Best Coffee Makers
Coffee has played a very important role in human societies for hundreds of years. The earliest known evidence of people drinking coffee dates to the mid-1400s in the shrines of Yemen. From that point, coffee drinking spread out to India, to Italy, and then into Europe and the Americas.
These days, a coffeemaker is as important an appliance in many kitchens as a refrigerator or oven. However, there are thousands of them on the market, so it can be a challenge to determine which one you should buy.
We narrowed down our picks after many hours of research and many cups of coffee. Each of these coffee makers represent high-quality devices that can be counted on to produce great coffee reliably.
Technivorm Moccamaster 59616 KBG Coffee Maker
Hamilton Beach 46310 Front Access Easy Fill Coffee Maker
Chemex Pour-Over Glass Coffee Maker
$300? Are you joking? Hear us out - there's a good reason why the Technivorm Moccamaster is considered the gold standard of coffee makers, even factoring in the price. Let's start with what the Moccamaster does not come with: in stark contrast to many consumer-grade coffee makers, the Moccamaster lacks multiple brewing modes, programmable settings, or even a timer to automatically start brewing (though it does come with a 100-minute automatic shut-off for safety purposes). There are two physical controls on the base plate - one switches the device on and off, while the other adjusts the hot plate temperature between 175°F and 185°F. Instead of buttons and gadgets, the primary focus of Technivorm's timeless Moccamaster is to brew the best possible pot of coffee. The copper heating element alone is worth the cost of entry. Beyond heating water quickly and efficiently, it allows the Moccamaster to brew coffee at the ideal temperature range between 195°F to 205°F. Unlike the aluminum heating element found in cheaper coffee makers, the copper element is notably more resistant to corrosion that will eventually render lesser models inoperable over time. The outlet arm stretches over the entire filter basket and is designed to evenly drip water over the grinds, and the basket itself features a shut-off device to prevent drips if you want to pour a cup during the brewing process. Nearly every single component of the Moccamaster can be removed and replaced, giving it a real-world edge in terms of longevity and service life. The Moccamaster remains hand-built in the Netherlands, and Technivorm backs up its product with a 5-year warranty. It's a lot of money for a coffee maker, but between the unparalleled build quality, longevity by design, and its ability to consistently brew amazing coffee, it's easily the last coffee maker you'll ever need to buy.
Many of the budget-friendly coffee makers on the market follow a simple formula; as a result, there's little to distinguish between individual models. Hamilton Beach bucks the trend with the 46310 model, and it's our favorite coffee maker for less than $50. For starters, the swing-out filter basket frees up space on the top of the machine for a water filler flap. While this may not seem like a big deal at first glance, the added convenience of being able to add water without having to scoot the whole coffee maker out from under a cabinet is an invaluable convenience for anyone who simply wants to enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning. The basket element is removable and is designed to accept either standard disposable paper filters or a reusable mesh one, and there's a spring-loaded shut-off that prevents drips if you remove the carafe while the brewing cycle is active. There are multiple brewing modes to fit personal preferences, and the timer allows automatic brewing if you like your coffee to be ready when you wake up in the morning. The heating plate will automatically shut off after 2 hours, and the screen itself will display a reminder to clean/descale the machine after every 30 brewing cycles. One of the only notable drawbacks is the number of sharp surfaces inside the carafe itself, which can be troublesome when trying to clean it after use (we found out the hard way). Otherwise, the Hamilton Beach 46310 punches above its weight, and we find that it's well worth the sub-$50 price tag.
Sometimes, the simplest way of brewing a cup of coffee is still the best way. Though the Chemex coffee maker looks like it could have been released yesterday, the design actually dates back to 1941 and is rooted in WWII-era material shortages. This instantly recognizable design combines a glass flask with a two-piece wooden collar, the latter of which is held together by a simple tie. The secret of the Chemex coffee maker is its filter - unlike many disposable coffee filters, the Chemex paper filters trap more solid particles and oils in order to turn out a pure cup of coffee. There are no other tricks or gimmicks to be found here; all it takes to extract a good pot of coffee is a single filter, properly-ground coffee, and hot water (preferably around 200°F) carefully poured over the grinds. While the Chemex will work with regular disposable filters in a pinch, not using the Chemex-specific filters defeats the purpose. There's a good reason why this classic design has remained unchanged for the 8 decades it's been in production - it excels when it comes to brewing coffee and does so without fuss or a learning curve.