A really good cup of coffee can be the linchpin between a lousy day and an excellent one, which is exactly why you should be picky about what you drink and how it’s made. You can’t always stop for the perfect Americano at your favorite joe hole, so making it at home before you set foot into the world is oftentimes the preferred method. These finalists from the gamut of automatic coffee makers in the areas of drip, pour over and single cup deliver an excellent pot (or cup) of the hot black stuff, so you can take on the responsibilities of the day with a smile on your face and caffeine coursing through your bloodstream.
Bunn BT Velocity 10 Cup
If firing up a big pot of joe in no time flat is what you’re about, then the Velocity is your brewer. It takes a scant 3 minutes to brew a full pot. The machine lacks some expected amenities like programmability, a water level window or a display of any kind, but it does come with a stainless steel carafe to keep your coffee piping hot. Don’t expect coffee elitists to fawn over its rather low-rent exterior, but take pride in the fact that you can get your caffeine fix faster than just about anyone else.
Breville YouBrew BDC600XL
Breville’s big gun takes drip coffee to new heights, utilizing just about every feature you could think of. It has a built-in burr grinder that automatically feeds the beans into the filter after grinding. The brewing system selects the right bean-to-water ratio for your preferred strength, and the stainless steel carafe keeps the brew hot. The YouBrew is fully programmable and the top-mounted LCD screen shows every phase of the brew process.
Technivorm Moccamaster KBT 10-Cup
With a name like Moccamaster, premium joe machinery is promised and, thankfully, delivered. The machine is part work of art, part chem lab, and it sports a tall thermal carafe, all-metal brewing housing and an elegant profile. The Moccamaster brews a good cup, too, as it steeps for 4 to 6 minutes at an ideal temperature (196 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit), maintained by a copper heating element, which then shuts off when your coffee is ready.
Cuisinart DTC-975BKN 12-Cup
Some people are proud of how much coffee they ingest in a day, with numbers that top a pot. For the mass consumer, there’s Cuisinart’s high-capacity coffee maker that not only brews 12 full cups of the hot stuff, but keeps it hot for hours on end with its big, thermal carafe that keeps air out. The machine is also fully programmable, which means you can sleep easy knowing a pot will await in the morning.
Krups KT600 Silver Art Collection 10-Cup
With the KT600, you can both make ample amounts of piping hot coffee and show off. This machine is gilded in stainless steel, chrome and wood for a look that’s like no other drip coffee maker on earth, and its operation is as simple as its beauty. Push the button, and it brews a piping pot of coffee that stays hot all day.
Mr. Coffee BVMC-PSTX91 Optimal Brew 10-Cup
If you’re old enough, your memories of Mr. Coffee involve Joe DiMaggio as the smooth pitch man. Mr. Coffee has come a long way since that white plastic machine and squat, floral glass carafe. Their Optimal Brew 10-Cup has water filtration, programmability, a big thermal carafe and a nifty Freshness Timer that lets you know when it’s time to dump the old batch and make a fresh pot. “Joltin’ Joe” would be proud.
In your quest for really good coffee on a more-than-daily basis, it’s easy to forget the impact that making said coffee has on the environment. Sure, paper filters aren’t terrible, but you also can’t recycle them once they’re used. If your machine allows for a gold filter, it’s a wise choice that also keeps the flavor unadulterated. If you go single cup, consider the post-consumption impact. Some manufacturers, like Nespresso have a robust drop-off recycling program, and Keurig is working on expanding their Greens to Grow program to accommodate homeowners.
When it comes to home appliances, including coffee makers, more stuff is better, right? Not when it comes to the Bonavita BV1900TS, which doesn’t just make everything simpler, it makes one damned fine cup o’ joe. There’s no display, no programming and no fancy view of the brewing process. But it brews coffee at the ideal temp, brews it quickly, keeps it piping hot for hours and has very few parts to clean. Another fantastic feature is the preinfusion function, which soaks the coffee grounds in water before the brewing begins. This process cuts acidity and smooths out the taste. And isn’t that what good coffee is all about?
The Ratio Eight is handmade in Portland, Oregon and crafted from the finest materials: die-cast nickel-plated aluminum, Oregon black walnut wood and borosilicate lab-quality glass. Even the supply lines are made of the high-quality glass — no plastic to impart weird flavors. Water is delivered at a perfect 200 degrees and the showerhead drip mechanism saturates the coffee grounds, providing ideal flavor like that of pour-over carafes. And it boasts a 40-ounce carafe, so your breakfast guests can ooh and aah over both the taste and the looks.
Poppy Pour Over
The new Poppy Pour Over wages war in a beauty contest against the Ratio Eight. It beckons with a copper-and-gold body that looks like a millionaire’s chemistry set, and it appeals to the coffee aficionado, allowing you to choose your water temp, grind and brew time. It also one-ups every other programmable machine with the Wink app, which allows you to initiate your brew from anywhere. And, conveniently, it works with Amazon Dash Replenishment Services, ordering beans and filters when the Poppy senses you’re running low. Thankfully, you do get to actually drink the coffee manually.
KitchenAid KCM0802OB Pour Over Coffee Brewer
If you like the look of traditional drip coffee machines but love the flavor of pour overs, Kitchenaid has the answer. The automated pour-over machine has a roast selector for customizable strength and heats water between 98 and 204 degrees Fahrenheit to keep the coffee brewed at the ideal temperature. The status panel shows your brew progress, so you know if you still have time to run out and get that donut that’s calling your name.
Single-cup machines are a convenience for the man on the go, as well as the fickle man who wants variety. The unfortunately named Pixie fulfills those needs and also respects premium counter space. The Pixie delivers tasty espresso and lungo (Italian coffee) in less than 30 seconds. It’s available in multiple colors, and has a used capsule storage compartment and power cord storage, so if you need to, you can take the compact machine on the road.
Keurig K45 Elite
Forget the frustrating Keurig 2.0 system and opt for the still fantastic original K-Cup with the K45 Elite. It brews a single cup in under 60 seconds and lets you choose cup size and, of course, your poison of choice — be it coffee, tea or hot cocoa. It purifies your water with a charcoal filter, and you can set the auto on-off feature from the top-mounted control panel. If you want to dock your tall travel mug, you can pull out the convenient drip tray and fill up for the long haul.