The best drip coffee maker in 2021 is a machine that offers the convenience of brewing your favorite coffee with the quality and taste you expect from an expert roaster.
The best coffee maker in 2021 is a question that many people have been asking themselves. There are many different drip coffee makers on the market, but which one is the best?
There are so many brewing techniques to select from (French press, the presently popular dalgona whipped, pour-over), but many coffee drinkers still prefer the traditional, automated drip. That’s why, over the course of many weeks, we put the best-rated drip coffee makers to the test using a variety of factors (detailed below). Dark roast, light roast, and medium roast coffee beans were crushed and brewed in large quantities. Full carafes, half carafes, and single cups were created. We tried it black, with cow’s milk, almond milk, sweetened condensed milk, cold-brew strength over ice, you name it.
We decided on four outstanding drip coffee machines after several pots of coffee.
Overall, the best drip coffee maker
The Braun KF6050WH BrewSense Drip Coffee Maker regularly delivered excellent, hot cups of coffee, made efficiently and cleanly, from elegant, reasonably small gear that is easy to use, and all for a fair price.
Runner-up with a contemporary slant
This was the most attractive and simply built of the simple auto-brewers, and it produced a clean, delicious cup. Only the touchscreen may not be suitable for many customers, and the brew time is considerably greater than the other machines we tested.
For the design-obsessed, here’s a luxury choice.
The Technivorm Moccamaster 59636 KBG Coffee Brewer brews a full pot of properly made coffee in just five minutes, and the process is as captivating as a tailored Netflix teaser.
The most cost-effective drip coffee maker
One of the cheapest options we tested, the Mr. Coffee 12-cup brewer is compact, simple to operate and yields a very competitive cup.
We brewed a variety of coffees with the BrewSense, from light to dark roast, and each one produced a strong, excellent cup with minimal sediment, owing to the gold tone filter, which is intended to eliminate bitterness from coffee while also reducing single-use paper-filter waste. The machine we tried was white, which is a great choice for people who like a more contemporary kitchen decor, but it also comes in black and is tiny enough to fit under the cabinets in a smaller area than some of the other machines we tested.
The BrewSense is simple to use: it’s intended to seem like a classic automated drip machine with manual controls, but with a sleeker, more contemporary look. With a glass carafe that feels comfortable in the hand, the hardware is a stylish mix of brushed metal and plastic.
When compared to some of the other machines we examined, the BrewSense lacks a lot of bells and whistles, but its practical simplicity pushed it reach the top of our list. Without reading the instructions, you could unbox this machine, run it through once with water, and be sipping a freshly brewed cup in 15 minutes. Brewing is also a relatively quiet operation, which is nice in the morning. Some customers may prefer a machine with advanced functions, but for those who just want excellent, hot coffee every morning without paying more than a hundred dollars, this is the ideal option.
The BrewSense isn’t without flaws: It’s not the quickest we’ve seen; brewing a full pot of 12 cups takes almost 11 minutes. And we discovered a frustrating mistake in the instruction booklet about how to program the clock (call us obstinate, but we insisted on setting the time before using each of the machines! ); the guidelines said to press and hold CLOCK and then SET, but this did not work. We had to just press and hold the CLOCK button, then work our way through the hours and minutes by trial and error. Meanwhile, the auto-program setup isn’t as apparent as we’d like, but after we figured it out, it worked well. However, even without the instruction booklet, we found this machine to be straightforward and simple to use.
Cleanup may be a bit more difficult than with some of our other machines. The hot water distributes the grounds up to the top of the cone via the filter basket, and during one brewing, a small amount rose up beyond the cone, necessitating a quick wipedown of the brew equipment. Overall, this machine offers the greatest bang for your buck of any machine on the market for less than $80.
One of the three Cuisinart automated drip machines we tested, the Touchscreen 14-Cup Programmable, came in only a few points below the Braun BrewSense.
We gave all three Cuisinarts excellent marks, but the Touchscreen came out on top for its innovative design and practicality. All of the Cuisinart items we’ve seen have been well-designed, but this one stands out like a brand-new Apple product: Its all-black, gleaming surfaces and touchscreen control panel look and feel high-end for a coffee maker (and the price, $235 at Macy’s, is more than three times that of the Braun).
But this isn’t just any old machine: it’s a machine with a lot of personality. It made a robust, excellent cup of coffee that was neatly filtered yet rich in flavor. Given its tech-centric foundation, it’s also very simple to develop and operate. To help you personalize your brew, the touchscreen panel has adorable tiny symbols that represent one-touch commands: Adjust the hot plate temperature to low, medium, or high; turn the audible brew-cycle-finished tone on or off if you prefer your coffee bolder; if you’re brewing less than half a pot, select the 1 to 4 cups feature for a slower brew with the proper extraction time; adjust the hot plate temperature to low, medium, or high; adjust the hot plate temperature to low, medium, or high; turn the audible brew-cycle-finished tone on or
However, the tech-centric design is one of the reasons this didn’t get first place. We thought that this machine — the only touchscreen type we tried — would be less straightforward and tedious than some customers would desire as part of their daily coffee ritual, as thrilling and unusual as it seemed. The touchscreen becomes black throughout the brewing process, which is attractive but also unsettling, as if you’re really in the dark, wondering, “What’s happening on?” Is there coffee on the stove?” The settings and operational buttons are visible when lit, but it took us a few brews to figure out how much pressure to apply to the touchscreen with your fingers. We can readily imagine individuals in our own lives who would be perplexed by this machine if left alone with it and a bag of coffee — and as a result, it lost a few points in usability.
This one is also a slower brewer than the Cuisinart counterparts we tried. We timed it at 11 minutes for eight cups, which feels like an eternity if you’re watching your coffee machine boil like a watched pot. We appreciate the attraction of a slower brewing procedure (pour-over and Chemex lovers, we hear you! ), but waiting 12 to 14 minutes for a complete pot of coffee when you’re thirsty and you’re not making it by hand seems like a long time. Finally, a coffee machine that costs more than $200 is not for everyone. However, many people may.
While the technology of this higher-end device may perplex some customers, others will embrace it and make it the focal point of their kitchen, and rightfully so. Here, form plus function equals morning joy.
Even before we got the Technivorm Moccaster for this article, we had heard about it. It’s a machine known for its unique and old-school industrial design, handmade and tested in the Netherlands since 1968. When word got out that we were testing a Moccamaster, a slew of pals congratulated us, and one even proclaimed it outstanding through Instagram DM: “Moccamaster? Over with the test!” The Moccamaster also comes with its own stellar reputation. “Congratulations on your acquisition of the World’s Finest Coffee Brewer!” the user manual exclaims. (If you’re spending over $300 on a coffee machine, the excitement may seem justified.)
We were rewarded with perhaps the most wonderful, hot, fresh cup of coffee we have ever tasted from a home-brewed machine after we had the equipment set up — which, to be honest, takes a little concentration and effort. Furthermore, you barely have time to read the morning news before the procedure is completed. In one test, the Moccamaster made 10 cups in under six minutes, and six cups in under four minutes. The brew function is almost startlingly quick: as soon as you switch on the machine, the brewing begins. Then, watching the water boil up in the tank and bubble up through the water transfer tube into the brewer was like a lava lamp producing fresh hot coffee after a few hypnotic undulations, it was a pleasant flashback to middle-school scientific projects.
We found a lot to like about the Moccamaster, but there were also some things we didn’t like. They are, maybe paradoxically, about design. Some people like a more hands-on approach to coffee preparation, while others may feel that there are just too many moving pieces here. To put the components together, we had to read the instructions very carefully. The machine was pretty simple to use after it had been built and we had absorbed what was going on in terms of the brewing process.
However, each time you use this machine, you must remove the brew basket to add a new paper filter (yes, it requires a paper filter, if that matters to you) and coffee grounds, and this basket removal can occasionally disrupt the outlet arm and reservoir lid — not a big deal, but it may feel like you have to reassemble your coffee maker every morning. During the process, the basket lid and outlet arm, which carry the hot water from the tube to the brew basket, get very hot. It’s OK if you’re attentive and careful, but you don’t want someone to walk up to the brewer and unintentionally touch the hot portion.
Finally, and probably most importantly, when you return the glass carafe to the hotplate between pours, the glass scratches the warmer in a somewhat cringe-worthy manner.
The coffee that this stunning machine produces, on the other hand, may distract you from other things – we found ourselves bringing it back to the kitchen counter time and time again since the brew process and outcomes were so good. If you’re a fan of the Moccamaster like we are, you’ll probably be one for a long time, which will help to offset the high price tag.
We won’t go on and on about the Mr. Coffee 12-Cup, but it produced a very usable 12 cups in only nine minutes, in both flavor and temperature. The machine was wrapped in some fairly thick plastic and cardboard — unpacking took five minutes and a pair of scissors — but once you get it out of the box, it’s a snap to set together. Even without reading the instructions, the hardware is simple to operate (and program to brew at a particular time). It’s tiny and sturdy, making it one of the finest little drip coffee makers we tested. The lid, brew basket, carafe, and detachable top half are all dishwasher safe, which wasn’t common among the machines we looked at.
These coffee makers went through a rigorous testing procedure that lasted more than a month. Each machine was assessed based on the features that would be most essential to the user, such as functionality, durability, and design. We used both dark and light roast freshly ground beans, performed a programmed/timed brew when available, and tried the extra features of the more specialized equipment at least twice (but four to eight times for some) (single-cup, cold brew, tea, milk frothing). We took notes on the unpacking of each machine, read every instruction booklet, handled and rehandled the hardware, timed the brew of each machine, recorded the temperature of the resultant coffee, and sampled and had others taste and weigh in on the user experience. We attempted to get to know each of these machines as well as possible, and we became fond of quite a few of them – as a consequence, we drank much too much coffee during the month in question.
Continue reading to learn more about the different categories and how they’re broken down.
function of brewing
- We didn’t take the actual temperature of the coffee from each machine because we don’t believe that’s how the average coffee drinker evaluates home brewing — experts recommend brewing coffee at 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit and serving it immediately at 180 to 185 degrees — but we did compare the perceived temperature of each brew to the others. We sampled each cup black and then with cold milk added just after it was brewed, and kept track of the findings.
- Taste: Coffee’s flavor is, of course, subjective. Two individuals might spend a lifetime sampling several coffee varieties and yet not agree on one. As a result, we tried each machine with both a dark and a light roast, following the machine’s instructions for the quantity of grounds to use. As a consequence, some machines that advised using more grounds produced stronger brews; we retested those with less grounds in such cases.
- Time to brew: We used an iPhone timer to time the brewing procedure for each carafe, both full and half. We also timed the procedure for the machines that produced single cups.
- We looked at whether the machine brewed into a glass or a thermal carafe, as well as how hot the coffee stayed a half hour to an hour after brewing.
- User-friendliness: We ran a preliminary scan of each machine to see whether a new user could make coffee without having to read the instruction booklet. We next evaluated whether each machine’s design is instantly straightforward, as well as the settings and buttons on the machine’s front, the markings on the water tank and carafe, how simple the carafe is to fill, and the design of the brew basket on a more micro level.
- We counted the number of ounces each machine can brew.
- Programmability: We looked at whether the machine could be programmed to brew at a certain time.
- We evaluated how the machine reacted to being handled throughout setup, filling the water tank, adding the grounds, removing and replacing the carafe to serve, cleaning, and how sturdy the hardware seemed in this area.
- Build quality: We took note of the materials used to construct the machine, such as plastic, metal, brushed metal, and glass, as well as how each machine felt in the hands of the user.
- Serviceability: We looked at how easy it was to open and disassemble the detachable components of each machine in case it needed to be serviced.
Setup and dismantling
- Assembly time: We timed how long it took to unbox the machine, assemble it, and perform an initial water cleanse before the product could be used.
- We looked at how much counter space each machine took up, as well as how simple it was to transport and store.
- Cleaning ease: We kept track of how simple it was to clean the brew basket, carafe, and surrounding hardware after each brew.
- First impression: We recorded our first impressions of each machine, noting design, color, size, and feel, as well as whether or not the machine looked appealing on our counter.
- We looked into if the machine was available in other colors other than black.
- We looked at how many years each machine’s warranty was.
Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System (Amazon.com; $179.99, originally $199.99)
We put two Ninja machines to the test, and both offer a lot of cool features. In less than five minutes, the hot and cold brew system produced an outstanding pot of hot coffee, as well as a very delicious single cup (in various sizes), which was a more difficult task to master. It also makes coffee that may be poured straight over ice, which is a popular choice among customers. The sleek, minimalist glass carafe is one of our favorites, but the top has a large hole in the center for pouring, which may cause some splashing.
Despite its many functions, this machine lost points since the water tank — made of cheap plastic with visible ridges — feels cheap and degrades the user experience (with this machine, thankfully, the plastic tank is in the back, hidden from view, but does need to be handled every time you add water). Another issue with this machine is that the water tank has no markings, just half and full carafes, and two sizes of single cup. How does one determine how much water to add vs how much coffee grinds to put without ounce or cup markings? The Ninja machines come with a special-sized coffee scoop with different amounts on each end, but it was inconvenient that the water and coffee amounts couldn’t be more standardized without relying solely on the provided removable accessories (which, by the way, are adorable — there’s a removable frothing wand). With so many performance options, this machine has a cluttered control panel that seems a little high-maintenance.
Ninja Glass Carafe Specialty Coffee Maker ($159.99; amazon.com)
The Ninja Specialty is identical to the hot and cold brewed Ninja, with one significant difference: the water tank is visible and next to the brew basket. This one makes a delicious cup of hot, fresh coffee and includes a number of useful extra features, like a variety of cup sizes, half and full carafes, and an over-ice option. The water tank is front and center here, which makes it less attractive than the hot and cold choice; the tank, too, feels fragile and cheap, which is tough to ignore in the user experience. However, for fans of the Ninja brand (which makes blenders and other things), there’s a lot of bang for your money here.
Cuisinart PerfecTemp 14-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker ($99.95, originally $185; amazon.com) Cuisinart PerfecTemp 14-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker
Thanks to an adjustable carafe temperature, this Cuisinart produced a virtually flawless cup at, for this reviewer, a perfect hot temperature (even after adding substantial cold milk, we still had a scorching hot cup). This machine is sturdy and well-designed, however it has one flaw (in our opinion): Brewing time for eight cups was 14 minutes, almost twice as long as some of the other makers we tried.
Cuisinart Coffee Center 10-Cup Thermal Coffee Maker and Single Serve Brewer ($200.98; amazon.com; originally $229)
Our third Cuisinart makes just 10 cups of coffee into a thermal carafe, but it also has the added benefit of being a single-serve brewer, with an attachment for prepackaged coffee capsules or a cute little filter for fresh grounds. (Note: Because of its tiny size, cleaning the micro filter is a bit of a pain.) This machine, like its Cuisinart brothers above, produces excellent coffee, but the single-serve maker makes the whole setup more difficult. One vexing design flaw is the on/off button on the machine’s side, which is in an inconvenient location.
Breville BDC450 Precision Brewer (Amazon.com; $29.95)
We were thrilled when we first saw this sophisticated brewer, which had a lot to offer: normal brew, quick brew, gold (what the heck is gold? ), cold brew, single cup (with a sold separately attachment), and a customized to your tastes setting. The possibilities are thrilling, but they may also be daunting. The user is asked to rate the hardness of their water on a scale of one to 10 – do all home coffee drinkers know how their tap water feels? Is the typical coffee consumer even aware of the Gold Cup certification? For an automated drip machine, they seem like minor features.
In the big picture, the Breville made a nice cup of coffee fast, but it wasn’t hot enough for us. The entire thing is gorgeous, with smooth brushed aluminum and a lightweight, attractive carafe that would look great at a brunch table. But when we dug further, we discovered that this computer was just… too much. There’s too much hardware – it won’t fit beneath our cabinets. We had to study up on a lot of coffee knowledge before we could even set up the machine to our tastes since there were so many choices. Many users will find this machine to be the perfect combination of utility and elegance, and will love discovering all of its features, but for those seeking for turnkey coffee-making, this is an additional step.
CM1160B ($19.99; target.com) Black+Decker 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker
The most affordable automatic drip machine we tested, the Black & Decker 12-cup, is also a solid choice. It brewed eight tasty cups in eight short minutes — overall a good user experience. Hardware-wise, it felt a bit less durable than its closest rival, the Mr. Coffee, but it’s programmable and super easy for near the cost of two lattes with an extra shot.
Bonavita Connoisseur 8-Cup One-Touch Coffee Maker ($145.99; amazon.com) Bonavita Connoisseur 8-Cup One-Touch Coffee Maker
The Bonavita Connoisseur has its supporters, but we experienced a number of problems with it. This retro-looking machine makes a great cup of coffee fast and at a reasonable temperature, but the user experience is lacking. Simply stated, the design seems to have flaws. The carafe’s cover must be removed before brewing, allowing the coffee to brew straight into a wide-open carafe – this was so illogical to us, even after three or four brew attempts, that it ruined the brew experience. During brewing, the brewer also becomes very hot, to the point that we questioned whether it was a safety concern. Finally, after brewing, we screwed the carafe lid back on and attempted to place the carafe beneath the brewer — okay, we were still tired, maybe there wasn’t enough caffeine yet — but the carafe won’t go under the brewer with the lid on; the whole top of the machine popped off. Because the carafe cover and the brew basket don’t both fit into the hardware at the same time, one component is constantly loose while the machine is stored.
More from CNN Underscored’s hands-on testing may be found here:
The best drip filter coffee machine is a device that allows you to make coffee without the use of pods. This is because it has a built-in grinder, which ensures that the coffee made is ground at the perfect consistency for your taste.
Frequently Asked Questions
Whats the best coffee maker you can buy?
The best coffee maker you can buy is a French press.
Which drip coffee maker keeps coffee the hottest?
This is not a question that can be answered.
Is a drip coffee maker worth it?
A drip coffee maker is a machine that makes coffee using a filter and water. Drip coffee makers are worth it because they make better quality coffee than other types of machines, such as the French press or percolator.
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