Which drip coffee maker should I get?
If you love starting your day with a fresh cup of coffee, a drip coffee maker can help make your morning routine more efficient. With different styles of drip coffee makers available, choosing the right one comes down to brewing preference, budget and counter space.
While all drip coffee makers work similarly, combining coffee grounds and hot water to extract flavor, some create bolder tasting cups or brew larger quantities. The Breville Precision Brewer Coffee Maker has a wide array of features and specialized settings and is ideal for any serious coffee lover.
What to know before you buy a drip coffee maker
Types of coffee makers
There are a few different subcategories of drip coffee makers, including electric models, thermal models and pour-over options.
Electric drip coffee maker: The most popular drip coffee makers are electric models. Due to their reliability, affordability and easy-to-use controls, this style of coffee maker is widespread, especially in offices and large households. However, depending on the specific model, you may not always get the strongest flavor.
Thermal drip coffee maker: Thermal coffee makers essentially work using the same method but utilize an insulated carafe that keeps your coffee heated and flavorful without burning it or making it bitter. These tend to be slightly more expensive than standard electric models.
Pour-over coffee maker: The simplest type of drip coffee maker is the pour-over. These coffee makers require the user to manually pour hot water over the grounds in a filter. The filtered coffee empties into a decanter or directly into a mug.
Drip coffee makers are best suited for those who enjoy standard cups of coffee. While you can still add milk or creamer to your drink, drip coffee makers usually are not designed to brew espresso shots used to make lattes and cappuccinos. If you want to be able to make regular coffee and espresso, consider a multi-purpose coffee maker.
One of the best aspects of a drip coffee maker is its ability to brew large quantities. This is convenient when hosting parties, serving guests or brewing enough for large households. If you plan to make coffee just for yourself, a single-serve coffee maker or a pour-over is your best option.
As with all kitchen appliances, the size of your drip coffee maker matters. Those with limited counter space may want to opt for a compact model or a pour-over, as they take up the least amount of space.
What to look for in a quality drip coffee maker
The best drip coffee makers feature settings to control overall brewing strength. It is common to see brewing settings that include light, bold, gold and cold brew. For households with different brewing preferences, a model with multiple settings is the way to go. The type and amount of beans you use will also affect the strength and taste.
Some drip coffee makers will be equipped with a timer function, allowing you to program the machine to brew coffee at a precise time every morning. For people with busy mornings, a model with a timer function is a great choice.
The quality of the carafe is another essential factor to consider. Some carafes will rest on a hot plate designed to keep the coffee warm for more extended periods, but this can often lead to burnt or bitter-tasting coffee. The best carafes are made from insulating materials that retain heat without creating any unpleasant aromas or tastes.
While most drip coffee makers do not come with a built-in grinder, a few high-end models will contain this helpful feature.
How much you can expect to spend on drip coffee makers
The most basic drip coffee makers can cost as low as $20. Midrange options usually run between $50-$200, and the most advanced models can cost up to $500.
Drip coffee maker FAQ
How long can I expect my drip coffee maker to last?
A. Most electric drip coffee makers will last anywhere from 5-10 years. By regularly cleaning and maintaining your coffee maker, you can help prolong its lifespan. However, the heating element will eventually wear out, requiring you to replace or upgrade your coffee maker.
What’s the difference between a drip coffee maker and a single-serve coffee maker?
A. The main difference is that a single-serve coffee maker utilizes small individual pods filled with coffee grounds to brew your coffee. While they are a highly convenient option, the overall quantity of coffee you’ll be able to brew at one time will be limited. You’ll also need to continuously purchase new pods, which are more expensive than bagged coffee beans.
What’s the best drip coffee maker to buy?
Top drip coffee maker
What you need to know: Breville offers a great coffee maker for those who want precise control over their brewing.
What you’ll love: The sleek design goes well with any kitchen decor, and the custom temperature control allows you to create a delicious cup of joe every time.
What you should consider: This model is one of the more expensive ones on this list.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top drip coffee maker for the money
What you need to know: This Braun coffee maker is a relatively affordable option, considering the impressive amount of features and settings it offers.
What you’ll love: You can make both hot and cold brews and choose between seven distinct brewing sizes.
What you should consider: The complexity of the controls may make this device hard to use for some.
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This is an appealing manual pour-over for anyone wanting a more hands-on approach.
What you’ll love: You’ll have complete control over the brewing process, and the 34-ounce thermal-resistant decanter can even be placed on the stovetop over a low heat setting.
What you should consider: Pour overs require more time and attention than automatic models.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Matthew Young writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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