The best coffee makers of 2019
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For many of us, coffee is a vital part of a morning routine. And if you’re an avid coffee drinker, you know the daily habit can get expensive. Why spend hundreds of dollars a year on Starbucks when you can brew a better cup from the comfort of your own home and elevate your morning routine, while still in your pajamas?
We’ve spent many hours, days, and weeks researching and testing all the best coffee gadgets to find the best supplies for your coffee ritual needs, like the Technivorm Moccamaster, which is our favorite drip coffee maker.
If you're in a serious relationship with your cup of joe, you'll want to upgrade to one of these top-tested products:
1. The best drip coffee maker: Technivorm Moccamaster
With its mid-century design and an exposed reservoir, you'll want to leave the Moccamaster out on the counter even when it’s not in use. But it doesn't just look great. Indeed, the pricey Moccamaster brews a complex and smooth pot of coffee that ranked highest in our taste test. This machine also fills a full pot quickly—a necessity for the morning rush.
Only two optional settings are available: You can control the heating element under the carafe and turn down the temperature if desired. Other than that, the Moccamaster doesn't have—and doesn't need—anything else. Technivorm boasts that its heating element can get water between 196ºF and 205ºF, which specialists say is the ideal temperature for brewing coffee.
The Moccamaster isn't for everyone. Handmade in the Netherlands, it costs around $300—and would never win an award for value. It lacks a programmable timer, and it was also bit more difficult to set up than the rest of the coffee makers—in fact most were ready to go right out of the box. But a quick look at the instruction diagram should clear up any confusion, and the end result is well worth the effort.
See more of the best drip coffee makers we tested and reviewed.
2. The best pod coffee brewer: Nespresso VertuoPlus
With the VertuoLine centrifusion brewing method, our coffee came out with foamy crema on top, a truly luxurious experience. The technology behind this dense, rich, and aromatic coffee is simple—a machine head penetrates the capsules in the center and around the edges, allowing water to enter in the center opening and push through the 20 edge holes, maximizing coffee interaction and pressure. It also brews espresso capsules so you can make espresso, double espresso, and regular coffee.
Unlike most of the other pod brewers we tested, the Nespresso VertuoPlus by Breville’s compact design makes it easy to keep on your countertop or store where space is limited. It boasts a 40-ounce water tank that can also swivel out easily. The motorized head opens with a light lift, different from traditional Keurig machines that often require a forced push and thus increase the chance of wear and tear.
See more of the best pod brewers we tested and reviewed.
3. The best single-serve espresso maker: Nespresso Creatista Plus by Breville
Our winner Creatista Plus impressed us with its intuitive design, sleek appearance, and delicious espresso. Naming it our favorite was a no-brainer.
This Nespresso was the only machine we tested that didn’t require reading the manual to get it started. Once plugged in, the smart display screen quickly got our attention and led us through the right steps to get the machine ready. This Creatista Plus model has every aspect of a user-friendly espresso maker that other old-fashioned machine lacks: sleek design, intuitive touch buttons and a countertop-friendly size.
This model offers several brewing options. For espresso, you can choose between espresso and lungo, which means “large” in Italian. For coffee drinks, you can select flat white, cappuccino, and latte. Then the machine asks you to select the temperature of the milk to make sure it froths a perfect cup every time. Every shot we pumped came out with light brown, foamy crema on top, and the milk frother also did wonders.
See more of the best single-serve espresso machines we tested and reviewed.
4. The best cold brew coffee maker: Takeya Deluxe Cold Brew Maker
The dishwasher-safe, BPA free model from Takeya can brew up to a quart of concentrated cold brew coffee. It not only yielded one of the best tasting brews, it also aced our usability tests. The brewer is easy to set up, offers a durable build, and is simple to clean and store for later use. It is also the only brewer that is air-tight while it brews, allowing you to easily store the brewer on its side in a packed fridge.
All of these design choices—combined with a low price tag and glowing user reviews—make the Takeya not only the best cold brewer we tested, but also our best value pick.
See more of the best cold brew coffee makers we tested and reviewed.
5. The best French press: SterlingPro Stainless Steel Cafetiere
Receiving top marks across the board during all of our tests, SterlingPro's double walls provide excellent insulation, meaning the coffee stays hot, while the exterior unit remains cool to the touch (neither of which is guaranteed from other materials). The lid can also be spun around to seal off the pouring spot and hold in heat when not in use.
The snugly fitting filter is equipped with double screens, preventing grounds from sneaking into your cup, and every part of the press is constructed from rust-free stainless steel, meaning it would take an act of God for this baby to deteriorate or break. It’s relatively lightweight for a metal model, and easy to operate too; the lid fits snugly, and the plunger pushes down smoothly, without excess effort.
It’s a cinch to clean because its dishwasher safe, but not a problem to scrub by hand, as the filters can be removed, and the canister doesn’t include any outer casings to fumble with. It boasts an especially large capacity (holding about six mugs, where the average in this size-class is four), and is multi-use, good for making anything from cold brew to hot chocolate, and produces perfectly frothed milk in seconds. On top of that, it’s available for a great price — while stainless steel presses can flirt with the $100 range, the SterlingPro clocks in at around $30.
See more of the best French presses we tested and reviewed.
6. The best pour-over coffee maker: Hario V60 Coffee Dripper 02 Ceramic
The Hario V60 Coffee Dripper 02 Ceramic pour-over coffee maker’s design doesn’t appear to be unique. At first glance, it looks exactly like every other over-the-mug model we tested. What sets this model apart (and puts it at the top of most coffee enthusiast’s lists) is the interior spiral ribs and extra-large drip hole.
Most of the pour overs we tested had one to three tiny holes in the bottom, which slow down the draining process. With the Hario’s large drainage hole, you can brew coffee as fast as you like! Not only that, but those ribs give the grinds more room to expand, increasing the amount of water you can hold in the cone.
Fast isn’t necessarily better, but it does give you more options. You could brew a cup in less than two minutes, or you can slow down the rate at which you pour the water and draw things out to a full four minutes. At the end of the day, both our fast- and slow-pour tests resulted in a delightful cup of coffee with a rich mouthfeel, a robustly fruity backbone, and almost no detectable bitterness.
We also liked that a standard paper filter fit perfectly in the cone, and the ceramic construction retained the water’s heat well enough to create an even brewing process and a hot cup of coffee.
See more of the best pour-over coffee makers we tested and reviewed.
7. The best electric coffee percolator: Maxi-Matic Elite Platinum
If you’re unfamiliar with a percolator, you’re not alone: Its popularity peaked in the '70s and has been eclipsed by drip coffee makers and single cup pod brewers. A percolator looks like an electric tea kettle, but inside, there is a long stem that extends from the bottom carafe where water is kept, to the basket up top where coffee grounds are held. When the water heats in a percolator, it causes steam and water to travel up that hollow stem and move through the coffee grounds.
Except for a transparent top knob (which aids in one of the understood pleasures of percolating—watching the coffee circling), the Maxi-Matic is composed mainly of stainless steel. That speaks to why it brewed one of the most balanced, flavorful cups of the bunch since plastic mechanisms (especially when they contain BPA) can transmit chemicals, and lead to off-tastes and aromas.
It has all of our preferred percolator elements such as separate power and ready-to-drink indicator lights, its comfortable-to-hold, heat-resistant handle, and a thin, curved spout that aids in pouring and prevent drips. Yet the Maxi-Matic also one-ups the other models we tested with a few unique advantages.
The pot can be lifted off the heating element completely for seamless, cordless serving, then returned to its base, where it will be kept warm automatically. But it also has a boil dry safety feature, which, even when plugged in, ensures the pot won’t continue to heat once there’s no liquid inside.
See more of the best electric coffee percolators we tested and reviewed.
How we tested
We made pots, cups, and batches of coffee, using the trendiest, most popular coffee products on the market. We assessed subjective questions, such as how easy it was to use the machine, how comfortable it was to pour coffee into mugs, and how simple the machine was to clean.
We also addressed objective questions, including if there were any grinds in our coffee, the quality, build and durability of the machine, and our overall experience with each unit. We also evaluated how easy it was to froth milk in each machine if it has milk frothing feature.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.