The Best Automatic Drip Coffee Makers

best-automatic-drip-coffee-maker

If you’re hunting for the best coffee machine, you’ll be overwhelmed with options.

If you’ve got even a passing interest in coffee, you’ll almost certainly have heard of automatic drip coffee makers but what are these exactly and why are they so popular?

In the early 1900s, Melitta filters appeared on the market to streamline coffee making. By placing a paper filter inside a simple plastic cone with holes in the bottom, coffee drips slowly through the filter and into the cup. Drip coffee makers harness this same principle and amplify it.

Boiled water, then, is dripped down over a filter packed with finely ground coffee. With automatic machines, cold water goes into a reservoir where it’s brought to boil by a heating element. Steam then rises up through a tube and condenses. The condensed water is directed over the coffee grounds by a shower head then the water flows on down through the filter. A heating plate under the carafe keeps the brewed coffee warm.

The very first automatic drip coffee maker was brought to market by the inimitable Mr Coffee way back in 1972 so this brewing method has decades of heritage.

Today, drip coffee makers haven’t changed much at all and their popularity has continued to soar. Almost three-quarters of all American households own one of these versatile and affordable machines.

We’ll be highlighting a handful of the every finest automatics on the market today.

If you like your coffee made the traditional way without any of the hassle of more elaborate methods like pour-over, a drip machine is the obvious choice.

We’ll dive right in now with a look at the 7 best machine up for grabs…


I. Top 7 Best Automatic Drip Coffee Makers

1. Our Pick: Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed IQ System

Ninja-Hot-Auto-iQ-Coffee-Maker-with-6-Brew-Sizes

Our overall pick is the might hot and cold IQ system from Ninja offering unrivalled freedom in a cost-effective multipurpose machine.

Choice is robust every step of the way. First off, you can choose from 5 strengths (classic, rich, specialty, cold brew and over ice). With a half-dozen sizes to choose from, you’ve got all bases covered from short shots through to travel mugs.

Tea and coffee baskets let you brew loose or bagged tea and any type of coffee so you won’t be locked into any ecosystem.

The interface makes navigation a cinch and you’ll get a tech-driven machine that’s remarkably easy to use even for complete beginners.

If you prefer your beverages iced, all you need to do is hit a button for a refreshing cold drink any time of the day.

We tested the model packing a thermal carafe but there’s also a glass carafe version if you prefer.

While customer care comes under fire, this tea and coffee combo is so well built, you shouldn’t find yourself needing to call in the cavalry anyway.

If you’ve got a large family all with different tastes in tea and coffee, this workhorse from Ninja is the obvious solution and will keep everyone happy.
Things We Like

  • Brew coffee or tea hot or iced for maximum versatility
  • 5 brew strengths and 6 brew sizes to enhance flexibility even further
  • Dedicated tea and coffee baskets for a clean drink every time

Things We Dislike

  • Customer service is questionable

Ninja Coffee Bar Reviews


2. Upgrade Pick: Technivorm Moccamaster Coffee Brewer

Technivorm-Moccamaster-59462-KBG-Coffee-Brewer

Technivorm’s Moccamaster line-up has many variants and the 59462 KGB is an exceptional drip coffee maker for anyone with demanding tastes.

On the surface, this machine is exceedingly simple but that’s all part of the attraction. You won’t have a pump to deal with and the proprietary copper heating element helps to deliver 4 to 6 minute brew times perfect for those chaotic mornings.

A 100-minute auto shut-off ensures you can keep your coffee sitting long enough to drink the whole carafe but you won’t have any lingering safety concerns if you head out leaving it switched on.

Build quality is unparalleled with a rugged metal chassis and BPA-free plastic giving you durability with no fear of phthalates or any other contaminants.

While the base model is black, you can also pick from a bewildering selection of colors. This might just be the most time-consuming element of your purchase!

No Technivorm Moccamasters are cut out for bargain hunters but, if you’re a coffee purist looking for one of the finest drip coffee machines out there, you can’t go wrong.
Things We Like

  • Comes in a staggering array of colors to mesh with all design schemes
  • Pump-free and with copper boiling element to ensure quick, precise brewing with the minimum of fuss
  • Exceptional 5-year limited warranty

Things We Dislike

  • Savagely expensive although still represents great overall value

Best Pour Over Coffee Makers


3. Also Great: Breville BDC450 Coffee Brewer with Thermal Carafe

Breville-BDC450-Precision-Brewer-Coffee-Maker-with-Thermal-Carafe

Looking lean and mean in brushed stainless steel, the Breville reeks of quality and comes in as our worthy runner-up.

This is a tech-laden machine but still suitable for beginners since it’s also incredibly easy to use.

You can brew up any amount of coffee that takes your fancy with the filter and basket bundled. You can opt for the flat-bottom or cone filter according to taste.

You’ll get a wealth of settings at your disposal with the Breville. My Brew allows you to fine-tune temperature, bloom time and flow rate so the coffee in your cup comes out just the way you like it. The pump allows you to choose from 3 flow rates to suit. PID control streamlines temperature control, crucial when you’re looking for that golden cup of coffee.

6 brewing modes includes an iced coffee option so you’ve got everything you need at your fingertips for a flexible gourmet coffee experience.

Things We Like

  • Showstopping looks but not a case of form over function
  • Gold Cup Standard optimizes all settings for a seamless user experience
  • PID control to tweak temperature with precision

Things We Dislike

  • Certainly not the cheapest drip coffee maker

Top 10 Best Thermal Carafe Coffee Makers


4. Best Budget: Cuisinart DCC-3200 14-Cup Glass Carafe

Cuisinart-DCC-3200-14-Cup-Glass-Carafe-with-Stainless-Steel-Handle-Programmable-Coffeemaker

Next up we’ve got a much more affordable machine for anyone operating on a tighter budget. The Cuisinart lets you brew up a full 14 cups of joe so makes a great fit for large families.

If you’re looking for a coffee machine laden with bells and whistles, this is not for you. If, however, you just want a capable unit that gets the job done without standing on ceremony, read on…

The choice between regular and bold coffee might disappoint those seeking a truly personalized experience but this is a selling point for anyone looking for ease of use and simplicity.

You can program the Cuisinart through a full 24 hours meaning you can come downstairs in the morning to the delicious smell of fresh coffee and your caffeine fix ready to pour.

Once you’ve got the carafe filled, you can manipulate the warming temperature to suit and keep your coffee ready to roll without needing to fire up another brew.
Things We Like

  • Outstanding 14-cup capacity
  • Permanent filter cuts out the expense and hassle of replacing paper filters
  • Simple choice of regular or bold makes this machine ideal if you’re not the biggest tech-lover

Things We Dislike

  • Relatively limited functionality

Best Keurig Coffee Makers


5. Technivorm Moccamaster Coffee Maker

Technivorm-Moccamaster-79112-KBT-Coffee-Maker

The 79112 KBT coffee maker from Technivorm Moccamaster is another high-performing model from the industry legend but what makes it so good?

The cone shape brew basket and manually adjustable drip lets you personalize your drink to suit with an average brew time of 4 to 6 minutes meaning you won’t be hanging around too long.

The copper element automatically powers down once brewing is complete giving you complete safety and peace of mind.

Temperature is kept between 196 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit so you get a rapid boil at precisely the heat you need for that perfect cup of coffee.

Finished in polished silver, you’ll get the usual Moccamaster combo of metal and sustainable plastic offset with glass delivering a striking statement while also coming through on the performance front.

With this drip coffee maker guaranteed for a full half-decade, you really can’t ask for much more. While not cheap, when you sip your first coffee from this machine, you’ll know where that extra money went.
Things We Like

  • Eye-catching appearance to set off any kitchen counter
  • Water-saturation timing optimized resulting in a perfect cuppa every time
  • Dependable 5-year warranty so you can buy without any trepidation knowing the manufacturer has your back

Things We Dislike

  • As with all Moccamasters, you’ll need to dig deep for the privilege

Top 15 Best K Cup Coffee Makers


6. OXO On Barista Brain 9-Cup Coffee Maker

OXO-On-Barista-Brain-9-Cup-Coffee-Maker

If you enjoy the pour-over method but don’t have the time or patience for it, the OXO On Barista Brain gives you the next best thing in minutes flat.

A single dial lets you take charge of everything you need without needing to navigate a complex interface. You can arrange for the machine to kick in when you wake up so you can grab your coffee as soon as your eyes open.

The Barista Brain comes with a neatly insulated thermal carafe so you can keep your brewed coffee fresher and warmer for longer. Water is pumped through to the carafe after blooming to ensure optimum extraction. The rainmaker shower head lends further to extraction giving you a first-class cuppa with no user input required.

The SCA seal of approval lets you know you’re in safe hands with this drip coffee maker.
Things We Like

  • Neat facsimile of the pour-over method without any of the hassle involved
  • Status and freshness indicated clearly in LEDs
  • Get the most even possible extraction thanks to rainmaker shower head

Things We Dislike

  • 9-cup capacity could be improved

7. Bonavita 8-Cup One-Touch Coffee Maker

Bonavita-BV1900TS-8-Cup-One-Touch-Coffee-Maker

Last up in our snapshot reviews of the best drip coffee makers is the 8-cup Bonavita perfect for compact kitchens.

Whether you opt for the stainless steel or glass carafe, this highly affordable coffee maker comes with a few nice touches you wouldn’t expect at this price-point.

Flick on the optional pre-infusion mode if you feel your beans need a little degassing. This will help to reduce acidity and bitterness.

The heating element is powerful enough to get the job done quickly but not so potent it will squander electricity.

One-touch operation makes this machine perfect if you’ve got elderly relatives in the house or anyone else not comfortable with tech. Auto shut-off ensures safety is uppermost, too.

Extract is consistent and even every single time with this outstanding drip coffee maker from a brand you can trust.
Things We Like

  • Choice of glass or stainless steel carafe
  • Potent 1500-watt heater keeps temperature in the ideal band of 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Pre-infusion mode works wonders to allow for degassing of your beans before brewing

Things We Dislike

  • Some complaints about build quality over time

II. Drip Coffee Maker Buying Guide

Drip-Coffee-Maker-Buying-Guide

Drip coffee makers might seem like very simple products and in a sense they are. Nevertheless, there are a few key pointers to look out for if you want the best fit for your needs.

  • Temperature
  • Speed and Ease of Use
  • Programmability
  • Glass or Thermal Carafe
  • Cleaning and Maintenance

Temperature

Missing the mark when heating water to the correct temperature is where the majority of coffee makers fail.

The SCA suggests heating water to temperatures between 197 and 204 degrees Fahrenheit for the perfect cup of coffee. This ensures the best possible extraction.

Also key is the maintenance of proper temperature in the brew bed. This is where water meets the ground coffee in the filter.

Unless you want weak and insipid coffee stripped of all its body, look for a drip coffee maker that can heat water to a minimum of 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

Speed and Ease of Use

One of the key attractions of drip coffee makers is their simplicity. Even if you’re shooting for a machine with a few more bells and whistles, you should place ease of use uppermost.

Make sure the interface is simple to navigate and any buttons don’t call for too much force.

Also, even though you won’t get the speed of delivery provided by a single-serve machine, the best drip coffee makers should get your drink in the cup in no more than 7 or 8 minutes. Most of the better machines will brew up in 5 or 6 minutes.

Programmability

Not all coffee makers are programmable but many drip machines allow you to punch in a time through 24 hours so you can wake up to a fresh pot of coffee already brewed and waiting.

This element is by no means a deal-breaker but it’s worth looking into if you want to streamline your mornings and make life easier on yourself.

Glass or Thermal Carafe

If you find a programmable machine, it will always come with a thermal carafe since these will keep your coffee at a drinkable temperature for hours after brewing. Insulation properties are first rate and thermal carafes are also much more durable.

Glass carafes are lighter and easier to handle but they’re also obviously much more fragile. Insulation is weaker, too although they’ll sit on a hot plate for warming purposes.

There’s no right or wrong answer here so think about what works best for you and buy accordingly.

Cleaning and Maintenance

If your coffee maker is a chore to clean, you won’t end up using it too much.

The best automatic drip coffee makers should be easy to clean and easy to maintain. A solid warranty is also a bonus.

Last but arguably most importantly, how about the coffee it makes?

Types of Drink

Many drip coffee makers also allow you to make tea. Think if this is something that appeals.

You’ll also get a varying degree of choice in terms of brew strength and sizing so double down and make sure this fits with your preferences.

As with all elements of buying a drip coffee machine, if you personalize your buying decision, you’ll get an appliance capable of returning years of faithful service and coffee just the way you like it.


III. Conclusion

We trust you’ve angled in on the most suitable drip coffee machine for your needs. We tried today to bring something for all budgets. Some of these machines are really not cheap so we threw in a few more pocket-friendly variants so there’s something for everyone.

If you pay attention to our brief buying guide and stick to one of the machines we tested here for your benefit we can guarantee you’ll be in safe hands.

Don’t forget to bookmark The PrinceLA. Our mission is to bring you nothing but the finest products so you can kit out your home without sifting through questionable reviews. We test all the products we highlight so we can report back from first-hand experience.

Drop us a line with any questions or feedback you might have and come back soon!

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