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Please help me find a Non-Plastic auto-drip coffee maker.

Does anyone know where I can find an auto-drip coffee maker that does not filter through plastic? Finding one has been an impossibility for me. I want to be clear; I am not looking for an espresso maker or a french press. I've been getting by each morning filtering my french-press coffee using a funnel directly into the mug. If I want two cups? I have to repeat the process quickly before the coffee gets cold. You see my dilemma? I am committed to removing plastic form my kitchen, particularly where hot liquids and foods are concerned.

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  1. Not auto drip, but would a Chemex work for you? I have one and can say it makes excellent coffee, but you have to use high quality beans, something "normal" like Dunkin Donuts coffee doesn't taste so great using the Chemex.


    2 Replies
    1. re: Rick

      Thanks. No, i havent but i did have it in my "save for later" section of my amazon for awhile til i decided i could just use the funnel and filters i already had and spend $0 for a machine that would do the same thing. The convenience is in the auto-drip. And also that plate that keeps your second cup hot while u drink your first.

      1. re: crowmuncher

        Did you ever find a "plastic free" programmable coffee maker?

    2. I'm not sure about an auto-drip, but Frieling makes porcelain cones that are excellent.


      i bought this for compact car camping and found that it makes better coffee than my home auto-drip machine. I shot for 195 degree water and dripped it directly into coffee mugs.

      Be sure to read the Amazon comments for tips and tricks.

      7 Replies
      1. re: redrako

        I have this item and have used it -- since I like my coffee 'piping' hot, if not heated, it sucks the heat out of the coffee as it is dripping.

        1. re: Rella

          Yes, i heat my steel funnel for this very reason. I wonder how ceramic works differently? Do you think it would be a frivolous purchase given i already have a funnel? I just have way too much stuff in my small kitchen already. Thanks!

          1. re: crowmuncher

            I found with the porcelain cone that I bought that it was difficult to find a container to fit the bottom of the cone. More so than the melita cones; maybe because it is heavy, it seems more precarious. But I like it because it is ceramic. I think the extra step of pouring hot water to heat the ceramic first might be offputting to some. That extra step is not offputting to me as I use an espresso machine, and making coffee that way is time consuming.

            I, too have much too much stuff in my bigger-than-small kitchen :-)) If money is no object, perhaps you might like it better, and use it exclusively.

            1. re: Rella

              The steel one isn't bad and it does hold the filters pretty good when I clip them, but I do see how ceramic would hold heat even longer- just like our mugs-thanks!

          2. re: Rella

            Good point about heat retention. Your comment reminded me of the second time I used this camping I poured the just less than boiling water into the mugs and then through the filter.

            I think when I use this at home this fall, I'll pour some boiling water through the porcelain before I add the paper filter and coffee.

          3. re: redrako

            Is the water reservoir made of plastic, glass or SS?

            1. re: watashi4456

              Redrako is talking about a porcelain cone for making drip coffee manually, not an auto-drip machine, so there's no water reservoir.

          4. I've been looking for the same thing and having no luck. There are a few commercial all-metal coffee makers, but (A) they're enormous (B) they're usually aluminum and (C) the coffee still passes through a plastic valve and spigot. The closest I've found are the old stainless stovetop vacuum coffee pots. They'll definitely do several cups at a time and have no plastic whatsoever. Have you taken a look at those?

            1. PS: Something I found in my own research: http://www.slashgear.com/ceramic-coff... -- all ceramic and gorgeous, but I don't think it was ever mass-produced. Such a shame.

              1. Thanks hounds! I currently use a stainless steel funnel. The ceramic one looks good too. Yes it does taste better. Ive been drinking kona these days so please dont worry about me trying to filter dunkin d's. The ceramic maker looks good also. No i have never found an old model, i wonder how $$ that wud b? There are more plastic alternatives in stores lately. I think it's about time they make one available. There is a market for it just like there's a market for glass food storage containers and stainless steel water bottles.

                2 Replies
                1. re: crowmuncher

                  An aside comment re alternatives, crowmuncher. As a result of chowhound poster's search for stainless steel bowl for a rice cooker, I bought the Miracle Rice Cooker, even though I have a Zojirushi. There are many that are looking for alternatives to plastic used in cookware; sooner or later we may have a choice.

                  1. re: crowmuncher

                    The old steel vacuum stovetop models run around $45 on eBay. Some people seem to have dead stock that's never even been used, so it might be worth a look. They're not electric and don't work by drip, though.

                  2. You didn't mention your price range. Bunn commercial coffee makers have a stainless steel tank, and either come with a stainless steel funnel (most don't), or one can be purchased separately. $225+ for the coffee maker, $50 for the funnel if you choose a model that doesn't include it.

                    Bunn coffee makers also store a tank of water and keep it at brewing temperature. This allows the brewer to brew a pot of coffee in three minutes. This is useful in a commercial environment, but wasteful in most home environments, unless you're brewing multiple pots of coffee a day.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: srgoodman

                      no price range actually; since I've never come across one what would the $$ be relative to? I have not looked up the Bunn you mention, so my apologies if I'm wrong in assuming that the hot water still runs through plastic? The point isn't to just make good coffee, but to not ingest plastic. In other words, a stainless steel tank does me no good, if I'm still ingesting plastic. The water cannot touch plastic at any time for it to be worth it. My experience has been that when I search for no-plastic machines, the parts that don't really matter (for looks) are stainless steel and the rest (including what matters) is plastic. I'm not interested in how it looks. If you know of one that is plastic-free where it counts please send me a link. I would greatly appreciate it- thank you so much!

                      1. re: crowmuncher

                        I've read in several forums that the Bunn commercial coffeemakers have a full stainless path, but I cannot easily find an authoritative web page on their site (www.bunn.com). I'd suggest you call them:

                        BUNN Corporate Headquarters
                        Operators are available from 6:30 am to 5:30 pm CT. Monday - Friday
                        Phone: 217-529-6601
                        Phone: 800-637-8606

                        1. re: srgoodman

                          I'll give it a shot and let you know-thanks!

                    2. Use a cup warmer (like a hot plate). Go ahead and pour out two mugs. Have one waiting for you on the cup warmer while you're enjoying the other.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: sheilal

                        not a bad idea, i'll see if I have one lying around...

                      2. I spoke with 2 Bunn reps this morning, one for 'home' the other for 'commercial'. Here's what I learned from them. If you are not going to have a machine plumbed in so that your are not pouring water into the tray yourself, the water will touch plastic because the lid where you pour the water through is plastic. I hate that they do this because it is such a small part of the machine and they have to ruin it just to save some bucks. I know it's expensive, but then again tupperware is cheaper than glass ware (but still available). I'm just so amazed that there isn't even 1 available that I know of. And if you see these at Bunn, I put a link below to their vpr model, they look like they belong in a restaurant not a tiny kitchen counter. If I'm going to take the plunge and put that thing on my kitchen counter, it better not have any plastic. Thank you for letting me know your thoughts and for your contributions to this thread. My hope is that one day some company will come up with it and one of us will find out and pass it on. Perhaps companies will read the Chowhound demand for the no-plastic maker and make it available. Meantime, why don't we continue to share our discoveries.

                        check out the first 3 (vpr,vps,vp-17) under 'Pourover Brewers'- as srgoodman wrote, a stainless steel funnel can be purchased to replace the plastic one that comes standard

                        the vpr model

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: crowmuncher

                          Hear, hear. The demand for plastic-/aluminum-/coating-free cookware is definitely out here. I had my eye on a used, all-steel, stovetop Nicron vacuum coffee pot from the early 60's on eBay. It ended up selling for over $100.

                          When I contacted Bunn in the course of my search, they said every single machine they make has at least one small plastic part, sort of like a gasket or a pressure valve, which stops and starts the water flow. Here's the link they sent me for a document detailing the parts breakdown of a machine so I could see where the plastic is and why it's necessary to their basic design. http://www.bunn.com/pdfs/commercial/m...

                        2. buy Presto perculator. no plastic and stainless inside.
                          then hook up to timer so it will brew when you want and
                          turn off when you want. no plastic and with timer.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: jacquey

                            I second this. I have a small Oneida percolator. Excellent, piping hot coffee. The water and the coffee come in contact with steel and glass only, if that matters to you. The heating element is behind the steel and does not come in contact with the water directly so it doesn't gum up with lime scale. The percolator won't create the vacuum to move the water unless the water reaches the right temperature and the resulting coffee is great. The percolator has a thermostat and will keep the coffee hot by reheating, if that's what you want, but I prefer to pour the second half into a thermos mug. The little machine is a snap to clean, too and has a tiny footprint on the counter.

                            A Zojirushi mug, while expensive, will keep the coffee undrinkably hot for hours. I got mine off the sale table at Mitsuwa.

                          2. I know this is an old thread and that the original query was for an automated drip coffee maker, but since so many people seem to be looking for any kind of coffee maker in which the coffee does not come into contact with aluminum or plastic, I thought I'd post this link: http://www.amazon.com/Texsport-Stainl... . It's definitely basic, an old-time percolator, but maybe it will work for some plastic/aluminum-avoiders.

                            1. Same here! I can't wait to view this thread. I've replaced all of our food storage with vintage pyrex. I'm looking for glass containers/pitchers for milk, orange juice and filtered water now.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Mojave

                                I like the bottles in the Luminarc Quadro series. They've changed the material they use for the lids in recent years from rubber to plastic, which kind of sucks because it doesn't create as tight a seal, but they fit in the door of the fridge and are pretty sturdy. Not good for kids, though. Too cumbersome for little hands.

                                1. re: Mojave

                                  I buy milk in glass bottles. Three sizes available...half-gallon, quart and pint. After the milk is gone I sanitize in my dishwasher and reuse for all kinds of liquid. The cost is the bottle deposit of $1 or $1.50. Cheaper than buying glassware bottles new.

                                2. This was posted on another thread, and I just noticed the description...SS water tank AND brew basket

                                  Oh sorry, not the basket, just the tank and carafe. Basket is still plastic.

                                  1. I have been considering making the coffee the old fashion way. In a stainless steel or glass coffee pot brewed on the stove. No plastic (assuming a stainless still basket can still be found) and one less thing on my small counter.

                                    1. Seriously, why worry about the health effects of the plastic filter basket, afterall, you're dirnking coffee. If you google "harmful effects . . ." the 4th item that comes up is coffee. Just a short list of the "risks" of coffee drinking:
                                      Caffeine dependency
                                      Gastrointestinal problems
                                      Psychological effects and sleep changes
                                      Blood pressure
                                      Effects on pregnancy
                                      Iron deficiency anemia
                                      Coronary artery disease
                                      Interactions with medications

                                      And this is just off Wiki, I didn't read the other 6,020,000 hits associated with the "harmful effects of coffee".

                                      I'm not trying to convince anyone they should stop drinking coffee, or stop smoking for that matter, it's just if you're going to play russian roulette, why worry about what the gun's made out of.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: mikie

                                        Coffee has a whole list of health risks (some dubious and some confirmed) and an equally long list of health benefits (again, with various levels of plausibility). It's not exactly Russian roulette. Here's some of the good stuff, also from Wikipedia:

                                        - High long-term consumption is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
                                        - Research is beginning to suggest that caffeine minimizes the cognitive decline associated with aging, including reducing risk of Alzheimer's disease.
                                        - Caffeine increases levels of neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine, acetylcholine, dopamine, serotonin, epinephrine and glutamate.
                                        - Acetylcholine is associated with attention, concentration, learning, and memory but there is no conclusive evidence yet that caffeine has any effect on memory and cognitive function.
                                        - Low doses of caffeine show increased alertness and decreased fatigue.
                                        - Caffeine has been shown to increase the metabolic rate.
                                        - Caffeine may reduce the risk of developing cancer and produce a delay in the average onset of cancer.
                                        - Caffeine is associated with a reduced risk of Parkinson's disease, and use of caffeine is studied as a treatment for the Parkinson’s disease motor symptoms.
                                        - Caffeine may lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
                                        - Caffeine may reduce certain kind of hepatic cancers.
                                        - Caffeine may be a source of healthful antioxidant activity against some free radicals inside the body.
                                        - Coffee contains caffeine, which may increase the effectiveness of gastrointestinal uptake of some pain killers, especially in patients with migraine and headache medications.

                                        So, improved cardiac and neural health, decreased risk of diabetes, improved cognitive function, etc. Your concerns are not invalid (though some of the risks in your list are debatable), but coffee is not exactly danger food. I'm all for spreading awareness of the risks, but it's dishonest to tell a one-sided story in situations like this.

                                      2. The Texsport seems to be the best new product. On e-bay there are occasionally all stainless steel stove top antique Revere wear percolators and the original all glass stove top percolators from pyrex (only the vintage ones, but I'm not certain if the metal filter is stainless). Percolators and coffee presses were forced out of the market by the "modern" electric coffee makers who claimed that those methods did not produce good tasting coffee. That was total nonsense.

                                        1. OK, not auto-drip (again), but this is beautiful, and not a scrap of plastic or aluminum. http://prima-coffee.com/brewer/walkur...

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: ninrn

                                            While shopping at Target I saw a totally-plastic brewer, a manual Kcup. Kind of a kcup version of the AeroPress.


                                          2. Great thread! Too bad no good answers for auto-drip!

                                            This is the closest thing I've found: Bodum® Bistro Pour Over 40-Ounce Coffee Machines

                                            This review on Amazon does mention the small plastic parts but in many places they use instead tempered glass (piping) and silicon (shower head). Gettting there...

                                            1. I know this is an old thread, but here's what I came up with. It isn't perfect, but it's almost perfect: I connected an automatic percolator to an outlet timer (West Bend 54159 Percolator, Westek TE06WHB Timer). The coffee brews according to the timer.

                                              To make this completely plastic free, you could use a stove-top percolator with an electric hotplate and timer. I chose the electric percolator because it automatically shifts to 'keep-warm' once the coffee is brewed; with a hotplate it would have to go directly from 'brew' to 'off' using the timer.

                                              1. i've been searching forever for an electric drip maker with no plastic parts touching the hot water.

                                                is the Bunn Phase HG the answer??? Unfortunately the cold water reservoir is still plastic


                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: frannyglass

                                                  I emailed Bunn to ask about this about 2 yrs ago. They said all their models have a plastic gasket-type thing that all the coffee or hot water (don't remember which) runs through in all models.

                                                2. we have dumped nearly all the plastic from the kitchen that touches food. i am also now looking for a no plastic coffee maker. (i cannot believe it when people microwave in plastic of any kind).

                                                  1. I'm also looking for a "plastic free" programmable coffee maker. Like the original poster, I want to avoid a French Press or expresso machine.

                                                    How hard is it for a manufacturer to make a coffee maker that doesn't contain any harmful chemical leaching plastics?