The Best Coffee Maker - 2018 Reviews
Drip coffee machines can be fickle. Sometimes, the coffee tastes watered-down. Other times, it tastes like you’re sipping on a cup of charred coal. But with the Bonavita BV1800, neither of these things happen. Engineered for precise water temperature control, you get a perfectly smooth and flavorful pot of coffee every time.
The BV1800 is my absolute favorite coffee maker. Here’s why :
Top Quality Construction: With a high quality stainless steel housing and glass-lined thermal café, this coffee maker looks sleek and is built to last.
Easy to Use: The water tank is clearly marked, so you put in exactly the right amount of water. The tank also has a wide opening, so it’s easy to fill. And when you’re ready to brew, just put a filter in the basket, add your grounds, fill the water tank and flip the switch to “On”.
Great Value: The Bonavita BV1800 is more than affordable.
Easy Cleaning: The filter basket allows for quick and easy cleaning, while the exterior can be wiped down with a simple damp towel.
The Best Brew Around: With precise heating & a unique drip design, the BV1800 brews the best coffee in town.
I really want to take a minute to talk about the design of this machine – because it’s really what makes this coffee maker so great. The BV1800 is SCAA (Specialty Coffee Association of America) approved, which means it’s capable of brewing to SCAA’s standards. That’s pretty impressive considering only six machines – in the whole world – are approved by the organization. This German-engineered brewer uses a 1400-watt heater to heat up the water to the optimal brewing temperature (200-205 degrees F). And the water is heated up before it ever touches your coffee, which means you’ll never wind up with over- or under-extracted coffee.
But here’s the feature I really love:
The machine’s showerhead design. Rather than just pouring the water over the coffee, like a regular drip machine does, the BV1800’s showerhead distributes the water evenly over all of the coffee grounds. It’s that showerhead design that ensures your grounds are completely saturated. What you get is a rich, flavorful cup of coffee that’s never too bitter or watered-down.
Now the big question that’s probably on all of your minds:
How long does it take to brew? If you’re like me, you probably don’t have 10 or 15 minutes in the morning to wait for your coffee to brew. The BV1800 can brew 8 cups (5 oz) in just 5 minutes. And if you’re not ready to drink your coffee right away, the 55W heater will keep your coffee just the right temperature for up to two whole hours before the automatic shut-off kicks on. I could go on and on about how much I love the Bonavita BV1800, but you really need to try it for yourself to see just how great the design and quality of the coffee is.
I talked a little bit about how the Bonavita BV1800 is SCA certified, and the Technivorm-Moccamaster KBT is another home brewer that gets the organization’s seal of approval. It’s also approved by the SCAE (Specialty Coffee Association of Europe) and ECBC (European Coffee Brewing Center).
Technivorm-Moccamaster KBT is a great alternative to the Bonavita BV1800, but it doesn’t come with the fantastic showerhead design. And it’s a bit pricier too. That being said, there are plenty of reasons to love this coffee maker.
Well-Made: Handmade in the Netherlands, the Technivorm-Moccamaster KBT features high quality stainless steel and BPA-free plastic accents.
Minimalistic Design: Compact, sleek and simple, this coffee maker won’t take up much space on your countertop.
Affordable: The KBT offers the same quality as a high-end machine, but is priced just under $300.
Dishwasher-Safe: The filter basket and top of the basket are both dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup.
Maintaining this coffee maker is a breeze thanks to its minimalistic and compact design. There aren’t a whole lot of buttons (just one to be exact), which makes the exterior so easy to clean. Unfortunately, the KBT doesn’t have a showerhead, but the narrow filter basket does a great job of saturating the grounds. The copper heating element heats water to the optimal 205 F brewing temperature and shuts off automatically after the brewing cycle is complete. Now, I can’t say with complete certainty that the machine heats up the water before dispensing it (like the Bonavita does), but I can say that it brews consistently-good pots of coffee. And it even has a little extra “pulse” feature, so you can get the perfect coffee bloom during the brewing process.
With the KBT, you can brew either a full 10-cup or half carafe in just four to six minutes. And guess what? This machine comes with a 5-year warranty. I’m pretty confident you’ll never need to use it, but it definitely gives you peace of mind.
Most of you are probably familiar with the BUNN name. This is the coffee maker brand you see in diners, breakfast joints and restaurants all over the country. The BT Velocity Brew is a machine that’s climbing my list – and it’s similar to the Bonavita in many ways.
Let’s take a closer look at this brewer’s features:
- Stainless-steel water tank and vacuum-insulated carafe
- 800-watt heater
- Internal thermostat
- Showerhead design for complete saturation of the coffee grounds
- Hot water available for brewing tea
- Vacation switch
- Close-and-brew lid
- Affordable price at just under $130
BUNN is a well-known and respected brand in the coffee maker industry. One of the brand’s home brewers is SCA approved, so you know that you’re getting a high quality machine when you buy a BUNN. The Velocity brews up a smooth, delicious pot of coffee. And the only complaint I’ve seen is that the carafe leaks at times – although I’ve never personally experienced that.
One great thing about this brewer is that it uses that same showerhead (they call it a “spray head”) design that the Bonavita uses. This means your grounds will be completely saturated for optimal extraction. This is a reservoir-style machine and it can brew an entire 10-cup pot of coffee in just three minutes.
Easy to clean and maintain, this BUNN coffee maker will provide you with years of use if you take good care of it. And if your machine breaks or malfunctions, it comes with a 4-year warranty.
The BUNN Velocity coffee maker is a strong contender for my first and second picks. It packs a lot of great features into an affordable machine that’s compact and sleek. If you’re looking for an alternative to the Bonavita or Technivorm-Moccamaster brewers listed above, the Velocity is an excellent choice.
Mr. Coffee is credited with producing the first automatic drip coffee maker back in 1972. The brand is not only one of the most recognizable, but also well-known for offering some of the most affordable coffee makers on the market. The BVMC-SJX33GT is a testament to the affordability and quality of the Mr. Coffee name.
The BVMC-SJX33GT was recognized by a leading consumer research magazine as one of the best products since 2011. This is a brewer that just about anyone can afford.
But don’t let the low price fool you. This brewer comes with plenty of great features, including:
- A convenient pause n’ serve setting.
- Brew strength selector.
- Water filtration to remove 97% of chlorine from the water.
- Removable filter basket.
- Water window, so you can easily see how much water is left in the reservoir.
- Cord storage.
- Glass or thermal carafe compatibility.
- Self-cleaning cycle and removable filter basket for easy cleanup.
- 2-hour shut off will keep your coffee hot for up to 2 hours.
What’s really great about this machine is its Delay Brew feature, which lets you schedule your brew up to 24 hours in advance. Now, you can wake up to a fresh pot of coffee every morning.
While the BVMC-SJX33GT is my favorite affordable coffee maker, the Hamilton Beach 46201 and Melitta 10-Cup Coffee Maker are strong contenders and on par with the BVMC-SJX33GT.