Best Coffee Maker Cook’s Illustrated & America’s Test Kitchen | Wirecutter

                by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  September 24, 2021
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Coffee is regarded as the most popular drink in the world. In fact, it is estimated that about over 400 billion cups of coffee are consumed worldwide each year – with about 60% of Americans drinking coffee daily. Who doesn’t enjoy the delicious taste and revitalizing stimulation from a cup of coffee in the morning?

Coffee Maker

For those who happen to be big coffee fans and prepare a cup every day, this guide is meant for you. Below, you will find seven of the best coffee makers in America’s Test Kitchen, each with its own detailed feature analysis.

We also include a few helpful buying tips and an FAQ section to address common questions.

Reviews of best coffee makers America’s Test Kitchen

Here are the top-rated coffee makers in the world:

#1. Hamilton Beach 49976 Single Serve Coffee Maker

best coffee makers America’s Test Kitchen
Hamilton Beach 49976

Hamilton Beach 49976 is one of the best coffee makers in the world in terms of flexibility. Its FlexBrew design allows users to make coffee in a total of 3 ways. For single serve, you can either use your favorite K-Cup Pot, or go with ground coffee. On the other hand, when you need to prepare coffee for large groups (i.e: up to 12 cups), just do like what you would with traditional coffee makers.

The single serve coffee maker is also notable for its ability to customize brew strength – within a single button press. Not to mention, there’s the Easy-Touch function that allows you to set up everything at night – so that you may enjoy your cup of coffee immediately after waking up the next morning. In case something catches you off guard, don’t worry – coffee after brewed can be stored warm for another 2 hours.

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#2. Cuisinart DCC 3400 Thermal Coffeemaker

best coffee makers America’s Test Kitchen
Cuisinart DCC 3400

The first notable selling point of Cuisinart DCC 3400 is its cutting-edge technology – which allows you to heat up to a higher heat without affecting coffee flavor. This is especially amazing on colder days, when a hotter cup of coffee should melt down the cold within you. Depending on your taste, you may either choose the regular or bold brew option.

Another feature that makes this one of the best coffee makers is its full automation. In fact, you can set up the brewing process for up to 24 hours in advance – this is really handy in terms of saving time. Once brewing is done, it will automatically get turned off. If necessary, you can take advantage of the Brew Pause function – so as to enjoy your coffee while the machine is still brewing.

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#3. America’s Test Kitchen Espresso Machine: Breville BES870XL

best coffee makers America’s Test Kitchen
america’s test kitchen espresso machine

Breville BES870XL is truly one of the best Espresso Machine – you can make every type of coffee, bean or espresso, within less than one minute. Thanks to the integrated grinder, it is possible to take control of the grinding process – and ensure that the final cup of coffee is of the highest quality, with no roasting at all.

With Breville BES870XL, you can easily grind coffee beans of any size – just adjust the grind size dial button as you find appropriate. For espresso extraction, the temperature control function (PID) should come in handy – in terms of ensuring the optimum results. Last but not least, Breville BES870XL enables users to operate everything hands-free – its featured grinding cradle means that you can grind coffee into the port filter directly.

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#4. America’s Test Kitchen Coffee Grinder: Capresso Infinity Grinder

best coffee makers America’s Test Kitchen
america’s test kitchen coffee grinder

Well, the name Infinity Grinder should suggest you something – if you don’t know, this one is capable of grinding a variety of coffee cups. Whether what you want is Turkish, French press, drip coffee or espresso, Capresso should get you covered – and produce the most optimal results. Not to mention, there’s a gear reduction motor to control the amount of heat and friction – thereby ensuring that the final cup of coffee retains its original flavor.

Capresso Infinity Grinder is made from stainless steel – which not only provides amazing resistance against environmental damage, but also results in a highly elegant kitchen tool. The containers (bean and coffee) as well as the upper burr are removable – hence, cleaning should be a total piece of cake.

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#5. Keurig K-Cafe Single Serve Coffee Maker

best coffee makers America’s Test Kitchen
Keurig K-Cafe Coffee Maker

This one is also one of the best coffee makers when it comes to versatility – it is capable of preparing a variety of coffee cups, including latte and cappuccino. With many simple-to-use buttons featured, brewing your favorite cup of coffee should be a piece of cake.

The water reservoir is 60-ounce large – which means it can be used to brew a total of 6 coffee cups before you need to refill it. What’s more, the Smart Start function significantly simplifies the preparation process – no longer will you need to wait for the coffee maker to heat before being able to select the size. With Keurig Coffee Maker, energy spending is now much more efficient – the whole thing will automatically turn off 2 hours after the last brew.

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#6. Hamilton Beach 49980A Coffee Maker

best coffee makers America’s Test Kitchen
Hamilton Beach 49980

For the price, Hamilton Beach 49980A is pretty affordable – and yet its functionality is not to be underestimated. First, it is a 2-way brewing coffee maker – you can either use it for single serving, or prepare a full pot (up to 12 cups). In other words, this is suitable for both those looking for a single serve coffee maker, as well as those who need to prepare coffee for large groups.

The product’s water reservoir is properly sized to not take up too much space – as well as allow for easy refilling. Thanks to the measurement markings, users should be able to keep track of the amount of water inside. With the ability to program the brewing process 24 hours in advance – and switch between Regular and Bold strength, Hamilton Beach 49980A is definitely a convenient kitchenware that you will definitely not want to miss.

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#7. Cuisinart DCC-1200BKS Coffee Maker

best coffee makers America’s Test Kitchen
Cuisinart DCC-1200BKS

Let’s move on to the last – but not least – pick in our best coffee maker review. Cuisinart DCC-1200BKS comes with a 12-cup carafe, which makes it really convenient for large groups of people. On top of that, if you need to make fewer than 5 cups of coffee, the 1-to-4-cup feature should come in handy. The product is programmable for up to 24 hours – as soon as brewing is done, it will automatically turn itself off either immediately or up to 4 hours later. On busier days, you should find such automation really handy.

Like many other coffee makers above, Cuisinart DCC-1200BKS features the Brew Pause function for users to enjoy their coffee while it is still brewing. What’s more, its adjustable heat plate means that your favorite coffee will always stay at your chosen temperature range.

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Buying guide best coffee makers America’s Test Kitchen

When it comes to choosing a coffee maker, there are many styles available these days. Overall, drip coffee makers are regarded as the most popular one. On the other hand, single serve coffee makers are also a common choice – especially in the recent years.

Before you make a purchase, make sure to consider a few key factors.

FAQs coffee makers

How often do I need to clean my coffee maker?

According to an article published on Wirecutter, frequent cleaning is necessary in order to better preserve your coffee maker, protect your health, and ensure that you may enjoy the best coffee flavor every day. As soon as you are finished with the brewing process, remove the grounds and dirty filler immediately, and then use a towel to remove all leftovers within the basket and the rest of the machine.

At the end of the day, make sure to wash all removable components with hot water. In addition, don’t forget to clean the machine’s interior every month.

Is it OK to leave a coffee maker on all day?

For some reasons, you may need to leave your coffee maker on occasionally. However, it is generally not advisable – because it may cause a burnt pot, especially if there is little leftover in the machine.

How do I know if it’s time to get a replacement?

On average, a coffee maker may last about 5 years. With proper care, this lifespan can be increased up to 10 years. Overall, if you wonder if it’s time to get a replacement, check out if you notice the following signs:

Conclusion

A high-quality coffee maker is a must-have item for anyone who loves coffee. With one, you can prepare your favorite beverage comfortably at home instead of buying one outside – which should save you a lot of time and money, as well as grant you an amazing amount of flexibility. However, considering the availability of so many different models these days, which one should you put your faith in?

To help things easier for you, we have compiled this best coffee maker guide. Hopefully, among the 7 picks mentioned above, you should be able to find one that serve your purpose – and budget at the same time.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of BistroSK is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2019 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.