September 30, 2023


Qualified food specialists

11 Best Coffee Makers In 2021

9 min read

If the smell (or thought) of a fresh cup of coffee is the only thing that gets you out of bed in the morning, there’s a good chance you already own some type of coffee machine. But if you don’t, or you’re looking to upgrade to a setup that will automatically have your coffee ready before your feet hit the ground, there are many ways to brew your coffee at home, including traditional drip models, pod-operated units, pour-overs, French presses and more.

But at their most basic, they all do the same thing: “The first thing to remember when shopping for a coffee maker is that, ultimately, all you’re doing with any appliance or manual brewing device is mixing hot water with coffee grounds,” explains Tony “Tonx” Konecny, founder of Yes Plz Coffee. “Focus first on getting great fresh beans from a reputable roaster—that’s essential!—invest in a good burr grinder, and the rest of your gear is mostly a matter of how much coffee you want to brew at a time and aesthetics.”

As Konecny points out, two of the main factors to consider when buying a coffee maker are how much it can brew and its aesthetic appeal. You’re going to need a different setup depending on whether you’re making coffee for one person or a whole household, and chances are that the appliance will live on your kitchen counter, so it’s important to pick a model that you find attractive. Additionally, you may want to look for special features such as the ability to customize brew strength, advanced scheduling and more. 

With these factors in mind, the following are some of the best coffee makers you can buy today, as recommended by coffee experts.

Best Coffee Maker Overall

Bonavita 8-Cup Connoisseur

  • Capacity: 8 cups
  • Carafe: Stainless steel
  • Brewing Temperature: 198 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Programmable: No

If you’re looking for a high-quality coffee maker that’s simple to use and extremely reliable, you can’t go wrong with this model from Bonavita. “I’m a sucker for the Bonavita 8-Cup Connoisseur,” says Michael Phillips, Director of Coffee Culture at Blue Bottle. “It is dead simple to use, gets a solid brew temp and has always produced a solid cup with minimal fuss. Plus, you can’t beat the price for these brewers.”

The Connoisseur offers one-touch brewing for people who don’t want to mess around with settings in the morning, and it has an optional pre-infusion mode that gives coffee grounds time to bloom. The machine’s shower-head design saturates the grounds evenly, and its stainless steel carafe can hold up to eight cups at a time.

Best Value Coffee Maker

Chemex Pour-Over Glass Coffee Maker

  • Capacity: 6 cups
  • Carafe: Borosilicate glass
  • Programmable: No

Sometimes simplicity is best, and two of our experts recommended the budget-friendly Chemex Pour-Over Glass Coffee Maker as one of their favorite options for a great cup of coffee. Both commented on the simplicity of its design, as well as the thick paper filters.

“Personally, I remain a fan of the classic Chemex glass brewer,” says Konecny. “Unlike a lot of coffee gear, it looks beautiful on the countertop and I find it to be less fussy than some of the other manual pour-over devices. The filters it uses are a bit heavier and more forgiving, and it delivers a really full-flavored cup.”

“When I want to have more control (and as a Virgo, that’s often!), I use a Chemex,” says James McCarthy, educator at Driftaway Coffee. “It has the thickest paper filter of all pour over methods, and I really enjoy the super light body it produces because of it. I like being able to taste more nuance and clarity.”

Best Drip Coffee Maker

Cuisinart Brew Central 12-Cup Drip Coffee Maker

  • Capacity: 12 cups
  • Carafe: Glass
  • Programmable: Yes

The Cuisinart Brew Central Stainless Steel Coffee Maker is a reliable drip coffee maker with a large 12-cup carafe, making it a go-to option for those who drink multiple cups of coffee each day. This highly rated coffee pot is also equipped with a variety of useful features, including 24-hour brew programming, adjustable keep-warm temperature control, adjustable automatic shutoff and a time-to-clean indicator light.

This coffee maker’s glass carafe has an ergonomic handle, dripless spout and knuckle guard, and the machine comes with a gold-tone filter, measuring scoop and paper coffee starter kit. It might not be the fanciest machine out there, but the Cuisinart Brew Central gets consistently positive reviews from buyers who love its adjustable features and say it lasts for many years.

Best Splurge-Worthy Coffee Maker

Technivorm Moccamaster Coffee Maker

Technivorm Moccamaster Coffee Maker with Glass Carafe

  • Capacity: 10 cups
  • Carafe: Glass
  • Brewing Temperature: 196 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Programmable: No

If you want one of the absolute best coffee makers, the Technivorm Moccamaster is one of the most highly regarded options available—but it comes with a price tag to match. 

“I love the Moccamaster by Technivorm,” says McCarthy. “It heats the brew water to around 200 degrees, which enables the water to pull out more sweetness, body and nuance. The brew basket has a switch that you can use to close it all the way (I’ve found this helpful for a short “bloom” or degassing time after the first hit of water), and halfway, if you’d like to slow down the flow of water through the coffee bed. It can make up to five cups, and it delivers the most well-extracted flavor when you use it to its full capacity.”

This futuristic-looking coffee maker is available in a wide range of colors to match any decor, and it can make up to 10 cups of coffee at a time in its glass carafe.

Best High-Tech Coffee Maker

OXO On Barista Brain 9-Cup Coffee Maker

  • Capacity: 9 cups
  • Carafe: Stainless steel
  • Brewing Temperature: 197.6 to 204.8 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Programmable: Yes

This sleek coffee maker from OXO is decked out with high-tech features to help you make a better cup of coffee. The appliance has a microprocessor that monitors its brewing time, temperature and volume for optimal results, and it maintains a precise water temperature of 197.6 to 204.8 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the process. The “Rainmaker” showerhead evenly dispenses water over the coffee grounds for better flavor extraction, and water is pumped into the basket in cycles, including a short initial cycle that allows the coffee to “bloom” for a richer flavor. 

The OXO On Barista Brain Coffee Maker has a vacuum-insulated nine cup stainless steel carafe that keeps coffee fresh until you’re ready to drink it, and a single dial controls both the number of cups and the 24-hour start timer. The machine comes with a coffee scoop and set of filters, plus it gets praise from reviewers for its sleek design and consistent performance.

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Best Coffee Maker With Carafe

Breville Precision Brewer Thermal

  • Capacity: 60 ounces (7.5 cups)
  • Carafe: Stainless steel
  • Brewing Temperature: 197 to 204 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Programmable: Yes

“Automatic drip machines have gotten really good in recent years,” says Konecny. “The Breville Precision Brewer is one I like a lot if you want a lot of granular control over your brewing.”

This high-end model boasts a beautiful stainless steel exterior and six brewing modes, which include Gold Cup, Fast, Strong Brew, Ice Coffee, Cold Brew and My Brew, a custom setting that lets you customize bloom, water temperature, brew time and more. The machine includes both flat-bottom and cone-style filter baskets, and it has a 12-cup stainless steel carafe to keep your java hot until you’re ready to drink it. 

Best Single Serve Coffee Maker

AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker

  • Capacity: 1 to 3 cups
  • Material: BPA-free plastic
  • Programmable: No

For those that tend to drink one cup at a time, the AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker is budget-friendly, versatile and easy to use. “When it comes to my home coffee setup, I value versatility over all else, which is why I recommend the AeroPress,” says David Yake, Director of Sales & Sustainability at Tony’s Coffee. “It doesn’t require a fancy kettle, and it can make nearly any coffee shine. With an easy recipe adjustment, you can make everything from a strong, concentrated coffee for your cappuccino, to a clean, crisp cup using your favorite, floral Ethiopia coffee.”

This coffee press only takes a minute to use, and its compact form makes it ideal for travel, as well. Its plastic design is phthalate- and BPA-free, and it comes with paper micro-filters that eliminate any grit from your drink and make it easy to clean up.

Best Nespresso Machine

Nespresso Essenza Mini Original Espresso Machine by De’Longhi

Nespresso Essenza Mini Original Espresso Machine by Breville, Piano Black

  • Pressure: 19 bars
  • Pod Types: Nespresso Espresso or Lungo
  • Water Tank: 20.3 ounces
  • Programmable: No

Nespresso’s single-serve espresso makers are a popular choice for those who want to make coffee shop–style drinks at home, and the Essenza Mini is the brand’s most compact model, taking up minimal space in your kitchen. Despite its small form, it can still make both coffee and espresso using two sizes of Nespresso pods, and its extraction system delivers 19 bars of pressure for rich flavors and beautiful crema. 

This espresso machine is easy to use, heating up in less than 30 seconds, and its one-touch operation is straightforward to operate, even on your groggiest mornings. Plus, it automatically switches off after nine minutes of inactivity, helping to minimize energy waste.

Best Coffee Maker With Pods

Instant Pod Coffee Maker

  • Pressure: 19 bars
  • Pod Types: K-Cups and Nespresso capsules
  • Water Tank: 68 ounces
  • Programmable: No

The two biggest pod coffee maker brands are Keurig and Nespresso, and while they both make great machines, the downside is that you’re stuck using just one brand’s pods. To solve that problem, the Instant Pod Coffee Maker is the first model that’s compatible with both K-Cups (and generic universal reusable K-Cups) and Nespresso capsules, giving you the best of both worlds. 

This 2-in-1 pod coffee maker uses a 19-bar pump to deliver great flavor, and it offers a variety of one-touch programs for drinks of different sizes. The unit’s large water reservoir requires less frequent refilling, and used capsules drop into a bin at the bottom of the machine after use, leaving it ready to make another cup. 

Best Cold Brew Maker

Takeya Deluxe Cold Brew Coffee Maker

  • Capacity: 4 cups
  • Material: BPA-free plastic
  • Programmable: No

If you prefer the sweet, smooth taste of cold brew over traditional hot coffee, one of the best ways to make it at home is using the Takeya Deluxe Cold Brew Coffee Maker. Its design is truly simple: Just put 14 to 16 tablespoons of your favorite coffee into the central filter, add 32 ounces of cold water and let it sit in your refrigerator overnight. Just like that, you’ll have a delicious jar of cold brew waiting for you in the morning. 

While simple, the Takeya Cold Brew Maker is well-designed. The lid is airtight, allowing you to shake the mixture as needed, and the BPA-free plastic body resists staining and clouding. The fine mesh filter keeps coffee grounds out of your drink, and all its pieces can be cleaned in the dishwasher. 

Best Coffee Maker With Grinder

Breville Grind Control Coffee Maker

  • Capacity: 12 cups
  • Carafe: Stainless steel
  • Programmable: Yes
  • Grinder Type: Burr
  • Grinder Settings: 6

Freshly-ground coffee beans yield a fresher and more flavorful drink, and the Breville Grind Control Coffee Maker has a built-in burr grinder that processes beans right before it makes your brew, resulting in the freshest coffee possible. It has six grinder settings, and in addition to brewing into the 12-cup stainless steel carafe, the machine can also dispense coffee directly into a travel cup or large mug. 

The coffee maker has an LCD display that allows you to choose the grind setting, grind time and number of cups to make, and there are eight strength settings, along with the option to use pre-ground coffee—for those times you don’t have whole beans on hand.

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