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Sunday
Dec042011

Consumer Reports on a Classic Gift - The Coffee Maker

For the coffee drinker on your list, or for yourself, there are many choices of coffee makers - ones that talk, brew two different coffees at the same time, grind your beans and that double as single-serve pod machines - to name a few.

Consumer Reports recently tested 61 models. All of CR's top picks reached 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit for about 5 minutes, which is the industry standard for optimal brewing.  

The Consumer Reports findings include:

Two bargains drip models:

The Cooks 780-2403 Energy-Saving 12-cup Coffeemaker (J.C. Penney), $50, and the Mr. Coffee BVMC-SJX33GT, a CR Best Buy at $40, combine superb brewing and value.

More "perks" at a price:

Paying more for the Kenmore Elite 06906, $100, buys a freshness timer that tells you when the coffee was brewed, but you give up some brewing performance with this model.

You can choose to brew into a carafe or a travel mug with Hamilton Beach's Scoop Two-Way Brewer 49980, $80. If you are using the mug, you can use either pods or ground coffee.

Hamilton Beach's Stay or Go 45237R, $80, lets you brew two different coffees at once to fill travel mugs. Primula's Speak N' Brew SAB-3001, $80, lets you program the machine by voice. But none of them made CR's winners list.

Self-serve selections:

Brew-and-dispense coffee makers don't fill carafes or mugs. Instead, you take your cup to the machine, which keeps the coffee hot. The Hamilton Beach BrewStation 47454, $80, and the Mr. Coffee BVMC-ZH1B, a CR Best Buy at $50, topped that brew-and-dispense makers.

For the fresh-ground crowd:

Coffee makers with built-in grinders usually let you grind the beans in one compartment before you load what you ground into another compartment to be brewed.

Better Homes & Gardens' Fully Automatic Thermal 10-cup Grind & Brew, $100, lets you throw in the beans for one-step grinding and brewing, however its brew performance was mediocre.

A better bet for coffee connoisseurs: the Krups Grinder & Brewer KM7000, a CR Best Buy at $130, which brewed superbly. But as with some other grind-and-brew models, you might want to wait until the caffeine kicks in before you clean and reassemble its many parts.

We would love to hear from you...please leave a comment.  What coffee maker do you use?  What coffee maker is on your wish list?

Reader Comments (2)

Right now we currently have a cheap coffee maker from Wal-Mart (can't remember what brand it is at the moment). Any suggestions on a mid-priced coffee maker. Can't afford anything too expensive at the moment. Thanks in advance!!!

May 18, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbrad

Aloha Brad

Thanks for taking the time on our website.

With so many options, I will offer my personal opinion (without a "professional" endorsement). I am currently using a Cuisinart DCC-1200 12 Cup Brew Central Coffeemaker that I have had for a few years and have nothing but great things to say about it. When originally purchased, all the reviews were great and have proved to be true for me. When it first came out, I believe it was in the mid $100 range, however I believe that the price has come down quite a bit. I did a quick search on Amazon and found the coffee maker available for $72 (which I would consider to be mid-priced).

Depending upon what you are looking for, I also really enjoy coffee made with a french press.

Let us know what you end up purchasing.

May 18, 2012 | Registered CommenterEnergy Dude

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