Savvy Consumer Time: How to Buy a Coffee Machine

Presto 02811 12-Cup Stainless Steel Coffee Maker

Presto 02811 12-Cup Stainless Steel Coffee Maker

The coffee-consuming customer is always right—but that’s even truer when they’ve done their homework. That’s because, as you can imagine, not all coffee machines were created equal. Some are fine, some are terrible, and of course, some are very much worthy of your hard-earned money. How to buy a coffee machine you know you can trust to be the good kind? We’ve rounded up a few ways to know it when you see it.

First and foremost, you’ll have to decide on the type of coffee maker you want. Press pots, vacuum makers, and percolators give you a more hands-on feel. The most popular option, though, is the automatic drip coffee maker.

If an automatic drip is what you’re looking for, some features that can make or break a maker are:

  • Timer: Being able to set your brew time the night before is one of the few surefire ways to get the morning started right.
  • Automatic shutoff: This invaluable feature will help prevent those head-smacking moments at the office, or worse, on an airplane, when you wonder if you turned off the coffee pot…
  • Filter: Some prefer paper, others prefer washable, reusable filters. Both have their pros and cons. Paper can remove bitterness, but it’s less eco-friendly, while gold filters can maintain boldness, but require frequent washing. Just think about what will work best for you as you explore the options.
  • Attached grinder: For fresh coffee, grinding is the way to go—but getting a second contraption out can definitely be a hassle. For those interested in grinding their own beans, an attached grinder is the most efficient way to accomplish the task.
  • Pause and pour: Probably the best invention in coffeemaking history, P&P allows you to pour your coffee before it’s all done without sacrificing the whole pot.
  • Carafe: Glass is as good as ever, but thermal coffeemakers are a solid option for people not planning to drink the whole pot in one go. That’s because experts say an insulated carafe better maintains heat without sacrificing flavor than the heated plates that warm glass carafes do.
  • Output: For most of us, a conventionally sized pot will do just fine, but there are most certainly times when a single cup coffee maker or dual coffee pot maker come in handy.
  • Reservoir accessibility: Presumably you’ll want to pour your water in without spilling it everywhere, but not all reservoir lids are as user-friendly as they should be. Make sure the lid opens enough to enable a spill-free operation.
  • Filters: Speaking of water, a chlorine-reducing water filter can help purify your coffee water, which adds to better flavor.
  • Pods: Individual, pre-measured coffee cups are very popular right now. If you know that’s what you want, go for it. If you refer a little flexibility, consider a dual option that can use products such as Keurig cups—but doesn’t have to.

Of course, the best way to do your homework is to actually check out a few well-reviewed options. We’ve checked out several of the latest and greatest in coffeemakers on the market, and here are a few of our current favorites:

We’ve got way more where that came from in terms of coffeemaker recos, so stay tuned for more of the market’s best coffee products!

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