manufacturer specializing in small appliances and goods for the kitchen. Founded in 1971, Cuisinart offers many products including kitchen electrics, coffee makers, cutlery, cookware and more.
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Keurig designs and sells single-serve coffee brewers and owns several beverage brands that make K-cup coffee pods. Its coffee brewers range in prices for $99 to $179 and come in different sizes.
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Nespresso’s coffee makers are designed to deliver a quality cup of espresso coffee every time. Nespresso machines are made for in-home or in-office use and range in price from $149 to $600.
|Ninja Coffee Bar|
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The Ninja Coffee Bar is designed to be a full coffee system, making a variety of brew types and sizes. It comes in three sizes ranging from $149 to $179.
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Mr. Coffee designs and manufactures coffee, espresso and iced-tea makers. Its line of coffee makers can brew multiple cups of coffee as well as dispense single cups.
|Farberware Coffee Makers|
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Owned by Meyer Corporation, Farberware was founded over 100 years ago. It makes kitchen cookware, blenders and coffee makers. Its two models of home coffee makers come with various features and settings.
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Incorporated in 1963, BUNN is a privately-held company that designs and manufactures dispensed beverage equipment. It focuses on providing coffee and tea makers for both home and commercial use.
|Hamilton Beach Coffee Makers|
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Hamilton Beach makes small kitchen appliances including nine models of in-home coffee makers. Its coffee makers range in size and cost between $39 and $79.
|Black & Decker Coffee Maker|
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Black and Decker, Inc. makes multiple models of coffee makers that vary in size and color.
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Krups is a German kitchen appliance manufacturer that can trace its founding back to 1846. Headquartered in Solingen, Germany, the Krups brand offers a line of coffee makers and grinders, kettles and cooking appliances.
Important features to look for when choosing a coffee maker
What programmable features should your drip coffee maker have?
Most drip coffee makers have similar features, which can make it hard to choose one. These programmable features set some drip coffee makers apart.
- Time: What’s better than waking up to an already-made fresh pot of coffee each morning? You can set the on and off times on most programmable coffee makers and even choose separate times for different days of the week.
- Temperature control: Temperature plays a big role in the quality of your coffee. The recommended water temperature for brewing is between 190 and 200 degrees. Make sure your drip coffee maker reaches that optimal range while brewing. Most drip coffee makers feature an auto-off feature on their warming plates to save energy.
- Brew strength: Some drip coffee makers let you control the strength of your coffee. Switch from light, medium or bold flavor with the touch of a button. Brew strength features control how long the hot water stays in contact with the coffee. The longer the water stays in contact with the ground coffee, the stronger (and more bitter) the brew strength.
What are some other integrated features you should look for?
Aside from programmable features, drip coffee makers now come with some convenient integrated features.
- Built-in grinder: Freshly ground coffee brings out the flavor of the beans more than pre-ground coffee. Some in-home coffee makers have built-in grinders that grind whole beans directly into your filter.
- Permanent filters: Modern coffee makers come with filter compartments that can use either paper or reusable filters. Reusable filters can be purchased separately for around $6, and only need to be changed or deep cleaned every four months.
- Pause and serve: If you need to grab a cup before your coffee maker can make a full pot, make sure it has a pause and serve feature. This lets you remove the pot mid-brew, pour a cup and return the pot to continue brewing.
What are must-have features for automated artisanal coffee makers?
It’s hard to beat the flavors that old-school manual-style coffee makers extract from ground coffee beans. Some companies have introduced automated versions of classic styles like pour-over, siphon and French press. Make sure they offer the same benefits as their manual counterparts.
- Pour-over: If you buy an automated pour-over style coffee maker it should heat the water to the recommended 190 to 200 degrees. It should pulse the water over the grounds rather than flooding them, allowing them to bloom, just like you would making a manual pour-over style cup of coffee.
- Siphon: Automated siphon coffee makers should still work like manual siphon coffee makers. Siphon brewers use vapor pressure to push hot water up through a siphon tube. Contacting gas creates a vacuum suction, and gravity pulls the water down through the grounds, creating coffee. The main difference between manual and automated versions will be the heating source. Manual siphons use an open flame while automated versions use an electric base.
- French press: Automated French presses have built-in digital scales and thermometers so you can get the precise ratio of coffee to water.
What should you look for in an espresso machine?
Espresso makers and coffee bar systems give you access to high-quality specialty coffee drinks. You can make espresso, cappuccino, iced coffee and more. Espresso machines can be fully or partially automated.
- Pressure pump: The pressure pump is the most important feature of an espresso machine. The minimum pressure to make espresso is 9 bars (130 PSI). The more bars the machine’s pump uses, the finer the grind of coffee can be, extracting more flavor. Make sure your pressure pump can maintain at least 9 bars throughout the entire 20- to 30-second pour of espresso.
- Boiler: The boiler heats the water for the espresso. Material, weight and thickness are important features to consider in a boiler. You’ll see boilers made from aluminum, steel and brass. Aluminum is the cheapest option used in low-end machines. It heats water fast, making it good for quick shots. Brass and steel are considered the best material for boilers. They retain heat longer and maintain greater temperature stability.
- Portafilters: A portafilter is a little cup attached to a small handle where you place the grounds before brewing. The grind and the way the grounds are packed in the portafilter are important for a good espresso. Most in-home machines use pressurized portafilters. This takes away the need to pack (tamp) the grounds yourself.
How should you grind your coffee?
Buying whole-bean coffee and grinding it fresh before each brew is the best way to get the most flavor in your cup. Knowing what grind size you need can help you get the perfect cup. If you’re using a brew method with a short contact time (between water and grounds), the grind should be finer. Coffee makers that flood the grounds, like drip machines, need a more coarse grind since the contact time is longer.
- Short contact time brews: Use a fine grind for short contact time brewing methods like making espresso.
- Medium contact time brews: Use a medium coarse grind for brewing methods like pour-over, stovetop, siphon and drip (immersion) coffee makers.
- Long contact time brews: Use a coarse grind for brewing methods like French press and cold-brew coffee.
What size coffee maker should you get?
Coffee makers come in varying carafe capacities and single-serve sizes.
- Single-serve: Single-serve machines that use coffee pods are great for a quick cup of coffee. Most can make up to 14 ounces at one time.
- 4-6 cup machines: If you normally drink more than one cup but don’t need a full 12-ounce pot of coffee every day, look for a smaller capacity coffee maker. Personal coffee makers make anywhere from 4 to 6 cups.
- 12-cup machines: These machines are for serious coffee drinkers and households with multiple people. They’re also great for entertaining.
What are the different types of coffee makers?
Percolators brew coffee by constantly cycling hot water through coffee grounds in a classic-shaped pot. They have a small chamber at the bottom where the heat is generated. A tube runs up middle of the pot to distribute the heated water.
You can make French press coffee manually by using the classic glass carafe, coarse-ground coffee and water that’s been heated to 190-200 degrees. Let it steep for four minutes and use the plunger to filter the grounds from the water. Some companies take the guesswork out of French press coffee with precision French press coffee makers. These have a built-in timer and digital scale so you can make sure you have the exact ratio of grounds to water.
Science lovers rejoice! Some brands make a modern design of the classic siphon brewing method. Siphon brewers use vapor pressure to push hot water up through a siphon tube. Contacting gas creates a vacuum suction, and gravity pulls the water down through the grounds, creating coffee.
When you picture an in-home coffee maker, it’s most likely a drip coffee maker. They’re the standard style and have features like programmable auto on and off settings, temperature control and brew-strength controls.
In-home espresso machines bring high-quality espresso drinks to your kitchen. You can get fully automatic espresso makers, where you can have an espresso with the push of a button. If you like the craft of making your own, choose a pump or semi-automatic espresso machine. These give you more control and let you make specialty coffee recipes.
Automated pour-over coffee makers mimic the manual style by heating water to the precise temperature (190-200 degrees) and pulsing the water flow. This allows the grounds to bloom rather than constantly flooding them.
Also known as pod coffee makers, single-serve machines let you brew anywhere from one cup to a 14-ounce travel mug with the push of a button. They’re great for people on-the-go and in office settings.
Moka press coffee makers brew coffee on your stove top. They have reservoirs on their base that you fill with cold water. Above the reservoir is a metal filter where you place your grounds. You screw on the top of the pot and let the water heat on your stove. Once the desired temperature is reached, you pour and enjoy!
What’s your coffee maker persona?
The future is now for in-home coffee makers. No longer do you have to settle for a lukewarm, bland cup of bean juice from an outdated coffee maker. Modern coffee makers bring your favorite coffee shop into your home by bringing out the complex flavors of coffee beans with each brew.
Interoffice coffee slinger
You can finally get rid of your Mad Men-era office coffee maker and boost your employees’ morale with a modern coffee brewing system. Most coffee maker brands make larger or more durable coffee makers for heavy use. Whether it's a single-serve machine or a large pour-over-style brewer, your office can have access to quality coffee during their workday.
Single-serve coffee drinkers
If you don’t need a big 12-cup pot of coffee, or even a personal sized pot, you might like a single-serve coffee maker. They use coffee pods to brew one cup or one travel mug of coffee.
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Known for their cooking appliances, KitchenAid also makes an extensive line of coffee makers. Choose from multiple craft brewing methods with their press, siphon, pour-over, cold brew and espresso coffee brewers. They also offer a precision grinder so you can get the perfect grind size for each brew.
BLACK+DECKER makes a variety of home appliances for the kitchen. They make multiple models of drip coffee makers in different capacities, from two to 12 cups. BLACK+DECKER doesn’t sell their coffee makers on their website. You can type in your zip code on their website for the closest dealer.
Mr. Coffee specializes in making and selling drip and speciality coffee makers, espresso machines and coffee accessories and replacement parts. It makes multiple models of drip brewers that brew anywhere from four to 12 cups. You can choose from different models of cappuccino, espresso and latte machines, all with different features.
BUNN makes commercial and home coffee makers with varying capacities and technology. They also make accessories like paper filters and carafes for their brand of coffee makers.
Kenmore makes small and large kitchen appliances including multiple models of coffee makers. They make eight models with varying features, capacity and technology. Kenmore doesn’t sell its products online, but you can enter your zip code on its website to find the nearest dealer.
Along with blenders, fryers, cookers and toasters, Farberware makes five models of home coffee makers. You can choose from two sizes of drip coffee makers or three sizes of percolating coffee makers.
Krups makes and sells small kitchen appliance including eight models of drip coffee makers. Each model features different technology and brewing capacities to make sure you get a satisfying result with your morning cup. They can be purchased online or at a store closest to your location.
Keurig is known for their K-Cup coffee pods that give you a single-serve cup with the push of a button. Their coffee brewer models come in two series: Classic and Plus. They range in size and each feature different technology and various colors.
The Ninja Coffee Bar is designed to be a full coffee system. It brews hot, cold and specialty coffee and comes in three different sizes. Each Ninja Coffee Bar comes with a recipe book so you can create multiple types of specialty coffee at home.
Hamilton Beach makes a variety of small cooking and kitchen appliances including in-home drip coffee makers. Its line of coffee makers include 4- to 12-cup brewing capacities, two-way brewing capacities and programmable features. Visit their website for a full list of over 50 coffee makers and products.
Nespresso engineers machines designed to give you a quality cup of espresso coffee in your home or office. It has two lines of machines, Virtuo and Original, that each has close to 20 models. Models range from $149 to $600. It also makes two lines of Nespresso coffee that come in the form of aluminum pods.
Bialetti got its start in Italy and has become a world famous brand of cookware, bakeware and coffee makers. It’s most known for its stovetop coffee maker called the Moka. Bialetti also makes manual French press coffee makers and a pour-over drip coffee maker.
- Moka pots: Bialetti makes six varieties of their Moka pot stovetop coffee maker. They come in different sizes, from a single cup to six cups. Moka pots work by filling the bottom reservoir with cold water, heating it on the stove and pouring it through an internal metal filter where the coffee grounds are. They range in price from $24 to $60.
- Coffee press: Bialetti makes different sizes and styles of French press coffee makers. You can choose from different carafe styles and sizes, ranging from 350 millimeters to one and a half liters.
- Pour-over: Bialetti makes three styles of manual pour over coffee makers: a dripper, a porcelain pour-over with a mug and a glass pour-over carafe. The dripper is $5.99, the porcelain pour-over is $19.99 and the glass carafe pour-over is $39.99.
- Espresso machine: The diva is Bialetti’s single-serve espresso maker. It brews using capsules (or pods), and a 20-bar (290 psi) high-pressure system to make a smooth espresso. The diva costs $250.
- Ground coffee: Bialetti sells a classic Italian roast coffee made especially for its stovetop Moka pots. The beans are ground fine for the best extraction when brewing on the stove. The coffee retails for $12.99 for 250 grams.
- Best for: consumers looking for simple, manual coffee brewing methods.
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|KitchenAid Coffee Makers|
KitchenAid was started in 1919 and is now owned by Whirlpool. Along with its family of kitchen appliances, it makes a line of coffee makers and grinders. Its coffee makers come in varying capacities, colors and carafe types.
|Kenmore Coffee Makers|
Kenmore has over 100 years of home appliance innovation and has become one of the most recognizable brands for home appliances. It designs a small line of home coffee and espresso makers with various colors and features.
Bonavita designs and makes in-home coffee brewers that make quality cups of coffee. Its coffee brewers are approved by the Specialty Coffee Association of America and range in price from $129 to $179 for its carafe brewers.
Bialetti got its start in Italy and has become a top coffee maker brand around the world. It’s known for its Moka pot stovetop coffee makers, French press carafes and pour-over dripper coffee maker.
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