The 8 Best Coffeemakers, Tested by Food Network Kitchen
Whether you prefer hot or cold coffee, drip or espresso, we've tested our fair share of coffeemakers to find the best ones you can buy.
Our Top Coffeemaker Picks
- Best Automatic Drip Coffeemaker: Cuisinart PerfecTemp 14-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker
- Best Basic Drip Coffeemaker: Black + Decker 12-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker
- Best Single-Serve Coffeemaker: Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker
- Best Nespresso: Nespresso VertuoPlus
- Best Espresso Machine: Breville Bambino Plus
- Best for Iced Coffee: Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker
- Best Cold Brew Maker: OXO Brew Cold Brew Maker
- Best French Press: Espro P7 French Press
What makes a great coffeemaker? It depends on the person. Some love the convenience of auto brew and permanent filters. Others like compactness and value, while some people care about style, color or being able to brew cold coffee alone. However, one thing all coffee drinkers can agree on: your coffeemaker of choice should make coffee you crave.
We've tested more than our fair share of coffeemakers across a variety of categories. Some are designed for easy use and convenience, while others are made for those who take the art of coffee seriously. Whether you're looking for a basic drip machine, iced coffee machine or something in between, we've found the best coffeemakers for everyone.
What to Consider Before Buying a Coffeemaker
- All of the best coffeemakers need to make a tasty cup of coffee. Whether you prefer smooth cold brew or like the acidic taste that comes with a hot cup of coffee, we made sure all of our top picks can churn out a quality cup.
- Whether you're always rushing in the morning or prefer to take your coffee at a more leisurely pace, it's important to take into consideration how long you can wait for your coffee to brew. Single serve machines can brew a cup in minutes, and our automatic drip picks also turn out a pot pretty fast. However, French press and espresso can be more of a process and might not be as convenient on busy mornings.
- The best coffeemakers don't have to cost you a fortune, although, many of the best machines will set you back at least $50 to $100. That said, if you're a daily coffee drinker, you'll be sure to get a return on your investment.
What to Know About Drip Coffeemakers
The best drip coffeemakers in our test all made great-tasting coffee. We tested the coffee for each after brewing a full pot and did a blind taste-test with multiple people with a variety of coffee preferences. The temperature of the water matters with automatic drip coffeemakers. Too hot and the coffee can take on an acidic taste, too cold and the water won't extract as much flavor from the grounds. Drip coffeemakers generally are designed with a rain shower head that soaks the grounds evenly. The best drip coffeemakers could brew a 12-cup pot in under 10 minutes and we appreciated models with a stop-brew feature that allows you to pause the brewing process to pour a cup right when you need it.
At 14 cups, this model made our biggest brew and with the Brew Pause feature the caffeine-deprived can sneak a quick cup before the pot is full. Coffee stays hot for up to 2 hours (perfect for big brunches) and the auto brew feature means the machine will be up and brewing before you. Choose between model colors and regular or bold brews depending on your crowd's taste. There's a charcoal water filter that needs replacing every 60 days, so set yourself a reminder. You can register your model with a simple photo text, the only one we tested with this special customer service feature.
Don't need any bells and whistles on your machine? This super affordable model is simple all around: from programming to brewing and cleaning. And itâs not too bare bones! Use auto brew for easy mornings: Sneak a cup before the pot is full and rely on the automatic 2-hour shut off for peace of mind.
What to Know About Single-Serve Coffeemakers
Most single-servce coffee machines churn out medium strength and medium bodied. If you like an extra rich brew, you may want to look for one that gives you strength control to avoid being disappointed. Most work with pods or capsules and you need to keep a supply on hand and find a place to store them. Coffee pods are not compostable. Most are recyclable, but you will have to peel off the lid, toss or compost the coffee grounds inside, and then rinse out the pods before throwing them in your recycling bin.
Keurig is synonymous with single-serve coffeemaking and the Classic is the best Keurig and single-serve coffee machine for most people. It makes well-designed, solid machines. This model holds 48 ounces of water in its tank or enough to brew anywhere from about 4 to 8 cups, depending on whether you choose to make 6-, 8-, or 10-ounces of coffee. You can pull the tank out to fill it at the sink. To accommodate your favorite travel mug, you remove the drip tray. Once you turn it on in the morning, the Keurig takes about 4 minutes to heat the water up and then less than a minute to deliver your coffee. In less than another 60 seconds, you can brew a second cup. After 2 hours the machine shuts itself off so you don’t have to sit at your desk and worry that you left it on. You can have your K-Classic with a black or red casing.
A vast selection of pods called K-Cups is sold. In addition to hundreds of types of coffee, varieties of tea, cocoa, and chai are offered. K-Cups are widely available at supermarkets and mass merchants as well as by mail order.
The best Nespresso machine is the most basic machine in the Vertuo line, the Vertuo Plus. It can brew espresso and drip-style coffee drinks. The Vertuo Plus has a 40-ounce water reservoir that can stay behind the machine or swivel next to it, depending on the available counter space. The capsule tray holds up to 10 used capsules. You can buy this machine on its own or bundled with a milk frother (pictured) for more drink options.
What to Know About Espresso Machines
Espresso machines use pressure to force or express almost-boiling water through finely-ground coffee in less than 30 seconds. They produce a small "shot" of full-bodied, intensely flavored coffee that has a frothy golden layer on top called crema. Espresso-making requires finely ground coffee beans and is generally made with dark roasted coffee beans. There are four basic types of machines that cater to different types of coffee drinkers: manual, semi-automatic, full automatic and capsule. Our top pick is a semi-automatic machine.
The Bambino Plus is a compact and beautifully designed machine that consistently turns out a superb cup of coffee with minimal effort on your part. From the time you turn it on, it needs only 3 seconds to be ready to pull single or double shots. If you want, you can adjust the espresso settings for a shorter or longer cupful. While you have to set a pitcher of milk beneath the steam wand and turn on the frother, you don’t have to hold or swirl the pitcher or determine when to stop frothing. The frothing results are truly impressive and you can adjust the temperature and the texture of your foam.
You can easily remove the 2-liter water reservoir to fill it at the sink. After you froth, the machine automatically rinses milk from the wand. With the Bambino you get a tamper (a very useful tool to trim the tamped coffee), a milk pitcher, and cleaning tools. What you don’t get is a built-in coffee grinder or a spout for making hot water for Americanos or a cup of tea. Choose from seven colors including champagne and oyster shell.
What to Know About Iced Coffee and Cold Brew Makers
Iced coffee and cold brew are made with different brewing methods. Machines that can brew iced coffee will start with a hot brew and pour it out over ice or at a lower temperature than a typical cup of coffee. Iced coffee is a higher-acidity cup like hot coffee. Cold brew is a method of brewing that produces coffee with low acidity. Cold or room temperature coffee is poured over grounds and allowed to steep for 12 to 24 hours. The grounds are strained from the liquid to produce a batch of cold brew.
Put on your barista apron and get ready for some caffeinated fun. Perfect for those who have family and friends with very different coffee orders. The different 5-brew and 6-size settings (and the built-in milk froth wand) will ensure that everyone sips happy. Use the recipe booklet and online videos to make everything from iced coffee to lattes and to help troubleshoot (which is important since this stealthy machine only comes with a 1-year warranty).
This sleek set-up fits perfectly on a countertop and churns out batches of cold brew concentrate in 12-to-24 hours. The coffee drains automatically once the brewer is placed on the carafe, which means you don't have to deal with messy plugs and leaking coffee. Once the cycle is complete, you can simply store the glass carafe in the fridge for easy mixing. Since you only need about two ounces of the concentrate per drink, you can brew a week's worth of coffee or more for a household. We also love the compact version of this maker for dorms, apartments and offices.
What to Know About French Press
We found that the quality of different French presses varied greatly. All of our favorites were made from stainless steel — we found the glass and plastic ones less sturdy and the one made from stoneware was beautiful but lacked the thoughtful design of other models (and yet it was on the expensive side). Devotees of the French press say this brewing method yields a richer, more aromatic result, since the metal filter and steeping time allows more of the coffee’s natural oils in than paper filters used in other methods. Plus, microscopic grounds in the finished coffee give you a more full-bodied brew.
If money is no object, go ahead and splurge on this French press. It’s as elegantly designed as it is sleek and yielded us the smoothest cup by far thanks to its double filter system. Though other models have double filters, the ESPRO P7 has a patented design with deeper microfilters that twist and lock together. As effective as the filters are, they’re also simple to use, disassemble and clean. Also, with most French presses, instructions advise you to remove the coffee as soon as it’s brewed to keep it from getting bitter, so you would have to transfer it to another insulated pot if you weren’t using it all right away (the pot makes four 8-ounce cups), but this model states that it's okay to leave the coffee in the pot. We tasted it after 30 and 60 minutes (along with taking the temperature), and, as promised, the coffee was still smooth rather than bitter.
How We Tested
In testing all coffeemaker categories, we first took into account the design, size, price and interface of the machines. We noted how much trash each machine left behind after it was unpacked, read every instruction manual and set up all the machines according to manufacturers' specifications.
Then we began to brew with the same coffee across the board for each test, following the recommended coffee-to-water ratio for each machine. When the coffee was ready, we taste-tested each brew for flavor, texture and temperature. Coffee is extremely subjective, so it was important not to count out a machine that didn't brew to our tester's specific taste preferences.
Finally, we cleaned each machine according to the manufacturer's instructions and took into account any parts that were dishwasher safe.