I’ve tried making coffee using almost every method available at this point, and always I come back to my trusty drip coffee maker.
You know them in most homes in America, in diners, and coffee shops, everyone trusts coffee made in a drip machine.
Plus it’s been shown scientifically to make the strongest coffee making it the ideal choice for your morning brew, from a study done at Texas A & M University:
“Four different roast level Folgers commercial coffee were brewed by four brewing methods (pour-over, drip, French press, and cold brew) and were tested… and cold brew method produced the mildest coffee among the four brew methods while drip produced a much stronger coffee.”
Now you want to get one for yourself a drip machine, but you want to get one that will actually make good coffee right? You could pick one up in Walmart for $30 and it will make pretty terrible coffee but no thanks, we want Above Average Coffee here, that’s why this site was created.
I want to help you make Above Average Coffee at home, so let’s do just that by getting you a proper drip coffee maker that’s going to make superb coffee.
These are all available at Amazon so you can click over and order yours today.
Top 6 Best Drip Coffee Makers
- Top Choice & Best Tasting – Technivorm Moccamaster 59656 KBG, 10-Cup Coffee Maker
- Runner Up – Breville Precision Brewer Thermal Coffee Maker
- Best Budget Under $100 – Cuisinart DCC-3200P1 Perfectemp Coffee Maker, 14 Cup Programmable
- Best With Grinder – Breville Grind Control Coffee Maker
- Best With Thermal Carafe – BUNN Speed Brew Platinum Thermal Coffee Maker 10-Cup
- Best Small – KRUPS Simply Brew Compact Filter Drip Coffee Maker, 5-Cup
1. Top Choice & Best Tasting – Technivorm Moccamaster 59656 KBG, 10-Cup Coffee Maker
- Brews a 40 oz pot in 4-6 minutes
- Water heated to the ideal temperature
- Hot plate keeps coffee at a good temperature
- Showerhead designer for better extraction
- 5-year warranty
- Delicious coffee every time
- Easy to clean
- Keeps coffee hot
- Good looking design for your home
- Could have a bigger capacity
- Works best with branded coffee filters
- Often out of stock
The Moccamaster is coffee done right, it’s top of the list of our best automatic pour-over coffee makers, and for good reason!
The water is heated up to ideal brewing temperatures which are between 195F and 205F. This water is then evenly sprayed over the coffee grounds using a showerhead design for even saturation.
All of this allows for ideal coffee extraction giving you a great-tasting cup.
I think the branded coffee filters could be a little taller if you like very strong coffee and using lots of grounds, but that’s my only complaint about the physical product. It works best with the branded filters too, you can buy non-branded ones but you might need to trim them down to fit.
The main problem overall is it sells out fast and tends to be out of stock… In which case the Breville below is a great alternative, but if you see it in Stock grab it while you can.
Another nifty feature is the two temperature settings of the hot plate which keep it at either 175 or 185 degrees depending on how hot you like your coffee. Ideal with a glass carafe.
I also like that it stays on for 100 minutes before the auto-shut-off kicks in. I used a Kenwood drip machine for a long time and its shut-off was after 30 minutes which never seemed long enough if I wanted to enjoy 2 cups of coffee.
And last but not least this has a seal of approval from the SCA, the Specialty Coffee Association who are the governing body of coffee offering a rigorous testing process to make sure coffee makers are up to scratch.
Basically, you won’t be disappointed, the tastiest coffee you can make in a drip machine, no bells and whistles just great coffee every brew.
2. Runner Up – Breville Precision Brewer Thermal Coffee Maker
- 60 oz 12 cup capacity
- Makes cold brew and iced coffee
- Automatic or adjustable
- Blooms the coffee
- 1-year warranty
- Makes cold brew and iced coffee
- Brews at the correct temperature
- Makes hot coffee
- SCA approved
- Makes superb coffee
- Made in China
- Only a 1-year warranty
This was really neck and neck for the top spot, in the end, I went with the Moccamaster because it’s a simple set-up-and-go machine. Coffee grounds and water in, great coffee out.
The Precision brewer allows a lot more control and customizability in your drip maker. You can use the gold standard setting which will auto adjust the settings to make you the Gold Standard cup of coffee as described by the SCA.
Or you can use the My Brew setting where you can adjust brew temperature, flow rate, and bloom time. Which if you understand can be quite exciting but if that all sounds like gibberish to you don’t worry, the gold standard sets those parameters automatically.
You can also use it to make cold brew coffee and iced coffee which is pretty nifty. and it’s a proper cold brew as well steeping it in the upper tank for around 10 hours before releasing.
So if you want to explore the world of coffee this is a great choice, and the coffee it makes on the standard-setting is superb, I’d even go so far as to say it’s on par with the Technivorm above.
So what’s the catch? $100 cheaper, great coffee and it’s not at the top? Well, my problem with it is that it’s made in China with a 1-year warranty, while the Moccamaster is made in Holland and has a 5-year warranty. So if you want a coffee maker that’s going to last and last then the Moccamaster is a better choice.
However, there definitely isn’t a theme of the Breville breaking down so it should be fine long term but I can’t confirm that one way or the other if I’m lucky I’ll get to come back in 5 years and update this article but we’ll see.
If I were buying I wouldn’t be put off by the shorter warranty.
Overall a great choice, and an awesome choice, if the Moccamaster is sold out which it seems to always be.
3. Best Budget Under $100 – Cuisinart DCC-3200P1 Perfectemp Coffee Maker, 14 Cup Programmable
- 70 oz 14 cup capacity
- Adjustable brew strength
- Built-in water filter
- Fully automatic
- Great price
- Makes great coffee
- Large capacity
- Plenty of settings to adjust your brew
- Water filter included
- The hot plate isn’t adjustable
- Could look better
- Coffee is superb but not as high quality as a more premium maker
I very nearly made this my top choice in the article, sitting here looking at them both and I couldn’t decide.
But in the end coffee quality won and the Moccamaster went on top. It’s just not expensive enough to have the same top-quality components and design.
But it makes damn good coffee, and it makes a lot of it in a 14 cup glass carafe, not to mention as the name “Perfectemp” suggests it makes coffee at the correct temperature and the showerhead design allows optimal coffee flavor extraction.
What goes wrong? Not much to be honest, you can’t adjust the temp of the warming plate, it doesn’t look as good, and there’s something about it that’s just not as premium or luxurious as the Moccamaster or the Breville.
But if you’re not a crazy coffee person and you just want a good cup of coffee in the morning, easy to make, easy to clean, and tasty. this is the coffee maker for you.
You can also adjust the settings to have a stronger cup of coffee or if you’re looking for a single-serve you can set the 1-4 cup button and it will brew slower with a smaller amount of coffee so you still get a great cup.
Baristas be damned, I love this machine! It just makes great coffee at home.
4. Best With Grinder – Breville Grind Control Drip Coffee Maker
- 60 oz, 12-cup capacity
- Takes whole coffee beans
- Controllable grind size
- Programmable timer
- Potentially make the tastiest coffee
- The thermal carafe stays hot for hours
- Can brew into a travel cup
- Fresher coffee grinding to brew
- A good-sized full pot of coffee
- Needs some effort tweaking to your taste
- No option to use ground coffee
- A little slow on the single cup mode
This has the potential to make the best coffee of any drip-coffee machine because you can grind fresh coffee beans which have the most flavor.
But, you need to adjust the grind size yourself to find the best brewing point, which is great because it means you can adjust it to the coffee you use and the water you use. But it leaves room to set it wrong and have less than ideal coffee.
So it makes better coffee but you need to put in a little bit of work, which to be honest is a small price to pay for delicious drip coffee but I know some people want to just put ground coffee in and get coffee out.
Alternatively, you can with the Moccamaster and buy a separate coffee grinder, I splashed out on the Baratza encore and I’ve never regretted it, it gets used every single day.
And once you’ve set it up you can program it with the timer and wake up to freshly ground, freshly brewed coffee. Yum.
Compared to the Moccamaster above I prefer its design, and I think it makes slightly better coffee but it’s very hard to tell, they both do a superb job.
I’d pick this one if you’re interested in buying fresh whole bean coffee, and I’d say buy the Moccamaster if you want easier but still delicious coffee.
Compared to previous models you can now adjust the coarseness of the grind which is a great addition to account for different roasts of coffee and different water, which can vary a lot from State to State.
5. Best With Thermal Carafe – BUNN 55200 CSB3T Speed Brew Platinum Thermal Coffee Maker Stainless Steel, 10-Cup
- 50 ounce 10 cup capacity
- Brews 10 cups in 4 minutes
- Double-walled insulated carafe
- Fast brewing
- Piping hot coffee
- Designed to make tastier coffee
- Reasonably small size
- Needs to be always on for fast coffee
- Not programmable
- Works best with BUNN filters
This is an interesting coffee maker, BUNN makes world-class drip machines so rest assure you’re getting great coffee.
But the way it makes coffee so fast is by holding hot water in its tank, so you put more cold water in and that pushes the hot water out and through the coffee.
The Moccamaster and Cuisinart models tend to make a full pot of coffee in about 6-10 minutes so this is faster and it’s because the water is preheated. So if you put in water and turned it on it would take the usual length of time to brew.
Luckily that doesn’t stop it from making great coffee regardless of how long it will take, and its thermal carafe stays piping hot for more than 2 hours before it starts to cool off.
Plus the spray head has a similar design to the Moccamaster for a much lower price being a showerhead that evenly soaks all the coffee grounds for optimal coffee brewing and extraction.
An ideal thermal carafe coffee brewer, great for people who drink a lot of coffee.
6. Best Small – KRUPS Simply Brew Compact Filter Drip Coffee Maker, 5-Cup
- Brews 25 oz, 5 cups
- 5.5W x 7D x 10H
- No drip spout for easy pouring
- Glass Carafe
- Compact size
- Makes a reasonable cup of coffee
- Durable, made of Stainless Steel
- Coffee could be better
- No auto-off feature
First off Amazon has this listed as being 3.7 inches deep, this is incorrect and damn near impossible so to clarify it’s been measured and is actually 7 inches deep. This means the counter space above it will need 17 inches total to open it properly.
But with the correct measurements, it’s still a very good small choice of drip coffee maker.
Now I’ll be honest and say it doesn’t make coffee that is as good as I would like out of a filter coffee machine, but it certainly makes pretty good coffee. For the low price and small size, that’s a reasonable trade-off to expect.
You’d taste the difference having a side-by-side comparison with the Moccamaster or the Breville but as a stand-alone small coffee pot for one? An ideal choice.
Dishwasher safe comes with a permanent coffee filter, and it’s built to last.
Things to Consider When Buying A Drip Coffee Maker
As my business partner talked about in a different article:
“Optimal coffee brewing temperature for beautifully balanced coffee falls between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit (90-96C). If the water is too cold then the coffee tastes thin and under-extracted. Higher temperatures will lead to the over-extraction of bitter flavors and will give the coffee a burnt taste.”
This is generally the problem you experience with cheaper, sub $50, coffee makers; they just can’t get the water hot enough to brew coffee properly. You can compensate slightly by using more coffee grounds but the taste isn’t the same.
Coffee drinkers who want the best coffee maker want coffee that’s brewed closer to that ideal temperature range, and while it’s hard to find out what temperature it brews at that’s why it’s worth reading reviews, but generally more expensive coffee makers will likely brew at the correct temperature.
And if you see the SCA approved that’s the sort of thing they test for so is a sure sign that the coffee will be brewed to perfection at the correct water temperature.
Water disperser design
How the water gets poured over the coffee grounds is another important step in the brewing process, you don’t want the hot water coming out like a tap over the grounds, rather you want some sort of shower effect so the coffee grounds get evenly soaked.
Generally, a showerhead design is best for this, they rainforest the hot water over the grounds in an effective way but as long as some mention is made on the product page or the box about the design of the water dispenser you’re going to be on to a winner.
How much coffee it makes
This is an important point depending on how many people you’re going to be making coffee for, if it’s just for you then you don’t need a huge size, but if you often have people over or you’re in an office then you might want a nice big size.
But that’s obvious, what’s not obvious is that a drip filter cup size is generally 5 oz, not the usual 8 oz you’d consider a cup of coffee, and nowhere near the 12 oz that Starbucks considers a small.
And the Moccamaster goes one step further and has 4 oz cups which are more common amongst high-end coffee tasters but not the size of cup I, personally, want in the morning.
So best to look at the capacity in terms of oz rather than cups, and compare it either to the size of your travel mug or the mug size you’re going to use it with to know how much coffee it actually makes.
What settings you have
Usually, you want more than an on/off switch, settings I look for and tend to recommend to my friends are a 1-4 cup brew setting so you can make a single coffee in the pot, and a bold setting so I can make stronger coffee if I want, which you might want if you want to pair it with a milk frother and start making lattes or cappuccinos.
And because coffee makers tend to be limited in size and have a very specific use, generally, the more settings the better. You don’t really get needless settings, Bluetooth, or anything silly like that, just settings to tweak how you brew your coffee for a little more control and a little better coffee.
Is there a warranty or a guarantee
Pretty standard across any product you buy, I’m guilty of never registering the warranty when I buy a new anything, it just always slips my mind or I tend to lose the paperwork and it becomes invalid anyway.
But you know who you are if you are a warranty lover and some of the best coffee makers do come with warranties so that’s something to look out for.
Is it programable
When my wife bought me my first drip coffee machine several Christmases ago, I was in love with the programmable timer. Coffee grounds into the filter basket at night set the timer and coming into fresh coffee in the morning.
But when I got my coffee grinder I became obsessed with freshly grinding coffee beans and the timer fell to the wayside. But I miss waking up to the fresh smell of coffee so I think it’s time to start using it again.
Programmability is a must feature for me, even in a specialty coffee maker, because waking up to the smell of fresh coffee wafting through your house is about the best possible way to wake up in the morning.
Just fill the water tank, brew basket, and set the digital display. Bam, fresh coffee in the morning.
What is the best drip coffee maker to buy?
It’s a toss-up between the Technivorm Moccamaster and the Breville Precision Brewer, the former makes a great coffee and was built to last. The latter makes great coffee, has more options, but it might not be built so well.
What coffee maker makes the best tasting coffee?
Again either the Technivorm or the Breville precision, but really any on this list will make you a great cup of coffee.
Why is drip coffee bad?
It isn’t! A lot of people don’t like it because they’re used to cheap machines that don’t heat the coffee hot enough to properly extract the flavor out of the coffee.
If you’re willing to push towards the $100 mark and beyond you can make an excellent cup of drip coffee.
Does an expensive coffee maker taste better?
Yes, it does! There’s such a noticeable difference between a $300 drip machine and a $30 drip machine that I can’t even express. Imagine a delicious barista-made latte and a latte you’ve gotten out of a hospital vending machine.
They just aren’t the same.
With that said, bad coffee beans and nasty water in an expensive coffee maker will still make bad coffee.
Other Drip Coffee Makers Reviewed
Best For Home – Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker CP301
- 50 oz 10-cup capacity
- Brews coffee and tea
- Brews cold brew and iced tea
- 5 brew styles
- lots of options for coffee brewing
- SCA approved cup of coffee
- Mid-range price
- Not as well made as other high-end devices
Another SCA-approved coffee maker meaning a superb cup of coffee is produced by this drip machine.
It’s similar to the Breville Precision Brewer in that it has lots of different settings for your coffee, iced, cold brew, classic, rich, or specialty.
But what I love about this as a general at-home coffee machine over some of the others is it’s not as expensive, plus it makes tea as well so all your house can have their favorite drink.
The iced coffee setting is cool because it brews at lower temperatures with a brewing time of around 10-15 minutes for a smoother sweeter coffee.
It’s got two separate brew baskets, 1 for tea and 1 for coffee, and it can detect which basket is in place and adjusts itself accordingly to make your drink with the correct brew cycle.
So why is this not the runner-up if it’s the same as the Breville? Well, it does all the same things, it just doesn’t do them quite as well, you save $100 but you get left with a not as nice finish and a coffee that isn’t quite as good.
But it is a solid round coffee maker that coffee lovers and coffee “just wakes me up in the morning “ers will enjoy.
Best Single Cup – OXO Brew 8-Cup Coffee Maker
- 40 oz 8 cup capacity
- Can make a single mug of coffee
- SCA approved
- Showerhead for even coverage
- Can be used for 1 person or several
- High-quality build
- keeps your coffee warm for hours
- No need for K-cups
- No reusable basket included
- Only a few settings
Ditch the single-serve coffee maker and get one of these instead, you can still brew a single cup of coffee but you can do it cheaper and easier than a Keurig k-cup machine.
Plus it’s got the flexibility to make a bigger pot of coffee if you decided you wanted more.
Everything we want in a coffee maker is here, it’s got an adjuster for different brew sizes, it fits nicely on your countertop, and the double-walled 8 cup carafe keeps your coffee hot for hours.
Optimal temperature brewing and a rainmaker showerhead for even coverage of water across the grounds.
A great cup of coffee without the waste of throwing a plastic k-cup in the garbage every time you want a cup of coffee.
Best 12 Cup – Cuisinart DCC-1100BKP1 12 Cup programmable Coffeemaker
- 60 oz capacity
- 3-year warranty
- Built-in water filter
- 24-hour program
- 1-4 cup setting
- Lower price
- Filters the water while it brews
- Digital display
- Coffee isn’t as hot as it could be
- No temperature control
What’s better than a pot of coffee? A big pot of coffee!
Now, if you want the biggest possible pot then you’ll actually be better off with the Cuisinart DCC-3200P1 which is my top budget choice further up this list but the Cuisinart DCC-1100BKP1 is another great choice.
To be honest, if you compare the two you’ll find them pretty similar, what’s different about this machine is it’s a little cheaper if you’re on a tighter budget and it’s got the built-in water filter.
It works without the filter if you use filtered or bottled water anyway but if you use tap water as I do then the built-in water filter can do a lot to improve your cup of coffee.
Remember if the tap water doesn’t taste good, the coffee it makes won’t taste good either.
It also comes with a built-in filter but you can use it with paper filters if you’d prefer.
Best 4 Cup – Cuisinart DCC-450BK 4-Cup Coffeemaker with Stainless-Steel Carafe
- 20 oz capacity
- 30-minute auto-shutoff
- Uses a #2 filter
- Small size
- Easy to use
- No bells and whistles
- Coffee could be hotter
The comfortably full carafe of this will brew 20 oz of coffee but you can just about squeeze an extra 4 oz into it if you were so inclined.
A nice small size, 10 x 8 x 5.25 inches, that will fit comfortably onto any counter and an open height required of about 18 inches. I get around this by sliding out my drip coffee maker from under the cabinets when it comes to using it but it’s good to be aware of.
Not much else to say about this, it’s a simple on-off system, the hot plate stays on for about 30 minutes which I know I said is too short but when the size is this small it’s actually just right.
How’s the coffee? Not too bad at all, not nearly as good as some of the more premium models but for the size and price point I’d say it’s plenty good enough to enjoy in the morning.
Best 5 Cup – Mr. Coffee 5 Cup Programmable 25 oz. Mini Drip Coffee Maker
- 25 oz capacity
- Water filter built-in
- 2-hour auto-shut-off
- Ideal size for 2 people
- Simple to use
- Cleans easily
- Water filter included
- Not the best cup of coffee in the world
- Cheaply made
- No scoop included
Like the proverbial bus, you read through the whole article waiting for Mr. Coffee to get a mention then all of a sudden two come up at once. Typical!
Jokes aside this is a great little machine for 2 people, makes 2 good-sized 12 oz cups of coffee, and if it’s just you drinking you can drink 1 cup now and enjoy the second cup up to 2 hours later.
The coffee it makes won’t win any awards but it’s pretty good going. No need to get snobby about it, you’ll get a coffee that’s leagues above an instant coffee and a piping hot cup to get you started in the morning.
Nice and easy to use with only 2 settings, brew now or brew later. Nothing fancy just a fresh cup of coffee.
Best Under $50 – Mr. Coffee Simple Brew Coffee Maker|4 Cup Coffee Machine
- 20 oz 4 cup capacity
- 10.1H x 7.2W x 11.8D inches size
- On/off light
- Small compact size
- Makes enough for a large 16oz travel cup
- doesn’t take up much counter space
- Could make better coffee
I’m going to level with you, this isn’t a great coffee maker, it makes good enough coffee if you’re in a hurry and you’re on a tight budget but it’s nothing special.
But what it is, is very compact taking up only 10.1 x 7.2 x 11.8 inches, you’ll need a clearance of 16 inches to open the lid and the handle sticking out takes up another inch in whichever way you face it, but by and large, this thing is tiny.
It’s got a water reservoir you can see into which is more useful than it sounds when you’re sleepily filling it up, and the brewing time is reasonably at about 5-7 minutes.
If you were to drink the coffee it makes side by side with the other machines here you’d notice a difference but at the price point, you can’t ask for much more than this dinky wee coffee machine!
Best For Coffee Snobs – Brim Coffee 8-cup Pour Over Coffee Maker
- 40 oz Stylish carafe
- SCA approved
- Perfect brew Temperature
- 30-minute auto-shutoff
- Blooms coffee
- Brews at the correct temperature
- Looks great
- Isn’t adjustable
- Auto-off timer is a little short
If you’re a self-confessed coffee snob it’s OK, I know just what you need.
You need a drip maker that looks like a Chemex in a fancy shape carafe you can proudly carry to the table. Boom.
Plus and SCA approved gold cup standard coffee inside it, brewed at the optimal temperature with a coffee bloom and kept at the ideal drinking temperature of 176F.
But it doesn’t have the price of the Moccamaster so you get a classy coffee for a lower price.
What I think is missing is some customisability to your settings, this is just a press and go, no way to adjust for how much coffee you’re making or anything like that.
And the auto-off kicks in after 30 minutes which I’ve already talked about can be a little annoying, certainly not a deal-breaker but something to be aware of.
And a small price to pay for properly bloomed coffee that’s brewed at the correct temperature, about as good as it gets in an automatic coffee maker.
Best Cold Drip Coffee Maker – Soulhand Cold Brew Coffee Maker with Adjustable BPA Free Dripper
- 28 oz capacity
- Brews in 2-4 hours
- Flask fits in the fridge for 2-3 days of coffee drinking
- Stylish design
- Good capacity
- Easy to use
- Easy to measure with volume scales on the side
- The lower conical flask doubles as a storage container
- Glass could be thicker
- It is top-heavy at the start of the brew
If you’re looking for a cold drip coffee maker this is it, iced water in the top and cold brew coffee out the bottom.
The fully assembled device is about 14 inches tall so it probably won’t fit in most refrigerators. However, the bottom carafe is 8 inches tall and will fit inside most fridges comfortably after your coffee has brewed.
The instructions from Soulhand say to allow your cold brew to “ferment” in your fridge for 3-5 days. While apprehensive about this at first, the extra rest time certainly brought out some lovely flavors.
With a fairly small capacity of 28 oz, it will probably be drunk all too soon after it’s finished brewing.
It is really easy to use and an all-around nifty little gadget. A couple of the coffee makers on this list, like the Breville Precision Brewer, have a built-in cold coffee setting that might also be worth considering.
However, if you just want cold drip coffee then this is a great choice.
Best With Coffee Bloom Feature – Bonavita Connoisseur 8-Cup One-Touch Coffee Maker
- 40 oz capacity
- SCA approved
- Showerhead Design
- Pre-infusion mode
- Blooms the coffee
- SCA gold standard cup of coffee
- Easy to use
- Doesn’t look great
- Could be a little sturdier
Bonavita is growing in popularity in the USA because of the superb coffee their machines make.
The Bonavita Connoisseur is special because it has a preinfusion mode that allows the coffee to bloom similar to a pour-over coffee. A few machines in this list have it but I hadn’t included a Bonavita yet so I wanted to talk about this one before the end of the article.
There’s a showerhead design and the water heater works to bring the water to the ideal brewing temperature for optimal flavor extraction and a really tasty cup of coffee.
It doesn’t affect the taste but I don’t really like the design of this model, I think the coffee pot and the handle of the filter basket make it look a little dated, which honestly is enough to put me off but to each their own.
It makes great coffee and that’s what we’re really here for.
A small feature I also really liked in this machine is that it beeps when it’s finished brewing your coffee, so simple but such a useful feature if like me you tend to wander off and get distracted while your coffee is brewing.
Wow, 5000 words later and here we are! I could have just kept going talking about these but I thought I should draw the line somewhere, I didn’t even get to mentioning Hamilton Beach or Braun both of whom make great coffee machines but hey.
So what’s next? Best espresso machines maybe?