Most of us need a strong and delicious cuppa to start the day on the right foot.
But you do not need to rely on coffee chains every day, buying expensive coffee when you can brew a perfect espresso at home.
A drip coffee maker is one of the best ways to brew coffee, so let’s dive right into our buyers guide and discover everything you need to know about drip coffee makers and which one is best for you…
- What Is a Drip Coffee Maker?
- Things to Consider Before Buying
- Best Automatic Drip Coffee Makers
- Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System, Auto-Iq Tea and Coffee Maker
- Cuisinart DCC-3200 14-Cup Glass Carafe with Stainless Steel Handle Programmable Coffeemaker
- Technivorm Moccamaster 79112 KBT Coffee Brewer
- Zojirushi EC-YSC100 Fresh Brew Plus Thermal Carafe Coffee Maker
- Best Manual Drip Coffee Makers
- Final Thoughts
What Is a Drip Coffee Maker?
A drip coffee maker, similar to the best pour-over coffee maker, uses a very simple mechanism to filter the coffee grounds. The coffee grounds, whether fine or coarse, are placed into a filter basket. You then pour hot water over the coffee and let the water seep in.
The hot water then soaks in all the flavor, oils, and richness of the coffee and drips through the filter into a vessel or carafe placed directly below the filter. This is an age-old way of filtering coffee, but with modern times and the turn of this century, several changes have been made to fine-tune the process.
Things to Consider Before Buying
There are a few things you need to consider before buying a drip coffee maker. Coffee lovers are surely particular about how the coffee tastes and how fresh it smells. But to get the perfect cup of coffee, you also require the right type of device.
For example, picking up the best single-serve coffee maker might be the right solution for your home. The following are a few factors you may want to consider when you are looking for the best drip coffee maker:
Automatic Drip Coffee Makers vs Manual Pour-over Coffee Makers
The main principles that apply in both these types of coffee makers remain largely the same. The technique of the brew and drip is the same, however, with the one you have manual control while with the other, a machine, automatically takes care of the process for you.
An automatic drip coffee maker is certainly a more convenient and faster option. It takes care of heating the water and also maintaining temperature. The machine also offers different options for the style of coffee you want and automatically works towards that type of brew.
There are several features this type of machine offers, including remembering frequent settings, heating the water to the optimum temperature, and auto-off features helping to get the most out of your perfectly roasted coffee beans.
For some, manual coffee makers are more personal and intimate, along with the ritual of using the best coffee grinder to achieve the perfect grounds for your daily brew.
These coffee makers are closer to the original filtering method and have been used for ages before automation arrived to bring convenience to our lives.
Coffee aficionados regard this method as the one that extracts and retains the best and most rich flavor from the coffee.
Manual coffee makers can take slightly more time to brew the coffee, simply because you need to boil the water separately. It also does not have access to the pre-programmed settings that can help you out with different styles and brews. You need to do everything manually.
But that also means you can customize the beverage to your taste and do not need to rely on what a machine serves you. Which one you choose, however, is up to your preference.
Hot Plate vs Thermal Carafe
There are two ways of keeping the coffee hot after you have completed the brewing process. Either the carafe you pour it into has thermal insulation, or you place the carafe over an inbuilt hot plate that keeps your organic coffee warm.
While coffee makers with thermal carafes tend to be more expensive, it is a more energy-efficient device – perfect when you’re keeping a keen eye on your household’s environmental impact.
The carafe does not require any external stimulus to maintain the temperature of the coffee and the original temperature can be maintained for around two hours after the coffee drips into the carafe – YMMV depending on other factors like ambient temperature.
A device with a hot plate, on the other hand, will be much cheaper as the carafe will be made of glass, but that comes with a few things to consider.
The plate will possibly overheat the coffee and make it bitter and it is on constantly to maintain the heat, consuming a lot of energy.
The hot plate also occupies more space and if you’ve spent time researching the different types of coffee producers because you care about things like sourcing fair trade coffee, you care about the green credentials so is it the right choice for you?
With vs Without a Coffee Grinder
Would you like your coffee maker to come along with a coffee grinder so you can grind fresh beans or would you prefer the apparatus to either be separate or rely on pre-ground coffee?
While a coffee maker that comes along with a grinder makes it a whole package and allows you to use freshly ground beans, it does cost slightly more money than a device without it.
But if you had to buy a separate grinder, it would probably cost you the same amount or more in the price difference. Also when both devices are combined into one, it occupies less space on your counter.
But sticklers for rules believe that when the two devices are combined, the efficiency of the grind is reduced. A separate device will give you a better grind and maintain the natural flavors of the coffee. The size of the grind is also better when the grinder is separate and not built into the coffee maker.
But again, you need to make space for both devices on your counter. What you eventually decide is up to you depending on how particular you are and which one ends up costing you more. You can always use pre-ground coffee, but the flavor will just not be the same. Regardless you should recycle the grounds to do your bit for the planet.
Size and Carafe Capacity
The size of the entire coffee maker is important because it determines how much space it requires. If it is too big, it may be bulky, difficult to clean, and will occupy too much space on the kitchen counter or at the office. A large drip coffee maker is best for commercial use but if you want to use a coffee maker at home or work, for yourself, family, and friends, a smaller, minimalist coffee maker is ideal.
The carafe capacity also differs according to the size of the coffee maker. Regardless if you subscribe to vegetarian and vegan principles, the larger coffee maker will have a carafe with a greater capacity, which means it can make more cups of coffee.
Auto-drip coffee makers tend to have a larger capacity whereas manual coffee makers typically make eight cups of coffee, maximum. But depending on the intended use, you need to decide how large you want your coffee maker to be.
Best Automatic Drip Coffee Makers
An automatic drip coffee maker, as has been mentioned above, makes your job much easier. It eliminates the need to wait for the water to boil and instead, heats the water in the reservoir itself.
Most auto-drip coffee makers are intelligent and heat the water to a temperature that is optimum for brewing coffee. The following are some of the best auto-drip coffee makers in the market:
Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System, Auto-Iq Tea and Coffee Maker
The Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed system is an auto-drip coffee maker that is ideal for any kind of coffee-based beverage you may be craving. The coffee maker allows you different sizes of products and has a versatile performance.
It is also great for making tea, whether with bags or with leaves but the tea and coffee business is kept strictly separate. The following are some of the features you can avail with this drip coffee maker:
- With this automatic drip coffee maker, you can brew straight into a cup and be on your way.
- The coffee maker is also great for producing a cold brew for both coffee, as well as tea. You can brew over ice at a lower temperature to get the perfect cold cuppa.
- There are different coffee and tea baskets so the flavors are kept separate and there is no mix-up.
- The coffee maker is smart and can recognize which basket has been placed and presents options for tea and coffee accordingly.
- There are six different sizes of brews you can get, including one single cup, travel size, half carafe, and full carafe.
- You can pick between five different brewing styles classic, over ice, cold brew, rich, or specialty.
- The coffee maker comes with a thermal carafe.
- There is also a fold-away frother which can whip the milk into a silky froth for any kind of beverage.
- You can pick any size of the beverage without requiring any pods.
- The machine can also make the perfect green, oolong, herbal, white, or black tea to get your day started.
- The specialty coffee style takes care of making a special beverage if you are feeling more experimental on a leisurely Sunday morning.
- You can enjoy a cold brew within 10 to 15 minutes.
- While the machine is technically sound, some consumers found that the lid of the carafe passed on a flavor of plastic and chemicals to the coffee.
- For some, even the size of the single-cup is too large.
Check on Amazon.com.
Cuisinart DCC-3200 14-Cup Glass Carafe with Stainless Steel Handle Programmable Coffeemaker
The Cuisinart DCC-3200 is an efficient auto-drip coffee maker that gives you exactly what you want. You can get piping hot coffee, just how you like it, without any compromise on the flavor. The coffee maker is fully automatic, self-cleaning, and will not make your life more difficult when you are rushing out the door for work in the mornings. This is a smart coffee maker that understands your needs and gives you what you want. The following are some of the features you can enjoy with this coffee maker:
- With this coffee maker, you can fill as many as 14 cups in the carafe.
- The control panel allows you to use the machine better, letting you decide how strong you want the coffee, an option to clean the machine, etc.
- There is a reusable gold-tone filter which makes the brewing process smoother and much easier.
- There is a smart temperature control that keeps the coffee warm so you can drink it at the right temperature.
- The machine can recall previous settings and remembers the position it was last in, in case there is a loss of power mid-brew.
- There is an auto shut-off feature.
- You can select between regular or bold flavors for the coffee.
- Everything aside, this is a very good looking stainless steel coffee maker that is sure to make your kitchen look more sophisticated.
- The control panel makes it extremely easy to navigate the machine and get the perfect brew without any glitches.
- The temperature control setting is a great addition that ensures that a freshly brewed cup does not become cold if you do not get to it immediately.
- While this is great for making many cups of coffee, for some consumers, the coffee may become too weak when the machine brews to its optimum 14 cups.
- The carafe may start leaking after a few months of use.
Check on Amazon.com.
Technivorm Moccamaster 79112 KBT Coffee Brewer
The Technivorm Moccamaster is, as the name suggests, a master at what it does. This is an easy-to-use coffee maker and does its job quietly, without waking up the neighbors. It does not take too long to brew a full carafe.
When you are in the last stages of getting ready for work in the morning, you can start the brewing process and by the time you are ready to step out the door, your coffee should be ready to go too.
It has an auto shut-off feature for when the water reservoir has been drained out. It is also smart enough to ascertain the right temperature for the perfect brew. The following are the few features you should look forward to exploring with this drip coffee maker:
- The brew basket is a manually adjustable drip-stop variety and comes with a stainless steel thermal carafe.
- The coffee maker can brew a full carafe of coffee within just four to six minutes.
- The water is heated only between the range of 196º to 205º F as this is the ideal range for coffee soluble extraction.
- The copper boiling element automatically switches off when the machine detects that the water reservoir is empty.
- The cone-shaped brew-basket design has been put in place so there is enough time for the water to saturate and the coffee to gain a complex flavor.
- The coffee machine has a durable metal housing structure and the plastic is free of phthalate and BPA/BPS/bpf.
- The manually adjust nature of the brew basket allows you a lot of flexibility and lets you steep your coffee for longer using the toggle switch.
- The intelligent heating of the water gives you the perfect richness of the brew and is a feature unique to this coffee maker.
- There is a travel lid included in case you want to carry your carafe and also want to keep the coffee hot.
- You can easily make 10 rich cups of coffee with this machine.
- The design of the coffee machine may be a bit large and bulky for a smaller kitchen.
- The lids are ill-fitting.
Check on Amazon.com.
Zojirushi EC-YSC100 Fresh Brew Plus Thermal Carafe Coffee Maker
The Zojirushi EC-YSC100 coffee maker is a convenient, easy-to-use coffee maker with a thermal carafe. You can easily make 10 cups of coffee with this machine and the thermal carafe is meant to keep the coffee warm for hours.
The coffee maker is extremely easy to clean and the efficiency of it ensures that the next batch of coffee is not contaminated with the smell or flavor of the previous one. The machine extracts maximum flavor from the coffee and always gives you a delicious, rich cup. The following are some of the features you should look forward to using with this coffee maker:
- The custom-designed thermal carafe can hold 10 cups of coffee at once.
- The water tank is removable so you can fill fresh water right at the source.
- The pouring is thumb-activated, which keeps the coffee insulated until you lift the carafe to pour.
- The brewing temperature is always above 200º F.
- The stainless steel carafe keeps the coffee above 158º F for at least two hours after brewing.
- It has a 24-hour programmable timer which delays the brewing so it can be fresh the next morning.
- There is a drip prevention feature for when the carafe is removed from the unit.
- There is a clean light that comes on when cleaning is recommended and a single press of a button starts the automated cleaning cycle.
- The water tank is marked with numbers so you know exactly how much you are filling for the required amount of cups.
- The swing basket and filter basket can be lifted out for easy cleaning.
- The thermal carafe is vacuum insulated and perfectly portable.
- The coffee stays hot for a long time in the carafe.
- The drip prevention valve can be disturbed easily when you are placing or removing the carafe from the unit.
- Several consumers said they liked the machine, to begin with until it started leaking from the bottom.
Check on Amazon.com.
Best Manual Drip Coffee Makers
The following are some of the best manual drip coffee makers in the market, in case you want to put the man before the machine and like your coffee the old school, traditional way. These apparatuses, however, are a modern, efficient take on the traditional method, but cost a lot less than their electric counterparts.
Bodum Pour Over Coffee Maker with Permanent Filter, 1 Liter, 34 Ounce, Black Band
The Bodum Pour Over Coffee Maker is a manual coffee maker that offers coffee just as rich-tasting as its automatic counterparts offer. The method is slightly more old school, but that only enhances the taste, if at all, and makes you feel like you are traditionally having coffee.
This is an extremely easy-to-use coffee maker, even without the automated controls. The following are some of the cool features you can enjoy with this coffee maker:
- This manual pour-over coffee maker comes with a permanent steel mesh filter instead of paper filters.
- The borosilicate glass used for the carafe is durable and heat resistant.
- The pour-over coffee maker can make eight cups of coffee each cup is 4 oz each.
- The coffee maker is dishwasher safe.
- The carafe comes with a color band that makes it easier to hold it when it is filled with piping hot coffee.
- The coffee grounds do not need to be fine. Coarse coffee grounds are better.
- The permanent steel metal filter allows all the natural oils to be transferred into your cup of coffee and gives the coffee a richer flavor. This is in contrast to paper filters which absorb the oils and do not let them pass through.
- You do not need to keep replacing the paper filters thanks to one permanent mesh filter.
- Your coffee should be ready in 3-4 minutes.
- Since there is no insulating mechanism, the coffee needs to be consumed immediately or it will go cold.
- The mesh filter does not have such a fine weave and some consumers reported that they had to use a paper filter over it anyway.
Check on Amazon.com.
Chemex Classic Series, Pour-Over Glass Coffeemaker
The Chemex Classic Series is a very popular pour-over coffee maker. With this apparatus, you can also cover and refrigerate the coffee and the flavor will still be retained.
The glass does not smell after you prepare a batch of coffee and the next pot of coffee will be as fresh as you want it to be, without being contaminated by the residue of the previous batch. This is a simple and convenient device that is just as good as any auto-drip coffee maker. The following are some of the features that make this coffee maker a great buy:
- The Chemex Pour Over coffee maker is made with non-porous borosilicate glass which is durable and does not absorb any flavors or residue from the coffee — it is only a container.
- The coffee maker works best with Chemex bonded filters FP-1, FC-100, FS-100, FSU-100.
- The coffee in the carafe can be covered and refrigerated and later reheated too. If using an electric coil stovetop, you will need to use the Chemex stainless steel wire grid between the kettle and the coils to prevent breakage.
- The coffee maker comes with a polished wood collar and leather tie.
- You can brew eight cups of coffee with this coffee maker.
- The Chemex coffee maker can be placed directly on a glass stovetop or glass flame and indirectly on an electric coil stovetop, so you can heat the coffee without any hassle.
- It takes approximately the same time to brew the coffee as an electric coffee maker, but the taste is much richer, more natural, and comforting.
- Since the glass is non-porous, it does not require much effort when it comes to cleaning. Simply rinse it out under the tap and you are good to go.
- This is a very beautiful and elegant apparatus that makes your kitchen counter look sophisticated.
- For some customers, the price is not justified for a simple pour-over device.
- A few Chemex counterfeits are circulating in the market which has extremely poor glass quality.
Check on Amazon.com.
Melitta Coffee Maker, 6 Cup Pour-Over Brewer with Glass Carafe
The Melitta Coffee Maker is also a popular choice among coffee aficionados and daily coffee drinkers. The brand is a legacy of the original inventor of the coffee filter, German entrepreneur Melitta Benz, who invented the pour-over brewing method in 1908.
The company continues to be managed by her grandchildren and is headquartered in Minden, Germany. When it comes from the original maker of the filter, you know this brand should be trusted. The following are some of the features the founders of this brewing method have to offer:
- The coffee maker comes with a glass carafe that can hold six cups.
- The cone drip-brewer is plastic BPA-free and does not tamper with the natural taste of the coffee.
- The coffee maker uses the Number 4 size Melitta cone-shaped filters and a start-up supply of these filters is included with the product. It also comes with a coffee scoop.
- You can regulate the flow of the water by adjusting the filter manually.
- This pour-over coffee maker follows in the original traditions of filter coffee and carries the name of the founder forward.
- You can also make a less strong second pot immediately after for those who prefer their coffee to be decaf.
- All the related tools, like the filters, the coffee scoop, and the cone drip-brewer are included with the device.
- It’s a small, petite device that fits perfectly whether at home or in the office.
- For some consumers, the carafe did not keep the coffee hot for long enough.
- The coffee spills a bit when it is being poured out of the carafe.
Check on Amazon.com.
The products described above are some of the best, most efficient, and convenient drip coffee makers. Whether you choose an auto-drip coffee maker or a manual one, if there is one thing for certain, it is that you will get a delicious brew.
You can choose a product based on your personal preferences, how you like your coffee, and the price, of course. But you are sure to find something you like out of the products mentioned above. A day is not complete without the perfect cuppa and with these coffee makers, you can have several cuppas a day!