What Are The Best Coffee Maker

We are currently finishing our guide to the best coffee machine, but we have a pick that we know is great, so we wanted to share it with you now. The $99.99 Bonavita 1900TS is simply the best coffee machine you can buy right now. After a 10-person panel compared it alongside four other highly regarded machines in a blind tasting, our reporter Cale Guthrie Weissman says, in no uncertain terms, that while other machines can make decent-tasting coffee, “[The 1900TS] made markedly better coffee according to everyone who tasted it.” Some of our testers even compared it to handmade pour-over coffee.

Last update on 2018-12-11 PST - Details / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The best coffeemaker


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Bonavita 8-Cup One-Touch Coffee Maker Featuring Thermal Carafe, BV1900TS
2771 Reviews
Bonavita 8-Cup One-Touch Coffee Maker Featuring Thermal Carafe, BV1900TS
  • One-touch brew operation with auto-off
  • Carafe lid, filter basket, and showerhead are dishwasher safe
  • Powerful and precise 1500-watt heater maintains optimal brewing temperature of 195°-205°F (91°-96°C)
  • Optional pre-infusion mode wets freshly roasted ground coffee to allow degassing before brewing
  • Flat-bottomed filter basket and larger showerhead allow for even better saturation and uniform extraction

Last update on 2018-12-11 PST - Details / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The 1900TS hasn’t been out for very long, but we agree with the initial enthusiastic reviews: Buy this without hesitation if you care about good coffee and you can get your hands on one. Using it is a breeze—even easier than other models tested due to a dead-simple one-button interface—and it produces a reliable, great cup of coffee for a fraction of the price of fancier step-up models. While not quite at the level of a well-crafted cup of pour-over, the 1900TS makes it easy to brew a consistent, balanced, and all-around good cup of coffee (so long as you use good beans that have been evenly ground).

If the 1900TS isn’t available, its older cousins in the Bonavita 1800 series are close runners-up. Our panel strongly preferred the coffee they produced over the brew from almost every other coffeemaker we looked at. Within this series, we prefer the 1800TH for its insulated carafe, but if that’s gone, any of the other ones will offer similar brewing performance, just with an inferior carafe.

The runner-up

Last update on 2018-12-11 PST - Details / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The type of person who wants to experiment with temperatures to get the ideal brew for each specific roast would probably be better off getting a pour-over setup with the step up adjustable temperature kettle. But for the person who wants to play with variables on a machine, the Brazen Plus offers more control over all the brewing parameters than any other coffeemaker currently available. However, it’s a lot larger than your typical coffeemaker (about the size of a Vitamix Blender), which makes it unsuitable for smaller kitchens.

For control freaks

Last update on 2018-12-11 PST - Details / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Our pick

Our pick

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Bonavita 8-Cup One-Touch Coffee Maker Featuring Thermal Carafe, BV1900TS
2771 Reviews
Bonavita 8-Cup One-Touch Coffee Maker Featuring Thermal Carafe, BV1900TS
  • One-touch brew operation with auto-off
  • Carafe lid, filter basket, and showerhead are dishwasher safe
  • Powerful and precise 1500-watt heater maintains optimal brewing temperature of 195°-205°F (91°-96°C)
  • Optional pre-infusion mode wets freshly roasted ground coffee to allow degassing before brewing
  • Flat-bottomed filter basket and larger showerhead allow for even better saturation and uniform extraction

Last update on 2018-12-11 PST - Details / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Bonavita 1900TS is the latest Specialty Coffee Ass​​ociation of America (SCAA)-certified home coffee machine. Like the Bonavita 1800 series that preceded it, the 1900TS makes it easy to brew reliably great coffee. You weigh out the ground coffee (a good rule of thumb for auto-drip is 30 grams for every 2 cups), pour water into the transparent water reservoir, put the filter atop the carafe, and press start (hold it for an extra five seconds if you want it to pre-infuse, which we suggest doing). There’s no fussing with additional settings, timers, or programming, which could be good or bad, depending on what you’re looking for. But we definitely subscribe to the simpler-is-better philosophy when it comes to machines you use first thing in the morning.

From beginning to end, it takes a little less than six minutes to brew eight cups of coffee on the 1900TS. Throughout the brewing process, it maintains a water temperature between 195˚F and 205˚F, which is the ideal zone for brewing coffee. It stands out among competitors because it reaches hotter water temperatures than those produced by most home machines. It has a stainless steel insulated carafe that will keep coffee warm for hours after you’ve finished brewing. Once finished, it automatically shuts off.

In short, the 1900TS is a very capable machine. But there are currently a half-dozen other coffee machines that meet these same criteria (many of which we called in for testing). Where the 1900TS sets itself apart is in the little details. The Bonavita 1900TS takes the same basic design from Bonavita’s first automatic drip machine (our current runner-up pick, the 1800TH) and improves upon the design in just a few minor ways, which together add up to a major improvement.

First off, it uses flat-bottomed filters instead of conical ones, which results in a more evenly extracted cup of coffee. Boutique coffee retailer Clive Coffee explains the technical advantage of this design change in their head-to-head comparison of the 1900TS and the 1800SS: “Because the Bonavita shower heads are fixed in place, the coffee in the flat filter basket will receive a more even share of the water during brewing. In the conical filter there is significant channeling in the coffee, resulting in a poor extraction.”

The 1900TS also adds an optional pre-infusion mode that wets the grounds and lets them rest for a minute before continuing brewing. This is a bigger deal than it sounds. Pre-infusion is a crucial step to most pour-over coffee recipes, but it is rare in automatic machines, which is a shame because it generally results in a better-tasting cup of coffee. There’s a technical explanation for why this is the case (which you can read here), but basically, if all the coffee is equally wetted before you start extracting, it will extract more evenly overall. This was previously achievable manually with the Technivorm Moccamaster, but the 1900TS does it automatically—so long as you tell it to do so. To activate the pre-infusion mode, you need to hold down the power switch for five seconds. If you don’t do that, it will just brew normally, which is fine if you’re in a hurry and prefer to save time.

Finally, the 1900TS has a wider showerhead than the 1800TH. This means the coffee along the edges is less likely to be under-extracted while the middle grounds get over-extracted—a pretty commonsense improvement.

All of these aforementioned changes led to noticeably better-tasting results in our testing. While the output from the 1800, our previous favorite coffeemaker, was graded highly in comparison to most of the other machines we tested, when compared directly against that of the newer 1900TS, discerning tasters found that the older machine’s coffee came out slightly dulled in flavor—even watery. Tasters noted that the coffee from the 1900TS seemed brighter, with more clearly defined flavor notes—some even compared it favorably to coffee made from a manual pour-over setup. From that, we inferred that some combination of the pre-infuse feature, flat bottom, and new showerhead truly made a difference.

Cale, a former Stumptown Coffee-trained barista of many years, personally found that both machines made a well-balanced cup of coffee, albeit with a slightly sour aftertaste compared with what he was accustomed to with our favorite pour-over setup. As a result, he’s still not quite ready to part ways with his pour-over setup. But the thing about pour-over is that you can screw it up if you’re not careful. If you don’t care to spend extra time and effort to handcraft a great cup of coffee in the mornings, a good machine like the 1900TS will make you something 90% as good 100% of the time, which is definitely an appealing value proposition. Indeed, CNET coffee reporter Brian Bennett gushes that “the Bonavita created the best drip coffee I’ve tasted so far.”

If you’re more interested in objective testing results, CNET used a refractometer and found: “It turned in an excellent TDS (total dissolved solids) percentage of 1.28%. That translates to an extraction percentage of 26.8, with the ideal commonly said to be between 18 and 22%. On the surface, this may sound high and that the machine is over-extracting, but like the Bunn Velocity Brew BT ( 30.4, 1.4 TDS) its coffee was tasty, rich and exceedingly drinkable.”

As for the thermal carafe, CNET reports impressive thermal insulating results: “The Bonavita’s thermal carafe keeps its contents warm for an acceptable amount of time as well, for almost 4 hours above the 150-degree mark (what I consider still hot). That said, after 4 hours had passed, carafe temps fell to 146 with a regular cooling curve of about 10 degrees per hour.”

We also liked its design. In addition to having a cleaner look than other models, it has a narrower footprint that takes up less counter space. We measured it at 6.25 inches wide, 10.5 inches deep, and 12 inches tall. Compare that with the hulking Behmor Brazen’s 9- by 9- by 15.5-inch measurements.

As far as cleaning goes, if you’ve cleaned a coffeemaker, you know how to clean the 1900TS. The carafe should be cleaned by hand with normal dish soap—Bonavita even provides a convenient soft-sponge device. As with every coffeemaker, every so often, you might want to use a biodegradable powder to de-gunk the hard-to-remove coffee residue (Full Circle makes a good product, a sample of which is available in all Bonavita products). Also, occasional de-scaling is recommended to remove minerals from the water reservoir (Serious Eats explains why and how to do this). Additionally, the filter basket is dishwasher safe, although a quick, thorough cleaning in the sink will suffice as well. Otherwise, wiping the machine surfaces is the only other cleaning task necessary.

Who else likes it?

As we’ve already mentioned, there aren’t many reviews, but the ones that are out really rave about this thing.

CNET gave it 4.5/5 stars and an Editors’ Choice award, concluding, “The device not only matches the Technivorm Moccamaster KBT 741 in terms of physical performance, brew time and heat, it consistently conjures java that’s just as delectable to drink. At $100 less than its fancy rival, though, it’s money much better spent, which is why it’s a clear Editors’ Choice winner.”

Clive Coffee has been a fan of the 1800 in the past, but concludes that the 1900TS is the better machine: “Although the 1800SS produced a good cup of coffee, the 1900TS created a great one. It was smoother, cleaner and more vibrant than its counterpart made from the exact same batch of beans.”

Flaws but not dealbreakers

The biggest flaw right now with the Bonavita 1900TS is that it’s hard to get. Sur La Table is currently the only retailer with any in stock. Bonavita is well aware of this problem and has assured us that they will let us know as soon as their supply issues get resolved, but said that there’s nothing they can do about it at this time.


The biggest flaw in the system is its lack of features. It has no timer and is not programmable in any way. There is only one button to press, one place to put in coffee. This is both good and bad. It’s good because it’s insanely simple to use and a godsend when hungover. It’s bad because it lacks some functionality many other machines have.

A runner-up

A runner-up

Bonavita BV1800 8-Cup Coffee Maker with Glass Carafe
3261 Reviews
Bonavita BV1800 8-Cup Coffee Maker with Glass Carafe
  • 1400W Heater raises water to ideal temperature
  • Engineered for precise water and coffee grounds contact time1400W Heater raises water to ideal temperature
  • Shower head designed for complete saturation and optimal extraction
  • Brews 8 Cups (40 ounces)
  • 2 Hour Keep Warm with auto shut off

Last update on 2018-12-11 PST - Details / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you, like the rest of the world, are having trouble tracking down one of these machines, the older Bonavita 1800-series is the way to go. The 1800TH is your best bet because its thermal carafe will keep coffee warm for longer without wasting energy on heating plates. As touched upon previously, it is a very similar machine to our top pick, but the 1900TS’s improvements result in a more evenly-extracted, clearer-tasting cup that was unanimously preferred by our tasting panelists. Still, the 1800 beat out every other machine in our test, which is no small accomplishment.

The 1800 has a conical filter as opposed to a flat one.

For control freaks

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Behmor Connected Customizable Temperature Control Coffee Maker, Compatible with Alexa
164 Reviews
Behmor Connected Customizable Temperature Control Coffee Maker, Compatible with Alexa
  • Customizable, temperature control coffee maker with phone app for easy, remote operation thatallows you to control brewing temperature, pre-soak time and altitude for precision brewing
  • Integrated with Amazon Alexa - all you need is your voice to make a morning cup of coffee;World's first Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) certified smart brewer
  • Connection with Amazon Dash Replenishment that will automatically reorder beans or grounds,ensuring that you never run out of coffee again
  • Create your favorite brewing profile and save to favorites or select from app's library (works onApple iOS 7 and higher and Android 4.0+ and higher). The Start button on the front of the brewerallows you to quick start brewing without the app
  • The pulsed water flow design ensures that all grounds are fully saturated and the pre-soakfunction adds water to the grounds before brewing allowing the coffee to fully bloom

Last update on 2018-12-11 PST - Details / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

For control freaks

Sale
Behmor Connected Customizable Temperature Control Coffee Maker, Compatible with Alexa
164 Reviews
Behmor Connected Customizable Temperature Control Coffee Maker, Compatible with Alexa
  • Customizable, temperature control coffee maker with phone app for easy, remote operation thatallows you to control brewing temperature, pre-soak time and altitude for precision brewing
  • Integrated with Amazon Alexa - all you need is your voice to make a morning cup of coffee;World's first Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) certified smart brewer
  • Connection with Amazon Dash Replenishment that will automatically reorder beans or grounds,ensuring that you never run out of coffee again
  • Create your favorite brewing profile and save to favorites or select from app's library (works onApple iOS 7 and higher and Android 4.0+ and higher). The Start button on the front of the brewerallows you to quick start brewing without the app
  • The pulsed water flow design ensures that all grounds are fully saturated and the pre-soakfunction adds water to the grounds before brewing allowing the coffee to fully bloom

Last update on 2018-12-11 PST - Details / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Behmor Brazen Plus is a great coffee maker that can make a terrific cup of coffee comparable to what you’d get from the Bonavita (and can even be better under some circumstances). While the original Brazen saw complaints of shoddy components and a poorly designed carafe, the Plus is specifically designed to address these issues by being easier to clean and offering a new carafe. Our testing supports these claims. This is an effective machine for people who are particular about how they like their coffee brewed and make more than one cup at a time, but who also want to shave a few steps off of the typical pourover setup. But overall, it’s a bit too much machine for your typical person who just wants a good cup of coffee.


First off, it’s literally too much machine. As Serious Eats says in their review, “At 15¼” high by 9″ in diameter [about the size of a commercial-grade blender], you’re going to have to really love the way Brazen performs to make room for it on a small kitchen counter.” It’s also a bit of an eyesore; a participant at our tasting compared it to a “Jetsons design.”

The Behmor Brazen Plus’s multi-button array and varied brewing options are a far cry from the Bonavita’s single-switch simplicity.

What’s more, the number of brewing options can be overwhelming to someone who doesn’t care about the exact temperature at which they brew their coffee and how long it should steep for. For instance, at the behest of the maker, Cale made a cup of Ethiopian coffee at 199 degrees instead of 204 (this is the only machine that can control temperature this precisely). It tasted amazing and the temperature control made a noticeable difference. But Cale was given a specific recipe on what temperature to use. If you’re just making coffee in the morning, you shouldn’t have to worry about all these parameters. In the end, this isn’t what the average coffee machine user needs, and the Bonavita’s ease of use and sleek design beat out Brazen’s features.

If you like to play around with settings to get the ideal extraction from each bean, well, we’d recommend looking into a pour-over setup that lets you control every aspect of the brewing process. But if you want a machine that’s also capable of that, the Brazen Plus is a great choice.

The competition

The $63.94 Cuisinart DCC-1200 came highly recommended by users in Amazon and is one of the best-selling coffee machines. While it was better than the other cheap coffee machine we looked at, it’s nothing special. For one, it didn’t make great coffee compared with the other top three. Furthermore, its carafe was a bit more difficult to pour in comparison to the others, and some of the parts didn’t fit perfectly in the machine (namely the filter basket, which frequently jutted out). In sum, while the stainless steel design looked good, it didn’t stand up to the competition in our testing. The coffee output was middling compared with the Bonavita and Brazen; the heater plate and glass carafe made the taste worse after 30 minutes; the flat design makes it harder to stay spotless as compared with the competition. All the same, it did have a timer and clock, along with a charcoal water filter, which are features many people look for.

The $42.95 Mr. Coffee BVMC-SJX33GT was by far the cheapest model and was brought in because it’s ​Consumer Reports’ Best Buy pick​—scoring second place overall out of the dozens of machines they evaluated. However, after testing it, we have no idea why. It consistently made the worst cup of coffee. Some called it sour, others said it was “musty.” Nearly every tester agreed that the coffee this machine made was far inferior to the rest. Between the two, the Cuisinart was far superior.

What else did we consider?

The $255.20 Technivorm Moccamaster was among the first machines to earn SCAA certification, but since then it has been surpassed by competitors offering comparable, or better quality, coffee for a fraction of its price and size. The general consensus before the Bonavita 1900TS came out was that the Technivorm and and Bonavita 1800TH were roughly on equal footing, depending on your priorities. These Clive Coffee and Serious Eats comparisons between the Moccamaster and the older 1800 series were done separately, but came to the same conclusions: When it comes to actually making coffee, the older Bonavita had a slight edge in maintaining hotter temperatures throughout brewing, and features a better showerhead design that does a superior job of saturating the grounds evenly. The Moccamaster gets points for build quality and the ability to manually pre-infuse. But given that the new Bonavita also has the ability to pre-infuse and an even better showerhead than the 1800, the Moccamaster didn’t seem to offer anything better than the 1900—unless you really prefer a machine that’s assembled in the Netherlands, as opposed to China.

unn is better known for making the industrial coffee machines behind basically every diner across America, but they have a highly regarded consumer lineup as well. Their Phase Brew machine even has SCAA certification. We were originally going to bring in the similar, but more reliably liked Velocity for testing because CNET was impressed by its performance, but decided against it because all of the Bunn machines share a design feature that makes them suited for only a particular type of person, as opposed to your typical coffee drinker. They’re designed to brew a whole pot of coffee in three minutes, which is very impressive. But in order to do this, they must keep a heated reservoir of water at the ready. So if you’re making one pot of coffee in the morning, you’re using all that electricity to keep the water warm all day and all night, just to save the three minutes it takes to boil water in the morning. It’s a bit of a waste, not to mention that with all that water simmering away at all times, you’re going to have to clean the reservoir more often to avoid buildup of mineral deposits.

There are also several very expensive and well-crafted boutique-scale coffeemakers for enthusiast audiences. Clive Coffee’s own Ratio machine, the Chemex Ottomatic, and the Wilfa Svart (designed by renowned barista Tim Wendelboe) are three prominent examples of this. They all sell for more than $300, and beyond a pretty face it’s hard to see any concrete benefits they may have over the $100 to $200 mid-range machines. If we think there’s enough interest, we will consider adding a step up section to the finalized guide at a later date, but at this point we don’t think it’s worth holding up our review for them.

Wrapping up

This is just a preview to the forthcoming full guide, which will feature more details about our research and testing process, as well as the competition (and other machines we chose not to test for various reasons). But we had a number of readers request that we do our best to publish a guide as soon as possible, so this is our best foot forward (for now). If you remain unconvinced, please wait for the full guide. The information here is consistent with what will be in the finished guide, just with less detail.

Overall, the Bonavita 1900TS quite simply the best mass-produced coffee machine for making a consistently great-tasting cup of coffee. Other machines made good coffee, and could get to great with a bit of tweaking. The 1900TS brews coffee nearly on par with pour-over but with a fraction of the effort, which made it easy to give it our top pick designation.

With additional reporting and testing by Cale Guthrie Weissman. 

Sale
Bonavita 8-Cup One-Touch Coffee Maker Featuring Thermal Carafe, BV1900TS
2771 Reviews
Bonavita 8-Cup One-Touch Coffee Maker Featuring Thermal Carafe, BV1900TS
  • One-touch brew operation with auto-off
  • Carafe lid, filter basket, and showerhead are dishwasher safe
  • Powerful and precise 1500-watt heater maintains optimal brewing temperature of 195°-205°F (91°-96°C)
  • Optional pre-infusion mode wets freshly roasted ground coffee to allow degassing before brewing
  • Flat-bottomed filter basket and larger showerhead allow for even better saturation and uniform extraction

Last update on 2018-12-11 PST - Details / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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