The Very Best Coffee Makers, According to Our Exhaustive Testing

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The Cafe Smart and Technivorm on a countertop
Serious Eats / Ashley Rodriguez

There are many different ways to brew coffee and, fortunately, we’ve got you covered with top picks across the board. Whether you’re looking for the best drip coffee maker, espresso machine, or pourover, we’ve tested and reviewed just about every brew method you could imagine. To better navigate the wide world of coffee, we compiled this list of the best brewers in each category.

The Winners, at a Glance

Things to Consider

Automatic vs. Manual Coffee Makers

Two OXO models and the Ratio Six on a countertop.
Serious Eats / Ashley Rodriguez

Two of the most important aspects of coffee brewing are temperature and brew time, and high-end coffee makers manage both really well—but it’ll cost you. Our favorite drip coffee makers brew at the ideal 200ºF for the target 5- to 6-minute brew cycles, but they’re also fairly expensive compared to most drip brewers. (As in, they’re all $200 or more.)

Water being poured in a pourover brewer
While it can brew excellent coffee, the Kalita Wave requires care and attention to brew properly.Serious Eats / Jesse Raub

On the other hand, brewing a pourover or a French press gives you total control over brew temperature and time, but requires a hands-on approach and careful attention to detail (like pouring technique, pouring speed, and water temperature management). Both options brew great coffee, but one requires a financial investment while the other requires your time, attention, and skill. 

Is There a Reason the Best Coffee Makers Are Expensive?

the oxo 8-cup brewer on a grey countertop
The 8-Cup brewer from OXO is our cheapest drip coffee maker pick, even though it’s $200.Serious Eats / Jesse Raub

Actually, yes! Building a drip coffee maker that can regulate temperature requires high-end components that are more powerful (and costly to manufacture) than those in a standard coffee maker. For espresso machines, that price difference is even more drastic. While two of our top espresso machine picks come in around $500, that’s actually on the low end of what a good machine costs. Espresso machines have a lot of moving parts, and because they use so much pressure (around 500 pounds of direct force), every component needs to be well-made and fit together precisely. In comparison, we also reviewed the La Marzocco Linea Micra—which costs nearly $4000 due to its commercial build quality—and while it’s a dream of a machine to pull shots with, it’s probably a bit excessive for most people’s kitchens. 

Hey, You Didn’t Review This One Well-Liked Espresso Machine! 

the front display on a Breville Bambino Plus espresso machine
The Breville Bambino Plus offers excellent performance at an incredible value.Serious Eats / Ashley Rodriguez

It’s true—between our $500 top picks and the $4000 ultra-splurge Linea Micra, there are hundreds of great espresso machines out there at varying price points with a variety of different features. A lot of these machines are truly stellar, but we just don’t think they offer an exponentially better espresso experience for the average home user compared to their exponentially higher costs. There’s always the chance that we’ll review more machines in the future, but, for now, we also have a roundup of semi-automatic espresso machines that includes a few more options. 

I Don’t See Any Keurig or Nespresso Options On This List 

A Nespresso machine brewing a cup of coffee into an amber mug
Serious Eats / Ashley Rodriguez

The truth is: we just don’t like them that much. Both are extremely convenient ways to brew coffee, but because they revolve around pre-ground capsules, it’s hard to match the flavor quality of freshly ground coffee. There are a lot of excellent manual single-serve coffee makers that are much less expensive, but if you’re looking for a true one-touch brewing option, we thought the Spinn brewer did an excellent job (even if it is a little pricey). 

Okay, But What About Grinders? 

a Baratza Sette 270 grinding directly into a portafilter
We have a number of favorite grinder picks, like the Baratza Sette 270 for espresso.Serious Eats / Jesse Raub

Glad you asked! We love coffee grinders! Specifically, the Baratza Virtuoso+, which is sturdy and grinds coffee with precision burrs that produce consistent grind particles every time. It’s great for drip brewers and manual brew methods, but if you’re looking to spend a little less we also love the Baratza Encore. Coffee nerds looking for top-notch design and flavor clarity might be willing to shell out for the Fellow Ode Gen 2 (which we really liked, even if it is expensive), but if you’re not super particular about your coffee, the OXO Brew Coffee Grinder is an affordable upgrade for most people. Also, we didn’t forget about espresso grinders! The Baratza Sette 270 was our favorite for excellent grind precision, but casual home espresso users will probably love the Baratza Encore ESP, which pulls double duty as a solid espresso grinder and a great filter option better than any of the competition. 

The Criteria: What to Look for in a Coffee Maker

The best coffee makers, simply put, make the best coffee. For automatic drip brewers and espresso machines, this means brewing at temperatures between 195ºF to 205ºF while evenly saturating the coffee bed. Single-serve brewers need to be convenient and easy to use without sacrificing brew quality. Pourover brewers should have ideal coffee bed geometry and flow control; French presses should have fine-mesh filter screens and insulated dual walls; and cold brew makers should be easy to set up and clean after brewing. 

What we liked: With precision temperature, an excellent sprayhead, a built-in bloom cycle, and fast brew times, the Ratio Six brewed the best-tasting coffee we’ve had from a home machine. It’s a solid piece of equipment that’s built to last (and can be repaired), and is the daily coffee maker for multiple Serious Eats staffers. 

What we didn’t like: It’s hard to ignore the price point, and the difference in flavor quality between this brewer and our other top picks is subtle for most coffee drinkers. If you’ve got the cash and want great coffee quality, the Ratio Six delivers. 

Price at time of publish: $365.

Key Specs

  • Stated capacity: 1.25 liters/40 ounces/8 cups
  • Brewer Height: 14.25 inches
  • Weight: 8 pounds
  • Built-in bloom cycle: Yes
  • Type of carafe: Thermal carafe
  • Average brew time: 4 minutes, 48 seconds
  • Wattage: 1400 watts
  • Warranty: 5-year limited
  • SCA-certified brewer: Yes

What we liked: The OXO Brew 8-Cup is the only coffee maker we’ve seen that comes with a smaller filter basket for brewing smaller amounts of coffee—it’s just one design detail that we think makes this brewer excellent. It also delivers precision water temperatures through its wide sprayhead, brewing great-tasting coffee with the push of a button. 

What we didn’t like: The sprayhead struggled to saturate the coffee evenly for mid-sized batches of coffee. It’s a slightly awkward problem that’s easily solved by brewing less or more coffee and using the appropriate basket for each. We’ve also had issues with the machine overflowing, leaving a puddle of ground-flecked coffee on the counter, but this is also easily remedied by measuring your coffee out (putting too much coffee in the basket causes overflows).

Price at time of publish: $199.

Key Specs

  • Stated capacity: 1.25 liters/40 ounces/8 cups
  • Brewer height: 13.5 inches
  • Weight: 10.3 pounds
  • Built-in bloom cycle: Yes
  • Type of carafe: Thermal carafe
  • Average brew time: 5 minutes, 53 seconds
  • Wattage: 1400 watts
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • SCA-certified brewer: Yes
The OXO 8-Cup coffee maker against a white background
Serious Eats / Ashley Rodriguez

What we liked: This drip brewer features the same precise temperature regulation as the 8-cup brewer, only with a programmable option if you’re looking for a brewer that wakes up before you do. While we always recommend grinding fresh immediately before brewing, sometimes the convenience of a programmed brew is worth it for the extra snooze cycles. 

What we didn’t like: The conical filter didn’t extract coffee as evenly as the 8-cup’s flat-bottomed filter, and we found darker roasts were bitter with this brewer. 

Price at time of publish: $229.

Key Specs

  • Stated capacity: 45 ounces/9 cups
  • Brewer height: 17.2 inches
  • Weight: 11 pounds
  • Built-in bloom cycle: Yes
  • Type of carafe: Thermal carafe
  • Average brew time: 6 minutes, 40.5 seconds
  • Wattage: 1400 watts
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • SCA-certified brewer: Yes
The OXO 9-Cup Coffee Maker
Serious Eats / Ashley Rodriguez

What we liked: Compact, affordable, and with precision brew temperatures regulated by a proportional integral derivative controller (or PID—an algorithm that predicts temperature swings and corrects them) and an automatic steam wand, the Bambino Plus is excellent for beginners and intermediate home espresso users. It pulls great shots and aerates silky microfoam for latte art. It’s an all-around excellent machine that fits on almost anyone’s counters with ease.

What we didn’t like: Espresso enthusiasts might find its 54-millimeter basket size more limiting compared to a 58-millimeter commercial-sized basket, and we wish there was a way to turn off the automatic volume dispensing (which we didn’t find to be very accurate). 

Price at time of publish: $500.

Key Specs

  • Dimensions: 8 by 13 by 12 inches
  • Weight: 11 pounds 
  • Portafilter diameter: 54 millimeter 
  • Capacity: 1 liter 
  • Warranty: 2-year limited product warranty
  • Comes with: 54mm tamper, precision dosing tool, 16 fl.oz / 480ml Stainless Steel Milk Jug, 1- & 2- cup single wall & dual wall filter baskets, cleaning tool, cleaning disc
The Breville Bambino Plus espresso machine
Ashley Rodriguez

What we liked: With a commercial-sized 58-millimeter portafilter, the Gaggia Classic Pro makes it easy for tinkerers to pull commercial machine quality espresso shots. It’s impressive for a machine this small and inexpensive to be able to pull shots that taste this good, and that alone makes it one of our top picks. 

What we didn’t like: It lacks steam power, so latte fans should skip this one. We also wish it had a PID temperature controller, like the Bambino Plus, for a more stable brew temperature. 

Price at time of publish: $441.

Key Specs

  • Dimensions: 9 by 15 by 9.5 inches
  • Weight: 16 pounds 
  • Portafilter diameter: 58 millimeter 
  • Capacity: 2 liters
  • Warranty: 1-year limited warranty
  • Comes with: Single and double single- and dual- wall filter baskets, plastic tamper
Gaggia Classic Pro Espresso Machine
Ashley Rodriguez

What we liked: Not only does the Barista Express Impress have a built-in grinder, it also has an assisted tamp lever and portions out coffee for you. These features automate the trickiest parts of learning how to pull an espresso shot, and with the same PID temperature control as the Bambino Plus, it’s a great all-in-one machine for those who are new to espresso (or just would rather spend more time drinking coffee than making it).

What we didn’t like: While the built-in grinder does a great job, it’s not as precise as our favorite espresso grinders. This machine can pull great shots, but tinkerers and perfectionists might feel limited. 

Price at time of publish: $891. 

Key Specs

  • Dimensions: 13 by 15 by 16 inches
  • Weight: 24 pounds 
  • Portafilter diameter: 54 millimeter 
  • Capacity: 2 liters 
  • Warranty: 2-year repair or replacement limited warranty
  • Comes with: 480ml stainless steel milk jug, 1 & 2 cup single and dual wall filter baskets, Water filter holder with filter, precision trimming tool, cleaning tablets, allen key, steam wand cleaning tool, cleaning disc, cleaning brush, descale powder
an espresso machine with a built-in grinder on a white background
Serious Eats / Jesse Raub

What we liked: The Spinn was able to brew espresso, drip coffee, and cold brew all with the touch of a button—and we thought all three tasted pretty great. It uses a built-in grinder and a centrifugal brew chamber to extract under high pressure, making it the first brewer of its kind for at-home use. Because the Spinn grinds and brews coffee fresh each time, it solves many of the problems other automatic single-serve coffee makers have (such as the Keurig and Nespresso). 

What we didn’t like: It’s expensive, and since it’s such a new piece of equipment, there isn’t much long-term testing data to look at for things like maintenance and longevity. 

Price at time of publish: $800.

Key Specs

  • Dimensions: 13.2 x 8.6 x 14.1 inches
  • Materials: Plastic
  • Coffee hopper: 18 ounces
  • Reservoir capacity: 40 ounces
  • Max beverage volume: 20 ounces
  • Warranty: 1-year limited warranty
A spinn coffee maker brewing coffee over ice
Serious Eats / Jesse Raub

What we liked: Lightweight and easy to pack, the Aeropress is a versatile single-serve coffee brewer—and the Prismo attachment (which locks onto the Aeropress for pressurized brewing) improves both the brew quality and ease of use. By retaining all of the brew water, the Prismo turns your Aeropress into a miniature immersion brewer (like a French press), letting the coffee and water steep until you’re ready to press it. 

What we didn’t like: Even if the Prismo simplifies the Aeropress’ brewing process, there are still a lot of moving parts that require you to attach them just right. It might take a little practice to get used to pairing an Aeropress with a Prismo, but we think it’s worth it. 

Price at time of publish: $40 for Aeropress, $30 for Prismo attachment. 

Key Specs (Together)

  • Materials: Plastic, rubber, metal
  • Weight: 8 ounces
  • Surface diameter: 6 centimeters
  • Base diameter: 9.5 centimeters
  • Length: 17 centimeters
  • Number of pieces: 3
The Aeropress and Fellow Prismo Attachment assembled and sitting on a scale
Serious Eats / Jesse Raub

What we liked: The flat-bottom of the Kalita Wave lets the water evenly saturate the coffee bed, and the small exit holes on the bottom help control the flow for easy coffee brewing. We also really love its sturdy stainless steel construction, which makes it great for tossing in your bag when you travel. 

What we didn’t like: The flat bottom helps saturate coffee evenly, but it also requires enough coffee to do so—which means it’s hard to brew less than 16 ounces with this brewer.

Price at time of publish: $46.

Key Specs

an overhead look at the Kalita Wave 185 brewer
Serious Eats / Jesse Raub

What we liked: The fine-mesh filter on the Clara brewed excellent coffee with very little silt, and its dual-wall insulation held temperatures better than the competition. We also really loved its omni-directional pouring lid (which meant you never had to align the pouring spout, like on other presses), as well as how easy it was to clean (it has a nonstick coating on the interior). The weighted handle was a plus for easy pouring, and it also comes with a wooden spoon for agitating your coffee grounds while brewing. 

What we didn’t like: It’s pricey compared to the competition, and it’s also heavy (though the weighted handle helped keep balance while pouring). 

Price at time of publish: $99. 

Key Specs

  • Capacity: 24 oz
  • Weight: 3 pounds
  • Dimensions: 4.53 inc x 6.69 in x 7.87 in
  • Materials: Stainless steel
  • Insulation: Double-wall insulated
  • Filter type: Single screen
  • Care instructions: Hand-wash
Fellow Clara French Press
Ashley Rodriguez

What we liked: Well-insulated and sporting a dual mesh filter, the Coffee Gator stayed hot and brewed great-tasting coffee with very little grit. It’s also sturdy—the steel construction felt almost indestructible. We also liked how it could pull double duty as a cold brew coffee maker.

What we didn’t like: It’s heavy, and the corners are pointed enough to dent wooden counters. We also wish the handle wasn’t as blocky and didn’t have so many sharp angles, which made it less comfortable to pour with.

Price at time of publish: $47.

Key Specs

  • Capacity: 32 oz
  • Weight: 4 pounds
  • Dimensions: 5.6 in x 5.8 in x 11.9 in
  • Materials: Steel
  • Insulation: Double-wall
  • Filter type: Dual screen
  • Care instructions: Hand-wash
Gator French Press
Ashley Rodriguez

What we liked: Easy to use, compact, and affordable, this cold brew maker also scored top marks in our double-blind taste tests. It features a rainmaker shower head that distributes the water evenly over the coffee, and a spring loaded rubber stopper that prevents brewing coffee from dripping through the filter. When you’re ready, you just set the brewer on top of the included carafe (which has a lid for storing your concentrate), and the rim of the carafe triggers to the release valve to start filtering. Cold brew coffee makers are usually very basic, and we appreciated all of the smaller design details (like volume measurements for coffee and water)  that made this brewer stand out. 

What we didn’t like: Without a paper filter, coffee from the OXO was grittier, and developed some funkier flavors after being in the fridge for extended periods of time. With a smaller capacity, however, you’d likely go through all of the coffee before the flavor would transform. 

Price at time of publish: $28. 

Key Specs

  • Capacity: 700 milliliters
  • Yield: 16 ounces of concentrate
  • Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Filter style: Reusable stainless steel
OXO Cold Brewer
Ashley Rodriguez


What is the best home coffee maker? 

There are a lot of great options for home coffee makers, but it also depends on what style of coffee you want to brew. We think the best drip brewer is the Ratio Six Coffee Maker, but the OXO Brew 8-Cup Coffee Maker is a great option if you’re looking to spend a little less money. If you like brewing coffee by hand, the Kalita Wave 185 Stainless Steel is the best pourover coffee maker, and the Fellow Clara French Press is the best French press. Lastly, if you’re looking for an espresso machine, the Breville Barista Express Impress is best for beginners, but the Breville Bambino Plus is the best, compact, inexpensive, and versatile espresso machine for most people.

Is an expensive coffee maker worth it?

We think so! Our favorite coffee makers are expensive because they’re built with high-quality parts and are designed specifically to extract coffee better than the competition. We think that the build quality is worth the investment alone, but everyone at Serious Eats agrees: the best drip brewers  just brew better tasting coffee, hands down. 

Is there really a difference between coffee makers?

Absolutely! Our favorite coffee makers are SCA-certified, which means they have passed a number of distinct criteria like brewing a batch between four and eight minutes, brewing with water that’s between 195ºF to 205ºF, and meeting gold cup standards. Most home coffee makers don’t ever reach ideal brew temperatures and take up to 12 minutes to brew a full batch, which usually causes the coffee to taste bitter and astringent.

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