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How to choose the right drip coffee maker

by Vidya Sury June 18, 2016 17 comments
How to choose the right drip coffee maker Vidya Sury

I love coffee.

As per a recent survey, apparently 60% Americans enjoy their daily coffee and make it part of their routine because they believe coffee keeps their brain active and maximizes their efficiency. I’d wholeheartedly agree. But yes, it is easy to love coffee for its own sake – it is so tasteful and flavorful that one really needs no reason to love it.

I am willing to bet that most coffee lovers own some kind of a coffee maker. There’s no dearth of choices, but my best friend, also a coffee lover, agrees that a drip coffee maker is the best one. Why? Because its historical design and usage makes it the favorite choice, too.

As someone who adores her coffee and can’t imagine life without it, I’ve seen some fantastic coffee makers. Now, the one I use at home is prehistoric and simple. It is made of two cylindrical steel containers – for the legendary South Indian filter coffee. One has a perforated bottom and fits into the container below. The coffee grounds go into the top. Boiled water is poured over it and coffee drips into the lower container. I also have a Moka pot I enjoy using occasionally!

vidya sury coffee

I have been eyeing a drip coffee maker for quite some time now, but keep sitting on the fence over buying one. It looks so stylish and convenient. I’ve even used a few while traveling and absolutely loved them.

But hey, the drip coffee maker we see today has come a long way and has its share of history. Back in the 1970s, Mr. Coffee introduced the first one and ever since, became synonymous with drip coffee makers. Here was this little coffee maker, loaded with features to make the coffee lover’s eyes shine with love, even as their heart beat accelerated.

Over the years, several new brands have arrived in the market, each one boasting of more capabilities than the one before it. Gradually, it became difficult for the coffee enthusiast to pick the perfect coffee maker for that perfect cuppa!

Of course, one could choose the best drip coffee maker from the list of 2016, but even before looking at that list, you want to know exactly what you should look for to find that coffee maker of your dreams.

So what exactly should you expect with drip coffee makers?

Here’s are some typical features they come with:

  • Heating elements to heat water and coffee in the carafe
  • Brew baskets that need generic filters or some special kind of filters to strain the coffee as it drips down into the carafe below
  • A spray element to wet the dry ground coffee
  • A timer to start the brewing process automatically
  • A built-in grinder and water filter

You’ll find these in practically every drip coffee maker in the market. How do you figure out which one to pick?How to choose the right drip coffee maker Vidya Sury

Look at brewing capacity

There are plenty of options starting from single serve drip coffee makers to commercialized drip coffee machines for the whole crowd. Single serve coffee makers or pod coffee makers are very popular these days because we can have a cup of freshly brewed hot coffee within some minutes without any mess. But hey, you really don’t want to hog all the coffee for yourself, do you? Speaking for myself, I love to share my coffee, because coffee definitely tastes better with friends. So, for me, choosing a drip coffee maker would be all about brewing capacity. If you like laughter and conversations with your coffee,  think of your family, and friends, and how often you invite people over because this way, you can make sure that everyone gets a cup of their beloved brew – in short, make sure you buy the right capacity.

How much does it cost?

Of course, money matters. Pricing can range from $10 to $600 or even more and this depends on all the bells and whistles the drip coffee maker comes with.  If quality matters, duh, you’ll obviously pay more. Still, price is not everything because a cheap coffee maker might have just the feature you want, making it worth the buy.  Although, it IS true that the more expensive the coffee maker, the more features it comes with.

It comes down to looking at the following after deciding on a budget:

The capacity of the carafe – that pot into which the coffee drips – one cup or multiple cups? Usually ranges from 4 to 12 cups at a time.

Features – technology makes life easy by letting you program the coffee maker to automatically turn on and off, which means you can smell your coffee just as your waking up even before you actually get out of bed. Heaven eh? You can even interrupt your coffee maker if you are in a hurry and grab what’s ready before it is fully through.

Other features, to my stunned surprise, include a coffee grinder for fresh coffee, which means nirvana, really.

Water filter – some coffee makers have a built in filter because hey, you don’t want your water to contaminate your coffee. I already use a water filter so will look for a coffee maker without that feature.

Warranty – this one’s more important than the budget! Yes, support is important.Very.

So now, the brand hunt is on.

Do you use a drip coffee maker?

Which one?

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Nicola June 23, 2016 at 1:32 am

My first memory of coffee is when my mother use to make it. We had a perculator that used to bubble and steam, coffee aroma filling the house. Naturally I wasn’t allowed to drink it until I was older but I haven’t stopped since. I love coffee and have 11 different coffee machines in our house 🙂 It depends on my mood as to which type of coffee I like to drink. I’ve tried to get a perculator like my mom had but they are no more. Sad. A lovely post, Vidya. Thank you for sharing. We will definitely have to arrange that coffee meeting over Skype soon 🙂
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Vidya Sury July 2, 2016 at 3:23 pm

Whoa, Nicola! 11? Mmmm. I’d love to see them. I only have 3! Two sizes of the south Indian coffee filter and one moka. I really would love that virtual coffee with you! Making coffee…and the house filled with the aroma of brewing it first thing in the morning – I miss my Mom so much! Thank you for sharing your coffee feelings – so good!
Vidya Sury recently posted…Tuning in

Willie Murphy July 1, 2016 at 10:18 am

Wow… This post is really wonderful…. Vidya, you really explained so nicely the expectations from a drip coffee maker, its price range and the things to consider before buying one. I already have a drip coffee maker and I’m considering to replace it…. So your post will really help me a lot to find out my perfect brewer…. 🙂
Thank you for sharing this informative and amazing post…..

Vidya Sury July 2, 2016 at 3:21 pm

Thank you, Willie! That’s great! 🙂 Wishing you many joyful cups of coffee!
Vidya Sury recently posted…How to choose the best online term insurance plan for you

Angela Taylor August 11, 2016 at 10:57 pm

I read many resource on online regarding drip coffee maker. I can’t find my answer. But after read your post i’m very clear and know the what i actually get in this coffee maker Thanks Vidya

Pamala gomez July 24, 2017 at 1:15 am

A great friend of mine has been thinking about getting their own coffee maker and asked me what I knew about them. I really loved what you said in the article about how you will want to get a machine that can produce enough coffee for you. My friend loves coffee and drinks lots of it each day, so I’ll recommend that they choose a machine designed for producing a lot of drink.

gorge August 1, 2017 at 1:32 pm

wow, this is really a good idea! our coffee maker is now useful. our coffee maker is just sitting in the corner because we are not really a coffee type of person we love to make Chicken soup and my problem is whenever I make one is all messy on the counter top. this is perfect. thank you so much for sharing this.
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Angela Maciel October 31, 2017 at 9:44 pm

Hey Vidya nice share. Which coffee grind would you recommend for drip coffee maker? Coarse ground or just the simple uniform ground.

Vidya Sury November 2, 2017 at 11:13 am

I think the coarse ground should work best. Too fine and the coffee takes forever to brew.
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Valery Pugh September 28, 2018 at 11:15 am

Hey Vidya, This post is really wonderful you really explained so nicely the expectations from a drip coffee maker. My cousin loves coffee and drinks lots of it each day, so I’ll recommend that they choose a machine designed for producing a lot of drink. Thanks for the sharing this.

Coffee In Blog July 18, 2019 at 11:58 am

very nicely made post.. im planning to buy a new coffee maker, this helped a lot! my list has narrowed down a lot now

Mike January 30, 2020 at 11:06 am

Great Article. Surely, this article will help for choosing the right drip coffee maker,
Thanks for sharing.
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Caffeine Brothers February 4, 2020 at 5:08 am

Drip coffee maker is not a better option as the coffee it makes is not of good quality. It prepares taste less coffee and does not give 100% rich, pure taste of coffee. Other option is slower but it is better.

Inderjeet singh Bhatia October 31, 2020 at 7:05 pm

Really nice article Ms.Vidya. It will really help me in buying a new coffee Maker
I love coffee and planning to buy a drip coffee Maker !

Happy Hiller December 14, 2020 at 9:02 pm

Thank you for your helpful guide on choosing a drip coffee maker!

Keya Moni November 24, 2021 at 12:53 am

actually I love to drink coffee very much but I coudnt make a perfect cup of coffee because i didnt have any coffee maker. I was thinking about to purchase but I was too much confused about what kind of coffee maker I should buy. your this post made me clear about which one can I take. Thank you so much for sharing this post. Now I can purchase without any doubt.

pehir December 20, 2021 at 3:14 pm

You just cooked some eggs, bacon, and toast. You are sitting down to eat, and you think “Dang it, I need coffee with this.”
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