October 12, 2020

What Is The Best Coffee Maker? A Complete Review of Drip Coffee Makers

If you are like us, you cannot start the day without a daily caffeine dose freshly brewed from your kitchen. No matter how many coffee-making configurations there are, we stand by the classic drip coffee maker as the king of coffee brewing.
(Nope, pods are not our forte nor favorite!)

So we went through nearly 350 of the best coffee makers reviews from certified professional baristas and verified purchases, so you don't have to. Sit back and enjoy this 15-hour-worth of research work with your hot cup of Joe.

In this review, we will give you 7 (Yes, SEVEN!) of the top rated coffee makers in the market as of 2020. You'll also learn:

- Why heat matters so much in coffee making
- Why a well-built carafe will guarantee you good coffee
- How programmability on drip coffee make a day of a difference

And lots MORE!

Be sure to bookmark this review post for quick reference the next time you shop for a drip coffee maker!

Excited? Let's dive right in!

Editor's Choice: OXO Brew 9 Cup Coffee Maker

Praised by The New York Times as the best coffee maker in the world, the OXO Brew 9 Cup Coffee Maker is an elegantly-constructed programmable drip coffee maker.
This high quality coffee maker works like a charm: it better extracts coffee every time with minimal effort on the OXO rotating button.

We appreciate the time-tested consistency of the OXO Brew 9 Cup. And even better, the stainless steel carafe keeps our 9 beautiful cups hot for hours.

Talking about time, OXO has a timer function and what we call "freshness indicator", telling you how long since a pot was brewed.

Leveraging these two smart programmable functions, you can wake up to the smell of coffee and have a cup while OXO is still brewing.

We are nitpicking here: OXO Brew 9 Cup has a smooth and stylishly minimal design.
But the click-and-dial integrated button isn't easy to get the hang of at first.

Heads-up for future users: you can rotate to choose between different brewing modes, either "2-to-4" or "5-to-9" cups.

Runner-Up: Bonavita Connoisseur BV1901TS

Bonavita Connoisseur BV1901TS has made it to so many top ten coffee maker lists that we would be foolish not to include it here.

Taste-wise, it makes better-tasting coffee than the OXO for under 8 minutes, a slightly shorter time. That's why it is the highest rated coffee maker on the market right now!
So if you prioritize the simplicity of taste above all else, go for a BV1901TS, and you will NOT be disappointed.

However, we meant it when we said "simplicity." The Bonavita Connoisseur BV1901TS doesn't have any automatic function to rely on.

You have to pre-infuse and brew the coffee manually, which is a pain (at least to us).
The carafe can retain some heat, but not as efficiently as the OXO because of a deadly design fault. The removable lid must be kept off during brewing, but on during serving to prevent spills.

Why must it be so clunky?

The Professional's Pick: Breville BDC450 Precision Brewer

Breville Precision Brewer is a tough contender for the Editor's Choice. Still, for its strict - and somewhat strange - requirements and advanced setup, we made it the Professional's Pick.

Psst! Having a hard time brewing with hard water?

You can declare how hard your water is from 1 to 5, and BDC450 will adjust the brewing parameters accordingly. Talking about "strange" but thoughtful.

You can control every aspect of brewing down to the precise pre-fusion time and flow rate, as the name "Precise" suggested. BDC450 is one of the best coffee makers - top coffee machine in the world out there. But, we wouldn't recommend this excellent coffee maker to people without advanced knowledge and experience in brewing.

This drip coffee maker makes brewing 8 cups of coffee a crafting experience that every barista will appreciate.

The Sleekest Design: Technivorm Moccamaster KBGT-741

Suppose you are looking for a drip coffee maker with a small footprint (11-by-6 inches) and minimalist design. In that case, the Technivorm Moccamaster KBGT-741 is precisely what you're looking for.

KBGT-741, the latest model from one of the best coffee maker brands, is perfect for when you cannot resist the aroma and want the first sip when the machine is brewing.
Simply take out the carafe, and pour yourself a cup. A lever on the brew basket's bottom will automatically stop the overflow when the carafe is removed. Brewing will resume immediately when the carafe is put back.

But the IT-factor doesn't quite translate to the taste. And the machine doesn't feature programmable functions, so we regret paying twice just for the handsome look.

The Best Heat Retention: Zojirushi EC-YTC100XB

Zojirushi is not best known for making great coffee makers, but making the best heat retaining appliances.

This Japanese household appliance brand played to their advantage and introduced EC-YTC100XB - the drip coffee maker with the best carafe.

Zojirushi brews 10 cups for nearly 20 minutes, painfully slow compared to the Runner-up which can brew double for the same period. But whatever drips down into Zojirushi's stainless steel carafe stays roughly the same temperature for 4 hours.

So for a 4-hour time window, you don't need a "freshness indicator" and still know you are getting at noon what you got early in the morning.

The Crowd Pleaser: Ninja Speciality CM401

The Ninja Speciality CM401 looks a world different from the rest of the machines in this list because it is not JUST a drip coffee maker.

It is an all-in-one minibar system, which is why it deserves the title The Crowd Pleaser.
CM401 can make any coffee drink from a classic hot brew to over ice, from a cafe forte to even a latte with a layer of milk foam on top.

How can? It has a built-in fold away frother!

And a side note, it can even brew tea! You can have your caffeine one way or another.
You won't be having much control over the heat, however. Your coffee might be under-extracted, so the taste wouldn't be mind-blowing.

Also, the glass carafe doesn't retain much heat—underwhelming features for such a setup.

Most Budget-Friendly: Hamilton Beach 12-cup Programmable 49465R

12 cups for under 35 bucks? Yes, please!

If you often host a coffee break, get Hamilton Beach 12-cup Programmable 49465R to cleanly and quickly do the batch work. Your guests will all be served under 10 minutes.
It has the super handy Auto-Shut Off function as a part of the programmable feature. So the catering work is now reduced to scooping in the ground coffee and setting up the timer.

That said, we cannot attest to the taste, especially when the price is being compromised.

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A Send-off Note

So which drip coffee maker would you try next? Why not try making yourself a cup of coffee with our recommended coffee maker before leaving a comment letting us know?

Start off your day on the right foot with a little help from one of the best coffee machines around.

And if anyone asks, share your secret to having a perfect morning by pointing people to this link!