Simple to operate and easy to clean, these coffee makers make a constantly good cup of joe. A quick rinse and occasional descaling are all they need to stay in a good shape. And if you love your coffee hot, you will love each of these models.
Most of these are Specialty Coffee Association of America certified brewers which means they brew at optimal temperature, timing and water flow. They all mimic manual pour over and make the best drip coffee. What I like about Bunn Velocity (even though it’s not SCAA certified brewer) is that it’s super fast and reliable.
What’s great about these models is that all the parts that come in contact with coffee oils and water are removable and can be washed, so you don’t have to worry about bad taste, oily build-ups or germs, if that’s something that worries you.
So…if you simply can’t get a decent cup of coffee with your current coffee maker, you’re at your second or third replacement unit or maybe you want to go back from k-cup to a classic drip coffee maker, take a look at the list below. I’m pretty sure you’ll be happy with one of these.
FAST : BUNN VELOCITY BREW 10CUP COFFEE MAKER
If you don’t want fancy options or a shiny design, but you just want to brew a decent cup of coffee at home (and do it fast), then check out the $126.00 Bunn Velocity 10 cup coffee maker.
The machine is slightly different than most drip machines and mostly because how this machine works. It has just one big, power button (a vacation button) and the button is always on. The brewing starts when you close the reservoir lid and the lid presses the small white rod sticking out from the reservoir. That little rod is like a trigger – the ON button.
To make coffee, put the coffee filter into brew funnel, add the desired amount of ground coffee and slide brew funnel back into the brewer. Open the lid on top and use carafe to add water. Place carafe on the base and close the lid. The machine will do the rest. Bunn Velocity brews an entire 10 cup batch in less than 3.5 minutes!! That’s the best brewing time, ever.
And it makes a really good brew (even without all the fancy settings), each time. When you turn the machine on, it needs some time to do initial preheating but once it’s done, the machine is always ready to brew an entire pot this fast. That’s because the internal hot water tank keeps water constantly heated.
The carafe keeps coffee hot for approximately 1.5 – 2 hours.
The bad?! The Bunn Velocity will take up lots of counter space (it’s 7.1″ wide, 15.1″ tall, 13.9″ deep), it uses only original Bunn coffee filters and once you switch it on, it stays on all the time. There’s no auto off or a sleep mode. It doesn’t have a programmable auto on option either.
What you will get with Velocity is nothing more – and nothing less than a constantly good cup of joe, and you’ll get it super fast.
quick specifications: 10 cup (50 fl. oz) water reservoir, double wall thermal carafe, brews 10 cup carafe in under 3.5 minutes, basket shaped Bunn paper filters.
NUMEROUS OPTIONS : NINJA COFFEE BAR
If you’re looking for a reasonable priced, well designed coffee maker with a significant number of features, the $138.00 Ninja Coffee Bar is potentially a perfect choice.
On the left, there’s a filter basket along with a 43 ounce glass carafe. The filter holder slides easily, so you can fill (or clean) the filter with no effort.The carafe is placed on a hot plate which turns on automatically after brewing and keeps coffee hot for 2 hours. On the right, there’s a rich control panel and removable 43 ounce water reservoir. However, Ninja is mostly plastic and feels slightly cheap.
The true value of the Ninja system is a huge choice of options and the fact that you can really make a ton of different coffee drinks at home with this machine. The machine can do a single cup, travel mug, a half carafe or a full carafe. You can choose a classic brew, rich brew, over ice brew (if you want to make iced coffee) and specialty brew for lattes and cappuccinos. I love the cup sizes too. At classic brew setting, Ninja makes 9.5 oz single cup, 14 oz travel mug, 19 oz half carafe and 38 ounces at full carafe setting. When you choose stronger brew, the machine will use less water to make coffee more concentrated, so the brew sizes will be different. You can also set this machine to brew coffee in the morning (24 programmable auto on option), the clean function will let you know when it needs to be descaled.
If you don’t want into too many details and brewing at the right temperature is not a must (Ninja is not an SCAA certified brewer) and you’re simply looking for a nice home coffee maker that makes a hot cup of coffee and gives you all kinds of options – then the Ninja is perfect.
quick specifications: 43 fl. oz reservoir, glass carafe, cone shaped filter basket, numerous cup sizes and strength options, warming plate, programmable, drip stop.
BEST VALUE: BONAVITA 8 CUP COFFEE MAKER BV1900TS, SCAA certified
The $189.00 Bonavita 8 cup coffee maker (now on sale for $135.00) is a less expensive alternative to $300 Moccamaster and it’s the second most popular Specialty Coffee Association of America certified home brewer. It’s not a premium handcrafted machine like the Moccamaster but just like it, the Bonavita brews within the SCAA gold cup recommendations (optimal timing, extraction, volume and temperature). This coffee maker is compact, super easy to clean and use. And, with $135 price tag is a very smart replacement.
To brew coffee, simply open the lid on top of the reservoir and fill it up with water. Place a #4 paper filter in the basket, add coffee and place the filter basket on the carafe. Press the ON button. The machine brews at optimal temperature (195°–205°F) and water flow and needs about 6 minutes to brew an entire pot, which is pretty fast for this type of coffee makers. You can also activate the pre-infusion mode by holding on/ off switch for 5 seconds if that’s something that you prefer.
When the brew cycle completes, the Bonavita will turn off automatically so you don’t have to worry about that. What’s important is that Bonavita really makes an excellent and hot! cup of coffee. The thermal carafe keeps the coffee hot for a really long time too – approximately 4 hours. This model doesn’t have the programmable auto ON, but you can get this option with this model ($199.00).
Cleaning is so easy. All removable parts are dishwasher safe (on the top rack) and the brewer needs to be descaled every 3 months. That’s it. You can literally just rinse the removable parts after each use, wipe the housing with soft damp cloth from time to time and your machine will stay nice and clean.
quick specifications: 8 cup reservoir (40 fl. oz), thermal stainless steel carafe, flat-bottomed filter basket (BPA free), optional pre-infusion, brews at recommended 195°–205°F, auto OFF, 2 year limited warranty, SCAA certified.
MODERN : OXO ON BARISTA BRAIN 9 CUP COFFEE MAKER, SCAA certified
Beautifully built, the $199.00 Oxo Barista Brain provides a great brew quality but also brings some modern, useful features.
Brewing is easy. Fill the reservoir with the appropriate amount of water, place a cone shaped filter in the brew basket, add ground coffee and close the lid. Use the dial/button to choose the number of cups you want to brew: 2-4 or 5-9 cups. The machine will optimize the brewing process and time depending on your choice.
Like Bonavita or Moccamaster the Oxo mimics the manual pour over process and brews within SCAA Gold cup recommendations. The showerhead dispenses water over grounds with few pauses for optimal extraction. It also keeps the optimal temperature during an entire brew cycle. The machine even has a microprocessor that monitors everything. This results in great tasting, well-extracted coffee. And, if you like your coffee really hot, you will absolutely love this coffee maker.
The Oxo needs about 7 – 8 minutes to brew a full pot. Once the brewing is complete, the machine will go to sleep mode and it will turn off automatically after 1 hour. The stainless steel carafe is double-walled with soft, non-slip handle. Unfortunately, it doesn’t keep the coffee hot for too long.
To keep this machine in good shape, hand wash carafe and the brew basket with a mild detergent after each use and wipe the housing with the soft, damp cloth from time to time. Descale your machine after 90 brew cycles, or every 3 months. Although, the Oxo will also let you know when it needs to be descaled.
I’m pretty sure that Oxo will look great sitting on your counter. The machine is elegant, sleek and I love the backlit screen. And, if you want to program your brewer the night before to brew coffee in the morning, you can do that too. I’m sure it will make a great addition to any kitchen.
quick specifications: 45 fl. oz water reservoir, stainless steel carafe, small batch setting, programmable auto on (24 hour range), auto off, brews at recommended 195°–205°F, 2 year warranty, SCAA certified.
HANDMADE: 10 CUP TECHNIVORM MOCCAMASTER KBG 741, SCAA certified
With $300 10 cup Technivorm Moccamaster you will get a professional result and an exceptional cup of joe, each time. This premium handmade machine has 40 fl oz water reservoir, copper! boiler and comes with a 5 year warranty. And, I think that you can’t drink coffee from anything else after you try this machine.
To make coffee, fill up the water reservoir with water. Place regular #4 cone paper filter or permanent gold filter, add coffee and place the top back. Technivorm recommends using 7 coffee scoops for 10 cups. Press On button. As mentioned, the unit has a copper boiler (which we don’t see very often) and needs about 30 seconds to heat up and start brewing. Once heated, the water comes out in shower which ensures optimal water flow and coffee extractions. Of course, it brews at optimal brewing temperature 195°–205°F and brews an entire carafe in 5 – 6 minutes.
Moccamaster has pause and serve option, so you can get out the carafe and fill a cup in the middle of a brewing process. There are two buttons: ON/OFF and the button to set hotplate to hi/low. Hotplate is independently powered and holds the temperature at 175°–185°F. The unit automatically turns off after 2 hours.
Generally, these machines don’t come with programmable features (auto on/off, strength control) and that’s because they don’t need them. People choose them for a first class coffee and simplicity of use.
The SCAA certified home brewer: Technivorm Moccamaster is one of Specialty Coffee Association of America certified home brewers. That means that Moccamaster brews at right water temperature, brewing time, right volume, water flow and generally within the SCAA Gold Cup recommendations.
Maintenance and support: It’s recommended to clean the brewer regularly with a cloth, and hand wash the carafe and brew basket with mild detergent. And like all coffee makers, it should be descaled from time to time. Replacement parts and customer service are available online at www.moccamaster.com or through Technivorm Customer Service at 1.855.662.2200.
Technivorm Moccamaster is available in 13 different colors and retails for $300 – $329, depending on what color you choose. I realize it’s expensive but it’ll make you a happier, more morning person. And, with a 5-year warranty, it’s clearly built to last.
quick specifications: hand-built, metal housing, copper boiler, 5 year warranty, cone shaped brew basket, glass carafe, 40 fl ounces water reservoir, brews at recommended 195°–205°F, independent hotplate, auto off after 2 hours, SCAA certified brewer, BPA free. Made in the Netherlands.
One more thing:
These coffee makers pair perfectly with good, freshly roasted coffee. I’m not talking about anything pretentious or too expensive. It’s just that I know you can make the best coffee at home with one of these coffee makers and fresh, quality coffee.
The Blue Bottle Coffee, Verve, Stumptown, La Colombe, Counter Culture Coffee – they all have amazing coffees and sell them at their retail locations. They also have very good websites and ship their coffee fast. This coffee is slightly more expensive than the large brand coffee, but you won’t believe the difference.
Normally, a 12-ounce bag retails for $14-15 and you can get a beautiful single origin or workshop blends for $18-19.
When choosing a coffee for the first time, pay attention to the roast level. A large number of specialty coffees are light to medium roasts and can be too “weak” or fruity for some. If you love black, strong coffee like I do, ask for a dark roast. Also, a good starting point is always the roaster’s house (signature) blend. Even If you don’t have a good grinder at home, most coffee roasters will grind it for you at their retail locations or when you buy online.
You can also check if there’s some good coffee roaster in your area and try one of their coffees. You get to drink great coffee and support your local community at the same time.