Do You Have a Great Drip Coffee Maker? Tell Me About It.
September 7, 2014 12:43 PM   Subscribe

I am desperately seeking a reliable coffee maker that makes a decent cup. What are your suggestions?

I had a Keurig and got rid of it because I was tired of buying the K-cups and I didn't like the residue when using my own grounds.

For Christmas 2013 I got a Hamilton Beach Single Cup coffee maker that uses regular grounds and I got rid of it because it also produced too much residue.

I bought a Mr Coffee, this model, because I wanted a run-of-the-mill automatic drip coffee maker. The first cup is palatable and just barely. Th remaining coffee gets burned quickly and it's inedible.

I used to have this coffee maker from Braun and it was the best. It had a burner plate but it didn't burn the coffee in such a short time. They don't sell it any longer.

Can you recommend a good coffee maker? I looked into buying the thermal carafe for the Mr. Coffee and turning off the burner plate. I am not sure if this is my best option since I don't think the Mr. Coffee makes such a good cup of coffee with or without the burner plate. Thank you for your advice and suggestions.
posted by Fairchild to Food & Drink (25 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Is making a single cup at a time using a coffee cone (something like this) an option for you? Or presumably you could get a bigger one and have the coffee drip into something insulated for more than one cup.
posted by needs more cowbell at 12:52 PM on September 7, 2014 [3 favorites]

I'm fond of my Cuisinart coffee maker, but I only use it when I have company, as my Black and Decker Single cup maker has served me well for 20 years and counting. The Cuisinart comes with a gold coffee filter and a water filter, so it makes delicious coffee. The burner doesn't over heat. I got mine for $40 at the grocery store.

I'm a bit curious, what do you mean when you say 'residue'? Coffee grounds that get in the carafe, or...? I'm baffled.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:53 PM on September 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

I have a Cuisinart DCC-450 coffee maker. It was a few years old when it was passed to me, but it looks like you can still buy this model. It makes four six-ounce "cups".

I hang onto it because it makes coffee that tastes good, better than any other drip coffee maker I've used.

When you say "residue" you mean grounds in the coffee cup? I never had that problem when I used paper filters. Now I use a wire mesh filter and I get some fine grounds, but I'm okay with it. If you use paper filters you should be fine.
posted by in278s at 12:58 PM on September 7, 2014

Response by poster: Oh yes, I should clarify. Thank you Ruthless Bunny. I am talking about grounds residue at the bottom of the coffee cup. Residue happened when I used the Hamilton Beach (no paper filter required) and Keurig using my own grounds.
posted by Fairchild at 12:59 PM on September 7, 2014

Technivorm Moccamaster.

It isn't inexpensive, but it makes a great, great pourover cup. I've had mine ten years, so if you amortize the $280 price tag...
posted by notyou at 1:04 PM on September 7, 2014 [5 favorites]

It's not drip, but the Aeropress is the greatest single cup coffee maker I've ever discovered. It is what I normally recommend to people that like the K-cup serving size, but not the enviro damage part of it. The Aeropress is easy to clean, easy to use (you do need a kettle, but everyone needs a kettle anyhow IMO), and makes an amazing cup of coffee- and quickly.
posted by DGStieber at 1:08 PM on September 7, 2014 [4 favorites]

I have the grind and brew model from Cuisinart.It's best coffee I have ever had.I use medium roasted Coffee beans from Costco.The freshly ground makes a lot of difference in the flavor of the coffee.MY HUSBAND AND i LOVE THIS COFFEE so much,we don't buy coffee outside unless we really don't have a choice.There is mesh filter but I use a paper filter on the top of it for easy cleanup.I don't get residue in the cup.

Hope it helps.
posted by SunPower at 1:08 PM on September 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thank you so much for the helpful suggestions so far.

To clarify further, I should say sediment instead of residue. Paper filters on the Mr. Coffee or Braun never produced sediment, only when using the provided "cups" so you could use your own coffee.
posted by Fairchild at 1:11 PM on September 7, 2014

If you're only looking to make a cup at a time, I really like my AeroPress, but I break out the automatic drip coffee maker when I'm making coffee for a crowd; the one I've got has a thermal carafe, which is really helpful. It's some sort of Krups, and is fine the couple three times a year I use it.

(Seriously. I really like my AeroPress. Great coffee, and no sediment. And fast; once the water's boiled, I think it's as fast as a Keurig machine, and the coffee is as good as the beans you give it. And it's cheap enough you could get one just to try it out and not feel incredibly extravagant.)
posted by leahwrenn at 1:15 PM on September 7, 2014

Best answer: Your number one choice should be the Technivorm. Your second choice, if the Technivorm is too expensive for you, should be the Bonavita, which is more like $150 compared to the Technivorm's $280 (the main difference between the two is that the Technivorm is made in the Netherlands while the Bonavita is made in, I think, China). The main problem with nearly every coffeemaker, including the Cuisinarts mentioned above, is that the water isn't heated as hot as it needs to be to actually make good coffee. The Technivorm and Bonavita don't have that problem, and the quality of coffee that come from them is the next level. I had a Cusinart for years and it was fine, but the difference between that and my Bonavita is amazing. The Bonavita makes coffee that's so much better. It comes in both glass and thermal carafe versions; I haven't noticed any burning issues with my glass carafe but maybe the thermal would be a better choice for you (I prefer the glass as it's easier to keep clean). Cooks Illustrated agrees with all of the above, per their coffee maker review (posted on the Technivorm site, fyi).

Short form: don't bother with a Cuisinart, just buy a Technivorm or Bonavita depending on how much money you want to spend.
posted by The Michael The at 1:18 PM on September 7, 2014 [10 favorites]

What made the most difference to the quality of coffee in our household was getting a grinder. Man, we will never go back to pre-ground beans. Burr grinders are best and produce a lot less sediment than the blade kind. Once you've spent all your money on a grinder, you can save it back again by using a pour-over, which the current coffee-snob favourite method and practically free. You need to hang over it for a couple of minutes but it's a nice meditative break from the workday.
posted by Erasmouse at 1:31 PM on September 7, 2014 [2 favorites]

Buy a decent french press. Spend at least like, $30-$40. The ones that are almost 100% glass including the handle are usually the best(and the one my boss always recommends to everyone is like that, which i'm having trouble finding online). This pino is about what i'm thinking of.

Everyone always raves about aeropresses and stuff, or debates expensive pourover solutions and stuff.

I consistently get fucking great coffee from my new-but-thrift-stored french press.

You can get good coffee from a pourover, better than a french press probably. Ditto with an aeropress. But it takes a bit of skill to do a good pourover, and aeropresses are annoying to dry after cleaning and a few other things that made me go meh.

A french press is fred flinstone simple, and after a couple tries on dosing will produce incredibly consistent results with no grounds in the coffee or anything.

I have no idea why they've fallen so out of vogue. Not cool anymore or something? I always feel like i'm recommending a laptop when everyone recommends tablets now, or something.
posted by emptythought at 1:39 PM on September 7, 2014 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Thank you so much for the responses. I love the idea of a French Press, Aeropress, and the pour-over method but went with an automatic brewer.

As soon as notyou mentioned the Technivorm, I started researching. I never knew about ideal temperature (roughly 200 degrees) and The Michael The, thanks for Cooks Illustrated article and your coffeemaker recommendations. I read it and went to the SCAA site for their reviews as well. I cannot wait to have good, hot coffee.

I purchased the Bonavita with the glass carafe on Amazon. (I read some reviews that the thermal carafe has some problems. It has a glass lining that can explode.)

Thanks again to all.

P.S. The pour-over method reminded me of this method if you don't have a pot, How to Make Coffee Without a Coffee Maker. I think I'll use this method until my Bonavita arrives.
posted by Fairchild at 2:19 PM on September 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

Nobody's mentioned it, but invest in a coffee grinder and keep whole beans on hand in an air-tight container. Freshly ground beans have way better flavor than pre-ground, and that will have as great an impact on the quality of your coffee as anything else.
posted by Mothlight at 2:23 PM on September 7, 2014 [2 favorites]

Nobody has mentioned this yet, but manual burr grinders are cheap and awesome. I would suggest looking into it.
posted by oceanjesse at 2:45 PM on September 7, 2014 [2 favorites]

I'm glad you got the bonavita. I got mine two years ago and it changed my coffee drinking life. The one thing I've noticed is that on my coffee maker, the two hour shut off timer seems to have failed so the hot plate will stay on all day if you forget to turn it off.

Oh, I also have a bodum burr grinder and grind my beans on demand. Don't store your beans in the grinder hopper if you don't want them to go stale.
posted by ThaBombShelterSmith at 2:57 PM on September 7, 2014

Response by poster: Thanks TheBombShelterSmith for the info about the hot plate.

I have a Kitchen Aid grinder and grind as I go. I switch between grinding my own beans and pre-ground but I must grind with my new coffeemaker. For a while, at least.

Thanks again to everyone.
posted by Fairchild at 3:05 PM on September 7, 2014

I have a Bodum b over and it is awesome. Like, the perfect drip machine.
posted by J. Wilson at 4:01 PM on September 7, 2014

I have been using this KRUPS KM1010 Prelude Coffee Maker for the past 4 years. Simple, one-button operation, the carafe does not drip while pouring, and the hot plate will stay piercing hot for 1 hour before it automatically shuts off.

I'm not a coffee connoisseur, but I can definitely tell when I've had a good, strong cup of coffee, and my Krups never fails me. I use Melitta No. 4 filters.

It's so reliable, I bought one for my parents, who drink even more coffee than I do, and their machine has also been running reliably for the past 4 years.
posted by invisible ink at 4:18 PM on September 7, 2014

If you're open to other suggestions, as seems to be the case, I recently bought what I think will be the last coffee implement ever in my life (I'm 44 and in excellent health): a Frieling double-walled stainless steel French press. I made coffee by pour over for decades and never really liked French presses because they were too hard to push down. Then I read an article saying that stirring after adding the water recirculates the grounds after the initial "bloom". Life-changing. I like pour over just fine but babysitting the process is kind of a drag. Now the coffee ritual couldn't be easier and I never have to buy filters of any kind again. Bliss.
posted by Sublimity at 4:33 PM on September 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

bonavita Is by far the best coffee maker I have ever used. No bells. No whistles. Just makes spectacular coffee. Even pre-packaged Starbucks tastes good.
posted by prk60091 at 4:41 PM on September 7, 2014

Technivorm is amazing, and I was a Barista all through high school in a Timothy's Coffees that my mom managed. Mine is 6 years old. I use a gold filter. Paper takes yummy oils out of your cup.

Krupps and Braun used to be amazing, but I just don't think the quality is there anymore.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 4:45 PM on September 7, 2014

[Seconding the Frieling double walled French press]
posted by oceanjesse at 5:36 PM on September 7, 2014

We have the same Mr. Coffee and you're right, it burns the pot quite quickly when left on heat.

I'm happy with the coffee it makes (we just buy the Kirkland ground Colombian stuff at Costso), though, so we resolved that issue with a $12 thermal carafe from Homesense.
posted by at 11:51 PM on September 7, 2014

I, too, have the Bonavita with glass carafe (3 years). Very happy with the decision and I think you will be too.

A few tips:
- the glass'll break easily. I'm very careful, but within the first year it surprisingly broke one morning just putting it back lightly on the hotplate.
- same as ThaBombShelterSmith--the on/off switch on mine gets stuck half-way when the timer is ready to switch off the hot plate. So it stays 'on' indefinitely. I just switch it off manually rather than waiting for it to burn the house down. (switch is right under the fill tank, so water may get into the switch occasionally causing the prob).
- I use a permanent gold cone filter; no paper filter taste, no paper garbage.
posted by artdrectr at 12:31 AM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

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