The best coffee machine will produce a delicious and well-balanced cup of Joe that you might mistake for the quality of the barista. Whether you're using a bean separator or a filter, the best coffee makers have convenience at the core of their design. They should work intuitively, frequently at the touch of a button, and not too much space on your countertop.
Then there is the quality of the coffee to consider. It should be rich and flavorful rather than sour or overly bitter. A good filter coffee maker will also be able to serve a wide variety of quantities, whether you are making just one cup or enough to serve at a family brunch. Not sure to choose? We tested a wide range of models to find one to suit every kitchen. Whether you're shopping on a budget or have a particular brand in mind, such as the best Amazon Basics coffee machines or the best Cuisinart coffee machines, here are the winners.
1. When should you replace your coffee maker?
Generally, The best coffee makers come with a one-year warranty, but big brands like Cuisinart can offer up to three years. The average lifespan of a coffee maker is around five years; we do not recommend buying an extended warranty as repairs during that time will usually cost less. Also, instead of repairing the coffee machine, you may want to replace it when it fails.
Problems that signal it is time to buy a new machine include not brewing, the coffee is not hot enough, or leaking. If brewing starts to slow down or java doesn't taste good, make sure to remove dirt from the device before you decide to buy a new one; mineral deposits can only block it.
2. How to choose the best coffee maker for you
Will it fit?
The best coffee pot sits on a tabletop, so measure the space you plan to store it before buying it. Be sure to determine the space between the tabletop and the bottom of the cabinet. Most, but not all, coffee makers will fit in the cabinet.
If you are passionate about coffee, find a barista who meets the Specialty Coffee Association's Gold Cup Standard. This means coffee is brewed at the perfect time and temperature for the best cup of Joe. But be aware that this standard requires the use of 2 teaspoons of ground coffee per 5-ounce cup, which makes for a rich, delicious cup of coffee that isn't to everyone's taste.
Remember that a cup of coffee is equal to 5 ounces, or an old-fashioned tea that doesn't fill your mouth full, leaving room for milk. Most coffee cups in use today are 8 ounces or larger. As such, a typical 12-cup espresso machine can make enough coffee for about seven cups.
What kind of caramel?
Models with thermal carafes tend to be more expensive than models with glass carafes. You can bring thermal caramels to the table, where they will keep the coffee hot for refills. However, these carafes have narrow openings that are difficult to wash by hand, and most do not wash in the dishwasher.
Paper or permanent filter?
Decide if you want the filter to be permanent or paper disposable. Permanent filters are better for the environment, and you do not need to change them constantly, but they do need to be washed thoroughly by hand, and they tend to turn yellow. Also, it's easier to throw the paper filter in the trash than it is to remove the dirt on the metal filter. You may also find that the flavor of the coffee produced varies depending on the type of filter, and you prefer one over the other.
Do you want to set it and forget about it?
With many machines, you can pre-program them to brew in the morning or right before you get home, you can even set them to brew coffee at the same time each day. But such features add to the price and only work if you take the time to read the user manual and figure out how to use this setting.
3. Is the expensive coffee machine worth it?
Some of the best coffee machine brands charge outrageous prices for their creations. However, it should be noted that some expensive espresso machines may not necessarily be worth it for the everyday consumer. Prices up to $600 or under $700 are typically focused on flexibility and precise control over aspects of the brewing process such as temperature, steeping time and strength, hatching, and crushing density.
If you are looking for a professional barista-class experience, these more expensive espresso machine options can be well worth their price tag. However, if you just need a quick snapshot to help you wake up in the morning, we recommend staying away from these higher-end devices.
4. Features to look out for
The coffee machine was created with more in mind than reality. Aesthetics are as important as performance these days - after all, this machine will be on display in your kitchen for a few years. Some have a timeless brushed steel finish, while others are much bolder with a glossy finish. Before you choose your favorite, make sure its size fits your countertop; some are much larger than they seem.
The latest models come with many useful features. One notable feature is grinding the beans and then automatically transferring the pulp to the filter basket. When you do this, you will get the freshest coffee possible. Some machines even come with settings that allow you to control the strength of the coffee as well as the temperature of the coffee. Controls like these are great because you can try different combinations until you find your favorite setting. Size selection is another important factor; Some designs allow you to choose from single serving coffee to a whole pot, which can save on waste.
Coffee machines have also come a long way in terms of technology. Some have touchscreens instead of manual controls, while others can connect to your Wi-Fi or use Bluetooth. You can control the coffee maker's hands-free unit through your smartphone or even use voice commands via Alexa and Google Assistant.
5. How to care for and maintain the coffee machine
It is essential that you know how to clean your coffee machine so that all your coffee brews can be as delicious as the first. You will find a quick rundown here, but if you need to know how to clean Hamilton Beach, we have got more tips for you, too.
Start with cold water and freshly ground coffee to avoid making your coffee taste rancid.
Do not fill the basket with coffee grounds. The residue can overflow and clog the machine if you add too much.
Regularly clean all parts of the coffee machine that come into contact with the coffee grinder. The grinding process leaves an oily residue that builds up over time and affects the flavor of the coffee.
Run a mixture of white vinegar and water in equal parts through the machine to clear any deposits or prevent mineral deposits that can clog the appliance and slow down the brewing time. If you are waiting longer than usual for your Java to be ready, your brew is past due for descaling.
The best coffee machine can hugely impact flavor because it affects how the coffee is extracted. The coffee maker you choose is bound to change from regulating the right temperature to pouring out the grounds consistently to even the simple aspects that make it easy to keep the cup you receive clean.