In the world of coffee brewing, pour-over, cold brew, French press and Aeropress get all the buzz. Yet, for the vast majority of people, these methods of making coffee are not ideal — at least not for those grueling minutes between sleep and getting out the door every morning. Much to the chagrin of coffee purists, the mighty drip coffee maker is still most coffee drinkers’ preferred choice due to speed and convenience.
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In the past decade or so, a thousand and one companies have pushed their way into the market, though very few have the intention (let alone the ability) to manufacture coffee brewers that make truly good coffee. We tested what most experts consider the world’s best drip coffee makers, comparing size, speed, price and performance, to identify which machines to buy in 2022.
What to Look for in a Coffee Maker
Speedy coffee makers make batch-brewed joe more convenient, but there’s more to it than that. The SCA’s rigorous certification program, which has long separated the best coffee brewers from those that cut corners, only accepts brew times of four to eight minutes, and those aren’t made-up numbers. Coffee brewed any quicker than four minutes will be under-extracted (weak) and over eight minutes will be over-extracted (bitter).
Because the higher water temperature is the agent that extracts and dissolves coffee solids and oils from coffee grounds, brewing temperature is one of the best indicators of a machine that could make a decent cup of coffee. According to the Gold Cup standard, coffee should be brewed between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit. Brew at a lower temperature and coffee and risk under extraction (weak, sour coffee), or brew above 205 and you’re bumping up against boiling water, which will dissolve more coffee than is preferable (heavy, extra-bitter).
Often ignored when considering a new purchase is how simple the upkeep is. Because coffee makers are working with hot water, an ideal breeding ground for mold and limescale, it’s doubly important. Making sure the machine and as many components as possible can be disassembled and cleaned is of the utmost importance to both performance and health. This guide might look different if we completely ignored the role cost plays in the buying equation. But, seeing as not everyone is willing to spend multiple hundreds of dollars on a machine, excluding price as a primary factor is a fantasy. At the same time, the quality of the machine can’t be sacrificed to save $30, because extra-cheap machines will catch up to you in the form of leaky brew baskets, worn-out buttons, inconsistent extraction and so on.
The Best Coffee Makers of 2022
Each of our testers has been using their coffee makers for years at this point — which means each has produced gallons and gallons of coffee. We've evaluated these coffee makers on the quality of the coffee they brew (while this could be subjective, good coffee is good coffee). We then judged each brewer on its ease of use, brew time and added features. While most of the coffee makers on this list are on the pricier end, we found that paying more usually resulted in better coffee. Many of the picks here are also certified by the Specialty Coffee Association to brew a Golden Cup, which is essentially the gold standard when it comes to drip coffee makers.
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