A filter coffee machine is a simple thing. A mechanism sprays the water on top of the coffee, and paper filters it. How complex can it be? And why are you searching for hours? Just because all the producers add some additional functionalities on top of the fundamentals. And mostly the functions are the same but naming differently. Or they add real differentiating functionality, but you cannot be sure if you are going to use it.
At this point, I can recommend you to read my book; you will learn lots of things about coffee, machines, coffee makers and which helps you understand the functionalities and decision points. In this article, I am going to evaluate the filter coffee makers and brewing machines in detail, simple to complex.
AmazonBasics 5 Cup Coffee Maker with Glass Carafe – Black
This might be the best price-performance filter coffee maker with a small size. Uses basket style filter compatible with small size basket paper filters. One function button for start brewing. No extra functions such as aroma or programming. Only for 5 cups of coffee (27 ounces or 700 ml). No removable water tank. The carafe is not dishwasher safe, needs hand washing. Plastic quality is low but acceptable for the price. If you are looking for something very basic, this might be for you.
But actually not my preference, I love the aroma functions and heat level which this machine doesn’t have. Also, the design is not very attractive to show up in the kitchen.
BLACK+DECKER DLX1050B Coffee Maker
A few bucks more expensive than Amazon Basics, but provides additional volume up to 12 cups of coffee and programming function. It contains a basket filter which means it can be usable with standard flat base paper filters. If you are looking for a basic filter coffee maker this might be the option for you with additional programming features.
You can set time to start brewing which helps you to wake up with the smell of coffee. The warming plate keeps up to 2 hours hot. This is an extraordinary feature. Due to regulations in the EU, all coffee brands have to set 30 minutes of warming by default. They can set additional features to extend duration but that increases the costs. In my opinion, 30 minutes is less but 2 hours is too much to keep the coffee warm. The ideal is between 40-60 minutes. Anyway, you can turn off manually if you want, or it will be shut down after 2 hours. Non-removable water tank might be an issue if you plan to put it between the countertop and upper cabinets in the kitchen.
BUNN GRB Velocity Brew 10-Cup Home Coffee Brewer
BUNN is a well-known brand and its products are usually preferred by cafés and small offices due to a strong body and long lifetime. BUNN also has a double carafe product group specially designed for the cafés.
This model has no additional functions. Works with basket-type flat paper filters.
Some users left negative feedback about leakage, overflow, and not qualified brewing. But when I checked the photos I realized that most of them related to user errors. Not putting the carafe properly, over brewing (using water more than maximum level) and not pay attention while taking the carafe out or put it back in. But of course, as I mentioned in the book negative review have to be evaluated carefully. 3 Years US guarantee is a differentiating factor. Same as above, this product also doesn’t have a removable water tank too.
Cuisinart DCC-1200 Brew Central
Cuisinart has done a great and efficient job with this machine. The machine has programming function, 12 cups capacity, carafe heat level setting (low-medium-high), Slow brew function for 1-4 cups and self-clean option. The most thing I like about the design is the classic on/off switch. The filter coffee maker uses No 4 paper filter besides a static filter option.
Personally I don’t recommend built-in filters because they cause a blurred looking coffee and also grounds may pass into your coffee. Paper provides better filtration and taste.
Cuisinart DCC-1200 Brew Central Filter Coffee Maker has 79% positive reviews and around 10% negative reviews. Common negative issues are the reliability of the machine, electric switch problem and coffee grounds. Coffe ground in your coffee usually related to grinding size. While using static filters, you need to grind your coffee coarser that the filter holes. And unfortunately, coarser grinding causes a loss of taste on the coffee bean. Another reason why I don’t recommend static filters.
This machine does not have a removable water tank and a single cover for both water and coffee places. I know these options are important according to my experiences. Usually, they don’t seem like an important at the beginning but start annoying after a couple of months of usage.
In general, most users are happy with their Cuisinart DCC-1200 Brew Central. Af course the price is triple of the amazon basic but comparing the quality, functions, and capacity this is something normal.
DCC-3200 is a higher segmented product compared to DCC-1200. It contains all the functions DCC-1200 has. Such as programming, 1-4 cup brewing, carafe temperature setting, cleaning function, permanent filter besides the ability to use No 4 paper filters. In addition to these; capacity increased to 14 cups with a better and modern design.
Aroma function (coffee strength function) also added to the machine which lets you choose between regular and bold coffee. The stainless steel body looks good and easy to clean. Keep warm function can be adjustable between 0-4 hours which is very nice to have.
Although both machines have an adjustable heat level, DCC-3200’s heat levels are a bit higher than DCC-1200. The unremovable water tank and single cover for water and coffee are the same as DCC-1200, which I don’t recommend.
The most complainant issue is the quality of the heat plate. In most negative comments it is reported that the heat plate spalling after a while. But this usually happened when you don’t care about your machine. While taking out the carafe sometimes coffee or water might drop on a hot surface and this causes calcification. Calcification might cause the plate to spall in time. Whatever is your machine I strongly recommend putting a paper towel on the heat plate while cleaning the upper part of your coffee maker.
In general, most comments are positive, if you pay attention to your machine while using you will be happy with it for years.
Gourmia GCM3350 Fully Automatic Pour-Over Coffee Brewer (Pourista)
This is such an interesting coffee maker. Well designed and quite good looking besides preparing an automatic pour-over coffee. According to producers, Gourmia has created a revolutionary way to brew pour-over at home. The interesting function of the machine is a built-in scale, so you don’t need to worry about the used water amount before brewing.
The carafe very similar to Chemex and has a tie to handle easily. It has a permanent filter but you can also use it with Hario/Chemex paper filters as well. Just like its name (Pourista), it brews the coffee with pour-over standards. After the first drops of water, flow pauses to provide the blooming session. You can set brew temperature from 176ºF to 208ºF (80ºC-98ºC), and dispense ratio from 1:10 – 1:20 which helps you to preserve the unique flavors and tones of each bean type.
The programming function is quite nice to have but the function that I loved is the manual brewing mode. Bu the missing thing is the “keep warm” function. Pourista doesn’t have a heating plate so you need to consume it as soon as brew completed.
Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer Coffee Maker
One of the flexible coffee makers. Makes coffee into a single cup/travel mug or carafe. Despite this option, it does not have a big size. A nice-looking stainless steel outline feels quality. It uses standard basket type flat filter for the carafe and small flat size filter for the mug. The single-serve part has a reversible plate, which helps you adjust the height. While using a cup you can use the plate upwards, and downwards while making coffee to travel mug.
Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer Coffee Maker also has a programming function for both brewings which is nice to have for the morning routine. The device also provides aroma function for regular or bold coffee.
Most of the customer reviews are in a positive way, it has also received a 10% negative review but when you go in detail most of them are related to the experiences belongs to another model of hamilton coffee maker (the small single cup model). And the rest is related to user sourced problems such as, not using compatible filter paper, not cleaning as it is provided in the user manual, etc.
So overall, I like this coffee maker for providing two types of output. aroma and programming function and easy cleaning especially for the morning routine.
Keurig K-Duo Coffee Maker
If you are looking for dual brew coffee makers, definitely Keurig K-Duo should be on your shortlist. The most important thing is most of the users are happy with their Keurig. When I look for the negative reviews, I see that there is one common issue that the carafe part is not stable while brewing, such as stops brewing in the middle, button functionality fails, etc. But remember these are only 10%.
Single brew both uses k-pods and ground coffee and all negative commenters also confirm that this side works perfectly. The K-Duo coffee maker brews Keurig K-Cup pods. It does not brew K-Carafe pods, K-Mug pods, Vue pods, or Rivo pods. It is also compatible with the Keurig My K-Cup Universal Reusable Coffee Filter.
The carafe part uses basket type flat base filter papers and brews 12 cups of coffee. Both sides have aroma functionality which brews slower to extract better aroma especially for less amount of brewing.
The item also has a programming function, which helps you to wake up with a beautiful coffee smell.
To be continued…
Thanks for such a detailed post. I am confused about the paper filter types. I see that most filter coffee makers uses trapezoid or basket type paper filters. Which one shall I choose and why?
Thanks for the answer
If you are going to brew more than 4-5 cups you may use flat papers as well, but the best side of the trapezoid filter is you can brew any amount of coffee you want.
The main aim is to brew every piece of ground coffee, in trapezoid it is easier to do this because of the shape it has.
I am currently reading your book and it is full of information. Really nice, I’d like to thank you for it. My question is is there any coffee maker makes both espresso and brewed coffee?
There are several combo coffee makers with two stations in one body. One for Espresso and one for brewed coffee. I usually don’t recommend these types of combo machines, because if one of them has a problem and yo send it to service for a repair you don’t have any coffee alternate left at home. Also if you are not happy with one of the station’s performance you have to change both. If you still need this type of machine you may take a look for Delonghi BCO320, BCO330, BCO430, EspressoWorks barista bundle, AICOOK “3 in 1”. Also, anew item just released by Breville “All in One Coffee House”
Hope this will help you. If you need any other information do not hesitate to ask