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5 Best Automatic Drip Coffee Makers: 2017 Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

There is nothing like the smell of freshly brewed coffee in the morning, the rich ground coffee beans mixed with hot water at just the right temperature makes the perfect beverage to wake you up in the morning. But if you are still drinking instant coffee, or you would like to update your old coffee machine to enjoy your own perfectly brewed coffee at home, why not invest in a new automatic drip coffee maker.

Our pick

THE BEST DRIP COFFEE MAKER

Hamilton Beach 48464 Brewstation  Coffee Machine

As well as being able to choose the amount of coffee the machine makes and having more control over the strength of your coffee, there is no fear of luke-warm or stale coffee as the one-hand dispensing function means you can just fill up your travel mug and go. Whether it is coffee for one or for 12 party guests, the Hamilton Beach coffee machine has got your coffee needs covered.

Choosing the Right Automatic Drip Coffee Maker

An automatic drip coffee-maker is one of the most widely used coffee machines in America, but for some “coffee snobs” this conjures up images of tasteless, lukewarm, stale coffee that has been sitting for too long in the carafe. But this does not have to be the case, as automatic drip coffee makers have undergone a transformation, and some more expensive models offer you a range of new programmable features.

Aside from choosing the right type of high quality Arabica coffee beans, some coffee machines give you the option to control the strength of your coffee from a mild taste to a bolder intensity.

Another great thing about automatic drip filter coffee machines is that they are superquick! Most automatic coffee machines can make coffee is 5 minutes.

As we have become a coffee culture with an educated taste, and as there are so many coffee machines to choose from, here are six tips to help you find the perfect automatic drip coffee maker.

1. Size

When it comes to choosing a drip coffee maker, size definitely matters. If you live alone or you are the only person in your homestead who loves coffee, then consider buying a simple and cheaper coffee machine. But remember; a simpler and cheaper machine does not mean you have to endure an inferior coffee taste.

A small machine like the Mr. Coffee DRX5 gives you control over the amount of coffee you need to make, from one to four cups, which minimizes coffee wastage, while still giving you great tasting coffee.

If you have a medium sized family of coffee drinkers or you like to host dinner parties or barbeques, then a machine that can make up from 8 to 12 cups of coffee is the best choice.

2. Coffee Filter Design

Coffee filters come in two different types, a disposable paper filter or a permanent filter. Permanent filters will save you money, and they are better for the environment, but they are harder to clean, and they can give the coffee an unusual or bitter taste, but this funny taste may be due to the filter basket not being cleaned regularly.

Nylon filters are the most common type of filter and they make it easier for you to dispose of the coffee grounds. Gold or commercial style filters are the best type of filter to choose and they can provide optimal coffee saturation. They are easier to clean, but they are generally used in more expensive machines.

A good tip for buying coffee filters is to buy good quality not cheap filter paper. Buying more expensive filter paper means that your coffee does not absorb any residual chemicals from the cheap paper, which can ultimately affect the flavour of your coffee.

3. Thermal, Glass or Carafe-less

Coffee machines come with either a glass or thermal stainless carafe. The glass carafe shows you the level of the coffee, and it usually is more lightweight, but the warming or hot plate can 'cook' the coffee, which gives it a burnt taste if you leave it sitting for too long.

The thermal carafe keeps the coffee warmer for longer periods, but the carafe might be heavier.

Some coffee machines like the Hamilton Beach 48464 Programmable Brewstation does not use a carafe, but allow you to dispense the coffee straight into your cup or travel mug.

4. Charcoal water filter

The quality of the water is also important for achieving a high quality coffee taste, and charcoal water filters can eliminate any chlorine taste from tap water or unpleasant 'hard' water taste from a water tank, therefore giving you a better flavour to your coffee.

The downside of using a charcoal filter, especially if you are using the machine a lot, is that you will have to replace the filter more often.

5. Innovative Operator Features

Drip coffee machines are constantly evolving and high-end or expensive coffee machines have extra convenient features that provide you with an overall better coffee making experience.

Alert or indicator lights show you when the machine is still brewing or when the brewing process is completed.

The “brew-pause” selection allows you to make a cup of coffee while the machine is still brewing.

Blue digital LED control panel makes the machine easier to use, especially in low light conditions.

A programmable clock and timer allows you to set the machine at night and wake up to freshly brewed coffee before you go to work.

An automatic shut off system turns the coffee machine off when you forget to.

A smart auto-adjusting dual-phase hot-plate element maintains the coffee in the carafe at an optimal temperature.

An Insulated coffee tank keeps the coffee at the perfect temperature right up until you are ready to use it.

6. Product Warranty

It does not matter whether you spend $50 or over $200 on your coffee machine, it can still malfunction, so the warranty is just as important as the product itself.

Some manufacturers offer only a one year warranty, while others offer a more generous five (but limited) warranty, so it is a good idea to read the fine print before you buy. This is even more important if you are going to be using the coffee machine a lot.

5 Best Drip Coffee Maker Reviews

1. Mr. Coffee DRX5 4-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker

The Mr.Coffee brand has been around since 1970, and this drip coffee maker is still a favorite with many Americans as it is easy to use and can make a very good cup of coffee. The coffee maker is ideal for two people as It can make up to four small cups or two larger sized cups. It is compact and simple to use, and it has a lot of handy features, the Grab-A-Cup Auto-Pause allows you to make a cup of coffee while the machine is still brewing, and the dual water window shows you the level of water, so you do not have to worry about overfilling the machine or running out of water.

You can programme the machine to make the amount of coffee that you need, so there is no coffee wastage, and you can set the timer to begin brewing at a particular time. There is a power on and off indicator light that shows you when the machine is ready to go, and the removable filter basket is easy to clean.

What we like:

  • Ideal for two people
  • Compact
  • Fast
  • Makes very good tasting coffee
  • Easy to clean
  • Two year warranty

What we don't like:

  • Not ideal for large amounts of coffee-making

2. Bonavita BV1800SS 8 Cup Original Coffee Brewer

The Bonavita Original Coffee Brewer is a good value drip coffee machine, and it is ideal for those coffee drinkers that need their caffeine hit fast as it can brew coffee in just under 6 minutes. The machine springs into action with just a press of a button and it makes pretty good darn coffee without the bitter taste, and it can turn itself off after 15 minutes.

Although it may not look as sophisticated as other models, it is sturdy and compact and quite powerful with a 1400 watt capacity. It can maintain an optimal brewing temperature up to 205 degrees, and the showerhead distributes water evenly for maximum coffee ground saturation.

The Bonavita is easy to use; to load the machine with water you just open the circular water tank lid, pour in the required ratio of water to how many cups you will need, add the coffee grounds into the brew basket and slot the basket into position above the carafe. Press the button and watch the coffee gold fill your cup.

The thermal carafe is made from strong stainless steel and can keep the coffee warm without any burnt taste, and the carafe has a tightly fitting lid, which means less leakage. The removable filter basket is easy to clean and it is also microwavable safe.

What we like:

  • Good value for money
  • Easy to use
  • Great tasting coffee
  • Fast
  • Automatic shut-off
  • Non-drip stainless steel carafe

What we don't like:

  • Only keeps coffee warm for one hour

3. Cuisinart DCC-3200 Perfect Temp 14 Cup Programmable Coffeemaker

There is a lot of love about the sleek and sophisticated stainless steel Cuisinart Coffeemaker. Firstly, it makes high quality coffee and it can keep it super hot in the glass.

The carafe can hold up to 14 cups of coffee, and you can adjust the temperature of the coffee while it sits on the hot plate.

If you are a coffee aficionado and like to have more control over your coffee making, this is the ideal machine for you. The Brew Strength Control allows you to adjust the strength of your coffee from regular to a stronger and bolder intensity, and there is a 24 hour program function that allows you to set the machine to brew the coffee whenever you need a coffee hit, and the ready alert tone lets you know when the coffee has been brewed to perfection.

The Brew Pause setting means you can interrupt the brewing process to grab a cup; and you can choose to brew coffee in smaller quantities from one to four cups

The glass carafe has a decorative stainless steel handle, and the coffee machine comes with a Gold-Tone Commercial style permanent coffee filter, which means no messy clean ups and it eliminates any build-up of coffee sediment. The charcoal water filter helps to improve the quality of the water, which is also essential for great tasting coffee. Another handy feature is the self-cleaning function and an auto-shut off button.

What we like:

  • High quality coffee maker
  • Keeps the coffee hot
  • Gold commercial style permanent filter
  • Two brew strengths
  • Adjustable heat setting
  • 24 hour programmability
  • Smaller cup capacity setting

What we don't like:

  • Coffee machine is a little too tall for small kitchens

4. Hamilton Beach 48464 12 Cup Programmable Brewstation Summit Dispensing Coffee Machine

The Hamilton Beach Programmable Brewstation Summit Dispensing Coffee Machine is a super slimline coffee maker that not only brews great tasting hot coffee, but you do not have to fiddle around with a carafe, as the one-hand dispensing feature allows you to dispense the coffee right into your coffee cup or travel mug.

No more luke-warm or stale coffee sitting for hours in the stained carafe, and the one-cup-at-a-time feature means fresh piping hot coffee at the push of a button.

As well as making it easier for you to make coffee on the go, Hamilton Beach have designed this machine with a host of other handy features, like an insulated coffee tank that keeps the coffee hot. You can choose how long you want the coffee to stay warm, and the strength of the coffee from a mild to a full bodied taste, and there is a programmable timer with an auto-shutoff time from 0-4 hours.

You can take control over the amount of coffee the machine makes, choose coffee for one or up to 12 cups for a dinner party. The machine also caters for the summer season as it can make iced coffee.

An especially useful operator feature is not only the water level indicator but the machine also has a coffee indicator line that shows you how much coffee is left.

The coffee machine is made from high quality stainless steel with a shiny black finish that gives it a classic look, so it will looking great in your kitchen.

Overall, this coffee machine is great value for money, and the design makes it so easy to make cafe style coffee in the comfort of your own home.

What we like:

  • Great value for money
  • Easy to fill water resevoir
  • One-hand carafe-less dispenser
  • Programmable auto-shut-off
  • Multple brewing options
  • Insulated coffee tank
  • Makes rich and smooth coffee
  • Can make ice coffee

What we don't like:

  • Water may leak down the back of the unit due to water condensation.
  • Only the filter basket is dishwasher-safe
  • Hard to clean
  • Noisy

5. Technivorm Moccamaster KBT 10-Cup Coffee Brewer

If you are a lover of great coffee and would like a more hands-on approach to your coffee-making, then the award-winning Moccamaster is the right fit for you. This master coffee machine has been made in the Netherlands from a high-quality durable aluminium body with a polished silver finish, a stainless steel thermal carafe with a brew-through lid and a travel lid that does not allow the coffee to leak through, and the plastic water receptacle is BPA free.

This super smart coffee machine has been designed in accordance with the strict brewing guidelines of the ECBC ( European Coffee Brewer Centre), and has been certified by the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA).

Technivorm has created a machine that combine three mechanical features that are necessary for producing piping hot and smooth tasting coffee: the right coffee temperature, coffee soluble extraction and optimal brewing process. These perfect coffee conditions can be achieved due to the manual adjust drip-stop brew basket setting that allows you to choose the right level of coffee brew for your tastes, up to 10 cups of coffee, and you can brew a full carafe between 4 to 6 minutes.

The copper heating element makes sure that the coffee is brewed at the correct temperature, from 196-205 degrees, and it shuts down when the brewing is complete, and the nine hole spray head gives you optimal coffee extraction, which results in a richer coffee taste.

You have more control over the amount of coffee the machine can make by choosing the open setting if you want a full carafe of coffee, the partial open setting for half a carafe, or the closed position setting for when you need to empty the filter.

Besides being designed with innovative heating and brewing capabilities, Technivorm also offers a very generous 5 year warranty, although this warranty is only valid only when you purchase the machine from an authorized seller.

Technivorm also makes a range of similar coffee machines like the Moccamaster KB 741 that comes with a glass carafe and an auto-adjusting dual-phase hot-plate element keeps the coffee super hot.

What we like:

  • Fantastic coffee
  • Fast
  • Thermal carafe
  • Copper boiling element provides an optimal brewing temperature
  • Nine hole spray head for extra coffee extraction
  • Auto-shut off after brewing is complete
  • 5 year limited warranty

What we don't like:

  • Power cord too short
  • No timer or programmable feature

Our Top Pick

Our top pick for the best Automatic Drip Filter Coffee Machine is the Hamilton Beach 48464 12 Cup Programmable Brewstation Summit Dispensing Coffee Machine. It is the ideal choice for coffee lovers who want great tasting coffee fast.

Our pick

THE BEST DRIP COFFEE MAKER

Hamilton Beach 48464 Brewstation  Coffee Machine

As well as being able to choose the amount of coffee the machine makes and having more control over the strength of your coffee, there is no fear of luke-warm or stale coffee as the one-hand dispensing function means you can just fill up your travel mug and go. Whether it is coffee for one or for 12 party guests, the Hamilton Beach coffee machine has got your coffee needs covered.

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