Help me pick out a small coffee maker


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Apr 5, 2008
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Hi folks!

I've managed to turn my boyfriend into a coffee-drinker...well, a real coffee-drinker (he now can't drink the stuff they call coffee at his work after having what I make) and he has now petitioned me to buy him a coffee maker for his birthday, which I am happy to do... The only catch is that he wants some features that don't typically come in the same machine and I can't seem to find one that meets the specs. he gave me. Which is why I've come to beg your help in picking out a machine that he'll be happy with and will make him a good cup of coffee.

Here's what he wants: A small drip coffee maker (i.e. either a single cup or up to 4 cup unit) with a timer, and either an insulated cup or carafe. I'd prefer to get him a true thermal carafe-type unit without a warming plate.. but that's just me being picky. I'd like to stay away from the "pod" or k-cup only machines for variety and budget reasons (he wouldn't want to pay that much per cup of coffee and would like more variety). If I had to give some leeway on one of his critera, it would be size...he'd probably be OK with going to a 6-8 cup machine, but it would still need to have a small footprint and take up little counter space.

I have scoured the net and have yet to find a small machine that fits these specs and has deacent ratings, so I'd greatly appreciate it if you guys could help me out... It would be a plus if I can find a machine that fits the bill but isn't crazy expensive.

Thank you for your time and help!
To be honest there aren't many "good" home drip/brew machines, meaning most don't brew hot enough. The few well thought of are from Capresso and Technivorm, but they aren't cheap. Quality and performance almost always come with a hefty price.

Thought about something like a French press? ... esses.html


A pourover setup: ... cones.html

Both of these will give you fantastic results provided you have a good grinder and fresh beans. I know your thread was regarding drip machines, but honestly I wouldn't waste the money on one when better coffee can be had for a little more effort. Later!
I'll tell you about two I am happy with and one I am not happy with.The funny thing is the unhappy one has the fancier name and the higher price.

First, unhappy. KRUPS KT4065 Stainless steel Precision 10-Cup Thermal Coffee Maker. Coffee does not stay hot, Inconsistent brewing, top is a pain to put on and the "tab" on the lid broke off. I am too lazy at the moment so I am still using it as I us another one up at our cottage. It is summer.

Happy. Cuisinart Brew Central Thermal™ 10-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker Model # DCC-1400C. Keeps coffee hot. Comes with metal coffee filter. Has worked for years. Looks good on counter. Reasonable price.

Happy #2: Bunn Coffee BX Classic Home Coffee Brewer, bought at Tim Horton's. Keeps coffee hot, water tank system. Only I am not so keen on the water reservoir system and water sitting there waiting around for my next pot, even thought I used the thing constantly.

Key thing with the water reservoir in the BUNN is temperature stability. It also helps brew faster. I find this to be very useful as long as the grind is just right to maximize saturation. BUT it can be a pain if the coffee is too fresh and blooms very explosively. Have learned to offset this by pouring in half the water needed to give the grounds time to expand, then slowly pour in the remaining amount after the flow has nearly stopped. Works great... achieving total saturation/maximum flavor, body with no overflow. Later!
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Thank you for your replies!
Shadow745- I will certainly look into those methods for myself.. I have yet to try a french press, but was just hearing good things about them today from a co-worker. I don't think he would be interested in either method though... Since this will be his first time brewing coffee at home, I want to give him something that is as easy and quick to use as possible.

coffeelovertina- I will look into both of the models you gave positive feedback on. I have been using a Mr. Coffee "thermal gourmet" for about 10 years now with good results and was hoping to find something that was similar in quality for his first machine.

Thank you again for your input!
oooh shadow you are talking scientifically again xoxoxo

A bit over my head.

A problem I had with the Bunn was if the reservoir side was not heated up when your pot was finished, and you wanted more coffee, you had to wait!

Not understanding something.... if you use(d) the Bunn "constantly" why not let the reservoir stay heated continuously? Read just now that model has a "vacation" switch that allows the reservoir to be switched OFF and ON... Later!
Good advice, but the Bunn is long gone. Using the Krups and a Cuisinart now.

I agree with what Shadow posted.
Some of the best coffee I have tasted has come from a french press or pour over. I have been using the clever dripper w/lid lately and it makes the perfect cup! I got mine at Sweet Marias but I do believe a few people are selling them now. ... h-lid.html

If your in the market for an excellent 1 cup brewer this is definately a good buy...just my 2 cents...
Brians cleve dripper...