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Best Drip Coffee Makers From Consumer Reports’ Tests


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Every drip coffee maker that comes into Consumer Reports’ lab brews roughly 65 cups of coffee by the time our engineers wrap up testing. And brewing is just one of many criteria we use to judge these machines. We test a variety of different coffee makers, as well as coffee itself. So whether you’re looking to replace a broken machine or trying to find the right gift for a coffee connoisseur, we’ve got you covered.

For a drip coffee maker—the kitchen’s unsung breakfast hero—CR has tested models that offer simple programming, as well as more complex machines with built-in coffee grinders and self-clean cycles.

“Consider what features are important to you before you buy,” says CR test engineer Ginny Lui. “In general, the price is higher with add-on features or accessories like a water filter, clean cycle, clean indicator, permanent filter, or thermal carafe.”

How We Test Drip Coffee Makers
We rate drip coffee makers on brew performance, convenience, carafe handling, and more. Our brew-performance tests measure the brew temperature and contact time (how long water stays within a sweet spot of 195° to 205° F for brewing). We also measure concentration using a refractometer, a device that measures the amount of coffee dissolved in each brew. Our convenience tests look at how easy it is to set timers, fill the reservoir, clean the machine, and more.

Below you’ll find reviews for 10 top-performing drip coffee makers, ranging from a classic drip coffee maker with a carafe to grind-and-brew machines to dual coffee/espresso makers. The picks below are listed in alphabetical order, not by performance. Prices range from about $40 to $150.

For even more choices, see our full coffee maker ratings.

Bella Ultimate Elite Collection 12-Cup 14623

CR’s take: If you like the look of black stainless steel appliances, then consider adding the Bella Ultimate Elite Collection coffee maker to your countertop. Aside from the trendy finish, it features a pause and serve feature, brew-strength control, programming, and an auto-shutoff. It brews a fresh pot in just 9 minutes and is convenient to use, earning an Excellent score in our carafe handling tests. For about $50, it’s an attractive (and affordable) addition to a black stainless steel kitchen suite.

Bialetti Combo Coffee & Espresso 35019

CR’s take: Though this Bialetti lacks typical drip-machine features like programming or brew-strength control, the machine makes up for it with a Very Good score in our brew performance test and a short 8-minute brew time. If you’re the kind of person who sometimes prefers a shot of espresso instead of (or in addition to) your morning coffee, this Bialetti offers the best of both worlds, thanks to a built-in espresso maker. In addition, the machine features a built-in milk frother, permanent filter, and auto-shutoff.

Black+Decker Mill & Brew CM5000B

CR’s take: If you prefer your coffee made with fresh grounds, this is the brewer to buy. As the name suggests, the Black+Decker Mill & Brew handles the extra step of grinding whole coffee beans right before brewing them. As a result, the machine is capable of brewing a great pot of coffee. It’s also easy to use and to clean, earning a Very Good score in our convenience tests. The machine is made of black plastic with stainless steel accents. You can program this model to turn on right before you wake up, and it allows you to adjust brew strength.

Cuisinart Burr Grind & Brew DGB-700BC

CR’s take: Like the model above, the Cuisinart Burr Grind & Brew takes whole coffee beans and grinds them fresh for each pot. It features programming, brew-strength control, a water filter, a permanent filter, and auto-shutoff. The Cuisinart comes in a stainless steel finish with a glass carafe that earns an Excellent score for carafe handling in our tests. But the performance and finish of this machine come at a premium—it costs significantly more than the Black+Decker Mill & Brew.

Cuisinart Coffee on Demand DCC-3000

CR’s take: The Cuisinart Coffee on Demand looks and acts quite different from the PerfecTemp model below. This pick is a self-serve model, meaning it stores brewed coffee in a reservoir with a dispenser instead of a carafe, providing an easy way for family and guests to fill their own cups. The machine features a removable reservoir, programming, a water filter, a cleaning indicator, and more. In our tests, the Coffee on Demand performs quite well, receiving a Very Good score for convenience. At less than $100, the Coffee on Demand is a great alternative to brewers with carafes and is a terrific choice for entertaining.

Cuisinart PerfecTemp 14 Cup Programmable DCC-3200

CR’s take: This programmable Cuisinart drip coffee maker, with a stainless steel finish and glass carafe, features a water filter, a permanent coffee filter, a cleaning mode, a cleaning indicator, and auto-shutoff. The machine earns an Excellent score for brew performance and even allows you to adjust the strength of your brew. For the money, this machine offers style and features that are hard to beat. It costs only a bit more than the Cuisinart above but is significantly less than the Cuisinart Burr Grind & Brew because it lacks the built-in grinder.

DeLonghi BCO320T

CR’s take: The only other combination coffee/espresso maker on this list, the DeLonghi BCO320T one-ups the Bialetti (top) with the addition of programming, so you can have a fresh pot of coffee waiting for you in the morning. The DeLonghi also features brew-strength control, a water filter, auto-shutoff, and a built-in milk frother. The downside? This DeLonghi takes about 2 minutes longer than the Bialetti to brew a pot of coffee and earns only a Good score for brew performance. But if you really want programming and a water filter, this DeLonghi might be a better choice.

Hamilton Beach 12-cup Programmable 49465R

CR’s take: This unassuming Hamilton Beach coffee maker might appear inexpensive, but it can brew a mean cup of joe. It comes in a black plastic finish and is fully programmable, featuring auto-shutoff. It’s pretty basic but makes up for a lack of features by offering solid brew performance and a decent 10-minute brew time. It even earns a Very Good score in our carafe handling tests. At less than $50, this simple machine gets the job done and is well worth the money.

Hamilton Beach BrewStation Summit 4846[4]

CR’s take: Another self-serve model, this Hamilton Beach BrewStation is made of black plastic with stainless steel accents. In our tests, it performs admirably, receiving a Very Good score for convenience. The BrewStation features a cleaning indicator, brew-strength control, and auto-shutoff, as well as programming. However, unlike the Cuisinart Coffee on Demand (above), it lacks a removable reservoir, making it more difficult to clean. But it costs considerably less than the Cuisinart, so this Hamilton Beach is still a solid option if you’re interested in a self-serve brewer.

Mr. Coffee 12-Cup Programmable BVMC-FBX39

CR’s take: For $80, this Mr. Coffee 12-cup drip brewer is surprisingly stylish. It comes in a stainless steel finish with a striking design that puts the glass carafe front and center. It gets a Very Good score in our brew performance tests and can make a fresh pot of coffee in just 9 minutes. In terms of features, you’ll find brew-strength control, programming, and a permanent filter. With this model’s good looks and performance, you might just want to keep it out on your counter.

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