The coffee machine. The drip coffee maker. The auto-drip. The classic must-have coffee making machine that graces almost all American kitchens and offices. Love ’em or hate ’em, there are thousands of coffee machines to choose from, each one promising you to brew the perfect cup of coffee. However, more times than not, the auto-drip doesn’t quite live up to expectations.
If you brew coffee at home and aren’t quite getting the results your barista gets you, maybe your machine could be to blame. However, before you point your finger, make sure you’re using freshly-roasted specialty beans and filtered water. Remember, coffee is just beans and water so the better quality both of your ingredients are, the better, in theory, it should taste.
If you are in the market to buy a new coffee maker, the fine folks down at the SCAA have made things a little easier for you. They’ve put a whole bunch of coffee brewers to the test and certified the ones that actually brew coffee properly.
Each coffee brewer has to meet the SCAA’s Minimum Certification Requirements, that tests for coffee volume, brewing time, water temperature, uniform extraction and overall beverage clarity. Out of all the coffee brewers that grace our home kitchens and offices across the country, the SCAA only deemed 12 coffee makers up to the task. That’s right. 12.
Here are the current champions of our mornings.
HOW TO USE A DRIP COFFEE MACHINE
We’ve put together an easy to follow auto-drip brew guide that gives you all the hints, tips and ratios you need to brew a damn tasty cup using your auto-drip coffee maker. And never underestimate the importance of a good grinder. Always freshly grind your coffee just before brewing.
Best Overall Coffee Maker: Braun KF6050WH BrewSense Drip Coffee Maker
Best Value Coffee Maker: Black + Decker DLX1050B Coffee Maker
Best Coffee Maker with Grinder: Cuisinart DGB-800 Burr Grind & Brew Automatic Coffeemaker
Most Versatile Coffee Maker: Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System Auto-iQ Tea and Coffee Maker
Fastest Coffee Maker: Technivorm Moccamaster 59616 KBG Coffee Brewer
Easiest-to-Use Coffee Maker: Bonavita Connoisseur 8-Cup One-Touch Coffee Maker
Most Customizable Coffee Maker: Breville BDC450 Precision Brewer
Best Single-Serve Coffee Maker: Cuisinart Coffee Center
Best Foolproof Coffee Maker: Mr. Coffee Easy Measure Programmable Coffee Maker
Expert Favorite Coffee Maker: OXO BREW Coffee Maker
BrewSense Drip Coffee Maker
The well-designed Braun BrewSense came closer to the gold standard for water brewing temperature than almost any other drip coffee maker in our testing, and delivered a rich, bold, hot cup of coffee. It has settings to program the coffee to brew ahead of time and you can adjust the brew strength and the temperature of the warming plate. It’s also available in black.
Auto shut-off: 2 hours
BLACK + DECKER
This Black & Decker coffee maker proves you don’t need to spend a fortune to make an excellent cup of coffee at home. It was one of the few in our test that brewed coffee hot and kept it that way for a full two hours. It was also was one of the most user-friendly models we tested.
Auto shut-off: 2 hours
For the freshest tasting cup of coffee, the Cuisinart Grind and Brew grinds your beans immediately before brewing, or use pre-ground coffee if that’s what you have on hand. It features a burr grinder, which is designed to grind coffee very evenly — the more even the grind, the more flavor extracted. The coffee beans pass between two augers to be ground, rather than chopped by a blade.
The hopper holds up to half a pound of beans and features a sealed lid to help keep them fresh. In our tests, we liked how easy the water filter was to fill, from either the right or left side. It is also relatively quiet for a grinder, and grinds directly into the basket and auto rinses when done to help prevent clogs.
Auto shut-off: Yes, adjustable