For as long as I can remember, I've been trying to figure out the best way to brew coffee at home. There are countless ways to go about it, from instant coffee packets you find in line at Starbucks to $1,000 machines that brew café-quality espresso right on your countertop. In between, there are a dozen drip methods, Nespresso machines and other contraptions that promise to extract the perfect flavor from your freshly ground beans. The one method we all know, however, is humble drip coffee.
Whether you're used to the Mr. Coffee your dad used for your entire childhood or drink from an enormous industrial drip brewer at work, we're all familiar with the flavor of drip coffee. It is rarely the best coffee you've ever had and often just what we drink to get through the day. In recent years, however, that's changed; more and more residential drip brewers are being designed for exceptional coffee brewing instead of low price points. The Café Specialty Drip Coffee Maker is one such brewer.
Not only is it the most beautiful drip coffee maker I've seen, but it is the fastest machine I've ever used. It even happens to make an excellent brew, to boot. Wi-Fi capability and a Specialty Coffee Association certification round out this powerful machine that really knows what it is doing. But is it worth your money?
Flavor: Honestly, this machine just makes a damn good brew. There are four strength settings that you can choose from — gold, light, medium and bold. The light, medium and bold brew strengths speak for themselves, but the best of the bunch is the Gold setting. It is uniquely optimized to make the best brew no matter what roast or flavor profile you're looking for.
Customization: Aside from the brew strength, you can also customize the temperature, enable auto brew settings and choose to brew anywhere between one and ten cups at a time. These custom options make brewing a breeze, no matter how many people you're making coffee for or what time you need it to be ready.
Looks: It must be said, this coffee maker looks great. It is fairly robust and takes up quite a bit of space, but the copper accents and smooth matte finish help it fit into your kitchen aesthetic in a way that not many coffee makers can claim. It comes in three colors: matte black, matte white and stainless steel; the latter of which shines delightfully on my counter.
What's Not So Good
Price: The only thing I can really hold against this machine is the price. At $349, it is without a doubt much more than most people will want to drop on a brewer. It delivers on everything it promises, but for that price tag, it isn't easy to justify unless drip coffee is your bread and butter.
There are obviously dozens of drip coffee machines to choose from, with some of the best being significantly cheaper than this machine. Our pick for the best coffee maker is the OXO 8-Cup Coffee Maker, which comes in at a much more reasonable $170 and our Step Up pick is the Breville Precision Brewer Thermal Coffee Maker, which can easily be found for $300 (sometimes even less if there is a sale) — both of which offer a great brew without putting quite a big dent in your wallet.
This is an excellent machine and if you're committed to brewing drip coffee each day and prefer something design-forward, it is a good option. The SCA recommendation and Wi-Fi are nice additions but don't ultimately turn the tide for me. While I loved having the option to start up the machine from my phone, I would rather just pay less and have a machine without any bells and whistles.