What's the best coffee-maker?
December 7, 2004 5:42 AM   Subscribe

CoffeeFilter: The best automatic maker, straight up -- no double-teaming, grinding or frothing -- please?
posted by thinkpiece to Shopping (20 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
We have one of these and like it very much. Water in the tank stays heated, so brewing is very quick. We liked the stainless steel for hygiene - plastic hangs on to stuff, it seemed with our old one.
posted by yoga at 6:02 AM on December 7, 2004

Best, I dunno. But we're real happy with this Krups unit. A thermal carafe is the only way to go. "Ah, the smell of burnt coffee in the mid-morning. It smells like...napalm."

Also we'll never again buy a coffee maker without an automatic timer. Invention truly is the mother of necessity.
posted by mojohand at 6:10 AM on December 7, 2004

I'll second the Bunn. We've had ours for a few years now and love it. No waiting around in the morning wishing the coffee pot would get on with it. It doesn't have an automatic timer but it's so fast I really don't feel the need.
posted by NsJen at 6:21 AM on December 7, 2004

Yoga got it right: the best you'll find is Bunn. Yes, even though it's a basket filter, and so on — it wins the water temperature battle, and that puts it above the competition. If you've got friends in Canada, one of the cheaper ways to get a Bunn is to get a Tim Horton's coffeemaker.

If you don't drink coffee regularly, the Bunn doesn't make as much sense, since its killer feature is that it keeps the water heated and nearly ready to go. We tend to use our coffeemaker only on the weekends and a French press during the week, so a Bunn wouldn't work very well for us at all. I'm really happy with our Philips Cucina. Cone filter, decent water temperature, removable reservoir that you can just stick under the tap, timer. The only thing I would do differently now is to get a carafe version instead of the glass pot and heating element we have.

That said, I think I'd be happier with a big French press and a really fast electric kettle.
posted by mendel at 6:29 AM on December 7, 2004

I have a Hamilton Beach Brew Station, which I like. I only recommend it for houses with multiple drinkers or power drinkers, as it doesn't stay hot long. (There are two of us, and we can take down the 12 cup pot in under an hour.) Before that we had an automatic programmable pot with cafe from Starbucks. Loved it. Kept the coffee hot, worked for 8 years making four pots a day. A little pricey, but the after replacing Black & Decker's pot every year, it was worth it.
posted by FunkyHelix at 6:35 AM on December 7, 2004

$100 for a coffee maker seems expensive to me. I've been happy with the Black and Decker Deluxe Smartbrew which you can find for 30 bucks or so. The design works for me. The number one complaint I've had about the fancier makers is that they often overlook basic things like the water level. I've had a super Krups espresso machine, steamed milk, blah, blah. I junked it after spending too much time squinting at the measuring unit trying to figure out how much water was in there.

The Black and Decker is programmable, the coffee stays very hot, the carafe pours without spilling everywhere, and mine has been running for 4 straight years without a hitch.
posted by jeremias at 7:01 AM on December 7, 2004

Although you did say "no .. grinding" I still think that this coffee maker is hands down the best thing that has happened to caffeine since, well, coffee.

Imagine waking up to the smell of fresh-ground and fresh-brewed coffee every morning. A small investment of time cleaning the grinder is the whole of the difference between this and a timed coffee maker, and it's worth it.


(pours himself another cup from said maker and just... enjoys)
posted by ChrisR at 7:25 AM on December 7, 2004

Consumer Reports just did a survey on these, and the basic Braun "Aromaster" ($30) came out as the top overall recommendation for coffee quality (although the model they evaluated doesn't seem to have a timer). We've got a similarly cheap "Mr. Coffee" set up that works fine, and has a timer, which is definitely handy.

Overall, as long as you've got a decent maker, things like the type of coffee you use, how you grind it, and getting the right ratio of coffee to water are going to make a bigger difference in how good a cup of coffee you're going to get.
posted by LairBob at 7:37 AM on December 7, 2004

Life is short, people.
Drink espresso.
posted by dong_resin at 8:02 AM on December 7, 2004

Thanks, all. I think I like the Bunn -- the commercial version is what most NYC delis use, and deli coffee makes me happy.

Just for the record, I've nothing against double-teaming, grinding and frothing under circumstances not to do with coffee-drinking.
posted by thinkpiece at 8:04 AM on December 7, 2004

Mark Prince's Coffee Geek website has great reviews of coffee makers. That link goes to a review that explains the importance of temperature. Very few coffee makers get the water hot enough.

The Consumer Reports article highly amused those of us in the specialty coffee and homeroasting communities. It was as if Motor Trend made a Matchbox car the Car of the Year.
posted by QIbHom at 8:19 AM on December 7, 2004

FunkyHelix: I have an HB Brewstation and it keeps my coffee hot literally for hours, even after the heater turns off.
The one thing I'd like to see is a combo of this one and the Bunn, it'd be the perfect pot then.
posted by kamylyon at 8:21 AM on December 7, 2004

Capresso MT500. All you need to do is try the coffee, and you know I'm right. :)
posted by Jairus at 8:21 AM on December 7, 2004

Yeah, Q, but "those of you in the specialty and homeroasting community" aren't posting questions on what to buy in AskMe, are you?
posted by LairBob at 8:21 AM on December 7, 2004

I've been using this Krups Moka Brew for about four months now. It's an amazingly good brew (and according to the Coffeegeek review, brews at the proper temperature).
posted by filmgoerjuan at 9:44 AM on December 7, 2004

Hahaha. CoffeeFilter.

If nobody else here appreciates your humor, know that I do.
posted by Alt F4 at 10:21 AM on December 7, 2004

I am intrigued by Bodum's Santos electric vacuum coffee maker, which got a mostly positive review on CoffeeGeek.
posted by hartsell at 11:00 AM on December 7, 2004

Alt F4, phew, thanks. (I was thinking it might have been used too many times before, though I'd not seen it). But the double-teaming-grinding-frothing thing was accidental, I made my own damn self laugh with that!
posted by thinkpiece at 11:39 AM on December 7, 2004

QIbHom is right. Most automatic coffeemaker's can't get up to the right temp. Even the commercial Bunns in my office don't get near the proper temp.

The best (and probably cheapest) way to brew coffee is a french press. A 6 or 12 cup pot is only $20 or $30, takes no longer than an automatic and the coffee is much, much better.

A Chemex filter pot or vacuum pots (which hartsell mentioned) are supposed to be very good as well.
posted by turbodog at 12:19 PM on December 7, 2004

I agree, a french press is best but the downside is that clean up is messy. Even those with a built in basket to pull the grinds out are messy.
posted by Grod at 1:40 PM on December 7, 2004

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