Like coffee? Love coffee? Feel that it’s just not worth getting out of bed in the morning, even for your own wedding, unless you can be holding a cup of hot coffee within minutes of stumbling into the kitchen? You’re not alone. An estimated 150 million Americans—half the U.S. population—drink coffee.
That’s one reason why coffee makers occupy premier positions on kitchen counters across the country. And woe to the coffee maker that fails to make a proper cup of coffee, because it may soon find itself turning end over end through the air on its way to the curb, hurled there by a tired and cranky person who must now drink a glass of water or something.
So, choosing a coffee maker is a very serious business. To make sure you choose the best coffee maker for you, and to keep our roadsides free of busted-up, cheap, inadequate coffee makers, use this guide to choose the best coffee maker for you:
One and Done
Making one dose at a time allows you to adjust how strong or weak you want your drink.
If you live alone, or if you are the only person in your household who drinks coffee, a single-serve machine is by far your best choice. The advent of the K-Cup single-serve pod means that you can brew one cup of coffee directly into your mug, instead of making a small pot of coffee, which is a seven-step process. Another advantage of the single-serve maker is that you can buy pods of various coffee types, as well as of tea, hot cocoa, and other drinks, so you’ll have a selection for yourself or for a guest. Look for a maker that has strength adjustment capability and the ability to hold a tall travel mug—sometimes you’ll want to bring two cups of coffee with you on the way out the door.
This model has a 24-hour programmability.
If you live with one or more fellow coffee connoisseurs, or if one cup of coffee is barely enough to open just one of your eyes, get a whole-carafe coffee maker. These have been around for decades, but one big improvement is the option of getting a thermal carafe (typically made of stainless steel) instead of a glass one. These carafes keep the coffee hot with insulated walls, and limit evaporation, keeping the coffee fresh tasting.
Look for a coffee maker that brews the coffee very hot, so you don’t need to rely on a warming plate, which can cook the brewed coffee and make it taste very bitter.
This model has a 60-ounce water reservoir.
If you live with one or more people who also love coffee, and your schedules differ—or if one of you works at home while the other works outside of it—get coffee maker that gives you the option of making either one cup or various multiples, up to a full pot. Look for a maker with a water reservoir that’s shared between the single-serving side and carafe side, as well the ability to adjust brew strength and the amount of water you want to send through the grinds. One great advantage of a coffee maker that offers a variable selection is that you don’t need to pour the exact amount of water into the reservoir. You just keep it filled and press the button corresponding to the amount of coffee you want to make. Now, go get dressed.
This model allows you to make more than just coffee.
This model is just five-inches wide and fits in small spaces.