Modern drip coffee makers have gone far beyond your old Mr. Coffee. The countertop brewers you can buy today range greatly in terms of features and abilities. Some are built with a laser-like focus on brew quality and not much else. Others are packed with electronic smarts, all in the name of tailoring coffee to your tastes.
Still more coffee makers claim to automate the artisanal pour-over process offered by skilled baristas. You'll find coffee makers here that come in some truly striking styles and make quite a fashion statement, too.
While it's certainly true these gadgets are much more expensive than basic coffee makers, if you care about the taste of your coffee, you'll find some here that truly justify their added cost. Here's a rundown of recent coffee brewers we've reviewed to help you find a product that best fits your personal java needs.
Behmor Brazen Plus
If you're the kind of person who loves to play with as many aspects of the coffee-brewing process as possible, then the $229 Behmor Brazen Plus is right up your alley. This compelling machine lets you tweak variables such as water temperature and presoak time for your grounds, and even adjust for your current altitude. Be aware that the Brazen does have a few drawbacks, namely it takes a relatively long time to create slightly smaller pots of joe. The coffee maker's thermal carafe cools quickly as well, dropping below 150 degrees Fahrenheit (65.6 Celsius) in two hours..
Currently our favorite drip coffee maker, the $190 Bonavita Connoisseur has brewing performance to match even the most expensive Technivorm Moccamaster machines, yet costs two-thirds the price. For that, it earned a CNET Editors' Choice award. A followup to the, the impressive appliance is also compact, has few parts to clean, and it's a breeze to operate. In fact, its only downside is the Connoisseur's rather safe aesthetic design, which pales in comparison with hand-built coffee makers from rival Technivorm. .
If you're on the hunt for an affordable, automatic drip coffee maker, then the $100 Bonavita Metropolitan should be on your short list. It offers the same excellent coffee-making abilities of the Connoisseur but at a lower price. You do make some trade-offs though, such as a glass (not thermal) carafe and a plastic exterior. That said, this coffee maker is just as compact as the Connoisseur and whips up pots of delicious joe just as fast..
Bunn Velocity Brew BT
Big, blocky, and devoid of buttons, the $170 Velocity Brew BT from Bunn doesn't look like much. Under its monolithic surface, however, beats the heart of a true coffee-brewing champion. As its name suggests, the machine whips up hot pots of coffee in an amazingly swift 3 minutes and 33 seconds. It also treats grounds well, and consistently transformed our challenging test beans into a beverage that was quite delicious. If you're into high home appliance style, however, the Bunn will be a letdown. Its flexible plastic parts don't convey luxury, not to mention that the machine's lack of controls and even a water-level indicator are very bare-bones.
KitchenAid Siphon Brewer
Here's a contraption that looks more like ancient lab gear than a modern coffee maker, but rest assured the $250 KitchenAid is a potent coffee machine. Harkening back to the dawn of the industrial age, the Siphon harnesses the power of steam and vapor pressure to brew excellent pots of java. Part immersion brewer, part percolator, the Siphon quickly exposes its grounds to scaldingly hot water.The result of this volcanic yet entertaining process is a heady brew; bright and delicious, yet complex..
Oxo 9-Cup Coffee Maker
Here's a premium drip brewer you might want to consider. The $200 Oxo 9-Cup Coffee Maker is one of the company's first stabs at an electric brewer. As such it isn't perfect. For example, it takes a little longer than we'd like to fill its pots. Also, the coffee it brews isn't quite as sublime as other high-end machines. That said, it does enjoy the SCA's (Specialty Coffee Association) "golden cup" certification. Its thermal carafe keeps contents hot for well over five hours, too. Read a full review of the Oxo 9-Cup Coffee Maker.
Oxo Barista Brain 12-Cup Brewing System
The Oxo Barista Brain 12-Cup Brewing System is much more than a simple drip coffee machine. It also functions as an electric kettle with a digital temperature control. Need hot water for specific types of tea? No problem, just set the temp to match what you plan to brew. The same goes for oatmeal, instant noodles and soups -- you name it.
If there's ever a drip coffee maker that deserves to be described as over the top, the $580 Ratio Eight fits the bill. With a price tag approaching $600 ($640 if you count its optional Kone filter), this machine is staggeringly expensive. That said, its design also goes above and beyond, using premium materials such as black walnut wood, nickel ceramic, aluminium, and hand-blown glass. Attractiveness aside, the Eight brews extremely tasty coffee, too, and does its darndest to replicate fancy pour-over technique, complete with a built-in preinfusion mode.
Technivorm Moccamaster KBG 741 AO
In serious coffee enthusiast circles, the Moccamaster brand is a bit of a hallowed name. With the $330 Moccamaster KBG 741 AO, however, Technivorm takes a more playful and lighthearted tack, flaunting a retro-pink paint job, with numerous other pastel hues available as options. Despite its throwback color scheme, this is a coffee maker worthy of the Moccamaster moniker in more than high price alone. Indeed, the device has the chops to brew delicious pots of coffee time after time. Our only issues with this snazzy coffee maker were its slightly rougher brew compared with the manual drip-controlled Moccamaster. We also prefer that appliance's thermal carafe as opposed to the KGB 741 AO's thin glass pot.
Technivorm Moccamaster KBT 741
The $300 Technivorm Moccamaster KBT 741 is one of the best coffee makers money can buy for many reasons. More a work of art than a kitchen appliance, this machine is not only constructed with eye-catching metal, geometric lines, and lots of negative space, it bubbles away gleefully while brewing. Oh, and yes, it makes truly incredible pots of coffee and keeps them hot for up to six hours, thanks to an excellent thermal carafe. Admittedly this Moccamaster's high price is its primary detractor though Technivorm backs the machine up with a lengthy 5-year warranty to help take a little of the sting out.