Coffee Maker Ratings

How do you rate a coffee maker?

The most common type of coffee maker you will find in most small households is the automatic drip coffee machine. These are generally fairly inexpensive, though naturally prices will range depending on the brand of the coffee maker, its features and size.  While you may not need the most expensively priced coffee machine there are some features that you may want to keep in mind when shopping for one.

Out of thousands of different brands of coffee makers, there are some that consistently come out on top when comparing prices, features and buyer’s satisfaction.  While it may be difficult to decide exactly which the best coffee maker is, it is not too difficult to come up with top rated coffee makers.

Photo By: Jackie Waters

Following are some of the things we took into consideration when looking at some of the top coffee makers available today.

High Brewing Temperatures and Wattage: In order to reach the higher temperatures needed for a fine cup of coffee, the coffee maker should run somewhere around 1,200 watts.  The larger, higher quality units often do however many of the smaller, cheaper brands do not.

Features: Some of the features consumers are interested in include an automatic shut off feature, programmable timing so that you can set the machine to brew a cup of coffee just before you get out of bed in the morning, thermal carafe that keeps coffee warm for several hours without the coffee becoming bitter or having a burned taste and reusable filters that can simply be rinsed under the faucet and then used again and again.

Following is a review of some of the most-bought coffee makers available for purchase at the moment.

Cuisinart CHW-12 12 Cup Programmable Coffeemaker with Hot Water System

If you are looking for a larger coffee maker, perhaps the best coffeemaker on the market is the Cuisinart CHW-12 12 Cup Programmable Coffeemaker with Hot Water System. It is suited for an office or workplace or a larger family dwelling or for smaller families as you can set it to brew a small pot if that’s all you need.

Not only does this particular model brew coffee but it also has a water reservoir that allows you to obtain hot water directly from the machine–great for households where some drink tea and some like their drip coffee.  As recommended, this does heat up water to quite high temperatures; 200 degrees for the coffee dispenser and around 180 for the hot water.

Price:  Around $80, 3-year warranty.

Functions:  24 hour programming;  self cleaning; automatic shut-off; carafe temperature control

Cons:  Water tank can be a little difficult to refill; safety lock on the hot water is very easy to open;

Bunn NHBX-B Contemporary 10-Cup Home Coffee Brewer

Perhaps the greatest advantage with the BUNN NHBB Velocity Brew 10-Cup Home Coffee Brewer, Black is the speed with which you can brew a cup of coffee – 3 minutes! That is, providing you make use of the pre-heated water tank. In other words, the water tank is divided into two sections, one pre-heated and one not. In order to make use of the pre-heated water you do need to realize that it uses a small water heater to keep the temperature at optimum levels whenever the unit is on. You can turn this option off, but if you do you’ll be back to a 10 to 15 minute wait before your coffee is ready. Some people may be concerned with the extra power usage this demands.

Bunn is a brand you can trust, they are built to last and in many respects spending a little extra on electricity or on the custom filters you need to use with the coffee maker may be worth it as you will not need to replace your coffeemaker very often.

Price: Around $85, 3-year warranty

Functions: automatic water heating, meaning you can have hot coffee all day long in an instant.

Cons:  can be awkward to clean as you need to empty the water tank first; heavy to move around the counter; no 24 hour programming;  need to use Bunn filters which are not always that easy to find.

Zojirushi EC-DAC50 Zutto 5-Cup Drip Coffeemaker

If you are looking for a smaller coffeemaker, one of the top coffee makers in this bracket is the Zojirushi EC-DAC50 Zutto 5-Cup Drip Coffeemaker which brews around 2 mugs at a time–perfect for the early coffee for mom and dad.  Design wise it is fantastic–great looking and it takes up a lot less space than many other similar sized coffee machines. While cheaper than the larger coffee makers, it is definitely not one of the ‘cheapest’ on the market for its size.  One of the key features that make this a great machine–aside from it really making good tasting coffee, is that the water reservoir is detachable and you do not have to lug the entire coffee machine to the water faucet to fill it up or fill it using pitchers of water and inevitably spilling some water.

One other feature which makes this coffee pot stand out from many others is that the filter is encased in the lid and not in the actual coffeemaker. This has a double bonus–first ofall, it makes it extremely easy to clean and remove the ground coffee and secondly it prevents coffee from dripping down onto the hot plate when you remove the carafe to pour coffee.  It also uses the conical shaped filters, which seems to be a favorite for most people.

Price: Around $65. 1-year warranty

Functions: It is a basic model in that there is no 24-hour programming, etc.  It also has a built in water filter. Not too many bells and whistles on this nifty machine, but they are probably not that needed in any case as it is fast brewing.

Cons: some feel that the handle is poorly made and positioned which leads to a lot of pressure on the actual neck of the carafe when pouring coffee.

Melitta 10-Cup Thermal Coffee Brewer

This snazzy looking Melitta 10-Cup Thermal Coffee Brewer would look great on any kitchen counter. Producing great tasting coffee, it has three settings — Regular, Bold and Robust for those who like a very full flavored coffee. Naturally, Regular produces a cup of coffee at a faster speed than Robust. Perhaps the best feature of this particular coffeemaker is that the thermal carafe keeps your coffee at optimum temperature for a long time thus avoiding the need to leave coffee on a heated warming plate and avoiding the burnt, bitter flavor that causes. Commonly, controls and switches on coffee machines are set along the base of the coffee machine where dripped coffee can cause problems in time. The Melitta Coffee Brewer has the controls neatly positioned down the side of the coffee maker avoiding damage caused by dripped or overflowing coffee.

Price: Around $75

Functions: Programmable timer with a two hour shut-off; fast brewing; water reservoir will not overflow as there it has an overflow hole (you can buy an accessory to plug this if you want to pour more water into the reservoir); thermal carafe; cone filter.

Cons: No removable water reservoir; low contrast display making it hard to read — and the display is very bright.

You may want to check out these coffee makers .

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