Best in Show: Editor’s Picks for the Best Coffee Makers 2012

Looking for the best coffee makers of 2012 for the special coffee lovers on your gift list? Or maybe you’re just ready to update your morning routine with a new coffee maker. Either way, we’ve got you covered.

This year, all the big guns in coffee supplies rolled out the latest and greatest version of their best selling coffee makers. So what’s a coffee-loving consumer to do? We’ve narrowed the field down to three top contenders, based on functionality, flavor, and financial considerations.

It may surprise you to see that no traditional carafe-and-pour coffee makers made the cut. That’s because the French presses and stovetop espresso maker that made the list live up to our standards better than your typical coffee maker.

Our Picks for the Best Coffee Makers 2012

Bialetti 6800 Moka Express 6-Cup Stovetop Espresso Maker: This stovetop brewer churns out six 2-ounce cups of rich, steamy espresso in less than five minutes. Plus, polished aluminum and vintage-feeling octagonal design make for a pretty addition to kitchen.

Bialetti 6800 Moka Express 6-Cup Stovetop Espresso Maker

Bialetti 6800 Moka Express 6-Cup Stovetop Espresso Maker

  • The Functionality: Simple design and foolproof directions make this a user-friendly choice. Just fill the lower chamber with water and the top chamber with fine-ground coffee. Then heat it on the stove until the water boils and the espresso automatically moves to the top. Pour through the simple fliptop, then handwash when done.
  • The Flavor Factor: The Moka Express maker produces espresso with a good thick consistency and light foaminess. It’s easy to control to get the flavor and consistency you most enjoy.
  • The Frugal Factor: Plenty of bang for your buck. Unlike the fancier espresso machines that come with all the bells and whistles and can ring in upwards of a cool grand, this simple streamlined maker will set you back less than $30.

Bodum Brazil 8 cup French Press Coffee Maker: Featuring a graceful, smooth carafe made with heat-resistant glass, here’s a French press you can count on for a smooth cup with maximum flavor results every time.

Bodum Brazil 8 cup French Press Coffee Maker

Bodum Brazil 8 cup French Press Coffee Maker

  • The Functionality: Makes up to eight cups of bold coffee with consistent quality. It’s as easy as pie to use: just place the grinds in the bottom of the carafe, pour in boiling water, give the grounds a quick stir, then plunge.
  • The Flavor Factor: The three-part stainless steel plunger has a fine mesh filter, allowing for the optimal amount of coffee/water interaction. You’ll get all the aromatic oils and nuanced flavors of the coffee straight into your cup, versus having them absorbed by a paper filter.
  • The Frugal Factor: Another sensible pick, this durable maker is not likely to break down like machines—as long as you don’t drop it, this dishwasher-safe buy will last you a long, long time—not too shabby for something that costs less than $30.

Frieling Polished Stainless French Press: Modern aesthetics meet classic functionality with this sophisticated 33-ounce French press. Unlike the typical glass French press, Frieling’s lovely mirror-finish design looks more like an elegant carafe than a coffee-producing contraption – but it’s both.

Frieling Polished Stainless French Press

Frieling Polished Stainless French Press

  • The Functionality: You’ll enjoy the same easy process as with the Bodum French press mentioned above. But one major perk: thanks to the stainless steel, you’ll have no worries about breaking the glass. Plus, the double-wall carafe is insulated, meaning it can keep things hot or cold in in-between times when you need an extra pitcher.
  • The Flavor Factor: An all-steel mesh plunger mechanism gives the coffee just enough room to fully come to life—without ending up in your cup.
  • The Frugal Factor: You’re paying a bit more for the double-wall collection than in our other French press pick. But at just shy of $80, this option makes a mean cup of coffee.

 There you have it—the editor’s picks for Best Coffee Makers 2012. Happy shopping!

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