I need a coffeemaker WITHOUT all the feature bloat
November 26, 2020 8:33 PM   Subscribe

My darling cats knocked my coffeemaker off the counter tonight and broke the hinge on the basket. It's a Braun KF400 Aromaster 10 cup drip machine and it's faithfully served me since the '90s. (I wish that replacement parts were available, but that doesn't seem to be the case.) But I digress...

So I need a new coffeemaker. Which seems to be easy enough, BUT I don't want all the stupid features that seem mandatory these days. I don't want a clock or programmable anything or warm settings. My machine literally has an on/off button, and that's it. It makes coffee and it's easy to clean and WHAT ELSE DO YOU NEED?

If you have any recommendations for such a coffeemaker, please let me know.

And also, if you happen to know where I might be able to get a replacement basket for a Braun KF400, that would also be fantastic. (I'm not ready to give up on my old machine quite yet, but we are operating under austerity measures and I can't drop tons of money on some of the "lightly used" models on eBay right now.)
posted by computech_apolloniajames to Food & Drink (25 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
If you just want a replacement carafe, any restaurant supply store near you can probably figure it out.

If you want fantastic coffee, day after day, get a moka pot.
posted by esquandolad at 8:38 PM on November 26, 2020

There is a filter basket replacement on eBay for $24 including shipping...better yet it is “or best offer”. Why not offer them a modest amount and see if you can get it?

posted by arnicae at 8:45 PM on November 26, 2020 [2 favorites]

It’s not the carafe that needs to be replaced—it’s the basket, in which the filter sits. And drip machines only please.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 8:47 PM on November 26, 2020

I just tested several coffee makers for work and the one I would recommend for anyone, no question, is the OXO 8-cup.

It makes great coffee, it's compact, it comes with a thermal carafe, and it is extremely thoughtfully designed. Even includes an adapter for single cup brewing. And it's on sale!

There's a 9-cup one that has a little digital clock and timer for scheduling the brew, but that seemed too fiddly for me, plus it seems considerably bigger.

Alternatively, my family has very happily used the smaller version of this Bonavita. For the same money though I would definitely go with the OXO.

The Moccamaster KBGV is much more expensive but more economical of coffee grounds and made it stronger too IMO. Has a heated glass carafe thing. Can't say I'd pay twice as much for it but thought I'd mention it.

Of course you could get a new basket, but maybe this accident is a sign.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 8:49 PM on November 26, 2020 [10 favorites]

We're happy with the Bonavita that BlackLeotardFront mentions above (we have the smaller version), and we specifically wanted an "on/off switch only" coffee maker with no other interface/controls/bloat for accessibility reasons. It works quite well for our purposes, and it's worked flawlessly for close to five years now.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:10 PM on November 26, 2020 [3 favorites]

I also have a Bonavita. Works great. Simple and reliable.
posted by primethyme at 9:14 PM on November 26, 2020 [4 favorites]

I’ve had a Bonavita for years and it’s great. Moccamaster is more upscale, love it or hate it design, but it does the same thing— gets water to the correct temperature* and evenly distributes it over a bed of grounds. I vastly prefer thermal carafes over glass+warming plate models,

* this is a rarity and rarely appears on sub-$50 machines
posted by supercres at 10:14 PM on November 26, 2020 [1 favorite]

Here's a complete KF 400 in pretty good shape for ~$60 + shipping on eBay.

The part of the hinge on the basket looks pretty unlikely to break to me, but the two little loops on the body of the coffee maker which the shaft of the hinge passes through appear to be fragile, and if one of those is broken a new basket wouldn't help you anyway.
posted by jamjam at 10:28 PM on November 26, 2020

Another vote for Moccamaster.
posted by wile e at 1:31 AM on November 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

Bonavita or Moccamaster.
posted by rossination at 4:26 AM on November 27, 2020

posted by glenngulia at 6:40 AM on November 27, 2020

I have the OXO 9-cup Barista Brain and it's a one button coffee maker that makes good coffee and is easy to clean. It has plenty of features, but is minimalist enough in it's interface that they don't get in the way.
posted by nickggully at 6:42 AM on November 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

We have the OXO 9-cup coffee maker & I like it a lot. You don't need to use the clock or timer; just turn the dial left for a 1-4 cups of coffee or right for 5-9, then press the button to start. The insulated carafe keeps the coffee warm for hours.
posted by belladonna at 6:54 AM on November 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

I was going to recommend our 14-year old Zojirushi, but they don't make the model we have anymore. The OXO models that others have linked is where I would go. Simple, no glass carafe.
posted by terrapin at 7:19 AM on November 27, 2020

Can you fix the hinge with Sugru? I’d give it a shot.
posted by cyndigo at 7:52 AM on November 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

Several years ago I bought a Bonavita (5-cup model) specifically because it only has one button and doesn't @#$%^! beep. Can't recommend it enough.
posted by niicholas at 8:20 AM on November 27, 2020

Another vote for a Bonavita. I purchased one three months looking for a pared down coffee maker and am very happy. One feature I didn’t put much thought to but that I now value is the brew speed. This coffee maker is damn, fantastically fast.
posted by scantee at 9:30 AM on November 27, 2020

Mr. Coffee. They're like $10. On off switch, drip, that's it. The only feature mine has is "sneak a cup."
posted by tiny frying pan at 9:44 AM on November 27, 2020 [5 favorites]

I have the same model as belladonna...it works very well and it easy to skip all the bells and whistles.
posted by mmascolino at 9:54 AM on November 27, 2020

Mr. Coffee
posted by Mavri at 1:43 PM on November 27, 2020

My parents switched to an electric percolater when their last machine broke and they're quite pleased with it. Super cheap, easy to clean, very little to break or go wrong with it. The coffee tastes good too!
posted by The Librarian at 2:27 PM on November 27, 2020

Just get a Moccamaster with a thermal carafe. They last decades and make great coffee. It’s the least complicated, most durable drip machine.
posted by chuke at 2:30 PM on November 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

Got a bonavita with the thermal carafe over 8 years ago. No problems, great coffee. I put the water in at night but grind the beans in the morning just before brewing. Coffee stays hot for hours.

I’ve never washed it out either ... paranoid because we tried a vinegar wash with the old mr. coffee and the smell never came out, hence the Bonavita. The OXO looks almost identical in form, so maybe that’s good too.
posted by freecellwizard at 2:52 PM on November 27, 2020

I already weighed in but I'll just add, having used both the Bonavita and the OXO, I think the OXO is the better buy at the same price mainly in terms of build quality and ergonomics.

The OXO for instance doesn't require you to remove the lid of the thermal carafe to brew, it has a special brew-through lid. And I've had a couple disasters with the Bonavita because the filter got pushed out of the way when i put the thing in (it's kind of a tight fit); this isn't possible with the OXO because the basket drops in and the lid flips down onto it. The thing that struck me about the OXO was that it's designed to be foolproof and simplifies even things you thought couldn't get any simpler. I believe the 9-cup, while slightly more complex, does retain many of these qualities.

Honestly they're both excellent and good buys but if you happen to be on the fence, that's my (additional) two cents. Since you're clearly thinking hard about this I figure more information won't be unwelcome.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 1:08 PM on November 28, 2020

Thank you all for the recommendations. Unfortunately when I say money is tight, things as they are preclude buying anything north of $50, let alone $100 or $300. We have gorilla-taped the old machine into a functional state, and we will get by until Christmas.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 5:57 AM on December 1, 2020

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