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Aug 16, 2010 06:50 AM

Best coffee maker under $75?

Looks like my coffee maker is on the fritz. What do you recommend for under $75? There is only me, but I am a 2 cupper, as I take coffee to work. I like to grind my own beans, have grinder. Need one that doesn't take forever, as I make fresh coffee every morning, as I am always running late for work. Thanks!

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  1. Cook's Illustrated reviewed inexpensive coffee makers in Apr 2007. Here are the ones in their Recommended category:

    Black & Decker SmartBrew 12-Cup Coffeemaker model DCM2000

    Braun AromaDeluxe model KF 510

    Mr. Coffee 12-Cup Programmable model VBX23

    CI Recommended with Reservations category:

    Cuisinart Programmable Filter Brew 12-Cup Coffeemaker model DCC-1000

    Delonghi Caffe Elite model DC76T

    Proctor Silex 12-Cup Programmable model 48574

    I don't own any of them. We use a french press.

    From a CI review of more expensive coffee makers in Sep 2008 one model near $ 75 is recommended with reservations:

    Krups 10-Cup Programmable Thermal Coffee Machine Model Number FMF5.

    It was simple to use but lost points for too-slow and slightly too-hot brewing according to the review at CI.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Antilope

      That Cuisinart is a piece of junk (word moderated). Personal experience. Made terrible coffee and died in 8 months.

    2. French press.

      If you're already grinding at home it's pretty easy. When you get up, grind beans and put on kettle. Do something and come back in a few minutes. Start coffee brewing and set timer. Go do some other stuff. When the timer goes off, pour into cup or thermos and you're done. Less size, less waste and easy clean up. 10 - 15 mins. max.


      3 Replies
      1. re: Davwud

        I agree. We couldn't find a coffee maker that made a good tasting cup of coffee. About 5 years ago we switched to a french press. Tests of coffeemakers show that most don't brew hot enough or long enough for a good cup of coffee.

        We use an electric hot pot to heat water to boiling(a couple of minutes) and brew 4-minutes in french press.

        1. re: Antilope

          Ah, a fellow CI acolyte.

          Remember you're never supposed to pour boiling water on the grounds or you can extract off flavors. The temp of the water should be around 200 when it hits the coffee. What that means in practical terms is that I bring my kettle to boiling, then when it whistles I open the pot (both the pouring spout and the main opening where you pour the water). 30-45 seconds later the temp is correct (I've verified it with my CI approved Thermapen :), stir with a chopstick, and brew for 4 minutes.

          The only other consideration is water:coffee. I've found that my Zassenhaus (coarse grind) when filled full with whole beans grinds enough to brew 1/2 a medium sized Bodum French press (enough for 2 large cups of coffee, or 4 smaller ones).

          Mr Taster

        2. re: Davwud

          2nd French press. Mr OCAnn is a two-cupper and takes his to go:

          They now have a stainless steel version available too.

        3. I've been using a Farberwear percolator and it makes delicious coffee in a hurry.

          1. Moka pot (typically a Bialetti), especially as you grind your own beans. Check out this recent thread
   The link to the piece in theatlantic is worth a look, taking the trouble to use a moka pot properly makes a lot of difference to the quality.

            1. Diane in Bexley: "What do you recommend for under $75?"

     You will have >$15 left over.

              Makes more flavorful coffee than either an electric drip or a French press.

              5 Replies
              1. re: Politeness

                We had a couple Bodum Santos. I agree that it makes great tasting coffee and provides a floorshow to boot! I liked that all the parts that touch coffee can go in the dishwasher and get a thorough cleaning.

                But eventually something happens to the thermostat and you'll find that the warmer boils your brewed coffee. Boiled coffee -- YUCK!! Happened to both machines. Sur la Table was wonderful about replacing the first one that did it. By the time the second one started malfunctioning they had stopped carrying them because of all the replacements they'd had to make.

                Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. They're GREAT when they're working.

                1. re: rainey

                  rainey: "We had a couple Bodum Santos. ... But eventually something happens to the thermostat ..."

                  Then you did not have a Bodum Santos; you had a Bodum ELECTRIC Santos, a different beast altogether. The Bodum Santos has no thermostat, as it gets heated from an external source (like atop a gas range); also the Bodum Santos is glass, where the Bodum Electric Santos is polycarbonate.

                  rainey: "Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. They're GREAT when they're working."

                  The glass of the Bodum Santos can break, but as it lacks any "mechanism," there is nothing that can be "not working."

                  1. re: Politeness

                    Actually, it *was* a Bodum Santos -- at least that was how it was sold by Bodum at the time. And it came with a small, low profile brewer/warmer that looked a bit like a hotplate. The top was polycarbonate. The bottom portion was glass.

                    I had hoped to insert a link to it but it appears that Bodum is no longer making or selling it. I can understand why tho I wish they had been able to correct the problem with the timer or thermostat in the electric unit. It was, when it was working, a great coffee maker.

                    1. re: rainey

                      To the wayback machine, Sherman!

                      The electric Santos was cleverly sold with the exact same name as the manual Santos, which both pre-dated and existed after the electric version was discontinued (around 2006 or 2007, IIRC). You can still buy the manual Santos today: