If you’ve looked around for more than five minutes at coffee makers online, there’s no doubt you’ve discovered that there are a lot of coffee makers out there. The sheer volume of pages written about these coffee brewers on the internet is enough to break down any under-caffeinated seeker.
We understand your pain, so we’ve developed this small guide to help you find the right coffee maker that fits your unique needs and circumstances. With our help, you should have a new coffee maker on your counter in no time.
Best mid range
Black & Decker CM5000B
I realize you’re searching for a coffee maker, but a coffee grinder is actually the most important piece of equipment in the arsenal for someone who wants to have delicious coffee they actually enjoy drinking.
When they are ground, coffee beans lose their precious, flavorful oils to the process of evaporation. It doesn’t take one hour for a vibrant coffee to become a dull one. The solution? A coffee grinder. Even better: a built-in coffee grinder.
To keep things simple, some coffee maker developers build coffee grinders into their devices. To keep you from having to add lots of steps to your coffee routine, they make it so that the only change you have to make in your coffee routine is buying whole bean coffee, rather than pre-ground. Some of these machines even allow you to store your whole coffee beans in a hopper above the grinder, meaning you can eliminate the step of adding coffee to your coffee maker for weeks at a time.
We’re major fans of convenience, but the greatest benefit is the flavor. You’ll be amazed at the life your coffee beans have in them when you program the coffee maker to grind them up just minutes before the brewing begins. Once you taste the fresh, vivid flavors, you’ll never look back.
Everyone needs some caffeine in the morning; heavy machinery shouldn’t be operated without it. That’s why Black and Decker moved beyond the toolbox and built a large, programmable coffee maker for home use. From the engineers who make complex tasks simple comes the tool that will empower you to accomplish your greatest feat of the day: getting out of bed.
The most significant feature of the 12-Cup Mill and Brew Coffeemaker is the built-in coffee grinder. The significance of grinding your coffee beans immediately before brewing is well understated. You will notice a dramatic difference in quality and flavor with this small adjustment in your brewing routine.
Unfortunately, this coffee grinder is a blade style grinder, which does not produce uniform and consistent ground coffee. Burr grinders are ideal for creating consistent coffee grounds. Either way, freshly ground always trumps pre-ground.
The programmable “Brew Strength” enables you as the coffee drinker to make some key adjustments in the brewing process, giving you wiggle room to brew the perfect cup of coffee according to your preferences. If your coffee comes out too weak or strong, you’re only a click away from finding balance.
It should go without saying: the coffee maker also includes the ability to auto-brew so you don’t have to get out of bed to an empty carafe.
The Mill and Brew comes with a reusable, metal filter attached to the coffee grinder. This environmentally healthy contraption reduces coffee filter waste and promotes a full, balanced flavor.
The final thing that stands out is the “Sneak a Cup” feature. With this clever invention, you can momentarily pause the brewing to grab a quick cup of coffee before the rest of the brew finishes up.
- Removable permanent filter has the grinding blades attached, and they are easy to pull out and clean up.
- Lets you control the coarseness of the grind.
- Every setting under the sun is available even down to how fine you want the grounds as well as timers, coffee strength etc.
- The results speak for themselves: superb, fresh coffee that tastes better than any standard maker.
- A number of users have complained about leaking water after several months of heavy use. Thankfully, Black and Decker was visibly helpful in these situations, and the coffee makers were replaced promptly under the 2 year warranty.
- It's a chunk of change in weight and size. Yes it's made by a hardware company
- Somewhat hard to clean the filter after use.
- Some users report it starting to leak water after month of use
The Black and Decker 12-Cup Mill and Brew Coffeemaker is a solid coffee brewer. The built-in grinder and programmable settings enable you to take more than one step forward into better and better coffee without having to adjust your morning routine much at all.
This is the brewer for you if you want to take control of your coffee brewing in a new way, and are looking for an environmentally friendly option as far as filters go.
Cuisinart’s kitchen appliance kingdom began with their original food processor, but quickly moved to other fronts. The business entered into the coffee market in 1994 and quickly became a power player with compelling innovation and design. The Cuisinart DGB-700BC is a testament to Cuisinart’s incredible contribution to coffee maker progress.
Design and Features
The built-in burr coffee grinder is the key feature of the Cuisinart DGB-700BC. Having this piece of equipment included in the brewing device takes a step out of the process for you as the brewer, while increasing the overall quality of the final cup dramatically. Grinding whole beans just before brewing is the best way to preserve that fresh flavor and zing in your coffee beans.
Burr grinders are the standard for coffee grinding. Grocery stores, coffee shops, and hardcore coffee enthusiasts own a burr grinder. Rather than chopping up the beans randomly, such as with blade grinders, burr grinders funnel the beans through the burrs where they are ground to a relatively uniform and consistent size. This uniformity is important for brewing a balanced, flavorful cup of coffee.
The programmable coffee maker, like many of its contemporaries, has the ability to choose the brew volume and strength, and can be set to begin the grind and brew process before you even get out of bed.
Lastly, Cuisinart was nice enough to include a carbon water filter in the water reservoir. Water with a high calcium concentration (hard water) wears down coffee makers over time and even disrupts the brewing process to produce an imbalanced final cup. Carbon filters are one of the inexpensive ways of preventing the damage to the machine and your coffee, and Cuisinart takes care of that for you in the DGB-700BC Grind-and-Brew.
- The burr grinder is top of the line in grinding, finely grinding the beans to be completely even.
- It does make a perfect cup of coffee.
- Great value and very easy to operate
- It is really simple to use, cleaning is easy and it did not take long to grind and brew
- A few users have complained about smoke coming from the heating element, melting the plastic and compromising the coffee maker.
- The grinder is a quite loud.
- The grounds get packed into the grinding mechanism causing it to break.
- Some users report it getting on fire!
The Cuisinart DGB-700BC brews an excellent cup of coffee. The built-in burr grinder is a powerful tool in any coffee lover’s morning routine. Once you taste the balanced and full flavor of freshly ground coffee, you won’t go back. The user response to the Cuisinart DGB-700BC Grind-and-Brew Coffeemaker have been very positive, with the exception of one major flaw, which was present a little too much noise for comfort.
Unfortunately, due to the incredible volume of complaints about the heating element catching fire, the DGB-700BC falls short of any serious recommendation, despite the three year warranty. Whether you’re an enthusiast or just a caffeine addict, you probably don’t want to invest in a coffee maker that may cause you or your home harm.
Robert Krups launched his kitchen appliance company in 1846 from Germany. Their initial products were precision scales and balances, which propelled them financially to develop many other types of kitchen products. Their first coffee makers hit the market in 1956 and in the 1980’s the business produced their first steam-powered espresso machines. The Krups KM7005 is one of the most popular coffee makers in the entire Krups series.
Design and Features
The feature that should draw you in is the built-in burr coffee grinder. Unlike blade grinders, burr grinders produce uniform and consistent coffee grounds, promoting a balanced, a full-flavor brew. If you’ve always bought pre-ground coffee, you will be amazed at the enhanced flavors that come from grinding the whole coffee beans just moments before brewing. You will never want to buy pre-ground coffee again.
The best part is, you don’t even have to worry about adding an extra step to your coffee routine. The Krups KM7005 can be programmed to grind and brew at whatever time of day you need your caffeine fix. This means you can get better coffee at no sacrifice to convenience. Options for grind size are also programmable, giving you some flexibility as to the strength of your coffee.
The coffee maker can brew up to 10 cups at a time. This is slightly lower than the industry standard (12 cups) for larger home coffee makers, but the difference is only about 8-10 ounces total, or a single mug worth of coffee.
Water quality is often overlooked a significant factor to great coffee, so Krups has installed a carbon water filter into the coffee maker so you don’t have to worry about it. This filter catches much of the calcium in the water, which is responsible for damage to your equipment and irregularities in the flavor of your final cup.
Some users reported coffee grounds spilling over the counter while grinding. According to the manual, this happens when the chute from the grinder to the brewing chamber is not cleaned. As long as you wipe that chute after grinding, you should be good to go!
The responses to the Krups KM7005 Grind and Brew Coffee Maker have been very positive. Most users are very satisfied with the coffee the coffee maker produces.
- No multiple pieces that need to be cleaned and then replaced before and after brewing.
- Makes very high quality coffee.
- Easy to use.
- Stores quite little coffee
- Users have reported some realiabity issues
- The UI needs an update.
The Krups Km7005 Grind and Brew Coffee Maker is a solid coffee brewer, but most users find that it does not last longer than a year or two. Krups does a decent job with replacements, but that’s always a bit of a hastle.
Considering the price, this coffee maker is not for everyone. It’ll brew some excellent coffee with little effort, but most coffee drinkers may want to look elsewhere.
There are two main types of coffee grinders out there: burr and blade. One of these kinds is not all that great at accomplishing the goal of coffee grinding: produce uniform coffee grounds out of whole bean for maximum freshness and balance when brewing. One of these you want to avoid.
Blade - Blade grinders are common and can usually be found for less than $15. In this model, a blade with two ends pointed upward spin in a circle at a high pace, chopping up the coffee beans in the same chamber. The process is inconsistent, and the resulting coffee grounds are rarely anywhere close in size or shape.
Burr - Cheaply made burr grinders can found for as low as $40, while commercial models can run upwards of $3,000. This grinder style funnels the coffee beans between two burrs designed to grind the beans into a selected size and shape, determined by how far apart you set the burrs. This process is far more reliable than that of the blade grinder, and you can count on it giving you a balanced brew time and time again.
Now that you understand the significance and convenience of a coffee maker with a built in coffee grinder, the number of remaining variables to consider is fairly low.
Brewing Parameters - A coffee maker that gives you options for brew strength or grind size is one that empowers the user. With the ability to make minor adjustments by the push of a button, you have more control of your coffee and can make it the way you enjoy it.
Programmable - If you cannot set the time you want the coffee to brew without you even having to touch it in the morning, it probably not is the machine for you. While there’s a large community that loves full manual brewing, if you’re buying an automatic drip coffee maker, it really needs to be programmable.
Cleaning - All the major parts of the coffee maker should be accessible for cleaning. It’s impossible to tell if this is the case by pictures alone, so check out the user reviews.
Price - It should go without saying, but the price of the coffee maker should play an important part in your decision making process. For coffee makers with excellent grinders built in, you’re probably looking at spending around $100 - $300.
Most coffee makers are going to have a downside or two. Here are some of those downsides you will definitely want to avoid.
Danger - There are some well known coffee makers out there that randomly catch fire during the brewing process. Seriously, don’t buy these. Take the word of those who have gone before you.
Narrow Parameters - If the device doesn’t empower you to make some decisions about your coffee, it’s not doing you any favors. Being able to change your grind size, even if just barely, is a tool that can take your coffee to the next level.
Flimsy Parts - Some coffee makers receive poor reviews because they break very easily. They may brew a decent mug of coffee, but if they break in the process, they probably don’t deserve your hard earned money.
The most significant advantage of the coffee grinder built-in to the coffee maker is increased quality with increased convenience. It’s a win-win. You store whole beans in the hopper and let the machine take the appropriate amount, and the coffee comes out more vibrant and flavorful than ever.
The only disadvantage of the built-in coffee grinder is the lack of flexibility for future investments. Let’s face it: once you taste the riches of freshly ground coffee, you won’t be able to help yourself from exploring further options for even more delicious coffee.
One of these options is to invest in a higher end coffee grinder that is not built in. The burr grinders that come in coffee makers are dependable, but they are not upgradable. If one of these were to break or you fell in love with another model, you would be out of luck.
Buying a coffee maker and a separate coffee grinder may be the direction you want to go if you can see yourself falling down the rabbit hole of excellent coffee.
Are you simply in need of a coffee maker to provide you with caffeine that tastes good? Go for a coffee maker / grinder combo and don’t worry about too many bells or whistles.
Are you excited about buying whole bean coffee and exploring the flavors of freshly ground coffee? Look at the combo models that give you some flexibility with grind size and brew strength.
If you’re looking to discover the hidden realms of coffee brewing and flavor, it’s time to look into some manual brewing devices, such as the french press.
The perfect grinder for your particular needs and circumstances is out there, and you’re one large step closer to finding it.
Coffee pods and capsules have risen to popularity in the past few years. A coffee pod or capsule is basically an amount of coffee held within a small container. The container is then entered into the coffee maker and brewed. The simplicity and ease of use of a single pop of coffee brewed with little to no cleanup is something that consumers all over the world have fell in love with. This article will help you discover all about pods, capsules, and how to choose between the two.
The end result of a coffee pod vs a coffee capsule are the same, a great tasting cup of coffee. The differences in the two lie mostly in the construction of the pod/capsule. Capsules are usually a plastic container which holds the coffee grounds and filter within. A coffee pod is simply a “bag” that is constructed from a coffee filter that is filled with coffee grounds. No matter how you cut it, be it a coffee pod or capsule you are simply pushing water through coffee grounds to create coffee.
As far as choosing your preference, it is quite easy. Simply choose your coffee maker! Because each coffee maker takes a specific capsule or pod, it is all about finding the coffee maker you want to use on a daily basis and looking at the quality of the coffee it produces. One thing to keep in mind is that as long as your coffee capsules or pods are sealed, your coffee will be fresh every time. Coffee pods run the risk of going stale unless they are individually sealed.
While it is easy to love the ease of use of a coffee pod, it is easy to see that they are overpriced and wasteful. That being the case there has been a rise in popularity of reusable coffee pods which allow the user to brew coffee in their favorite single serving coffee or espresso brewer without having to shop for coffee directly from the manufacturer.
Reusable coffee pods are generally very simple. Rather than being a sealed capsule, the reusable variety allows you to open and close the capsule so you can place your own coffee grounds into the capsule. Some pods may require some sort of small sealant or foil that will need to be replaced after each use. One catch is that you need to watch for is that you must buy the reusable capsule that is made specifically for your coffee maker. For instance if you own a Nespresso branded coffee machine, you need to buy reusable Nespresso coffee capsules to use in your machine. These reusable capsules are generally not sold by the original manufacturer, but by a third party manufacturer of some kind. This means that the consistency in quality can be a bit all over the place. Make sure you read reviews carefully to get the low down from the actual users of the capsules.
Being able to spend a small amount of money as an upfront investment and then simply use the coffee you already have is a great option for the environment and money conscious consumer. Even if you don’t plan on using a reusable pod every day, it makes sense to have some extra reusable pods lying around in case you run out of branded coffee pods while waiting for your next shipment.
The plethora of brewing methods out there is staggering. Among the more interesting brewing methods falls the siphon or vacuum brewing method. These coffee makers are often referred to as siphon pots, siphon brewers, vacpots, vacuum brewers or similar. They all have one thing in common, and that is the method of drawing water up, through the coffee grounds, then back down as a clean cup of coffee. This article will take you through everything you need to know about siphon pots. Lets get started!
Siphon or Vacuum brewing has been around for a “little while” to say the least. The brewing method was invented by Loeff of Berlin in the 1830’s. Since then the coffee brewer has had a long and interesting road. Because of the complex brewing process and increasingly available convenient coffee brewers, vacuum coffee brewers fell out of popularity during the 1960’s. During this time period a large number of manufacturers creating these coffee brewers withdrew production of the models. Only a few companies continued to make these unique brewers, namely Bodum who has consistently created quality siphon pots since the 1970s. During this time the numbers of users of these coffee brewers also dropped.
Nearing the end of the 1990’s, and no doubt due to a small underground vein of hardcore coffee brewing fanatics on the internet, the siphon pot began to rise in popularity. In recent history specialist coffee brewers have been featuring the siphon pot as one of if not their favorite methods for brewing. Today there are many varieties of siphon pots out there with many options to suit the needs of any coffee fanatic. The NY Times even recently featured a coffee bar in San Francisco who paid $20,000 for their brewing station and exclusively brews siphon pot coffee.
The design of a siphon pot is fairly simple, but at first glance it is tough to decipher how the darn thing works. Not to worry, I am going to go over the entire process in detail. Lets start with the design: two bulbs sit atop one another held by a stem. The top bulb has a large opening on top with a stem that feeds into a smaller opening on the lower second bulb. Coffee grounds are placed in the top bulb and water is placed in the lower bulb. The stem has a seal which creates a vacuum within the lower bulb holding the water – hence the name vacuum pot. At the bottom of the top bulb a filter is placed. This filter allows the water to rise though it and then subsequently releasing the brewed coffee back down into the bottom bulb.
Brewing with the siphon pot is easy in concept, but can be difficult in practice. You are in control of all the variables of your brew which is great for the experienced brewer, however this can be a nightmare for someone with little to no coffee brewing experience. Here I will cover the basic concept behind the siphon pot and later we will go over the specifics of brewing a great cup of coffee in the how to section.
To brew with the siphon pot you simply place the pot on a heat source (more on heat source options later in the article) and as the water heats, it rises through the stem into the coffee grounds in the top bulb. The water and coffee are then agitated and steeped. Once the mixture is ready for draining you remove the coffee maker from the heat source and place on a cool (read non-heated) surface. The pressure change will allow the coffee to drain back down the stem into the bottom bulb. Once the coffee is brewed, you simply set the top bulb to the side and serve the coffee from the bottom bulb.
Do you want to drink the best cup of coffee you can each morning? Great, so do I! If you put your ear to the ground and listen to the collection of underground and specialty coffee baristas out there today, you will surely hear mention of the siphon coffee maker. If you love the way that coffee tantalizes all your senses, then you will love a vacpot. Watching and listening to the brew will surely fascinate you time and time again. Watching the water rise from the bottom pot, seeing the coffee brew before your eyes, and then watching as the delicious clean brew is dispensed back into the bottom pot will leave you smiling and happy to enjoy a delicious cup of coffee every time.
This coffee maker is great in the sense that it allows you control over almost ever variable of your coffee brew. Temperature, steep time, agitation, grind size, and concentration are all in your direct control and easy to see. That being said, there is also plenty of chances for error which will likely cause a novice brewer to brew inconsistent pots of coffee until they improve their skills.
If you have decided that a siphon pot might be up your alley then read on. Next we will cover how to use a siphon brewer and what equipment you need to make your own!
Because of their appearance, it can be hard to tell at first how each particular model functions. To clear any confusion there might be we will go over the different styles of siphon pots as well as the various ways you might heat your brew. There are two main types of modern siphon coffee makers on the market today: standalone and stovetop. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses, we will cover both here.
As the name simply implies, a stovetop siphon pot is meant to be used atop your electric or gas stove. This doesn’t mean it is a radically different design than a standalone siphon pot, it just means that the bottom bowl is constructed with a flat surface which allows the entire pot to be set atop a flat burner.
Stovetop brewers have the advantage of being simpler and easy to use right there on your stove, but they lack the style, look, and portability that a standalone brewer has.
Recommended model: Yama Glass 8 Stovetop Coffee Siphon.
A standalone siphon pot is simply a siphon pot which has been designed for use with an external heat source such as a butane or alcohol burner. There are also some standalone siphon coffee makers which have a heating element built into the stand (our favorite model is the Hario Technica 5-cup Coffee Syphon. These standalone coffee makers, especially the butane and alcohol burners, are more of a traditional style of coffee brewing experience.
After reading through the two descriptions of the standalone and stovetop coffee makers, you know that they can be used with different types of heat sources. The most common heating elements used with siphon coffee makers are gas stove, butane burner, or an alcohol burner.
The advantages of each are mostly found in their use, and they shouldn’t influence the taste that much although some coffee purists might beg to differ. You could say that the ability to adjust the heat would allow you to make a better pot of coffee since you can fine tune your brew even more. When suggesting a heat source, I always say whatever is most convenient for you is best!
As we mentioned above, there are quite a few variables that go into the perfect brew (for you) when using a vacpot. Here we will cover the basics as well as some little tips and tricks to help you gain the most control of your end product. To get started you will need the following.
What You Need
Getting it all right before you start makes your job of brewing just that much easier. Here are the steps we recommend you take before brewing.
You now have everything ready for brewing. Lets move on to the action.
We took a good look at the french press and the Aeropress. Yes they both press, but is one better than the other? Read to find out.
A french press is a uniquely simple coffee maker. It is comprised of a carafe, or a container which holds your grounds/water, and a press which us usually attached to a lid. A frame holds the carafe and the lid/plunger sit on top.
Coffee is brewed by adding coffee grounds and hot water are directly mixed and left to steep for a few minutes in the carafe and then pressed. The pressing separates the grounds from the liquid leaving you with delicious coffee.
The first french press was patented by Italian designer Attilio Calimani in 1929. The french press is also known by other names such as a coffee press, press pot, coffee plunger, or a cafetière. A french is an inexpensive way to make high-quality coffee (see latest prices for our recommended model on Amazon.com).
The Aeropress is a unique press style coffee maker that allows accurate control over your press coffee brew. It is known for brewing some of the most delicious coffee that a press can make.
The Aeropress is made entirely of BPA free plastics. The parts are a plunger with a rubber seal on the end. This fits into the top of the chamber. The chamber has a screw on cap which holds a paper or metal filter.
To brew with an Aeropress, you insert a filter into the cap and screw it tight onto the bottom of the chamber. The chamber is then placed over a coffee cup. You then fill the chamber with coffee and pour hot water into the chamber. You mix the grounds and water letting steep for roughly 15-45 seconds. Lastly the mixture is pressed over 20-30 seconds down through the cap pushing the coffee out the bottom of the Aeropress. The Aeropress not only makes great coffee but it is also easy to clean, pretty rugged and portable (see latest prices for the Aeropress at Amazon.com).
In conclusion, you really can’t go wrong with either a french press or an Aeropress. Based on our comparison, choose the type of coffee maker which better suits your needs. Either way you will be able to brew a delicious cup of coffee which will leave you satisfied.
BPA or Bisphenol A is a chemical which behaves similar to hormones in your body such as estrogen. BPA is used in the manufacture of products such as water bottles, baby bottles, dental fillings, medical devices, dental devices, eyeglass lenses, DVDs/CDs, sporting equipment and electronics.
Bisphenol A is classified as an endocrine disruptor. Endocrine disruptors are substances which interfere with the body’s natural hormones. BPA is considered hazardous because it can imitate the body’s natural hormones in a way that could be hazardous for health. Babies and young children are known to be at the highest risk to the effects of BPA.
You may have seen the BPA Free logo on other products used to store liquids for consumers, and the Aeropress is no different. On Aug 1st, 2009 Aerobie, the makers of the Aeropress issued an alert that they had previously used BPA in the production of their product. After Aug 1st 2009, all Aeropress units were manufactured with BPA free materials.
The Aeropress is built from 3 different types of plastics.
All of the plastics used to create the Aeropress system are FDA approved for use with food and drink, and all of them are BPA free.