Coffee is certainly not something everyone enjoys in the same way. Different methods of making coffee produce different results in flavor, strength, and boldness.
For a coffee machine to produce the best tasting coffee possible, it must brew the coffee at a certain temperature for a specific amount of time. We’ll cover this in more detail shortly.
Coffee makers in coffee shops cost thousands of dollars because they produce the highest quality coffee possible. They can make coffee for hundreds of customers every day, and thousands every month. The quality of the parts needs to be very high to keep up with the heavy workload.
But what if you want the same quality coffee just a few times a day? What’s the best coffee maker to buy for home use?
The Technivorm Moccamaster is the best coffee maker for home use because it brews coffee perfectly and makes a perfect cup every time. The Bonavita is almost just as good at around half the price, but falls short in one key area as we explain in the review.
If you want to know why we believe these machines are the best for home use, keep reading. We’ve carefully evaluated all the most popular coffee makers available and have all the details on whether they’re worth your hard earned cash or not.
The Technivorm Moccamaster is the best coffee maker in its range. It brews rich, flavorful coffee at optimal temperatures, for just the right amount of time.
The ideal temperature for brewing coffee is between 195 and 205° F. The water needs to pour over the coffee within 8 minutes. Any less, and the coffee will be weak, too much and the coffee becomes bitter. The Technivorm achieves these numbers with the help of a high-quality copper heating element.
One of the key factors attributing to the success of the Moccamaster is the amount of space it has for coffee grounds. To make a good cup of coffee, you need a certain ground to water ratio.
The ‘Gold Cup Ratio’ as defined by the Specialty Coffee Association, is 9 to 11 grams of ground coffee (2 Tablespoons) to 6 ounces of water. Other cheaper machines just can’t fit enough coffee in to reach the Gold Cup Ratio.
Another reason the Moccamaster works so well is the design of the 9-hole outlet arm. This is where the hot water pours over the ground coffee at the perfect temperature. With more holes spread over a bigger area, the water saturates the grounds evenly instead of falling straight down the center of the coffee/filter.
With no settings for brewing temperatures and coffee strengths, you know you’re going to get a perfect cup every time. All you need to do is put the coffee and water in and push a button.
You can remove the carafe while the machine is brewing, it will pause while you pour a cup and then continue when you put the carafe back.
This is the most expensive coffee maker on this list, but it’s well worth the price. Besides producing the best tasting coffee in its price range, it’s also built to last a lifetime. It’s better to pay twice as much for a machine that’s going to last a lot longer.
- The Moccamaster has a 5-Year Warranty. Although they’re built to last a lifetime.
- Perfectly brewed coffee every time without playing with settings.
- The high-quality heating element brews the coffee at the right temperature from beginning to end.
- You can’t set it to brew at a specific time. Like before waking up in the mornings.
If the Moccamaster’s out of your price range, the Bonavita is the coffee machine for you. It brews amazing coffee that’s almost as good as the Moccamaster at around half the price.
It uses a shower-type water screen to allow the water to flow evenly throughout the grounds to extract all the flavor and not leave any to waste.
The peak brewing temperature is in the ideal range of 195 to 205° F, but this machine isn’t as fast as the Moccamaster in reaching these temps, which is why the bold flavors of the coffee aren’t as strong.
The Bonavita fits enough coffee in to meet the Gold Cup Ratio, which is why it’s still the second best coffee maker on this list.
The stainless steel thermal carafe included is better suited for keeping coffee warm than glass.
It’s also a ‘one-touch’ operation machine to make things simple.
- Stainless steel thermal carafe.
- The quality of the coffee is far better than any other in its price range.
- A bit noisy.
This is a perfect entry-level drip coffee maker. The carafe is big enough to serve 14 cups of coffee, but you can program it to brew less if you only need a few.
You can set the brew strength and adjust the temperature at which you’d like the hotplate to heat the coffee. You can also set the temperature at which the coffee will come out, great if you don’t add cold milk and don’t want to wait for it to cool down.
There’s a water window on the side to show you exactly how much water to add depending on the cups you require.
Brew Pause, allows you to remove the carafe, while it’s still filling, for you to pour a cup without having to wait for the entire brew to complete.
If you fine-tune the settings a bit, this machine can produce a decent cup of coffee for its price.
- Lots of excellent features at a low price. (Temp controls and brewing strengths)
- A stainless steel housing makes it easy to clean and rust-resistant.
- The heating plate wears down over time if you slide or turn the carafe on it.
Another decent drip coffee maker with a lot of admirable features. You can program it to brew coffee in the morning before you get out of bed. The heating plate keeps the coffee hot for up to 4 hours.
It can prepare up to 12 cups of coffee at a time, but you can set it to brew fewer per when required. You can also pour a cup mid-brew if you need to. A 60-ounce removable water reservoir makes it easy to refill.
It has three brewing modes for different strengths depending on your taste. It also comes with a gold-tone permanent filter so you don’t have to buy paper filters.
Another decent coffee maker that will get the job done adequately for its price.
- Comes with a reusable filter to save on paper filters.
- Some customers complain about a plastic taste in the coffee.
The Nostalgia delivers everything you need from a coffee machine at a very low price point. It’s programmable to brew coffee automatically so that it’s ready when you wake up. It has a 12 cup capacity and ‘pause and serve’ functionality.
The heating plate keeps your coffee hot for up to two hours and then switches off automatically.
The carafe has an anti-drip design to make sure there is no spillage while pouring. It also comes with a reusable filter and filter basket like the Ninja, which will save on paper replacements.
At this price point, you won’t get the best flavors out of your coffee beans. Having said that, over 80% of Nostalgia customers are very pleased with the results of this machine. As with all the coffee machines under $100, it’s not for extreme coffee fanatics.
- Schedule brewing feature at a low price point.
- The design is so unique that many people may not like it.
This is the best coffee maker in its ridiculously low price range. At under $50, it’s the cheapest coffee maker you’ll find on this list.
The Black+Decker has a carafe that can serve 12 cups of coffee. An auto brew function for coffee as you stand up in the morning. ‘Sneak a cup’ allows you to pour a cup or two mid-brew.
It has a 60 oz non-removable water reservoir with a water window to view levels.
This coffee maker just gets the job done at the minimum required standards.
- Super affordable.
- Average/bland tasting coffee.
- Non-removable water reservoir.
Keurig Coffee Makers
Keurig has been making quality coffee machines for decades, releasing their first K-Cup Pod system in 1998. Today, there are around 200 different coffee pod flavors to choose from.
These machines don’t slowly drip into a coffee carafe while you wait. Just load the K-Cup, place your coffee cup on the drip tray, press the relevant cup size button, and have your coffee brewed in less than a minute. The coffee grounds inside the K-Cup are completely saturated with water at the correct temperature to bring out the strength and flavor.
These are called single serve coffee machines, and they’re known for their convenience and variety of flavor options.
Some features of all the models below are:
- Speedy brewing speeds of less than a minute thanks to the K-Cup Pod system.
- Removable water storage units to easily refill at the tap.
- Space to fit travel mugs and most flasks by temporarily removing the drip tray at the bottom.
- Auto-off feature to save energy while not being used.
- Many color options for each model to suit your current decor.
These are four of Keurig’s best Single Serve machines.
The K-Classic is one of the most popular coffee machines because it meets the needs of most coffee lovers. The 48-ounce removable water reservoir is adequate for 4 regular cups of coffee before needing to refill.
Just load in your desired K-Cup variant and push a button to start brewing.
This model accepts K-Cup Pod sizes of 6, 8, and 10 ounces for strength variation.
It’s available in black and rhubarb.
- A well-priced coffee machine that meets most people’s requirements.
- Enjoy hundreds of different coffee flavors at a low price point.
- Some customers report the machine doesn’t last longer than 1 or 2 years.
The K-Select can accommodate 12 oz K-Cup Pods and smaller. It has ‘Quiet-Brew’ technology to reduce noise during use. Strong Brew mode allows you to extract all the flavor and strength of the coffee.
A 52 oz water reservoir gives you 5 regular cups of coffee. This model comes in 6 different colors, so you can choose one to fit your color scheme.
You can use this machine for clean, hot water on demand. Just open and close the brewer handle, without loading a pod, then choose the cup size and use the hot water for noodles, soups, gravies, and more.
- Quiet Brew, for low noise during use.
- There are some reports of this model having problems with leaking water out the front.
The K-Elite has a large 75 oz removable reservoir for big families and minimal refills. You’ll get 8 cups of coffee before needing to fill it again. A Strong Brew button increases the strength of the coffee and enhances the rich flavors.
If you still want your caffeine fix in the middle of a summer’s day, this machine is the solution with an ICE setting. Fill your coffee cup with ice, press the ICED button and let the machine calculate the optimal size and strength needed to provide a perfect iced coffee.
The Hot Water On Demand button allows you to make more than just a quick coffee. Use it to make instant soups, noodles, and oatmeal.
Temperature control allows you to set the heat at which your coffee is brewed. Different brewing temperatures will produce different flavors of the coffee. Too cold and it’ll be weak and sour, too hot and it will be overpowered and bitter.
It has a Digital Clock but that’s only for checking the time and setting the machine to switch on automatically (auto-on). The Auto On function doesn’t really matter much when it takes under 1 minute to warm up and be ready to start producing coffee. It’s basically coffee on demand so you don’t need to power it up while you’re still in bed.
- The 75 oz storage tank for 8 cups of coffee.
- Temperature control to get the strength and flavors to your liking.
- It’s considerably more expensive and can’t do much more than the lower-end models.
This is the bigger model in Keurig’s best sellers list. In this case, bigger is also better. It’s suitable for large families and small offices. It has a very stylish design with a color touchscreen interface.
You can load 4, 6, 8, or 10 ounce pods into this model. The 90-ounce water reservoir is enough to serve 8 cups of coffee before needing a refill.
A sturdy design with durable parts makes it a long lasting coffee machine that can work all day, every day.
Hot and iced beverages are both an option with the K155 Pro.
- Very big water storage. Enough for 8 regular size cups of coffee.
- It’s very durable giving it a long lifespan.
- There are other machines that can do the job at a lower price point. (The Moccamaster is a better choice)
A brief overview of the Keurig coffee makers:
|Sizes||K-Classic||K-Select||K-Elite||K155 Office Pro|
|Water Storage||48 oz removable||52 oz removable||75 oz removable||90 oz removable|
|Single Serve||6, 8 10 oz||6, 8, 10 12 oz||4, 6, 8, 10 12||4, 6, 8, 10 oz|
|Dimensions||13.0′ H x 9.8′ W x 13.3′ D||12.5′ H x 9.2′ W x 11.6′ D||13.1′ H x 9.9′ W x 12.7′ D||14.0′ H x 10.38′ W x 13.8’D|
If you enjoy the full flavor that freshly ground coffee beans provide, but also like the convenience and variety of flavors in K-Cups, this machine is the solution to your needs.
On one side, you have your K-Cup system that produces hundreds of tasty coffee flavors in just 3 minutes. Quick and easy. This system also works perfectly for filling up your travel mug before leaving home. This machine can accommodate up to a 10 oz K-Cup or 14 oz with your own ground coffee.
You can’t program the machine to brew the single serve coffee at a later time but with it being done within 3 minutes, it’s not really necessary.
On the other side, you have your drip coffee maker that will drench your freshly ground beans to slowly pull the flavor out. Coffee from this side tastes more natural, full-bodied, fresh, and rich. It just takes a little longer to brew. Each brewer has its own water reservoir and water window to check on water levels.
If you decide to use the drip side, the carafe will hold enough coffee for 12 cups. Pause the brew to pour a quick cup if you want. You also get a gold-tone permanent filter and filter basket. The heating plate keeps the coffee hot for 2 hours until automatically shutting off.
You can choose your brewing strength from regular to bold. The stronger the coffee, the longer it will take to brew.
You can program the drip side of the machine to brew coffee at a later time.
Check your instruction manual for how to use the pack-piercing assembly tool to unclog the machine after frequent use.
- Two coffee makers for the price of one.
- You are not limited to what type of coffee you can buy and enjoy.
- Water reservoirs are not removable.
If you can afford it, get the Technivorm Moccamaster, it’s the best coffee maker in its price range and will give you cup after cup of perfectly brewed coffee for many years. It brews coffee at the ideal temperature and has a big enough grounds filter basket to handle enough coffee according to the Gold Cup Ratio.
The Bonavita is almost just as good, but falls slightly short in getting to the optimal brewing temperatures quickly. But it’s still far better than any other machine between $100 and $200.
K-Cup coffee makers are also really easy to use and convenient. If you want one of the best, get the Keurig K155 Office Pro. It has great features and will outlast the other K-Cup machines.
If you want to experience the flavors and simplicity of the K-Cup but also want the fresh taste of newly ground coffee beans, get the Hamilton Beach FlexBrew. It’s basically two coffee machines in one.
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