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The Best Coffee Makers (Automatic Drip)
We tested more than a dozen drip coffee makers to see if they could deliver a great brew without a lot of fuss.
What You Need To Know
We tested automatic drip coffee makers at prices ranging from less than $20 to nearly $375, seeking models that brewed flavorful, hot coffee and were easy to use. Our favorite is the Technivorm Moccamaster KBT. Its powerful copper boiler quickly heats and holds water at a precise temperature for coffee that tasters described as “very strong but smooth.” Besides its single on/off control and clean design, we also loved its five-year warranty and its easily replaceable exterior parts, which ensure a long, useful life. We also recommend the OXO Brew 8-Cup Coffee Maker for the good coffee it makes as well as its compact profile, intuitive controls, and the most ergonomically pleasing carafe we’ve seen in years of testing. Our Best Buy is another compact model: the Zojirushi ZUTTO Coffee Maker. While we’re not fans of its glass carafe, it brewed very good coffee. We loved its removable water tank, simple controls, and easy cleanup.
What You Need to Know
If you love drip coffee, you know how disappointing many automatic drip coffee makers turn out to be—all promise and no delivery, making coffee that’s weak, sour, acrid or bitter, or not hot enough. Add in complicated controls, drippy carafes, and hard-to-fill water tanks, and they also can be frustrating to use.
In our testing, we were astonished by how different coffee makers could make the same two ingredients—identically prepared ground coffee and water—taste wonderful or terrible. We looked high and low for a machine that would produce delicious, perfectly brewed, piping hot coffee every time with minimal fuss. We started by choosing from a list of home coffee makers certified as good performers by the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA), a coffee-industry group focused on improving coffee quality through education and scientific standards, and rounded out our lineup with promising models that were not on their list, giving us machines with a wide range of prices—from less than $20 to nearly $375. Here’s what we learned after brewing, testing, and drinking gallons of coffee.
What to Look For
- Great Flavor: Your coffee maker should make coffee you’ll actually enjoy drinking. Coffee makers may have a similar look and seem like a fairly basic piece of equipment, but subtle differences can change whether or not they hit certain benchmarks for heating, timing, and water/coffee contact in order to produce good coffee. Great coffee is an alchemy of these factors (plus quality coffee beans and good-tasting water). When a machine met them all, we recommended it.
- Simple, Intuitive Controls: Anyone should be able to operate the coffee maker with little effort. Don’t laugh; a couple of these...
Everything We Tested
Reviews you can trust
Reviews you can trust
The mission of America’s Test Kitchen Reviews is to find the best equipment and ingredients for the home cook through rigorous, hands-on testing. We stand behind our winners so much that we even put our seal of approval on them.