Despite the rise in popularity of home espresso makers and coffee capsule machines, the drip coffee maker remains a firm favorite in many kitchens. These types of coffee maker are easy-to-use and maintain, offering the option to make multiple cups and keep brewed coffee warm for up to several hours. If you’re looking to buy your first drip coffee maker or upgrade your current model, we’ve picked out three of the best to consider…
1. Cuisinart DCC-3200 Perfect Temp 14-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker
|Price||$80 to $85 (Check out the latest prices.)|
|Color||White, black / silver options|
|Capacity||72 oz (14 cups)|
|Programmable?||Yes (up to 24 hours)|
|Size||7.8 x 9 x 14 inches|
Cuisinart is a household name when it comes to home appliances, and they certainly haven’t skimped when it comes to coffee makers. The DCC-3200 is an upgrade on the previous DCC-1200 model and the consensus seems to be that the updated model is a marked improvement.
The first thing to note about the DCC-3200 is its increased capacity that lets you brew up to 14 cups at a time, making it ideal for both home and office use. If you don’t require that much coffee, the machine does have settings to brew one to four cups. However, the adjustable temperature hot plate can keep the coffee warm for up to four hours.
The DCC-3200 also features an auto shut-off function and is programmable for up to 24 hours – ideal for those busy workday and lazy weekend mornings. In addition, there’s the option to remove the carafe mid-brew and pour a single cup of coffee without flooding your kitchen counter.
For anyone looking to upgrade from the DCC-1200, it’s worth pointing out that the 3200 uses the same carbon filters and filter holder. The glass carafe is also the same as the older model.
Cuisinart seems to have ironed out some of the kinks from the DCC-1200, such as issues with overflowing and brew temperature. In addition, the controls have been somewhat simplified, with push button control and separate hour and minute functions. In addition there’s a ‘bold’ button that does indeed result in stronger, bolder coffee!
Maintenance-wise, the DCC-3200 has a self-clean function and a commercial-style permanent filter. Cuisinart recommends replacing the charcoal water filters every 60 days.
As for the cons, there is still an issue with filling the reservoir with water. The narrow lip on the carafe combined with the pour angle required means it is hard to fill the reservoir all the way without spilling. Also, it’s worth noting that if you like your coffee strong, it’s best not to fill it all the way to its 14-cup capacity as the amount of ground coffee the DCC-3200 can hold doesn’t allow for making large quantities of strong brewed coffee (even with the bold function enabled).
Overall: The DCC-3200 is a quality drip coffee maker that improves upon Cuisinart’s previous model in a number of areas. At around the $80 mark, this is a great value machine that promises a good cup of coffee and delivers a range of handy features. The DCC-3200 is a good option for anyone looking to buy their first drip coffee maker or replace their current machine. It’s also worth considering if you already own an older Cuisinart model and are ready for an upgrade.
|Price||$130 to $190 (Check out the latest discounts.)|
|Capacity||40 oz (8 cups)|
|Programmable?||No (but there is an optional pre-infusion cycle)|
|Size||12.4 x 6.8 x 12.2 inches|
|Filter type||Basket for use with filter papers|
|Carafe||Thermal and stainless steel lined|
Recognized by the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) as part of its Certified Home Brewer Program, Bonavita have clearly cracked the home drip coffee market. There is a range of models, any of which could have made the list, but we’ve chosen the BV1900TS.
The BV1900TS produces great coffee with minimal hassle and simple ‘one button’ operation. There are also some nice additional features, including the optional 30-second pre-infusion cycle. When you’re ready to brew, press and hold the button for around five seconds until the light blinks. This puts the machine into pre-infusion mode, meaning your coffee grounds will be pre-soaked to ‘bloom’ (release the CO2) before the brewing process begins. You can skip this step by simply switching on the machine with one touch when you’re ready to brew.
The BV1900TS does not come with a hot plate to keep the brewed coffee warm. Instead, the thermal, stainless steel lined carafe keeps it warm for around four to five to hours, as long as the lid is tightly fixed in place immediately after brewing. The BV1900TScan brew between two and eight cups.
What really sets the BV1900TS apart is the 1500-watt heater which maintains an optimal brewing temperature of between 195 and 205F (91 to 96C). This ensures an optimally brewed cup each and every time.
Maintenance-wise, simply rinse the removable and dishwasher safe filter after each use, wipe the outside of the machine with a damp cloth, and periodically run cleaning powder through a full brew cycle. Bonavita recommends descaling the machine every 100 uses, at least.
As for the cons, a lack of programmability could be a real issue; especially if you like to wake up to freshly brewed coffee.
Overall: For anyone mulling their options before purchasing their first drip coffee maker, Bonavita is a great brand to go for. The BV1900TS is simple to operate and you’re guaranteed an excellent cup of coffee every time. If you’re looking to upgrade your existing machine, you’re sure to notice a real (positive) difference with the BV1900TS. However, if you want a machine with programmable functionality and other fancy features you might want to look elsewhere.
Behmor Brazen Plus Temperature Control Coffee Maker
|Price||Around $200 (For latest prices.)|
|Color||Black / stainless steel|
|Capacity||40 oz ( 8 cups)|
|Size||9 x 9 x 15.2 inches|
|Filter type||Filter basket and reusable gold filter (can also be used with paper filters)|
|Carafe||Double walled stainless steel thermal carafe|
This is another machine given the SCAA seal of approval, meeting their standards on water brewing temperature, brew time, and for coffee extraction percentage. In fact, the Brazen Plus makes it on to our list due to the high level of control it offers over the brewing process. In short, if you love playing with your brew settings, the Brazen Plus will keep you busy and happy for hours!
The Brazen Plus’s standout features start with the futuristic ‘tripod’ design and imposing control panel. The large LED screen and eight buttons indicate that is far more than a ‘put the coffee in, pour water into the chamber and turn it on’ type of coffee maker.
The fact that you’re required to calibrate the machine before the first use should be an indication that this no simple on/off machine. You also have to enter your elevation to ensure the boiling point is in synch with your altitude. (Whether you’re glazing over right now or tingling with anticipation is an indication of whether the Brazen Plus s right for you!)
While there are default settings, the whole point of buying the Brazen Plus is to play with the adjustable settings to find the perfect combination. For example, you can choose to pre-soak your coffee for between 15 seconds and four minutes, and dial in a brew temperature of 190 to 210F (87 to 98C). As with the Bonavita, there is no hot plate. The stainless steel thermal carafe keeps the brewed coffee warm for around two to three hours.
A particularly useful function is the ability to boil water in the top-mounted chamber and dispense it into another device – such as your French press or Chemex.
Maintenance-wise, you can wash the removable parts in hot, soapy water and wipe down the outside with a cloth. Behmor recommends running a coffee maker cleaner through the brewer at a minimum on a quarterly basis.
The cons of the Brazen Plus are a longer brewing time (of up to 12 minutes) and also the relatively short amount of time the carafe retains heat. This is due to the lid’s design, which allows the heat to escape.
Overall: If you want optimal control over your drip brew, the Brazen Plus is a great choice, offering the chance to control everything from pre-soak time to water temperature. Other useful features include the option to heat the water separately and to program in the start time of your choice. However, if you just want a simple on/off coffee maker, there are better (and cheaper) choices than the Brazen Plus.