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Technology may have yet to catch up with your dreams of having coffee directly deposited into your veins, but if the best part of waking up is java in your cup, it might be worth investing in a drip coffee maker. Initially invented to automate the pour-over coffee making process, these machines can yield cup after cup of your favorite brew with little effort on your part. Given that the National Coffee Association estimates that Americans drink an average of three cups of coffee per day—so, nearly 1,100 cups per year—isn’t it about time you picked up a quality coffee machine? We think so too.
Our top picks
How we picked these products
You ready to rise and grind? To find the best drip coffee makers, we consulted our friends at the Good Housekeeping Institute. Their team of on-staff experts—which includes all types: engineers! data analysts! registered dietitians!—rigorously put everyday products to the test (and then more and more tests) in their New York City-based labs to determine which ones you can trust. They evaluated the drip coffee makers on a variety of factors, including performance, ease of use and assembly, temperature consistency, cleanability, noise level during operation, features, and, of course, taste.
What is a good drip coffee maker to buy?
Who says your soulmate can’t be a coffee machine? (Probably a therapist, but they don’t know your relationship like you do.) Your perfect drip coffee maker is out there—you just need to know what to look for! Here are some factors to consider when searching for the device of your dreams:
Features: Whether you prefer your coffee mild or strong, hot or iced, simple or sophisticated, there’s a machine out there for you. Many models offer a variety of functions that can elevate your experience, including adjustable strength, temperature, and even cup size options. If you like to change things up (or you’re trying to decide exactly how you like your brew), you can also consider a machine that can make different kinds of coffees.
Number of servings: On average, most drip coffee makers can yield about 10-14 cups, but this might be too many for smaller households. If you’re the only coffee drinker in your home or you have a small space, there are more compact options available that can make 4-5 cups at a time instead, or you can invest in a manual model that puts you in complete control of your brew times and amounts.
Glass vs. Thermal Carafe: Though they tend to be pricier, thermal carafe models offer the convenience of keeping your brew warmer for longer thanks to their self-insulating properties (as opposed to a hot plate, which can burn your coffee). However, if you prefer the look of glass, you’ll not only save money, but you’ll also save yourself from worrying whether or not you remembered to turn off the hot plate before you left the house, as most modern coffee makers have an automatic shut-off feature.
Convenience: There’s no shame in wanting to make your life easier—we get it, you’re busy! Whether you hate clean-up or have no time to prep, plenty of machines can circumvent these obstacles. You can always consider a single-serve coffee maker to optimize your available time, but they can’t produce as much coffee at once. Meanwhile, drip coffee makers tend to take a bit longer because they produce a higher number of cups (unless you go for a mini option), but they also offer more variety by not limiting you to whatever pods or K-cups are available at the store. Regardless of your choice, we support you on your java journey!
Are drip coffee makers good?
For fans of the classics, drip coffee makers are a solid choice for making your java at home. That being said, there are some steps you can take to ensure that your machine stays in good shape and continuously produces a flavorful, well-balanced cup. You can graduate from Beginner Brewer to Lord of the Beans using these tips and tricks:
To avoid stale-tasting coffee, always be sure to use fresh coffee grounds and water.
Though most manufacturers recommend adding one tablespoon of coffee per six ounces of water, the Specialty Coffee Association of America recommends to double up: Use two tablespoons per six ounces of water if you prefer a stronger brew. (Fun fact: They call this the “Golden Cup" rule.)
Keep an eye on how much coffee you’re adding to the filter—if you overfill it, the grounds could overflow and clog your machine.
Prevent build-up (and, by association, poor-tasting coffee) by regularly cleaning any parts of your maker that come into contact with coffee grounds.
Kaitlin Mahar is a California-based freelance writer covering the shopping and lifestyle beats. When she's not sharing her passion for the Oxford comma with anyone who will listen, she is a proud cat parent, avid yogi, tea enthusiast, and co-host and co-producer of the podcast "Crime Culture".
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