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Automatic Drip Coffee Makers

There’s good reason why drip coffee makers are the most popular models on the market and in people’s homes. The right coffee maker can make your life more convenient and more delicious. Automatic features and quality of coffee are better than ever and continue to improve every year. Use our Buyer’s Checklist below as you browse through the list of top rated models. There are some great options no matter what you’re looking for.

Pick the Best Drip Coffee Maker for Your Home:
Highly Rated Models for 2019

Model
Quick Description
Zojirushi Zutto 5-Cup DripSuperior Flavor + Small Footprint
Cuisinart DCC-3200 14-Cup ProgrammableAutomatic Functions + Adjustable Features
Technivorm Moccamaster KBGAll About The Flavor + 17 Colors
Ninja Hot and Cold BrewedSmart Hot and Cold Brew + Tea
Hamilton Beach Single Serve and Full PotTwo Coffee Makers In One
Bunn Velocity Brew, 10-CupFast Brew + Thermal Carafe

Drip Coffee Makers: The Basics

The automatic drip coffee maker is probably the most widely-used of all the different types of coffee makers.  

The main advantages are speed, convenience and consistency. If you don’t want to spend a lot of time making the coffee, it can be as simple as loading the grounds and water then pressing a button. There are usually several features that make it even more convenient to use and maintain. And then there is the flavor. The range of models will give varying results, some even approaching the taste of more hands-on methods.

The main trade-off is the amount of control you have. A drip coffee maker is basically a one-size-fits-all solution. If you want to customize every step of the process, this would not be for you. For the convenience and consistent quality of coffee, you will compromise on control.

In the end its about what works best for you. For many people, the balance of convenience and taste they can get from a drip machine is the best of both worlds.

Tips for Best Results

  • Start with the best quality water possible. If you don’t have filtered water, consider a
    built-in filter or something like a Brita water pitcher or ZeroWater pitcher.
  • Grind whole beans right before brewing for maximum freshness and flavor.
  • Get the grind right. Start with medium and then adjust to suit your taste.
  • Aim for a water temperature between 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • If your machine does not heat to the optimal range, run a cycle of just water first to warm it up.
  • Pour the coffee into a thermal carafe instead of leaving it on a warmer, where it can become bitter.
  • Clean the pot regularly with vinegar and water.

Buyer's Checklist

  • FLAVOR
    You won’t be able to taste test the coffee makers yourself, but this is where customer reviews can help. As you read customer comments (and you should), there ought to be some raves about the taste of the coffee.
  • FILTER
    Filters affect convenience and flavor. Paper filters must be replaced after every brew and leave somewhat less flavor in your cup, but they do make clean up easier. Reusable metal filters need to be cleaned after every brew but do not absorb oils from the coffee, leaving more flavor in your cup.
  • CARAFE
    The carafe may need to maintain temperature and freshness for a matter of minutes or a matter of hours. In general, an insulated stainless steel carafe will keep coffee tasting better for longer than a glass carafe on a warmer, although both will do the job.
  • FEATURES
    These make all the difference in daily use. The most common are: auto shut off, digital clock, programmable start time, pause to pour, temperature and strength settings. Other examples include: self cleaning, built-in grinder, precise water temperature, built-in water filter.
  • CAPACITY
    How much or how little do you want to brew? Do you normally only need a few cups, but once in a while want to serve a group? Or do you routinely serve a thirsty crowd and need to brew in bulk? Finding the right balance is key.
  • SIZE
    Be sure to take all the measurements of the coffee maker and compare them to the space where you will be keeping it. You know the saying … measure twice, buy once!
  • CLEAN & MAINTAIN
    No one likes to clean up. But since it needs to be done it may as well be as convenient as possible. Features such as a removable water reservoir, a removable filter basket, and dishwasher safe parts help make cleaning easier.
  • WARRANTY
    Things break. Be sure to check out the warranty and customer service, just in case.

Zojirushi Zutto Drip Coffeemaker, 5-Cup

Superior Flavor + Small Footprint

This machine is all about what matters most … flavor. And customer feedback overwhelmingly agrees that it succeeds, greatly due to the hot water temperature used in brewing.  The Zutto® is a streamlined model without the automatic features available on other machines, but reviews repeatedly report that the coffee it produces can surpass even much more expensive coffeemakers.

Pros

  • Great taste is the most commented-on benefit of the Zutto®, with users describing it as ‘hot’, ‘strong’, and ‘full-bodied’.
  • Small footprint. Another thing that customers really enjoy, which is an advantage no matter how much or little space you have.
  • Replaceable charcoal filter. Helps ensure that you have one of the most important ingredients for good coffee: the best water possible.
  • Removable reservoir. Makes refilling and cleaning convenient.

Cons

  • If you’re looking for automatic functions, you won’t find them on this model. This includes automatic shutoff, so you must remember to turn it off manually.
  • The manufacturer recommends that you not put parts in the dishwasher, but clean by hand.

Cuisinart DCC-3200 PerfecTemp Programmable Coffeemaker, 14-Cup

Automatic Functions + Adjustable Features

The DCC-3200 has made several improvements over the previous popular models in this line. Great tasting coffee is the common theme in customer reviews, partly due to the higher water temperature, which is close to but slightly below the optimal range.

But flavor is not the only area where this coffee maker excels. The automatic features provide a high level of convenience for busy people who prefer to ‘set it and forget it’. And the adjustable settings allow you a greater amount of flexibility over brewing and keeping the coffee ready to drink.

Pros

  • Fully programmable 'set it and forget it' convenience: auto start, self clean, adjustable auto shutoff, pause to pour, ready notification, shut off notification.
  • Adjustable settings let you have it your way: brew strength, warming plate temperature, and 1-4 cups.
  • High water temperature (185 degrees Fahrenheit per Cuisinart) contributes to great flavor.
  • 'Shower head' design delivers water across all the grounds for best extraction.
  • Includes a gold-tone permanent coffee filter, but you can also use paper filters.
  • The replaceable charcoal water filter helps ensure you're brewing with good quality water.

Cons

  • One weakness that customers report is the design of the carafe, which is awkward when used to fill the water reservoir and can be prone to dribbling when pouring.
  • Some leakage reported.
  • "Done" beep tone is loud.

Technivorm Moccamaster KBG Brewer, 10-Cup

All About The Flavor + 17 Colors

The Technivorm Moccamaster is not your run-of-the-mill coffeemaker.   You can see the difference in the striking design, which is available in a rainbow of 17 beautiful colors.   It will make a bold statement sitting in your kitchen.  And more importantly, you can taste the difference.  The machine is designed to replicate the best practices of coffee making, including heating the water to the perfect brewing temperature and evenly saturating the grounds during extraction.  These pay off in flavor that customers find exceeds their experiences with other machines.

PROS

  • Flavor. By far the majority of customer reviews mention this as the main thing they love about this coffeemaker.
  • Rapidly heats to the optimal brewing temperature between 196 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit, resulting in more flavor.
  • The copper heating element is a positive if you are looking to avoid aluminum.
  • Designed to saturate the grounds evenly, which is the method for best extraction.
  • Brews a full 40 ounce carafe in 6 short minutes.
  • No need to wait until the whole pot is done for your first cup. The automatic drip-stop brew basket lets you remove the carafe to pour, then resumes brewing after it is replaced.
  • Select from two warming plate temperatures.
  • Automatic shutoff of warming plates and machine for increased safety.
  • Suit your style with lots of color options (17 to be exact) to choose from.
  • 5 Year Manufacturer’s Warranty (Note: To ensure the warranty is intact, purchase from an authorized retailer, such as Amazon LLC. Buying from third-party sellers on Amazon does not count as authorized.)

CONS

  • Very minimal automatic features, which are limited to: warming plate auto shutoff and power auto shutoff.
  • Some customers find the machine itself to be less substantial than they expected, for example, the use of plastic for internal parts.
  • Water is in contact with plastic parts during the brewing cycle, although the plastic used is BPA/BPS/BPF & phthalate free.

Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System, 10-Cup

Enjoy Both Hot and Cold Brews or Tea

We thoroughly enjoyed testing Ninja’s Hot and Cold brewer. For starters, it just feels solid. You can tell the build quality is high in this model.

The Ninja comes with a ton of options. Feeling in the mood for a rich brew? The Ninja has you covered. Morning sun beating down and you want something cold to carry to the office? Turn the dial to Cold Brew and Ninja has you covered. Maybe its a tea day – well this Ninja accommodates freshly brewed tea with its separate tea basket.

PROS

  • OPTIONS! 5 brew styles and 6 brew sizes
  • Smart Basket Recognition. Automatically detects whether the coffee or tea basket is present and displays corresponding brew options.
  • Thermal carafe keeps coffee hot for up to 2 hours.
  • Direct Brew Use any brand of coffee or tea, loose leaf or bagged by brewing directly into a cup.
  • Frother! It just tastes better with foam.

CONS

  • The frother is quite nice, but note it is a whisk-frother. We would have preferred steam.

Hamilton Beach 49980A Single Serve and Full Pot Coffee Maker

Two Coffee Makers In One

This combo really is like getting two machines in one, which gives you that much more flexibility. The single serve side and the carafe side each have their own water reservoir and brew completely independently of one another. That opens up the possibilities for brewing just what you need, when you need it and for more than one type of brew simultaneously.

The single serve side has a mesh filter that allows you to use ground coffee and an attachable holder to accept pre-packaged soft pods (not K-Cups). With a multilevel cup rest, you can adjust the height to fit the thermos, mug or cup you’re brewing into.

When selecting brew strength,  Regular works well with medium grind coffee and Bold works well with decaf, a finer grind or a premium brand. 

PROS

  • 2 Machines in 1. Brew single serving or a pot full, even at the same time with different coffees.
  • Select your brew strength. Regular or bold.
  • Automatic features: program the brewing time up to 24 hours beforehand, 2-hour automatic shutoff, pause & serve.
  • Nonstick warming plate with a 2-hour shutoff.

CONS

  • Travel mug not included.
  • Does not accept K-Cups on single-serve side.

BUNN Velocity Brew Thermal Carafe Home Coffee Brewer, 10-Cup

Fast Brew + Thermal Carafe

Bunn has a reputation for coffeemakers that are workhorses, consistently producing lots of hot coffee and doing it quickly.  The Velocity Brew continues this tradition with a very fast brewing time.  Its internal stainless steel hot water tank keeps water heated continuously (24/7) at about 200 degrees Fahrenheit, so it’s ready to go when you’re ready to brew.

Another Bunn characteristic is its minimal approach to automation and adjustable settings.  There are no options to select or programmable features.  For some people, this is a drawback, while for others the simplicity is a welcome change that minimizes the time and thought they need to put into their daily coffee.      

PROS

  • FAST! Brews up to 10 cups in just 3 minutes.
  • Optimal brewing temperature. Water in the reservoir is maintained at about 200 degrees Fahrenheit for best brewing.
  • Vacuum insulated carafe keeps coffee hot for up to 2 hours.
  • Stainless steel lined water tank and carafe.
  • Spray head is designed for even, complete extraction.

CONS

  • Make sure to use Bunn filters or similarly sized ones, otherwise you may have an overflow.
  • Some customers have experienced a strong plastic odor when using a new machine, which usually dissipates over time