6 Best Drip Coffeemakers, Tested by Food Network Kitchen
We brewed more than 100 cups of coffee and taste-tested each pot, to find the best automatic drip coffeemakers on the market.
Our Top Drip Coffeemaker Picks
- Best Overall: Cuisinart PerfecTemp 14-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker
- Best Basic: Black + Decker 12-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker
- Best for Hot and Cold Coffee: Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker
- Best Splurge: Breville Precision Brewer 12-Cup Thermal Coffee Maker in Stainless Steel
- For Pour-Over Lovers: Cuisinart PurePrecision 8-Cup Pour-Over Coffee Maker with Glass Carafe
- Best for Craft Coffee: Technivorm Moccamaster KBGV Select 10-Cup Coffee Maker
Tested by Leah Brickley for Food Network Kitchen
Automatic drip coffeemakers come with a variety of features, designs and at many price points. Some are designed for ultra-precise brewing and others are made for easy use and a quick cup before work. Whether you typically brew for a crowd, are rushing out the door or make time to grind your own beans, we've got an automatic drip coffeemaker just for you.
How to Choose the Right Drip Coffeemaker
- Taste: 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.
- Temperature: 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. The best coffeemakers made coffee with water around 200 degrees F and produced a hot (but not scalding) pot of joe.
- Even Brew: Drip coffeemakers generally are designed with a rain shower head that soaks the grounds evenly. The best coffeemakers have rain showers with a large diameter and many holes to evenly coat the grounds while brewing.
- Time: Whether you're always rushing in the morning or just need caffeine stat, a good automatic drip coffeemaker makes a pot of coffee in a matter of minutes. The best 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.
- Price: The best automatic drip coffeemakers don't have to cost you a ton — although, if you prefer premium coffee flavor at all times, you may opt to spring for a pricier model with more customization tools. Many of our top picks cost around $100 (our top pick costs just $70) and will last for years.
What Type of Coffee Works Best for Automatic Drip?
Automatic drip coffeemakers are designed for the masses and should be able to accomodate a variety of coffee drinkers, unlike espresso machines which should not be used with dark roast beans. Whether you prefer light, medium or dark roast or like to drink decaf, the best drip coffeemakers will be able to accomodate it all. When it comes to ground coffee, most are sized for automatic drip machines. If you have a whole bean bag you want to grind yourself, opt for a medium to medium-fine grind for optimal flavor.
How We Tested
We got nerdy. After careful research from reputable consumer buying guides, we purchased 12 coffeemakers. Each was assigned a testing letter ID (so our taste tests were blind) and then we took copious notes — about everything. 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 (about 20 pots total) with the same coffee across the board, following the recommended coffee-to-water ratio for each machine. We took the temperature three times: while brewing, right when the pot was done and two hours later. And then our tasting panel of six spent two days tasting coffee. (What we learned about taste: It's super subjective. Some people love weaker coffee while others prefer bold. Perhaps there is no such thing as a bad cup of coffee?) We tested every feature claimed by the manufacturer and then we cleaned them all.
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. But it’s not too bare bones! Thanks to the auto brew feature you can sneak a cup before the pot is full and rely on the automatic 2-hour shut off for peace of mind.
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 black coffee to cappuccinos and to help troubleshoot (which is important since this stealthy machine only comes with a 1-year warranty).
We’ll get right down to it, this Breville model makes an exceptional cup of coffee: It was balanced, smooth with pleasantly bitter notes (and the cold brew was great too). But it also carries a heavy price tag and is really meant for coffee enthusiasts who are looking to upgrade their coffee bar. The inner scientist in you will appreciate adjusting variables like water temperature, the coffee ground’s bloom time and water delivery speed, all in the pursuit for the perfect cup of coffee for you. And we’re not the only ones who are impressed, the SCA (Specialty Coffee Association) has awarded the Precision Brewer its Gold rating for meeting all their rigorous standards.
If you (or someone you know) appreciates the time and technique that goes into making a pot of pour-over coffee but also wants some automated convenience then this is the coffee maker for you. Cuisinart’s PurePrecision has a unique stainless steel side profile and boasts a carafe that looks like it came straight from a coffeehouse. But it’s not all about looks: the pour-over technique makes a great cup of coffee (thanks to the prewetting of coffee grounds, which allows them to bloom for optimum flavor) and it’s received the approval of the SCAA (Specialty Coffee Association of America). Unlike traditional pour-over coffee you can grab a cup before the pot is done thanks to Cusinart’s Brew Pause. Choose from mild, medium and bold brews.
The box is fun and mysterious (like opening a present), and inside you'll find a serious and solid machine handmade in the Netherlands. For the pour-over coffee lover who still wants the convenience of automatic drip, this sustainably developed machine brewed our favorite tasting coffee by far. The hefty price reflects the craftsmanship and comes in many colors, so you can be sure you get exactly what you want.