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Updated for 2021. If you're here, it's probably because coffee is something you need on a fundamental level. It's the fuel to get you through your morning routines, your commute to work, and through the rest of the day. Maybe you spend a lot of time and money at coffee shops for the fancy stuff, or maybe you get by with coffee from gas stations and the local donut shop. Either way, you want some coffee at home, and for that you're going to need a good coffee maker.
Welcome to the ultimate guide to coffee makers, covering everything from the best coffee makers to choose from, features and accessories to look out for, and the best coffee to buy for the best results in the cup. If you're just getting into the world of coffee, or you want some quick info on what to buy, we at Whole Latte Love are happy to explain everything coffee and offer a host of excellent coffee makers for a range of brew methods and styles of coffee.
Top Coffee Makers
A coffee maker is a device used to brew coffee. That's the easy way of saying it. What that definition fails to include are all of the different types of coffee makers that exist, and the different coffee drinks they're designed to produce.
If there's anything to know about coffee, it's that there's a wide variety of drinks to try, all with their own unique flavors and qualities to enjoy. It stands to reason that there are almost as many coffee makers out there to learn about. So, here's a quick list of all the different kinds of coffee makers you're likely to encounter in the world of coffee.
If you don't know a whole lot about coffee (which is perfectly fine), you might be wondering which coffee maker to get, or which one is best for you. If you're like most people in America, "coffee" tends to mean a mug or tall cup of black gold and caffeine, nothing special.
You've most likely used to coffee brewed through a filter into a large glass pot or carafe, and maybe you dress it up with a little bit of cream and sugar. And, if this sounds like you, and you've done some research, you may have been surprised by how many different types of coffee makers there are to choose from. If you don't already know, "coffee makers" can include Drip Coffee Makers, Single Serve Coffee Makers, Vacuum Siphon, Pour Over, Cold Brew, French Press, and Moka Pots.
They're all very different ways of making coffee, and they each produce coffee drinks that differ in flavor, acidity, mouthfeel, consistency, and more.
Before you pick out a coffee maker for your kitchen, you'll want to ask yourself a few questions. Do you want something automatic? Do you want something that can brew a lot of coffee at once? What type of coffee do you typically get, and what are you willing to try?
This is where you ask yourself what level of convenience you need to be satisfied with your coffee maker. If you need something more automatic, you'll want to look at a good drip coffee maker. These can range from incredibly simple to feature-packed, including pre-infusion, auto-on and off timers, temperature control, automatic heating elements for keeping the pot of coffee hot, and a lot more. Either way, a good drip coffee maker will brew your coffee for you to enjoy without effort.
If you're interested in a manual coffee maker, you've got a lot of choice in front of you. French Press, Pour Over, and Cold Brew are some of the most popular methods of brewing coffee other than drip style coffee, and deliver some really interesting flavors. If you're new to this kind of coffee brewing, but you still want to give it a try, consider French Press. It's very easy to do, the equipment is relatively inexpensive, and it makes for a memorable drink.
This is where you ask yourself how much coffee you need to brew. If you want a lot of coffee relatively quickly, either for yourself throughout the day or for family and guests, you're best bet is a drip coffee maker. This tend to have larger brewing capacities compared to the other coffee brewing methods, and they brew automatically in about 6 to 8 minutes on average.
If you want something more personally sized, French Press, Pour Over, Cold Brew, Vaccum Siphon, and Moka pots will give you more complex drinks, but typically not quite as much coffee when compared to a drip coffee maker. That being said, French Press, Pour Over, and even Cold Brew have options available to brew more coffee at once if you like.
This is arguably the most important thing to know before buying a coffee maker. You should ask yourself what kind of coffee you want to drink. This can be a surprisingly difficult question because, for a lot of people, coffee is coffee and that's it. You may not have known or cared to have known about other types of coffee makers out there, but here we are with lots and lots of options to choose from.
To keep it simple, if you most enjoy a classic cup of coffee, you'll want a drip coffee maker. If you want something more robust in flavor, consider French Press. For more complex flavors, check out Pour Over or Vaccum Siphon coffee. If you like cold drinks or iced coffee, look into Cold Brew coffee for a smooth drink with reduced acidity.
If you've ever had a cup of coffee, you're probably familiar with drip coffee makers, also known as drip brewers. These brewers use a bed of coarse ground coffee, slowly saturated by a shower of water.
The water trickles through the coffee bed, through a filter, and into a pot or carafe. For most people, this is the kind of coffee that's most familiar, and certainly most popular in the United States.
Technivorm makes some of the best drip coffee makers out there and this is one of the most popular models available. It uses a 9-hole shower head to evenly soak the coffee grounds for a perfect extraction, brewing up to 10 cups in about 6 minutes. Speaking to the quality of the coffee it makes, the Technivorm Moccamaster KBG741 AO is specifically approved by the Specialty Coffee Association, an organization dedicated to raising the standards of the industry worldwide.
Also approved by the SCA, the Breville BDC450BSS Precision Brewer features a PID digital temperature control for adjustable temperatures and temperature stability, as well as Breville's Steep & Release Valve for brewing flavorful drinks directly into the cup. Other interesting features include its 6 brewing modes (Gold, Strong, Over Ice, Cold Brew, and Fast), and My Brew Mode for customized bloom time, brew temp, and flow rate.
The Technivorm Moccamaster KBT741 is one of the best ways to brew 40 oz of coffee in just 6 minutes. A unique copper heating element rapidly heats water to brew temperature and the pulse-action pre-immersion system allows the grounds to bloom perfectly. The resulting drink is a delicious and complex coffee that will make your morning shine.
The Braun KF7000BK BrewSense can brew up to 12 cups and features a programmable 24 hour LED clock, which can be used to set the BrewSense to make coffee at any time of day, whenever you want. Braun's PureFlavor System offers a full flavored cup of coffee you'll be sure to love.
The Breville BDC650BSS Grind Control is a unique coffee maker in that it features a built-in burr grinder, much like a Super-Automatic Espresso Machine. The Breville BDC650BSS Grind Control can brew 5 - 60 oz of coffee for a single cup or a full pot, depending on your needs at the time. The LED display lets you customize coffee strength, water volume, and grind fineness.
The French press is all about rich, flavorful coffee brewed by steeping the grounds in hot water and filtering the grounds with a built-in strainer or press. It's easy, no electricity is required, and the drinks are fantastic.
The Bodum Shiny Chambord is one of the classic French presses. The Chambord is entirely dishwasher safe and features a 3-part stainless steel mesh filter for impeccable extractions.
The Bonjour Ami-MatinT French Press is made up of unbreakable BPA-free Tritan plastic, and can make up to 3 cups of coffee. The unique lid and press leave less coffee sediment in your cup compared to other French presses.
The Frieling French Press features double wall stainless steel with a mirror finish and a 36 oz capacity. The mesh and plunger are all-steel as well. Because of the steel design, you can expect your coffee to stay hot for longer compared to other French presses with glass carafes.
The Espro Coffee Press is double-walled, made of stainless steel and uses a unique set of dual micro filters to better remove sediment from your coffee. The first filter captures coarser grounds while the second filter uses a finer mesh for finer grounds to prevent them from getting into your cup.
Perhaps one of the smartest French Presses out there, the Espro Travel Press is double walled, vacuum insulated, and features a patented filtration system. The Espro Travel Press' filtration system filters 9 to 12 times finer than a standard French press, so you can expect sediment-free French press coffee. Plus, you can use the Espro Travel Press as a travel mug, keeping your coffee hot for 4 to 6 hours.
Pour Over coffee is exactly how it sounds; it involves ground coffee placed on top of a filter in a vessel, and hot water poured over the coffee bed. The initial pour swells the coffee bed and starts a process referred to as the "bloom." The pouring happens in timed intervals and in concentric circles. Pour Over coffee is typically full flavored and complex, smooth but nuanced. If it looks complicated at first, don't worry, we promise pour over is as easy and as satisfying as can be.
The Chemex Ottomatic Coffee Maker is a combination of pour over dripper and automatic coffee maker, including a 6-cup Chemex Classic, Chemex bonded filters, a glass coffee maker cover, and a bottle of Chemex Coffee Maker Cleaner. The brew cycle progresses through multiple stages, accounting for pre-infusion and contact time between the water and the grounds.
The E&B Lab Pour Over Set offers a minimalist set up for lovers of pour over, with two flower-style filter holders and a handmade borosilicate glass carafe. The carafe has a capacity of 18 oz, can withstand temperatures up to 248 °F, and features a hollow glass handle that's spouted for another way to pour your coffee.
The Hario Woodneck Drip Pot features a reusable cloth filter with a wood handle that eliminates the paper taste you would normally encounter with disposable paper filters. The olive wood collar is tied with a decorative leather strap and provides insulation for your hand.
The Yama Herminston Dripper Pot is made from hand-blown borosilicate glass and includes a stainless steel filter and measuring spoon. Because the filter is made of stainless steel, you can expect to use it countless times before ever needing to consider a replacement. The carafe has a 20 oz capacity and features an ergonomic handle for easy pouring. The carafe is both dishwasher and microwave safe.
Truly a timeless vessel, the Chemex Classic coffee maker is the quintessential pour over carafe. The wooden collar and leather straps are unmistakable, and the spouted design allows for easy pouring. The carafe is made of non-porous borosilicate glass, and has a capacity of about 50 oz.
Single serve coffee makers are all about convenience. These are your Keurigs and Nespresso coffee makers that accept a single pod or capsule at a time, and make a single coffee or espresso on-demand, with minimal wait time and clean up. Single serve coffee makers are an excellent choice for anyone who doesn't want to bother themselves with the finer details of coffee, and just wants something to drink right now. They typically have an inexpensive up-front cost, but a higher long-term cost versus competing products.
The Technivorm Moccamaster Cup One takes all of the brilliant engineering of other Technivorm coffee makers, and puts it into one that's designed to brew a single cup at a time. It's not instant, as it steeps for 4 minutes to bring out the full complexity of the coffee, but you can expect a superb 10 oz coffee when it's finished. The Technivorm Moccamaster Cup One is perfect for anyone who wants very good coffee, but doesn't need a full pot to get by.
Leaning more toward espresso, the Breville Creatista Plus, comes pre-programmed with 7 milk drink recipes, including cappuccino and Flat White. The Breville Creatista Plus heats up almost instantly, and uses Nespresso OriginalLine espresso capsules to make drinks. The Lungo drink option can be adjusted up to 5 oz for a smoother, more delicate drink resembling a regular coffee.
The Nespresso Originaline CitiZ is a small single serve espresso machine with customizable drink volumes for longer coffees. If you like a lot of coffee in your mug, you can move the drip tray out of the way to make some space for your cup. The Nespresso Aeroccino is included in this listing, adding to the value of the Nespresso Originaline CitiZ, and letting you easily prepare milk drinks like lattes or cappuccinos.
Cold Brew coffee is a cool drink that's rising in popularity at different coffee shops throughout the United States. It's one of the smoothest kinds of coffee you can enjoy, and considerably less acidic.To brew, you'll want some coarse ground coffee steeped in water and placed in the refrigerator for 12 hours. Afterward, strain the grounds and you have your drink, chilled and perfectly infused. The brew will be very concentrated, so you'll want to cut it with ice, chilled water, or even milk if you prefer.
The Primula Pace Cold Brew coffee maker is made of borosilicate glass with a capacity of 51 oz, and it's dishwasher safe as well. The design of the Primula Pace allows it to brew, serve, and store your coffee all in one. The lid seals in freshness for storage up to two weeks.
In summer I love my cold brew and this is a great simple and DELICIOUS way to always have it handy!
The Primula 50 oz. Cold Brew coffee maker is a classic offering with a 50 oz capacity, a fine mesh stainless steel brew core, and a lid that seals in freshness. A silicone ring on the bottom of the coffee maker provides a non-slip grip. The included Flavor Mixer lets you easily stir your drink and mix in any added flavoring.
The Hario Fretta V60 Iced Coffee Maker is not your traditional cold brew coffee maker. Instead of the typical 24 hour brew time, you can use ice to rapidly cool your coffee while you pour hot water through the dripper cone. What you get is a chilled, pour-over style coffee with amazing flavor.
The Yama 6-8 Cup Cold Drip Coffee Maker is possibly one of the coolest and most exotic ways you'll find to brew coffee. To use, fill the top most globe with ice water, and put your medium-fine ground coffee in the center container. Place a small, circular filter on top of your grounds. Open the valve on the top most globe to begin a slow drip. Water will pass through the ground coffee and through the glass tubes into the bottom most globe. Depending on the speed of your drip, you'll get one of the most interesting coffees you can have in about 3-8 hours.
The Hario Cold Process Water Dripper Tower is similar to the Yama tower in that you'll fill the top container with ice water and the center container with ground coffee, but the design is more compact. You can make 2 to 6 cups of coffee with minimal acidity and bitterness in about 5 hours.
AeroPress is a unique brewing method that takes the principals of French press and pour over and combines them into a low-tech non-electric brewer. An AeroPress is made up of two copolyester cylinders with the smaller of the two fitted with a rubber plunger to create an airtight seal. It's as simple placing grounds in one cylinder, pouring in hot water, and plunging down with the other cylinder, serving coffee directly into the cup. You can even make AeroPress cold brew coffee with it.
Vacuum siphon coffee, also known as syphon brewing or vacuum pot coffee, is perhaps one of the most scientific ways of preparing your morning coffee. A proper vacuum siphon set up requires a stand for your equipment, an open flame or burner, a water reservoir, and ground coffee chamber.
A tube connects the reservoir and the chamber, and a filter keeps the grounds from seeping into the reservoir. Water will boil up through the tube into the ground coffee chamber and flow back downward through the coffee bed to brew your coffee.
The Hario Sommelier can brew up to 5 cups of delicate, tea-like coffee for those that enjoy a smooth, clean cup. The complete siphon coffee set up is included, as well as reusable cloth and stainless steel filters for separating the ground coffee from the water reservoir. When brewing is complete, you can remove the ground coffee chamber and pour directly from the water reservoir which features an ergonomic collar for easy gripping.
Similar to the Hario Sommelier, the Hario Technica is a full coffee siphon system with a 5 cup capacity, but with a more scientific design. Included with the Hario Technica are an alcohol burner, a reusable and washable cloth filter, and a measuring scoop. When brewing is completed, you can remove the grounds chamber and grip the stand to pour directly from the reservoir.
The Yama 3-Cup Tabletop Siphon is handcrafted, featuring hand-blown borosilicate glass that won't absorb aromas or chemicals to ensure a clean extraction with every brew. The stand features an ergonomic grip with a tasteful tassle and wax-seal style ornament. The alcohol burner is soot-free and reusable, washable cloth filters are included.
The Bodum Pebo is a large 8-cup vacuum siphon coffee maker that can brew 4 to 8 cups in 5 to 11 minutes. The biggest difference between this and the other siphons listed here is that the Bodum Pebo does not include a stand or burner.
The Yama 5-Cup Stovetop Siphon with a 20 oz capacity that doesn't need a burner to brew, as it's designed to brew right on your stove. Each chamber is made of heat-resistant borosilicate glass, complemented by the heat-resistant handle. The Yama 5-Cup Stovetop Siphon works on gas and electric ranges and comes with a wire diffuser for electric coil burners. The glass is dishwasher and microwave safe.
Dating back to 1933, moka pots are one of the most iconic ways to brew coffee, and are one of the most common ways to brew coffee in Europe and Latin America. The coffee produced by a moka pot is thicker and richer than your typical coffee maker, similar to what you might experience with espresso.
Bialetti is one of the most well known brands to produce moka pots, and it's no surprise that the best come from them. The Bialetti 6-Cup Moka Express is the classical moka pot featuring a timeless industrial design and aluminum construction.
The Bialetti Brikka 2-Cup is a much smaller counterpart to the Bialetti Moka Express, brewing 2 cups or 9 oz of coffee in 3-6 minutes. Just like the Moka Express, the Bialetti Brikka is made of aluminum and features 100% rubber gaskets for tight seals, and stainless steel springs and ball bearings for the pressure valves.
The Bialetti Venus offers a more streamlined design among Bialetti's moka pots, and features a stainless steel construction with 18/10 stainless steel components. The Bialetti Venus can be used on gas, electric, and ceramic ranges.
The Bialetti Kitty features a similarly elegant design but with a rounder base. Like the Bialetti Venus, the Bialetti Kitty uses 18/10 stainless steel components and brews up to 8 oz of coffee. Of course, it's also dishwasher safe.
Good question. Really, it's an impossible question. There's so many options out there for you to try and enjoy or throw out and never bother with again. Discovering the best coffee is largely an ongoing journey that only you can explore, since your taste is always the most important. There's a lot to consider: origin, roast profile, flavor family, whole bean vs pre-ground, brew method, etc. That being said, as the experts on everything coffee, we have a pretty good idea of what's most popular and the best places to start.
Lavazza Super Crema is our most popular whole bean coffee by a wide margin. People adore it. Lavazza itself is one of the most trusted coffee brands on the market, and certainly a favorite in Italy, and Super Crema is easily their most successful coffee. It's a medium roast 80/20 Arabica/Robusta blend, and can make for great results with just about every brew method.
We have used this coffee for 10+ years and it has never failed. We’d rather go home and make this coffee instead of paying $$$ for someone to make us a cup of coffee that doesn’t taste as good.
Maromas Orphea is a flavorful blend of Arabica and double washed Robusta that makes for a rich coffee with a chocolaty aftertaste. Maromas Orphea's strong flavor makes it a great candidate for espresso, but you can get excellent results no matter how you brew.
I've tried other Italian coffee beans from Whole Latte Love but like this one the best. It makes a very flavorful cafe latte with lots of crema. I highly recommend. You won't be disappointed.
Gaggia Intenso is a smooth 65/35 Arabica/Robusta blend with origins in Africa, Central America, India, and South America. With Gaggia Intenso, you can expect a full-bodied coffee with notes of cocoa, hazelnuts, spices, and toasted almonds.
Absolutely no complaints. I am in coffee heaven.
Filicori Zecchini Gran Crema Delicato has been recognized for its quality by the Italian Espresso National Institute, and produces coffee with notes of chocolate, vanilla, and toasted grain. Gran Crema Delicato finds its origins in India, Brazil, and South America.
Over the past few years I have gone through at least 50 bags of this coffee and it is my go-to. I often try a new brand but always return. Always very consistent and great tasting. I use it for coffee, espresso, and most often cappuccino. Great coffee at a fair price from WLL.
Coffee MIO Crema Plus comes directly from Australia, and Australia knows their coffee. Coffee MIO Crema Plus is a blend of coffee from the Cerrado region of Brazil and Indian "Kaapi Royale" Robusta, and has been compared to Australian chocolate malt beverages.
Makes great espresso for my morning cappuccino. I’m always trying different beans and this is as good as anything I’ve tried. Very smooth with plenty of crema as the label says.
It's a question you may not have asked yourself, but the difference in quality between pre-ground coffee and fresh ground coffee using a burr grinder just before brewing is enormous. Most people are used to pre-ground coffee you get in a tin or bag at the store, and that will certainly get you by, but if you want a coffee that's good (really truly good) you'll want whole bean coffee ground fresh just before brewing.
That being said, pre-ground still has its uses. If you don't have a coffee grinder, pre-ground is there for you, ready to brew. If you do have a coffee grinder, but someone in the house or office has different tastes than you, get some back-up pre-ground coffee. If you have a super-automatic espresso machine, and the hopper is full of your favorite caffeinated beans, but someone only drinks decaf, don't worry. Many super-automatic espresso machines have bypass dosers or coffee funnels that let you drop decaffeinated pre-ground coffee directly into the machine.
If you're looking to use fresh ground coffee for your morning caffeine, the ultimate convenience can be a coffee maker with grinder combo. These are coffee makers, typically drip brewers, with built-in coffee grinders that grind your coffee fresh just before brewing a pot of coffee. However, there's also a world of more robust automatic coffee machines, also known as super-automatic espresso machines, that do the same but with more features and customizable settings.
The Cuisinart DGB-550 Grind & Brew Coffee Maker cuts right to the chase; it's a coffee maker with a coffee grinder built-in. It has a programmable brew timer, so you can set it to brew at a certain time of day and turn off afterward automatically, a 60 oz glass carafe, and an included charcoal filter.
The Capresso CoffeeTEAM Pro Plus Thermal features a built-in burr grinder, an oily bean function for anyone who enjoys extra dark roasts, and a Drip Stop function for brewing a cup of coffee without needing to brew the whole pot first.
The Breville Grind Control can brew a pot of coffee or a single cup, with adjustable settings for coffee strength, water volume, and grind fineness. All of this is made simple with the LCD, which is bright and easy to read.
The Gaggia Brera is an automatic coffee machine with an adjustable ceramic burr grinder, adjustable strength and drink volume, and an auto-frothing steam wand for lattes, cappuccinos, and macchiatos. It makes great coffee, and espresso too!
The Gaggia Velasca is easily the strongest contender and most popular offering on this list, with its ceramic burr grinder, adjustable strength and drink volume, LED display and additional grind settings compared to the Brera.
An option that's always on the table is investing in a high quality burr coffee grinder, independent of your coffee maker. These grinders specialize in grinding coffee and get results way beyond any blade grinder you'll come across. If improving and controlling the flavor of your coffee is something that's important to you, a dedicated burr grinder is the best way to do it.
Of course, just like coffee makers and espresso machines, there's features and staples you should know about before making a purchase: stepped versus steppless grind adjustment, programmable timed grinding, touchscreen interfaces, etc. We'll go over the most important stuff for you.
We promise this sounds a lot more complicated than it actually is. When you see "stepped" or "stepless" adjustment on a grinder, it's referring to how you adjust the fineness of the grind. A stepped grinder has fixed settings designed by the manufacturer that you can select from when adjusting. Stepped settings can feel limiting if you're someone who likes to experiment to find that perfect setting, but they're much easier to adjust for beginners or anyone who values convenience over perfect flavor in the cup.
A stepless grinder has no such specific settings, usually featuring a dial or worm gear to smoothly adjust as you see fit. If you're into espresso, stepless is typically the way to go. If you're here and you lean closer to regular coffees, you'll likely be more comfortable with a stepped grinder.
For anyone who enjoys coffee makers, you'll want a good all-purpose grinder. Many coffee grinders specialize in grinding for espresso, but there's a healthy selection available for people who like the rest of what coffee has to offer. These grinders are easy to adjust and delve deeper into the coarse end of the grind range, so a good all-purpose burr grinder should grind for French press, cold brew, drip, moka pot, and even edge into espresso.
One of our most popular coffee grinders in this category is the Baratza Sette 270. However, if you don't much care for espresso, you can use the Baratza Encore. Both use conical burrs and come with containers for grinding in bulk.
There's a lot of coffee makers to choose from. A lot. But you're in good hands and now that you've made it to the end of this enormous guide, you should know a little more and perhaps even which coffee maker to add to your kitchen.