What are the Best Drip Coffee Makers?

Posted on July 18 in Articles | 1 comment

Drip Coffee Making Process Illustrated

What is the best drip coffee maker? That is the question that we are trying to answer in this review.

To put it bluntly, the question does not have a single answer to it! This is simply because there are too many features and variables involved in the equation. No coffee maker – no matter how finely built it is – can be perfect for everyone.

You have to know what you need. You have to know what you want. You have to know how you will use it. Only then, I can tell you which coffee brewer or machine is best for you.

The Grinding Question

The first question that you need to ask is this. How are you going to ground your beans? Do you buy pre-grind coffee beans? Or do you plan to ground your beans before each brew? (Remember that freshly grounded beans is the first step in making a perfect brew)

If you always buy pre-grind beans, you can choose either the manual or electric drip coffee makers. But if you plan to ground the beans just before each brew, your options depend on whether you already have a coffee grinder or do you need to get a new grinder along with your new coffee maker.

If you currently own a grinder and it is still functioning perfectly, then you can go for the manual brewer or electric brewer that does not come with a built-in grinder.

But if in any case you need to buy a grinder, you have to ask yourself one question. Do you prefer the grinder to be separate from the brewing station? Or do you prefer a coffee maker that comes with built-in grinder.

There is no absolute answer on which choice is better. But if you ask me, I would recommend one that comes with a built-in grinder. It seems trivial but trust me. This simple feature makes the whole world of a difference. The biggest advantage is the hassle-free convenience and there is no need to worry about the ground beans messing up the kitchen table.

But anyway, the choice is yours to make!

The Size Question

How much do you brew each time? That is the next most important question that you need to be asking.

If you need to brew only for yourself, the choice is clear. To you, space is likely to be a luxury. You do not want to get a brewing station that consumes too much space. Anything other than 1-cup maker is excessive.

If you always brew for large group, the choice is clear too. Single-serve coffee makers are likely to be ruled out. This is unless you are willing to make everyone wait for 15-20 minutes before enjoying their sip of coffee.

The Choices for Best Drip Coffee Maker

I have to first admit that it is not easy to pick a winner when you have so much great options to choose from. Some of the most recommended drip brewers include Bonavita BV1800 and Technivorm Moccamaster. But unless you are willing to spend more than $100, these options would be off-limit.

So, if you have a limited budget, which would be the best drip coffee makers under $100? Depending on your use personal brewing preference, here are my best picks.

Best Drip Brewer for Personal Use

The winner for this category is really a no-frill coffee maker. The Melitta Ready Set Joe Single Cup brewer is designed to be highly versatile. It is made for individuals who love practicality without compromising the quality of their brew.

When you buy this set from Melitta, you don’t have to worry about electrical or mechanical component failure. It is guaranteed to last a life time. Unless you purposely break it into pieces, I don’t see any reason that it would fail to work.

Brewing is a simple 3-step process: 1. Place a paper filter; 2. Scoop the ground beans; and 3. Pour hot water. It is as simple as that.

Cleaning is also straight-forward. Dispose the paper filter and the next step is to just rinse through the cone.

The Award Winning Drip Coffee Maker

Mr. Coffee BVMC-SJX33GT won the award for the best coffee maker in 2011. If you scour through all the coffee maker reviews pertaining to this model, you will understand why it managed to bag the award.

Few notable features are worth highlighting. The Pause ‘n Serve feature is a neat trick that is commonly praised in a number of coffee maker reviews. Since BVMC-SJX33GT brew up to 12 cups each time, there are times when you want to pour out one cup or two before the brewing process is complete.

The BVMC-SJX33GT comes with a warmer that will keep your coffee warm. It does this for 2 hours period after which it will automatically shut off.

2 hours is a reasonable period. Anything longer than that destroys the freshness and taste of your coffee. One thing you may want to take note is rather than letting your brewed coffee sit on a warmer, the better advice is to place it in insulated vacuum thermos.

‘Cleaning mode’ is another subtle but highly appreciated feature. It lets you do the cleaning with the press of a button. If you like to brew tea and coffee using the same machine, this will come in handy. Mixing up the aroma and taste of your tea and coffee will be the last thing you want to have.

The Most Reviewed Drip Coffee Maker

Everyone who is looking for a kitchen appliance would definitely be familiar with Cuisinart. It is a respectable brand and I don’t have to pitch its reputation to you. I know some of you might have a few Cuisinart appliances sitting on your beautiful kitchen top.

Coffee making is one of the few fields where today’s best technology would still be the best for the next few years to come. We see a number of new models (e.g. Nespresso makers) being pushed to the market in the past few years.

But if you look under the hood, most offer cosmetic rather than substantial changes. The underlying mechanics remain and this is particularly true for drip-type of coffee makers.

To come up with a product in which thousands of happy customers are willing to sing their praises openly is a tall order. Cuisinart has done it with the DCC-1200.

So, if you are looking for the best drip coffee maker that has stood the test of time and still well-loved by fellow coffee drinkers like you and me, you know which model to go for.

Have preference for certain brands? Click to see our full coffee maker comparison guide


Now you know the options that you have when it comes to the best drip coffee maker for the home. If your option is not limited to drip-type of coffee makers, you may want to check our elite coffee maker list. I’m sure you will love it.

Thanks for reading! I know I cannot rule out if you have a different take on things and neither that has been my intention. If there are certain models that you thought should be included but did not make it in this review, I’d love to hear from you.

1 Comment

  1. Which one of these four cup drip coffee makers is the quietest. I have a Sunbeam and it is very noisy.

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