For all the debate about whether the best coffee comes from a Chemex or a French press or an AeroPress, sometimes you just want to turn on a machine and let it do all the work. We asked 14 coffee experts – baristas, coffee roasters, food industry professionals and ordinary coffee snobs – which coffee makers are there will give you a good, simple home brew without all the hassle. Below are their eight favorite machines for people who think the best thing about waking up is a gadget making their head.
Best overall coffee maker
Bonavita Connoisseur 8-Cup One-Touch Coffee Machine
According to our research, the Bonavita Connoisseur is respected across the industry, with four experts specifically recommending the model by name and two others calling Bonavita the best coffee maker brand. An important feature of the connoisseur, quoted by everyone who recommended it, is the machine’s ability to brew at the correct water temperature. According to Ken Nye, the owner and founder of Ninth Street Espresso, one of the “parameters most machines don’t reach is temperature. Very few consistently bring water to that range of 198-202 degrees,” which he calls the “commonly agreed upon standard.” As Nye puts it, the connoisseur is made to heat the water to the right temperature and “maintains that temperature throughout the brewing process.” In addition, Nye adds, it brews directly into an insulated thermal carafe, so you can keep your coffee warm without heating it from below (where you risk burning the coffee).
Another important factor mentioned by multiple sources is that the water is evenly distributed over the coffee grounds during brewing. It does this by using a shower-like spout above the filter basket that “spills all the coffee evenly so it brews all at the same time,” said Joanna Larue, general manager of Blue Bottle Park Slope. The machine also has a flat-bottomed brewing basket that Nye and George Howell, the owner and founder of George Howell Coffee, both are essential for an even brew. “The flat bottom distributes the terrain evenly over the bed,” explains Howell, making it easier to distribute the water and ensure “even suction.” This model may not be as fully featured as some of the other options on this list – or on the market in general – but the experts recommend it over all others for its more accessible price, ease of use, and most of all, its reliability . “It’s consistent from start to finish,” says Howell.
Best high end coffee maker
Techni shape Moccamaster Coffee Brewer, 40-ounce
Quoted by three experts, the Technivorm Moccamaster was the second most recommended coffee maker. It’s pricey, but the experts who use it said it’s worth the premium if you want to invest in the best equipment out there. Like the Bonavita Connoisseur, the Moccamaster received high marks for its temperature control and even for brewing. One of the areas where it really stands out from the crowd is the high-quality construction. “You want something that is well made and has good temperature control,” said Jim Munson, founder and president of Brooklyn Roasting Company, which emphasizes that the Moccamaster is handmade in the Netherlands. Suyog Mody, the founder of Driftaway Coffee, is another fan. He says that although the “brewing mechanics” are comparable to those of cheaper coffee makers, the Moccamaster “is made with better parts and solid construction. I have been using it daily every day for the past three years without any problems. It’s just no fuss.” adds, “And frankly, it looks good on the counter.” While the design is certainly attractive and the build quality means it will last, the experts wouldn’t recommend this coffee maker if it doesn’t make great coffee too. “I taste coffee from all types of brewers and this gives an increasingly better cup,” says Munson.
Best dupe for a Moccamaster coffee maker
Motif Essential Pour-Over Coffee Brewer with thermal carafe
Mud coffee co-owner Yasmina Palumbo says that this Motif coffee maker is a nice alternative to the “better known and much more expensive” Moccamaster. “It heats the water very quickly and the dispersion system ensures that the grind is evenly soaked, giving it a more flavorful brew,” she says.
Best programmable coffee maker
Bonavita programmable coffee maker with thermal carafe
Many home brewers like to have a programmable coffee machine that can be set to turn on automatically at a specific time. If you’re looking for one of these, two of the experts recommend this model, which has the same brewing mechanics as the top pick, but comes with a digital clock and timer with the ability to schedule automatic brewing. “It’s a great option for coffee lovers who want to brew at the touch of a button without sacrificing quality,” says Connie Blumhardt of Roast Magazine. Michael Bonavita (no relationship with the company), the owner and founder of Goodlife Coffee Companysays this is the machine he uses at home because he loves how easy it is to program.
Best coffee maker with built-in grinder
Capresso CoffeeTeam TS with conical grinder and thermal carafe
If you want to transcend the convenience factor that goes beyond programmable timing, you can get a coffee maker with a built-in grinder so you really have everything you need in one machine. “On mornings when I’m not pouring over (weighing the water, the beans, all that fun stuff), the Capresso infusion machine delivers the cleanest cup,” said Kat Odell, the author of Drink a day. The built-in drill grinder “prevents you from having to buy a separate tool, too,” she adds. (It should be noted that burr mills are also the style of every expert we consulted for our roundup of the best coffee grinders.)
Best coffee maker for a quick brewing time
BUNN Velocity Brew 10-Cup Home Brewer
Anyone who can’t start their day without a sip of coffee knows that another important feature to consider is brewing time. That’s where this coffee maker excels, according to Bonavita, who describes it as ‘very fast, consistent and easy to use’. He adds that Bunn has a great reputation in the commercial space and that this model is a “great home version” of the larger machines for which the company is known.
Best simple coffee maker
Mr. Coffee 12-Cup Coffee Machine
Jamie McCormick, the co-owner of the East Village coffee shop Abraço, told us that he prefers to keep things as simple as possible at coffee machines. “People make a big” do “about a lot of nothing” when it comes to brewing equipment, “he says. Although he admits that he doesn’t quite know why, he thinks that an ordinary old Mr. Coffee is an excellent choice for any “amateur coffee roaster who wants to flatter their terrain”. Since it doesn’t have a high-tech mechanism to distribute the water evenly like some of the other models on this list, it gives one important tip: open the machine while it’s brewing and ‘stir the grounds. Make sure all soils are hydrated. ‘
Best cold brew coffee maker
OXO Good Grips Cold Brew Coffee Machine
If you are looking for a cold brew coffee maker, it is recommended by Dennis Ngo, the chef and co-owner of the restaurant Di an Di in Greenpoint. “I got addicted to the smoothness and low acidity of cold-brewed coffee,” said Ngo, who, before making his own cold brew, went to buy it from the Gimme coffee shop! near his apartment. “It lets me tinker with different beans and concentrations, and produces enough cold brews to last me for two weeks. It can also be stacked compactly for storage, which is an absolute requirement for my small New York apartment. ”
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