Best Drip Coffee Makers – Top Picks and Reviews for 2017

Looking for the perfect drip coffee maker for your home? We at Freshpresso have reviewed and tested some of the major drip coffee makers out there and narrowed down our search to the top 5.

Drip Style Coffee Makers are America’s favorite and find a place in almost every American countertop. They are easy to operate and you can brew coffee for the whole family in about five to ten minutes.

But with so many options available it can be difficult to pick one for your need. We have considered multiple factors including coffee flavor, convenience and utility. These are hands down the best drip coffee makers that money can buy.

Best Drip Coffee Makers for 2017

  1. Bonavita BV1900TS 8 Cup Coffee Brewer A complete beast, this has the best tasting coffee among drip coffee makers thanks to powerful heating element and pre-infusion technology. The premium taste however comes at a price and this is recommended for hardcore coffee lovers only.
  2. Cuisinart DCC-3200 14 Cup Coffee Maker – However if you need something at a budget, then this is our go to recommendation. Features like Auto turn on and strength control give it an edge.

Best Drip Coffee Maker Reviews

  1. Bonavita BV1900TS 8-Cup Coffee Brewer
  2. Cuisinart SS-15 12-Cup Coffee Maker
  3. Cuisinart DCC-3200 14-Cup Glass Carafe Coffee Maker
  4. Hamilton Beach 49980A
  5. Bunn BXB Velocity Brew


#1 Recommendation:Bonavita BV1900TS 8-Cup Coffee Brewer

bonavita-bv1900ts

This critically acclaimed coffee maker from Bonavita earns the FreshPresso award for the ‘best tasting coffee’ among drip coffee makers. The combination of powerful heating element and state of the art technology makes it a complete package.

Here is our review of the Bonavita BV1900TS Coffee Maker –

Pros 

  • Powered by a beast of heating element that maintains the water temperature between 195 – 200 degrees Fahrenheit for a richer and warm coffee.
  • With the Pre-Infusion feature, the grounded coffee is soaked with water before extractions. (This helps to bring out the complex flavours of the coffee).
  • A solid thermal carafe keeps the coffee warm for about two hours.
  • Comes in a compact footprint ideal for smaller countertops.

Cons 

  • Takes about 7 minutes to brew a full pot.
  • Regular descaling is required.
  • Lacks Programming features like Auto On.

The Best Tasting Coffee 

There are two specific features that help Bonavita brew the most flavorful pot of coffee. First up, it uses a high-end heating element (which is also used in some espresso machines) which quickly heats up the water and maintains it between the range of 195 – 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

This is regarded as ‘optimum’ temperature for coffee extraction by baristas around the world. And yes, it stays consistent from your 1st brew to your 1000th brew. (This speaks volumes about the quality of the same).

Secondly, you get the functionality of pre-infusion. Basically, before brewing starts, some water is sprayed on the grounded coffee.

So how does it help? 

Well, pre-infusion helps to saturate the coffee grounds and when heated water is passed through it (with pressure) it leads to more even extraction. This also helps in enhancing the flavour and texture of the coffee with the end product being more smooth.

This feature is generally found in espresso machines and kudos to Bonavita for providing it in a drip machine.

And yes, the filter basket is a bit larger (compared to standard baskets) and this again helps in better saturation of coffee.

Finally, it is super easy to operate and automatically shuts itself off after two hours.

Other Tips and Maintenance

If you a true coffee lover and want to go the extra mile we recommend grounding fresh beans. Freshly ground coffee has a distinct flavour and with all the features of the Bonavita, you can create your perfect home brewing setup. (Grinder Recommendation –  Cuisinart DBM-8)

Secondly, it is prone to descaling. We recommend rinsing it out with a descaling solution once a month.

Freshpresso Rating

 The Bonavita BV1900TS is not for your average coffee drinker. It is for true lovers who want nothing but the best.

It is built like a tank (both from the inside and the outside), comes with a distinct coffee flavour and brews consistently.

However, if you don’t want a premium coffee maker and features like Auto On are important, then the Cuisinart DCC-3200is our next best recommendation.

#2 Recommendation:Cuisinart SS-15 12-Cup Coffee Maker and Single Serve Brewer
cuisinart-ss-15

The SS-15 is the latest and greatest that Cuisinart has to offer and it takes two hallmarks of home coffee makers (single serve & drip) and bundles them together in one stunning package.

But it is one of the most expensive drip coffee makers out there and in the review, we find out is it good enough to shell out a premium price.

Pros 

  • The two sections operate independently with separate water reservoirs.
  • The drip section comes with all the premium features including strength control, auto turn on/off, carafe warmer and brew pause functionality.
  • The single serve supports all the blended K-cups and even lets you use ground coffee with the reusable filter.
  • Separate heating elements for the two sections. (Leads to lesser waiting time and a more flavorful coffee).

Cons

  • The single serve section lacks any additional brew control features.
  • You can operate only one section at a time.

Cuisinart’s Advanced Technology 

The SS-15 is powered by Cuisinart’s latest technology and comes with all the bells and whistles that you expect in a premium coffee maker.

Firstly, the heating element is optimised for drip styled coffee and doesn’t over heat the water which can lead to bitter tasting coffee. We absolutely loved the flavour and it gives the perfect start to your day.

However, the major selling points are the brew control features. First up, you can increase the strength of the coffee by simply pressing the bold button. We end up using this most of the times unless we are brewing decaf.

Next up, you can set the carafe temperature from low to high. The warming plate beneath the carafe simply heats it up while the coffee is being brewed. This feature comes in handy when you are adding milk to your coffee and you can set the carafe temperature to high for the perfect tasting coffee.

If coffee is the first thing you need when you wake up, then auto on feature is going to be the clear favourite.

This helps you to set a time when the machine automatically turns itself on, heats the water and brews fresh coffee. You can also set a time for Auto Off.

Finally, you can use both paper filters and Cuisinart’s gold tone filter, but we recommend the latter for a more flavorful coffee.

Overall we have absolutely no complaints with the drip section and it will consistently brew 12 cups of your favourite coffee day in and day out.

Single Serve Section

Single Serves are regarded as the most convenient for home use and this is exactly what you get with the SS-15.

Simply pop in your favourite K-Cup and select the size of your coffee and done. It takes about a minute to brew a 10 oz. cup.

It supports K-cups from all the brands and this gives you the option to chose from thousands of flavours. But if you just love your ground coffee you can still use the single serve section thanks to Cuisinart’s Home Barista filter.

Overall if you are in a hurry or want to experiment with some flavours then the single serve section surely comes in handy.

Cons

Firstly, you can’t use both the sections simultaneously. This is not a major issue but something that you should note before buying.

Also, the single serve section leaves you waiting for more. There is absolutely nothing you can control when it comes to the brew and auto clean is the only ‘convenient’ feature in the single serve section.

Freshpresso Rating

At the price point, the SS-15 is surely not for everyone. You get two machines bundled into one and this comes at a cost. However, if you buy a good single serve and a drip styled coffee maker separately, it will easily cost you over 200$, so you surely save 10-20 bucks with the SS-15.

However, if you already have a single serve machine, you can go for the Cuisinart DC-3200 which is basically the same machine minus the single serve unit.

#3 Recommendation – Cuisinart DCC-3200 14-Cup Glass Carafe Coffee Maker
cuisinart-dcc-3200

If you are looking for no BS coffee maker that brews a delicious pot of filter coffee, then the Cuisinart DCC-3200 is what you should get. It gets the basics right, gives you a lot of control to tweak the brew and performs consistently.

We discuss all of that in our review –

Pros

  • The coffee brewed, is at the optimum temperature with a smooth texture.
  • You can control the strength of the coffee and getter a stronger brew by simply pressing the bold button.
  • Comes with programming features which help you set a time when the machine automatically brews the coffee for you.
  • Maintenance is a breeze with auto clean feature

Cons

  • The outer layer of the warming plate comes off with regular use.
  • Needs to be rinsed 4-6 times to eliminate the initial plastic smell.

 Just the Right taste!

To brew the full pot of 12 cups the DCC-3200 takes about 8 minutes. It is powered by the latest brewing technology that Cuisinart has to offer. The water is heated up to the optimum temperature of 200 degrees Fahrenheit and it is maintained throughout the whole process. This makes sure that coffee doesn’t taste bitter or overly mild. You get a smooth flavorful coffee.

Secondly, you get the option to brew 1-4 cups of coffee. For this, the brewer automatically adjusts the operation and the coffee doesn’t taste acidic or bitter.

Finally, if you like a stronger coffee, you simply have to press the ‘bold’ button before your brew and you are good to go.

A feature rich Coffee Maker!

Before coming in to work one of our editors, goes to the local café and gets his favorite latte daily at 9 PM. This is coffee ritual and to put it in his words “this is what gets him going”.

If you are like him and need a coffee in the morning to get your day started, then you’ll love the Auto On feature of the Cuisinart DC-3200. You can program the coffee maker to go on at a set time and you will have a pot of coffee freshly brewed for you.

Next, if you are a fan of milk based drinks or want to add cream to your coffee, then carafe temperature is another nifty feature. It basically heats your glass carafe while the coffee is being brewed and poured into the carafe. This increase the coffee temperature and you can add cold milk to it. For regular use, we recommend keeping it at ‘medium’ settings.

Finally, if you are not a big fan of cleaning then auto clean basically does that for you and rinses the machine from the inside.

Cons

When you first get the machine, don’t start using it immediately. It needs to be rinsed with water thoroughly to eliminate the plastic smell. The instruction manual is pretty clear about this and we recommend you to follow it to the T.

Secondly, the finish of the Cuisinart DCC-3200 starts to wear off with regular use and we recommend it to clean it with a dry cloth twice a week.

Freshpresso Rating 

Considering the budget price, the Cuisinart DCC-3200 is a feature packed machine. The coffee brewed also stays consistent with regular brews. The obvious compromise has been made to the build quality, but with proper care & maintenance that shouldn’t be a big problem either.

If you are looking for something below 100 bucks this is hands down the best you can get.

#4 Recommendation:Hamilton Beach 49980A
hamilton-beach-49980a

This two-way coffee maker lets you brew a full pot with all the brew control features and also lets you brew a single cup whenever you are in a hurry.

This makes it pretty convenient and in this review, we find out why it is the best bang for your buck among drip coffee makers –

Pros 

  • Brews a full pot of coffee (12 cups) in under 5 minutes.
  • Comes with all the premium programmable features including auto turn on/off and strength control.
  • You can also brew a single cup of coffee from a separate section. (It brews a cup in under a minute and comes with its own water reservoir).
  • The single serve section also supports flavoured coffee pods. (However, K-Cups are not supported).
  • Comes with a permanent mesh filter for the single-serve side.

Cons

  • The outer finish of the plate starts to erode away with regular use. (Doesn’t have an impact on the brewing, though).
  • Lacks the functionality of Auto Clean.

Delicious Pot of Coffee

If you are a fan of drip styled coffee, you are in for a treat. There is little to complain about the Hamilton Beach coffee maker and it consistently brews delicious coffee.

You have to put coffee grounds in the paper filter, fill in the water reservoir at the back and hit the brew button. It takes about 5 to 7 minutes to brew a full pot of coffee.

You also get some handy brew control features that are generally found in premium machines. If you have the habit of having coffee early in the morning you can program the machine to turn itself on and brew coffee at a set time. Also, it will automatically shut itself off after two hours of non-operation.

Secondly, if you like a stronger cup of coffee you can choose the ‘bold’ option.

Single Serve Goodness

Consider this, you got up a little late in the morning and there is an urgent meeting. But you need a cup of coffee right? Well, thanks to the single serve section of the Hamilton Beach coffee maker you can brew a single cup in under a minute.

You simply have to pour in the coffee grounds to the permanent mesh filter, add water and hit the brew button.

There is absolutely no difference when it comes to flavour between the single serve section and the regular carafe section.

Furthermore, you can even brew up to 10 oz. of coffee from the single serve section which can be used if you have a travel mug. It also supports coffee pods so you can have flavoured drinks too. (K-Cups are not supported)

Cons

The Hamilton Beach 49980A is not the friendliest coffee maker when it comes to cleaning. Since there is no auto-clean functionality you have to manually rinse it once in a while to get rid of the oil deposits.

Secondly, the outer coating of the plates that hold the carafe are flimsy and tend to erode away with regular use.

FreshPresso Rating

Overall, you get a lot from the Hamilton Beach 49980A and is one of the more complete drip coffee makers out there. You can use the single serve section and brew a quick cup (or mug) on those busy days but when you want to savour and relax on the weekend, simply brew a full pot.

 

Overall, if you are looking for a sweet deal, this is the best budget drip coffee maker out there.

#5 Recommendation:Bunn BXB Velocity Brew 10 Cup Home Coffee Brewer
bunn-bxb

The Bunn BXB holds the record for the fastest brew when it comes to drip coffee makers. And it does without compromising on the taste.

If you are always in a hurry and need something that consistently brews good coffee, then the BUNN BXB might just be what you are looking for.

Here is our rundown of this powerhouse –

Pros

  • Brews 10 cups of coffee (50 oz.) in less than 200 seconds.
  • Comes with a warming plate that keeps the carafe warm. (So you can enjoy hot coffee later)
  • Powerful heating element heats up the water to 200 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal coffee extraction.
  • Comes with a 3-year warranty.

Cons

  • The outer construction is made of flimsy plastic. (However, the internal tank is made of rugged stainless steel).
  • Works only with BUNN Paper filters.
  • Not Auto-off so you got to shut it manually.
  • Zero brew control features. (Pretty Basic in terms of functionality)

The Fastest Brew

With the Bunn BXB, you get the fastest brew time among drip coffee makers. It brews a full pot of 10 cups (50oz.) in about 3 minutes.

It manages to do so with the displacement method. So when you pour in fresh water into the coffee maker it immediately transfers it to the internal tank where it gets heated up for 15 minutes. You have to fill the same amount of water once again to start the brew. It then uses water from the internal tank to brew coffee.

After that, it again transfers water that you poured in, to the internal tank and heats it up. This way it always has hot water ready for brewing.

But doesn’t it take too much of electricity?

To make use of the internal tank functionality you have to keep the machine always on. However, it has negligible impact on your power bill and it doesn’t consume any additional electricity.

Finally, it also comes with a warming plate for the carafe. So you can keep the leftover coffee in the carafe itself and drink it whenever you like. Also, you can turn it off as it comes with its personal switch.

Cons

Bunn takes care of the two most important elements of the coffee maker – the water tank and the heating element. But other than that the construction is average. It is prone to scratches.

Our second gripe with this is that you can only use BUNN paper filters with it.

Finally, you don’t really get any brew control and other than fast brewing the functionality is fairly limited.

Freshpresso Rating 

The Bunn BXB nails one thing – it brews delicious coffee at an incredible speed. If you have family that likes to drink a lot of coffee throughout out the day, then the BUNN BXB is recommended.

Other than that it offers little utility for home use.

 

Ultimate Guide to Buying Drip Coffee Makers

Drip Coffee Makers have seen several technological advancements in the recent years. The heating elements have improved, users have greater control over the brew and there are several features which add to the convenience.

Here are the the top features which you need to consider while buying a drip coffee maker.

  1. Brew Quality – This is by far the most important feature. The coffee brewed needs to taste good. All of our recommendations brew delicious coffee and there is nothing you need to worry about. Cuisinart coffee makers also give you the added option to control the strength of the brew and this feature is useful if you like a stronger coffee.
  2. Convenience – Some features add to the convenience of the coffee maker. Features like auto turn on helps you to automatically brew coffee at set time. Secondly auto clean features make maintenance a lot easier.
    With certain machines like the Cuisinart SS-15 and Hamilton Beach 49980A you get two coffee makers into one – single serve and regular drip coffee maker. This again adds to the utility of the coffee maker.
  3. Build Quality – Finally you need to be concerned with the build quality of the coffee maker. More than the outside, you need to lay weigh on the inside especially the heating element. For consistent brews you need a powerful heating element that can perform daily. All our recommendations have solid build quality and we would like to give special mention to Bonavita BV1900TS for having best in class heater. This helps in better coffee extraction.

Apart from the features, you need to consider your need. We have made a clear distinction between convenient (feature rich) coffee makers and regular coffee makers (for coffee aficionados). These categories help you decide the coffee maker which works for all your needs.

So this is everything about drip coffee makers. If you have any doubt or if you are confused about certain coffee makers, feel free to drop a comment below and our team shall help you.

Happy Brewing!

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