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Looking for great coffee maker

I'm are looking for a really great, simple drip-coffee maker for our new kitchen. Not knowing much about the available choices out there, I hope to inquire with everyone here in hopes you may have a recommendation.

Requirements:
Maximum $200
Programmable
Compact, Simple
Great for 2 cups, or 8 cups
Ideally Stainless, but not necessary

And of course it has to make a great cup of coffee :)

Thanks!

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  1. I have always had good luck with Cuisinart coffee makers.

    http://www.cuisinart.com/products/cof...

    2 Replies
    1. re: mels

      I have the cuisinart brew central $80, I like it better than our old stainless steel capresso coffee maker to be honest.

      1. re: danionavenue

        I agree. This model makes a good cup of coffee. It tells you when you need to clean. And there is a setting for 1-4 cups. They don't last forever, but you should get several years out of one, if you read and follow the directions for care.

    2. For the archives, check out the Zojirushi. Love mine. Reliable, bomb-proof, great SS carafe.

      http://www.amazon.com/Zojirushi-EC-BD...

      3 Replies
        1. re: jnk

          Another vote for the Zo. Love ours.

        2. re: Kagemusha

          I have that exact same Zojirushi. It's good for the price ($80 at Amazon) and I have no complaints. The Technivorm is no doubt a better coffee maker, but the price is about 3.5x higher.

        3. I got my parents the cuisinart burr grind and brew machine. You just put beans in, and can program when you want it to grind the beans fresh and then make coffee out of them. Makes a great cup of coffee and with cuisinart you can replace the filters every few months and my parent have now had this machine 2 years. They used to go through a coffee machine every 6 months.

          http://www.cuisinart.com/products/cof...

          3 Replies
          1. re: TeRReT

            Love out Grind and Brew. Have had it for almost 8 years and it works SO well!!

            1. re: MRS

              Love mine! First one still works but wanted a newer updated one and bought another one for my new kitchen. Now have two..LOL We love to grind our own beans and this does great

            2. re: TeRReT

              I am searching the archives looking for espresso/cappuccino makers and had to add to this thread as well....we have had this burr grind and brew machine for several years and even though you have to clear out the chute every few pots it still makes great coffee!

            3. I have a Capresso 440. The stainless carafe is great--the coffee stays HOT for 3-4 hours and tastes better than any of the drip makers we have tried. It has a feature for brewing a 1/2 pot and time brew. I saw one recently at Tuesday Morning for $99.

              1. The very best drip coffee makers on the market are Technivorm, but you'd have to sacrifice programming. Read the editorial and consumer reviews here: coffeegeek.com

                26 Replies
                1. re: mcf

                  +1 on the Technivorm, but it really meets very few of the OP's requirements. I've had mine for about 6 yrs now & still love every cup I drink from it. But I also have a decent Baratza grinder; a good grinder, of course, being the other requirement for a good cup of coffee. (I wouldn't pair a Technivorm with, say, a Cuisinart burr grinder & expect the same high quality output from the brewer.)

                  1. re: Eiron

                    Concur...agree on the recommendation but it doesn't meet the OP's requirements. I love my MoccaMaster...would buy another one again in a heartbeat. Best coffee maker I've ever owned.

                    1. re: Eiron

                      How do you remove the stains from the oils in the coffee from your Technivorm's thermal carafe?

                      1. re: CindyJ

                        With either the acidic drip coffee maker cleaners they sell in stores for removing scale or a very strong Oxyclean solution. I've gotten in the habit of Oxy cleaning our Contigo travel mugs and my Technivorm thermal carafe weekly.

                        1. re: mcf

                          I'm trying to remember if I've seen Oxyclean anywhere. Is that a powdered laundry product, sold in small plastic tubs? Or is it something else?

                          1. re: CindyJ

                            They make a laundry one, an outdoor one and a general purpose one. I buy a large box at Costco. But supermarkets have it. I let a strong solution sit in the pot, then use a bottle brush to stuff a cloth or paper towel around the bottom to get the stuff around that raised middle and the bump itself.

                        2. re: CindyJ

                          I use denture cleaning tablets and hot to remove staining from a thermos. Works well.

                          1. re: dcrb

                            I've heard of that method, but never tried it. It really works well to remove those stains?

                          2. re: CindyJ

                            Hi Cindy,

                            I use a hot-water-&-dish-soap soak once a month, & this brush:
                            http://www.sweetmarias.com/sweetmaria...

                            But I have the smaller (one liter) KBTS unit & the carafe is shorter than the 741 carafes. For the taller 741 thermal carafe I'd buy one of those long-handled "coffee urn" nylon bristle brushes.

                            It doesn't work perfectly on the KBTS, mostly because the bottom of the short thermal carafe has a raised center that interferes with even surface contact by the brush. But I try not to worry too much about it. (Some days I'm more successful at not worrying than others!) Since the boiling chamber is copper, I don't like running any more acidic cleaners thru the machine than I have to (to avoid them reacting with the copper). But that's just my preference. Right now I descale only about twice a year with 50/50 white vinegar & water.

                            The other point to keep in mind is that I usually only use my drip brewer on the weekends, when I have time to relax & enjoy it. (Weekday coffee is either espresso before I leave the house or French Press at work.) So if I was brewing every day I'd probably use the brush on it once every week or two.

                            1. re: Eiron

                              I have a long-handled brush, and that's what I've been using, but I haven't found the hot-soapy-water soak to be really effective.

                              1. re: CindyJ

                                Has never worked at all for me, either.

                                1. re: CindyJ

                                  Yes, I agree, the soapy water soak & scrub is not *really* effective. With my hook-shaped brush I can get the sides & curved top clean, but not the bottom 1/3 (due to the bump in the middle).

                                  I've been thinking of switching from white vinegar to citric acid for descaling. (I just need to remember to look for it when I'm running errands; *remembering* being the hardest part!) So I'm wondering if this descaling solution might also aid in removing the stains from the pot?

                                  1. re: Eiron

                                    For the bottom, once it's softened and mostly dissolved by Oxyclean, using the brush to push a cloth or paper towel around really gets it all off. Especially if done regularly enough.

                                      1. re: Eiron

                                        Interesting -- I just looked at that link and see there's an Oxyclean product that "Helps your automatic dishwashing detergent work better. " I wonder if that's something that could be used in the carafe. Or, as has been suggested,some amount of dishwasher powder dissolved in water.

                                        1. re: CindyJ

                                          Cindy, it appears as though the "dishwashing booster" is a "rinse aid" product (similar to Jet-Dry?). But I could be wrong (I've never used a rinse aid until about 6 mos ago when we got our new KA dishwasher, & it came with Jet-Dry). I already use the powder for laundry, so I'm going to give that a try the next time I soak the pot.

                                          1. re: mcf

                                            mcf, thanks, I'll give it a try. Do you use it by itself or should I mix it with my normal amount of liquid dishwashing soap?

                                            1. re: Eiron

                                              I use it by itself and I put a whole scoop (from the Oxy package) into the bottom of the carafe, then add a small amount of hot water. Swish, let it sit a while, depending how gunky it is. Then fill with more hot water and let it sit until you remember it's there and rinse well. Any remaining stuff will be very softened and come up with a paper towel rubbed along the bottom with a bottle brush, which is great for getting it all out when done, unlike other implements.

                                              1. re: mcf

                                                Just wanted to report back on the Oxy-Clean:

                                                It worked great! I made the mistake of filling the carafe & dumping in the powder, then screwing on the top just a little tight. It foamed quite a bit! :-) After a while I used my hook-shaped carafe brush & everything cleaned out easily.

                                                I now have an as-new-looking carafe interior!

                                                Thanks for the suggestion mcf!

                                                1. re: Eiron

                                                  I never put the cap on, I should've remembered to caution you! Can cause quite the science experiment... you don't need the cap, just a strong solution. So glad it worked for you. It's great for getting unbelievable amounts of gunk out of travel mug tops, too.

                                2. re: CindyJ

                                  An overnight soak in powdered dishwasher soap will clean it too.

                              2. re: mcf

                                We've owned a Tech for almost a year. The big plus is it's simplicity and consistency. The heating element has help up nicely. My two complaints are: 1) the 10 "cup" capacity, it's 40 oz, I wish it did at least 12 cups and 2) the thermal carafe isn't all that thermal, the capresso thermal was much better.

                                1. re: FoodMan88

                                  Really? My KBTS thermal carafe works wonderfully. When I first got the machine I'd always pre-heat the carafe with boiling water, but then I ran a temp test & discovered that I was wasting time, energy & water by pre-heating. It keeps my coffee hot for 90 minutes, which is all I need to finish what I make.

                                  I do agree with the "Euro" sizing of the cups. My "8 cup" KBTS is only 32 oz, which is more like a "5 cup" US model. But, since I'm the only one in the house who makes/drinks coffee, it's perfect for me.

                                  1. re: FoodMan88

                                    My thermal carafes work really well to hold temp a long time. In the winter, I hold hot water in it before use, but not the rest of the year.

                                2. I do NOT drink coffee. However when taking care of my father I picked up a cuisinart programmable that also ground the beans. It was something like $120 new and $40 as a refurb.
                                  My father swore it did the best coffee ever for him. I could load it up in the night and program it to go off in the morning when I knew I could not swing by to check on him in the morning. On amazon people complained about the latch not working, but I never had an issue in 3+ years.

                                  1. I use a Bunn machine. I have never timed it but it seems to brew a full pot in something like 3 or 4 minutes since it has a reservoir of already hot water. Pour in a container of cold tap water and within a couple of seconds, you have coffee filling the pot. It is not compact but then it is not much larger than some others that can take 8 or 10 minutes for a pot. As far as making as few as 2 cups, I have never tried anything other than a full pot but it does seem to produce a quantity of coffee
                                    equal to what is poured into the tank. I would think that you would be able to find your answer to your 2 or 8 cup question by contacting Bunn. There is no clock, no timer, etc. I hope this helps.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: dcrb

                                      When you go to the best restaurants, do to think they are using one of these home brewers that folks talk about? Yet people will say how great the coffee is in such places? They all are going to use a brewer such as the Bunn. Sometimes, coffee and wine snobs are beyond help.

                                      1. re: SpringRam

                                        I haven't found decent coffee at any price in restaurants; it's always weak and not worth having. That said, yeah, i've had good coffee from lousy pots, too. If it's starts out with a decent amount of a decent coffee.

                                    2. Love my Cuisinart Coffee On Demand maker. No carafe to bother with and the coffee stays
                                      HOT! About $100 with timer, clock, auto-brew. It doesn't grind, but I don't mind that. I'm on my second one in 7 years or so. There's a 3-year warranty. For a $15 shipping charge, I
                                      received a new machine when I had issues with the first one.

                                      1. Many things influence the quality of the coffee you make: Quality and freshness of the beans, the grind of the beans, water quality, water temperature during brewing, size of the shower head (diameter of the shower head, and diameter of the holes in the shower head), drip volume (how fast the water flows from the shower head. An insufficient flow does not adequately soak the grinds or flood the filter basket)

                                        I like my coffee strong. After 20 years, my Proctor-Silex machine gave up the ghost. I purchased a Black & Decker machine on sale for $59. The coffee was very weak. I returned it a got a $79 De Longhi (sp?) machine. Same thing. Weak coffee. Upon inspection I noticed the grinds were not thoroughly saturated. The upper outside edges were not even wet. Upon further inspection I noticed the shower head was very small with very small holes.

                                        On a trip to my local super market/drug store I looked at some coffee makers there and discovered a Sylvania machine with the kind of shower head I was looking for. I made the purchase. At home, using a digital meat themometer, I took the temperature of the coffee between the bottom of the basket and the top of the carafe. The Sylvania temp was 197. The De Longhi temp was 167. The coffee from the Sylvania was full and rich. I had a winner!

                                        The price for the Sylvania? $13.99 (Canadian). Yeah, that's right. $13.99!! Of course, at that price you don't get programmable. You get an on/off switch. I know how hard it is to turn on a coffee machine in the morning (that you set up with coffee and water the night before) before you hop in the shower (sarcasm). But, for the price difference and the quality difference maybe it's not too much trouble.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: rhymeswithteeth

                                          Sounds like you got some of the most important attributes of my Technivorm for $230 less. :-)

                                          1. re: rhymeswithteeth

                                            Great post. I ended up getting the Extreme Brew 12-Cup programmable coffeemaker and it has worked wonderfully.
                                            Thank you for all the suggestions.

                                          2. I use an electric kettle and a French Press. I did a side by side taste test and my programmable coffee maker went to the Good Will. When I need to make more than a couple of cups I decant it into a thermal carafe.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Candy

                                              I use a french press too, but with a Zojirushi hot water boiler like this : http://www.amazon.com/Zojirushi-CV-DS...

                                              I love it. French press coffee is my favorite, and having a constant supply of perfectly heated water on hand makes it almost as easy as a drip pot. We didn't buy a new drip pot when our last one broke - French press coffee all the way.

                                            2. How would a super simple, low-tech system for $15 suit you? This is how I've been making coffee for the last 20 years. It makes the BEST coffee and never fails.

                                              Heat water. Turn it off once it boils.

                                              Place a #4 gold coffee filter in a 24-ounce enamel graniteware mug.

                                              Put 4 T. freshly ground coffee in the cone. (I like to roast my own from Sweet Marias)

                                              Pour enough hot water to wet the grounds. Wait about 30 seconds. Then slowly pour the rest of the water in to the top of the mug.

                                              Let it brew for 5 minutes if you like a strong cup, less time if you like it weaker. You can wrap a dishtowel around the mug and cover with a saucer if you want to keep it really hot.

                                              Lift out the cone and pour the coffee into your favorite mugs. Voila!