15 Best Drip Coffee Makers for Your Kitchen 2020: Roasty Reviews

Best Drip Coffee Makers

If you’re like many coffee drinkers, you grab a ready-to-drink cup of joe on your way to work. You barely taste it, slugging it down during your commute. Or maybe you have a Keurig, so you can brew a lightning-fast cup of brown water for your travel mug. So gross.

If you’re a regular Roasty reader, you already appreciate a delicious, intentionally prepared coffee. Maybe you make yours with your trusty French press, or spend precious morning moments watching your coffee come to life in your glass pour over brewer. Whatever you use to brew your coffee, you take your time and do it right.

Settle in, because we’re about to break down how to buy the best coffee maker for your kitchen. 

At A Glance: Our Top 5 Picks for Drip Coffee Makers

Whether you start your day with a plastic cup from a drive-thru or you grind your own beans at five every morning, sometimes your morning would flow much more smoothly if you could just count on a great cup of coffee from a drip coffee maker. Just supply the beans and water, then let it do all the work for you. But can a drip machine really brew great coffee?

Today’s best drip coffee makers filter water, grind beans, control water temperature, generate the coffee bloom, and keep your coffee hot while you blow through your morning routine.

We scoured the internet and found the best drip coffee makers that deliver java to rival your favorite cup of French press coffee, and they’re all right here. All you have to do is choose the one you like best!

Our Favorite Drip Coffee Makers

Ninja Hot & Cold Brew System

Sitting on my home counter right now is an amazing pseudo dual coffee machine from Ninja. Full disclosure – we received this item for free so we could test it out – and it has performed beautifully.

Versatility is the word that comes to mind, as this thing can make just about any drink you can think of with a built in milk frother, 6 different brew sizes, and 5 different brew styles that do completely different things based on whether you’re making a standard pot of coffee or a flat white.

In fact, lately I’ve been on a Bulletproof Coffee kick where I’m adding butter and coconut oil to my coffee. I’ve discovered that the frother on this Ninja eliminates the need for using a blender. I just put the butter and oil in my mug, fill it half full with coffee and then froth it with the built in wand. Finally, I top it off with more coffee and I’m ready to go.

So if you’re a Bulletproof Coffee maker, this is the coffee maker you want.

I’m telling you – this thing can do it all and it makes an excellent cup of coffee (which is all I use it for 90% of the time).

Breville Precision Brewer

Breville sent us one of these to try first-hand, and it’s another drip coffee maker you simply can’t go wrong with. If you like to keep things simple, there are a number of preset modes including Gold (uses temperature and brew time from SCA), Fast, Strong, Iced and Cold Brew. Just pick one and press a button.

If you’re a bit of a control freak, go nuts with controlling bloom time, water temperature, flow rate and even your local weather forecast! Ok, you still can’t control the weather, but for a drip coffee maker this thing has a ton of options while remaining simple to use.

Read our full review of this machine here.

Bonavita BV1900TS

Fans of pour over brewing rejoice! This drip coffee maker features a pre-infusion setting, which allows your coffee to bloom before brewing, mimicking the pour over method. It maintains perfect water temperature—between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit—for optimal brewing.

The hot plate stays on for 40 minutes. And with the eight-cup, stainless steel carafe, your coffee will stay hot without burning for a good, long time.

Technivorm Moccamaster KB 741

Created by Dutch industry leader Technivorm and backed by a five-year warranty, this drip coffee maker is built to last. The aluminum body and ten-cup glass carafe even have an industrial look to them. If you ever need stateside repairs, you can even get it serviced in their U.S. service center.

The Technivorm Moccamaster features a copper boiling element that keeps water at the perfect temperature and shuts off automatically after brewing. Manual drip stop control lets you stop flow to pour a quick cup, or restrict flow to slow brewing time. The separate hot plate element stays between 175 and 185 degrees Fahrenheit to keep your coffee piping without burning for 100 minutes.

Bunn Speed Brew Elite

Need your cup of go juice on the double, but don’t want to lose flavor? The Speed Brew Elite by BUNN is the perfect drip coffee maker for the person who sprints out the front door in the morning. All you need to do is add grounds, water, and touch one button, then just three minutes later you’ll have a fresh, ten-cup pot of coffee.

The commercial-style, multi-stream spray head fully soaks grounds for better taste. It even has an always-hot stainless steel water tank, so it’s always ready to brew, but you can flip the vacation switch when you won’t need it standing by.

Cuisinart DCC-3200 PerfecTemp

If you’re looking for a capable drip coffee maker with a more accessible price tag, the PerfecTemp should be on your short list. It’s an improvement over previous models that gets coffee hotter without burning it. The stainless steel machine boasts a 14-cup glass carafe, but you can set it to brew one to four cups.

The charcoal water filter and bold brew option enhance taste, while a scale indicator light lets you know when to clean your coffee maker. If you like your coffee ready and waiting for you when you wake up, you’re in luck. The PerfecTemp lets you program brewing up to 24 hours in advance.

Brew Express BEC-110BS

Imagine never again spilling water all over your counters at the crack of dawn. Purchase this drip coffee maker that will never run out of water, and say goodbye to spills. That’s right. The Brew Express is hooked up to your water line, so it refills on command. An infrared sensor even prevents overflows and allows pours mid-brew, but you won’t be able to use glass mugs or carafes.

It’s a sturdy machine, certified for both residential and commercial use. You can brew a half or full carafe, or single cup. It keeps water at a consistent brewing temperature, so you won’t have to wait between cycles. For the best brew, use an inline water filter like the ones for refrigerator ice makers.

Bonavita BV1901GW

Like its sister model, this drip coffee maker boasts a pre-infusion setting. Combined with a wide shower head and flat bottom filter basket, hot water evenly penetrates your grounds for the best possible extraction. The BV1901GW maintains water temperature in the ideal zone between 198 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit.

The transparent, easily accessible water tank makes refilling a breeze. This model brews eight cups with one touch and automatically shuts off after 40 minutes. The tempered glass carafe with its unique, narrow neck helps keep your coffee hot. And an audible signal lets you know when your coffee’s ready to drink.

Breville The Grind Control™

Single-cup brewers are the second-most popular after multi-cup drip coffee makers for home use. The Grind Control™ has a seven-and-a-half-inch clearance, so you can choose to brew a whole carafe or a single serving straight into a mug or travel mug . You can even choose between seven size options in single-cup mode to accommodate creamer. This amazing little machine lets you choose from 8 brew strength settings and grind fresh beans right before you brew them.

Switch to the pre-ground setting to use grounds from a bag. The liquid crystal display (LCD) screen shows real-time information, such as water level, grind size and time, strength selection, and brewing time. Wake up to fresh coffee with a programmable auto-start that will grind beans to your liking and heat your water to optimal temperature for brewing.

Mr. Coffee CJX31

If you want a drip coffee maker that looks sleek, but is still easy on your wallet, get yourself the CJX31. With brushed chrome accents, a digital display, and function lights, this machine looks like its much more expensive competition. More importantly, features such as brew strength selection and a water filtration system ensure a rich-tasting cup of coffee from this little contender.

Other notable features include brewing up to 24 hours in advance with Delay Brew setting, two-hour automatic shut off, Fresh Brew™ Timer, which displays how long your finished coffee has been on the warming plate, and Pause ‘n’ Serve.

OXO Barista Brain

The robust features in this nine-cup drip coffee maker will surprise and delight. The Barista Brain is designed with a microprocessor that brews in timed cycles, replicating the pour over brewing method. Water temperature is controlled between 197.6 and 204.8 degrees Fahrenheit throughout brewing.

A shower-style head evenly soaks coffee grounds. The backlit light-emitting diode (LED) display shows status and coffee freshness. A dial on the front lets you set an up to 24-hour timer and the number of cups you wish to brew.

KitchenAid KCM1204

Are you a fan of retro kitchen style? Do matching appliances bring you inner peace? Well, if you’re in love with your classic KitchenAid stand mixer, you’re sure to fall for the KitchenAid KCM1204 drip coffee maker. It’s designed to look just like the iconic mixer, and you can even buy it in black or white.

You can brew the full 12 cups, or choose two or four. Inconspicuous buttons allow you to choose regular or bold brew strength and program automatic brewing up to 24 hours in advance.

Capresso MT600

The minimalist, stainless steel design of this 10-cup coffee maker will blend in nicely with almost any kitchen. It lets you make enough for a crowd, brewing a full carafe in eight minutes, or you can brew just three to five cups. The charcoal water filter removes chlorine, odors, and other chemicals from your water before brewing. You can remove the drip-free stainless steel carafe to pour a cup at any time during the brewing process without making a mess.

The MT600 also has a small backlit LCD clock with timer, and 24-hour programmable automatic brewing. It will shut itself off in two hours, so you won’t have a fire hazard on your kitchen counter.

DeLonghi BCO 430

Maybe you’re not rushing through your house every morning, but you still want to be able to brew a decent pot of coffee at home. And maybe you want to make lattes, espressos, and cappuccino too. The DeLonghi BCO 430 is a single machine that does it all. One side is a full cappuccino system with swivel jet frother. It has a 40-ounce water reservoir, so even if you’re entertaining a crowd, everyone can have a cappuccino without stopping to refill the water. It even has a cup warmer on top.

The other side is a ten-cup drip coffee maker. It shuts off after 30 minutes, but has a warming function that keeps coffee hot for two hours without scorching. An exceptionally convenient feature is the front access to refill water and coffee grounds, so you won’t have to move the machine at all.

Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer

If you find yourself caught between wanting a machine that does single-serve and a machine that can handle brewing a whole carafe, don’t sweat it. Either way, the Hamilton Beach 2-way Brewer has you covered. 

This machine is fully programmable, offering pretty extensive user control. Plus, it adjusts to your cup, brewing anywhere from one stand-alone cup to a full, 12-cup carafe.  The brew strength selector allows you. to choose between regular and bold and there’s even a warming-plate to keep things hot as you drink. Lastly, there’s an auto-shutoff function. 

How Do Automatic Drip Brewers Work?

Also called a filtration method, there are a plethora of different drip methods. However, the items we’ve covered here are specifically automatic drip machines. 

Chances are you’ve used one of these before. And while there is some variation in how users engage with the machine, the internal workings of how your coffee brews tends to be essentially the same. 

It starts by putting grounds in a filter and water in the reservoir. Most models use basket-shaped paper filters, though some do have permanent ones or you can opt to get a reusable one separately.  

After you turn it on and tell it what you want, the machine then heats the water from its storage and pumps it above the grinds. Sometimes there is simply a tube system in place that allows steam to rise there itself. 

As the reaches the drip area, it goes through whatever shower head technology the machine has been built with. The purpose here is to wet the grounds and eventually soak through them. The hot water extracts coffee from the grounds as gravity brings it down, eventually reaching your carafe or cup. 

Lastly, it’s pretty standard to have a hot plate or a thermal carafe. This helps to keep the coffee warm so you can enjoy your coffee without rushing.

Other Drip Methods

Manual Drippers 

This category includes tools such as Chemex, Pour Overs, and the Clever Coffee Dripper (though this one also uses immersion). These methods are perfect for people who want a little more control over their brew than a drip brewer will allow. 

With manual methods, you control the temperature and volume as well as speed. They usually require using gooseneck kettles for precise, thorough extraction. Those who like to revel in the artisanship of coffee brewing tend to gravitate towards these tools over the auto drip option. 

However, they do require more work and effort to brew coffee. In the end though, the flavor you get from these methods tends to be superior to what you’ll get with an auto dripper.


Many coffee experts consider the dawn of auto drip brewers in the 1970s to be the death of the Percolator. This tool was first patented in the US in 1865, and it reached the home market in 1889.

The main thing that separates percolators from their auto brewing brethren is the fact that they cycle the water through the grounds multiple times. Thus, if left unattended they are known to over-extract the coffee. 

These tools require babysitting to have their temperature and brew time monitored. In the end, they brew a strong cup that tends to have a pronounced bitterness. Most people prefer both the taste and convenience of using auto drip brewers in their homes. However, there are a few areas where the percolator wins out. 

For example, because percolators come in self-heating and non-self-heating options, they can be a little more versatile on location. So, while you can use them in-house either on a stove-top or in a microwave, they are more frequently favored for on camping trips to be used over a fire. Also, while auto drip brewers aren’t typically expensive, percolators tend to be even more affordable. 

Cold Drip

While the drip method isn’t the only way to get cold brew, it’s a pretty interesting one. These slow drip brewers tend to produce a lighter mouthfeel and flavor than their immersion counterparts. Thus, they help bring out citrus notes and other sweeter flavors.

This method is preferred by coffee connoisseurs more than your average user because it tends to be complex. You have to monitor the drip rate and balance it with the appropriate grind size. Plus, they have to be adjusted throughout brewing, which can take anywhere from 3 to 24 hours.

So if you’re looking for something quick and convenient, the auto brewer is going to be the better choice. But if you would prefer something that requires a little more craftsmanship or you are a huge fan of cold brew, a cold dripper might be perfect. For something affordable you can try:

Or, if you really want to go all out on style:

Vietnamese Drip Filter

This tool is pretty simple to use. It’s essentially a small steel filter that you put grounds in. After pouring hot water over it, the water filters through the grinds and into a glass below. Your glass should have some condensed milk, and once it’s done brewing, you just add ice. Voila! You have some delicious Vietnamese coffee.

This method requires a little more effort than auto drip brewing, but not much. However, it only brews a specific kind of coffee. 

Other Types of Brewing

In addition to there being alternative ways to get drip coffee, there are also alternatives to drip brewing entirely. These different methods all provide slightly different benefits and functions for brewing, so do some exploring to see that you like best.


Instead of letting gravity do the work, pressure brewers put in a little extra oomph to get the job done. Tools that fall into this category include espresso machines, Moka pots, and Aeropresses (non-inverted). Pressure brewing generally requires medium to fine grounds and brews more concentrated beverages. 


Immersion brewers allow grounds to steep for extended periods of time. Tools include the French press,  Aeropress (inverted), Clever Coffee Dripper, Siphons, some cold brewers, and coffee bags. These brews tend to be more full-bodied. 


While all coffee methods involve boiling or near boiling water (except cold brew), there are some coffee brewing methods that require you to actually boil water with grounds in it. Two of the most notable styles are Turkish/Greek coffee, which uses an ibrik or briki, and Swedish Kokkaffe and Egg Coffee, which just use a pot and (sometimes) a filter. 

Features to Note

Brew Strength Control

Most of the models we’ve included here have some type of brew control to determine the strength of your brew. This is an important feature if you know that you personally prefer particularly strong or weak coffee. Or, it could also come I handy if there are different preferences within your household.

Settings like these generally work b y slowing or speeding up water flow. The slower the drip, the stronger the coffee, as it has more time to extract. This is why pod-brewers that are promoted for their speed sometimes have issues with brewing especially weak coffee. 

Serving Methods

There are a couple different kinds of serve functions that you’ll come across on automatic drip brewers. One of the most standard ones is pause-and-serve. This feature allows you to remove the carafe or pot before brewing has completely finished to get your first cuppa without it sputtering the rest of the brew all over your counter. 

Pro Tip: If you just want to brew one pot, but the verdict is split on how strong people want it, this feature is great to take advantage of. The first cup or two will be stronger while the ones at the end of the brew will be a tad weaker. So everyone can win, even with a mid-strength setting. 

Another, less common feature is the self-serve. Essentially, the brewed coffee is stored inside of the machine, rather than in a carafe. Them when you’re ready you can  press a button or pull a switch and fill your mug directly from the machine. None of our top picks have this function, but if it sounds like something you’d appreciate, the Cuisinart DCC-3000 comes pretty highly recommended. 

Water Filter

Some models include water filters, which does actually improve the ultimate taste of your coffee. This is perfect if you don’t already own a water filter. Tap water tends to contain chemicals which are used to keep it clean in its way to you; however, because they interact with grounds and alter the flavor, it’s best to go filtered.

Programmable Coffee Makers

We’ve written about this extensively in our guide to the best smart coffee makers, but if you like the conveniences of preparing your coffee the night before and setting a schedule so it’ll be brewing while your alarm clock is going off, then you’ll want to find a programmable coffee machine.

I’m not sure about you, but all I can think about when writing this is the old Folgers commercials with the catchy jingle… “The best part of waking up...”

(If the jingle is now stuck in your head, I apologize).

Personally, even when I’ve had programmable machines I’ve not made much use of it because I prefer to get up, grind my beans and then brew immediately – which is the ideal situation for the freshest cup of joe.

Nevertheless, if programmable is more your style – make sure that’s a feature on your list as your shopping for a new coffee maker.

Glass vs Thermal Carafe

One of the biggest feature points that separates different auto drip brewers is the carafe type. There are two main types: glass and thermal.

Glass Carafe

Glass carafes keep your coffee warm using a hot plate. This works better to keep coffee very hot for a short period of time. However, if you leave the carafe on the hot plate for more than about 15 minutes, the coffee starts to burn and get bitter. After that, it’s not too pleasant to drink. 


  • Cheaper of the two types
  • Available in different styles, so you can find fancier ones that are better suited for formal serving and presentation than thermal carafes
  • Remaining coffee volume is visible in the carafe


  • Can’t keep coffee hot as long without burning
  • Requires a hot plate, which isn’t ideal
  • They are less durable than thermal carafes and can be expensive to replace

Thermal Carafe

If you can swing the slight jump in price, a thermal carafe is generally the better option. A thermal carafe will help lock in heat produced during the brewing process, rather than adding more heat and potentially ruining the coffee. 


  • Keeps coffee fresh and warm for longer periods of time
  • Delays oxidization and avoids overheating, leaving you with a better flavor
  • More durable, making them kid-proof and better for outdoor use 


  • Heavier than glass options
  • Not much variation in looks and you can’t visually check the contents

Best Coffee Machine Brands


Newer to the coffee scene, Bonavita is dedicated to making machines that are accessible to a broader range of people. Their products are designed in Germany and made in China. 


One of the biggest names in coffee brewing, Breville, was founded in 1957. They are based in Australia and are known for producing a wide range of top-notch coffee and espresso products.


Still relatively new to the coffee scene, Capresso was founded in 1994 and is owned by Switzerland-based company, Jura. Their products are aimed primarily at the American market. Their name is a mix of “cappuccino” and “espresso,” and serves as the company’s inspiration as innovators.


This US-based company makes far more than coffee machines, but that shouldn’t make you underestimate them. They’ve been around since the 1970s and continue to produce affordable, quality machines.


Founded in 1902, De’Longhi has been an impressive, family-owned business for over a century. They have an extensive selection of kitchenalia that also include high-quality coffee and espresso machines.


This brand got their start with stand mixers in 1919. Since then the American home appliance brand,  Kitchenaid, has expanded to offer a number of small and large kitchen appliances. They’re owned by the Whirlpool Corporation. 


Moccamaster-Technivorm products are made in the Netherlands and designed by the Dutch. Their coffee makers are often called the best of their breed. Additionally, they are certified by the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) and granted the European Coffee Brewing Center’s (ECBC) Seal of Approval.

Mr. Coffee

A registered trademark of Newell Brands, Mr. Coffee was founded in the 1970s. They manufacture automatic-drip coffee machines in addition to other products. They’re well-known in popular culture, referenced in “The Bad Touch” by the Bloodhound gang and promoted by Joe DiMaggio. 


One of the several house-care brands developed by SharkNinja Operating, LLC, Ninja sells a variety of kitchen products from blenders to, of course, coffee makers. They’re best known for the versatility of their unique coffee brewing products.


OXO specializes in simplifying and improving the functionality of everyday, household products.  They got their start with a  potato peeler, but they’ve been impressing coffee lovers for years. From burr grinders to coffee makers, they are known for their simplicity and usability. 

Our Top Pick for…

Your Office

If you are looking for a drip machine that can work in an office setting, you need to find something that’s easy to clean with a large capacity that brews quickly. For that, we recommend going with the Cuisinart PerfecTemp.

Thanks to the scale indicator light, you’ll know exactly when to clean the machine, and it even has a an auto-clean function. Plus, it has a 14-cup glass carafe that can brew for a good few at a time or be set to make just 1-4 cups. Additionally, you can count on high-quality cups thanks to the brew strength setting and charcoal water filter. 

Furthermore, with the 24 hour advance brewing, you won’t have to worry about your coffee break getting in the way of your work flow.

Keeping it Quiet

Sometimes us coffee drinkers need our java before the rest of the house wakes up, which can be a problem when you mix light sleepers and loud coffee makers. So if you need to brew without much noise, we recommend going for the Bonavita BV1900TS. 

This 8 cup brewer is the best you’re going to find as far as noise levels are concerned. It’s made using high-quality materials so not only does it work well, it looks nice dong it. Plus, the hot plate stays on for 40 minutes, so other people can get pleasantly warm coffee, even if they sleep in a bit. 

Additionally, if you are looking for a machine with a reusable filter, check out this machine. You won’t have to buy tons of paper filters with this gold-tone permanent one. All you have to do is clean it periodically, and bam!–reduced waste and reduced cost! It’s a win-win.

A Tight Budget

If you are looking for a drip brewer but you don’t have the budget to spring for something with all the bells and whistles, we’ve got the perfect recommendation for you. Check out the Mr. Coffee CJX31. 

It has impressive programmability for something coming in under $50. And it brews a pretty good cup of coffee. This way, you won’t have to sacrifice taste to save your wallet. Plus, it doesn’t have the same cheap, plastic-y look to it that other budget machines do. 

Single Serve Drip Brewers

How They Work

First off, you need to know that there are two main types of single servers: pod brewers and non-pod brewers. The latter works the same as a regular brewer, just with smaller portions. While there is some variation in exactly how pod-based single serve drip brewers work, here’s the general process:

First, you load water into a tank. The machine then heats the water and pumps it through a needle-like nozzle to increase pressure. Then, the water is pumped through the ground coffee, which is in a pod or capsule instead of a filter basket.

Once the water has extracted the coffee, it drips through a hold in the pod. The filter inside the pod filters it as it falls through and the coffee drips into your cup.

Who They’re For

As you may have already known from reading other articles on our site, pod-based single serve drip brewers aren’t generally our first recommendation for most people. For many of them, you’re forced to use preground coffee which is a big blow to freshness. Plus, if you’re going to get a decent one, they aren’t much cheaper than some of the better machines we’ve listed here. Also, while they’re convenient, so are regular drip brewers.

So why would you pick a single serve brewer over a regular one? Well, these machines are best suited for people that meet the following criteria:

  • Only brewing for yourself and you’re a one-cup drinker
  • You aren’t going to grind your own beans anyway
  • Sample packs of flavors are your jam
  • Extra speedy coffee is a must for your busy mornings

If that sounds like you, check out our articles covering the Keurig, Nespresso, and Illy pod brewers. On the other hand, if you still want to be able to choose your own grounds and care about freshness, but you also want smaller servings and fast brewing, check out the machine below.

Our Recommendation

Firstly, this lightweight, compact machine has a permanent filter and DOES NOT use pods. So perk up if you’re concerned about single serve brewers not being eco friendly. It has a 15-ounce capacity, stainless steel mug that comes with the machine. However, you can still use your own travel cup if you want, and the whole machine is pretty portable.

Furthermore, to add to the delightful amount of convenience, the components are dishwasher safe. It comes in bright blue, lime green, ruby red, true red, orange, and black. So, you can match whatever look you’re going for in your kitchen or dorm. 

For more single serve options, check out this article.

Make the Most of Your Drip Coffee Maker

Even the best drip brewer is going to make some pretty poor coffee if you aren’t using and maintaining it properly. Here are some tips to make sure you’re getting the best coffee possible.


Like we mentioned earlier, the water you use to brew your coffee is incredibly important. Whether you are in a hard or soft water area, you should be filtering your water. You can do this in a number of ways. 

The most convenient method is to simply get a brewer that has a built in water filter and just replace it as necessary. However, you can also buy a filter that attaches to your faucet or use charcoal water filters and a carafe in your fridge. They even sell pitchers  that have filters in them!

Simply choose whichever water purification you think will work best for your lifestyle and space; your tastebuds will thank you. 

The Grounds/Beans

Now that you’ve taken care of the water situation, let’s talk about the grounds you are using. For drip brewers, people aren’t generally going for Blue Mountain beans, but that doesn’t mean you should buy your local bargain brand from the grocery either.

The most important thing to look for is the roast date. Many store-bought brands won’t. even include one, which should be a red flag. You want fresh roasted beans so your coffee will taste fresh and flavorful rather than stale. Even if you drown you coffee in milk and sugar and just need a blend to get the job done, freshness is a must. 

Want to up your coffee bean game? We love Atlas Coffee Club because it’s a fun way to try new coffees from around the world – Zambia, Peru, Malawi.  All of the coffee is specialty-grade, single origin, roasted to order. Plus Roasty readers get 50% off your first box: Click here to try it for yourself. 

The Grind

If you buy pre-ground coffee, you won’t have to worry much about this except for the actual grind size you’re looking for. However, we recommend going with whole beans and grinding them yourself as you go. This will help ensure that your grounds aren’t stale by the time they reach your brewer.

For an auto drip brewer, you are going to use a medium-fine grind, so it’ll be between table and kosher salt as far as size. This is the same type of grind you’d use for a siphon or moka pot and in between the grinds you’d use for an espresso machine and a Chemex.


Many machines include instructions on how to clean them in the manual. But as a general rule, here are the steps to get your drip brewer clean:

Empty and rinse the carafe.

Make sure any leftover coffee has been removed from the carafe and go ahead and wash it as you normally would. Also, make sure you empty the filter of used grounds, you won’t be needing any for this process.

Add a vinegar and water mix to the water reservoir.

Make a mixture that is 1 part white vinegar for every 2 parts cold water. Take note of the maximum brew size for your machine and make that much. Pour the mixture into the reservoir. 

Complete one brew cycle.

Turn on your coffee machine and run one full cycle. Once the cycle is complete, go ahead and turn the machine off and let it sit for about 15 minutes so the vinegar can do its thing.

Refill reservoir with water.

If you have a removable reservoir, you can rinse it out now. Fill it with enough water to run another cycle. Refill when you go to run the second rinse cycle. 

Brew two water-only cycles. 

After each of the two reservoir refills, you will run another brew cycle. This is to remove any vinegar remaining in the machine. Make sure to take 15 minutes to turn the machine off and wait between each run through.

Final Thoughts

Even though we love the craft of slow brewing with intention and patience, these machines are must-haves in a household or office full of coffee drinkers. We think you’ll find the right machine for your needs in our list, but even if you choose another model, you’ll get the best brew if you look for a few important features.

  • Temperature controls that keep water between 195 and 205 degrees during brewing
  • Widely distributed water jets so your grounds are soaked evenly while brewing–Pre-soak features are even better
  • Automatic shutoff of the hot plate, or no hot plate at all, to prevent your coffee from burning after brewing
  • Brew strength selector that allows you to slow down the brewing time–especially useful when you make half a pot or less in a multi-cup machine
  • Water filters ensure clean water for pure-tasting coffee

Once you buy a drip coffee maker with those important features, avoid making the most common mistakes when brewing your coffee, and you’re sure to get the best possible java your drip coffee maker can brew.

Happy Caffeinating!

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