Many of us cannot imagine starting the day without a cup of coffee. But brewing the perfect cup of joe is no easy feat.
The quality of coffee is tied closely to how it is brewed.
Now, Consumer Reports has tested and evaluated various types of coffee makers — more than 150 machines — and named the best of 2020.
CR test engineer Jenny Lui and her team did the testing. According to CR:
“In our coffee maker lab, Lui’s team conducts a brew-performance test and measures contact time (how long water stays within the sweet spot of 195° F to 205° F for brewing) for each drip coffee maker. For single-serve (pod) machines, our engineers evaluate temperature consistency and size consistency of individual cups of coffee. For cold-brew coffee makers, our engineers judge ease of cleaning and our expert coffee taste tester judges the taste of each brew.”
Below are some of their top choices. As of when this story was written, all cost less than $140 at one or more retailers. Click the name of a coffee maker to find out how much it costs at this moment.
- Cuisinart Coffee on Demand DCC-3000: This self-serve coffee maker — which pours freshly brewed coffee straight into your mug — gets high marks for reliability.
- Bunn HB Heat N Brew Programmable: Consumer Reports describes this drip machine’s features as “a bit bare bones,” but says it earns higher owner-satisfaction ratings.
- Ninja Specialty CM401: This all-in-one machine can brew up hot and iced coffee, lattes, macchiatos and more. According to CR, “It’s one of the most versatile coffee makers we’ve tested.”
- Cuisinart Premium Single-Serve Brewer SS-10: CR praises this machine for its convenience, and adds that it “offers great cup-size and temperature consistency.”
- Hamilton Beach 12-cup Programmable 49465R: If you want something that costs much less than the other choices on this list, try this machine. Consumer Reports says it gives you “solid brew performance” in around 10 minutes.
- Primula Burke Cold Brew Coffee Maker PBPBK-5101: This cold-brew coffee maker scores big with CR. Not only is it the least expensive model tested, but CR also says it’s “one of the best.” Although it requires a full 24-hour brew time, CR says “you might find the results worth the wait.”
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