Nothing can brighten your morning like the seductive aroma of freshly brewed coffee. Many of us stand there bleary-eyed, yearning for a "cup of ambition," as Dolly Parton so aptly called it in her song "9 to 5." The anticipation of that first delectable sip is enough to shake out the cobwebs and send you off smiling.
There are many ways to make coffee, from primitively tossing the beans in water and boiling them to delicate hands-on tending. For this coffee machine review, we looked at the family-sized automatic drip coffee makers that have been fixtures in kitchens for decades and are still popular.
We have given the Top Ten Reviews Gold Award to the Cuisinart Extreme Brew, with the Silver Award going to the Mr. Coffee SJX and the Bronze Award going to the Melitta 10-Cup Coffee Maker. To learn more about the subject of coffee in general, check out our articles about coffee makers so you can determine which is the best coffee maker for you.
In this review, we did not examine espresso machines, single-serve coffee makers, percolators, French presses or coffee makers that also grind the beans. Instead, this site presents a diverse group of the best coffee machines that employ an automatic drip-brewing process and present an eight- to 14-cup capacity.
To pick the best home coffee maker for your kitchen, it is smart to focus on the basic design features and capabilities that will brew just the right coffee for your palate, and then consider the nice-to-have extras. It would also be smart to examine the length of the warranty and the availability of customer service.
Coffee Maker Design
If you live alone and drink one cup of coffee every now and then, a 12-cup coffee maker might be too large – that is, until you host a dinner party. You have many options to consider, including such things as a brew pause function, which provides the ability to sneak a cup during the brewing process. A product with a water filter makes better-tasting coffee and reduces scale buildup.
There are pros and cons to both permanent and paper filters. Permanent filters save you money, since you don't have to keep buying the paper variety, which is also better for the environment. However, it is easier to get rid of the coffee grounds with the disposable paper liners. Also, permanent filters can retain some of the coffee oils unless these are cleaned constantly, which can lend an off taste to the coffee.
Convenience & Safety
Once you have decided on the basic features you want, it is smart to examine features of convenience and safety next. Many top-rated coffee makers offer an automatic shut-off function that protects your home if you rush off to the carpool and forget to flip the off button. It is handy to have a coffee maker that alerts you when the brewing is done, lets you see how much water the device contains, and includes a programmable clock so you can set everything up the night before and awake to the fragrance of fresh coffee.
Like all matters involving coffee, the type of carafe you choose depends on your personal taste. Some people love the glass carafes that are kept warm on a heater plate, while others prefer an insulated thermal carafe that keeps the coffee warm by itself.
Warranty & Support
Each vendor in our coffee makers review provides telephone support and email support. The warranty periods for various automatic drip coffee makers range from one to three years, which is quite a range, so be aware of the warranty period as you make your selection.
Whether you are a coffee connoisseur or someone who just needs plenty of hot java and needs it fast, there is an automatic drip coffee maker on the market for you. Check out the different varieties in our reviews and you can end up with the best drip coffee machine you have ever owned.