Seven “traditional” coffee makers compared
With the advent of the K-cup and the resurgence of the French press, there is certainly more than one way to make a cup of coffee. But when but when it comes down to choosing a “regular coffee maker,” how do you know which one is right for you?
To help you navigate all the coffee maker options out there, here’s a line up of 7 great ones, with a summary of what’s what:
1. Premium Coffee “To-Go”: Hamilton Beach 12-Cup, Two Way Coffee Brewer – $89.99 at Snow’s
This is an affordable coffeemaker that can brew premium roast coffee at home, either in a single serving or a full 12-cup pot.
For “solo” use, it comes with a stainless travel mug – or you can use your own. You also have a choice of using ground coffee or pre-packaged soft pods.
Brew strength is another special feature of this coffee maker: simply select regular or bold, rather than have to fuss with the amount of coffee you use to adjust the taste. Other conveniences include programmable brewing, automatic shutoff, and an automatic pause & serve feature for pouring a cup while it’s still brewing.
2. Modern Functionality: Cuisinart 12-Cup Brew Central – $89.99 at Snow’s
Cuisinart is one of the best names in kitchen appliances, and coffee makers are no exception. We are actually reviewing 3 different Cuisinart models here today; all with unique differences.
The Brew Central is a solid, reliable, attractive coffee maker with an array of convenience features at a mid-range price.
It’s totally programmable, with an adjustable heater plate for temperature control, a small batch (1 to 4 cups) option, and a brew-pause function so you can grab a cup mid-brew. This model also has an upscale look: a brushed stainless finish and a sleek, modern design.
3. All-in-One: Cuisinart 12-Cup Automatic Grind & Brew – $99.99 at Snow’s
The big extra with the Cuisinart Grind and Brew is just as the name indicates: the beans are automatically ground right before brewing, tight in the unit. The streamlined design and brushed metal finish is on the modern side, but less dramatically so than the Brew Central – so it looks great in almost any kitchen. It has full programming features with adjustable auto shut-off, 1 to 4 cup setting, brew pause, and even a “grind off” feature if you want to use pre-ground coffee. It also has a large control panel with large push buttons for quick and simple operation.
4. One Cup at a Time: Cuisinart 12-Cup Coffee On Demand – $99.99 at Snow’s
Cuisinart’s Coffee on Demand™ is a carafe-free coffeemaker that delivers up to 12 cups of hot coffee…cup by cup. You (and your house guests) can dispense one cup at a time; a dispenser light comes on when you press the lever to fill your cup, and the gauge on the front gives a count down to cups remaining. It’s kind of like the K-cup brewers, except it uses loose ground coffee.
In additional to all of Cuisinart’s programmable features, it has a removable water reservoir to make fill-ups (and clean ups) easy.
5. Easy Programming: Krups 12-Cup Precision Coffee Maker – $89.99 at Snow’s
Holding a steady spot next to all of the Cuisinart models as powerful, well-designed, full-featured coffee maker, the Krups Precision has a few unique features of its own.
Programming is extra easy thanks to a uniquely angled upward-facing control panel & LCD screen with a high-contrast black-on-white display; you can see the buttons without having to crouch over. In addition, dual auto-on presets give you the option to wake up to freshly brewed coffee, and at a later time if you have a chance to sleep in.
6. Truly Customized: Breville 12-Cup YouBrew Coffee Maker with Grinder – $249.99 at Snow’s
Now we’re getting to the cream of the crop. If you take your coffee very seriously, you may want to splurge for one of the best coffee makers available.
It has all the bells and whistles. Choose a cup, a travel mug or a carafe. Choose your brew strength, even your flavor profile—Breville’s Brew IQ System (have you ever met a coffee with an IQ?) takes care of getting the water to the optimal temperature, then dispenses the correct amount for your selected brew size and strength. Even the single cup mode has five (yes, five) adjustable flavor settings. There’s also a built-in burr grinder to freshly grind your choice of beans.
7. New Innovation: Remmington 12-Cup iCoffee System – $169.95 at Snow’s
The new iCoffee’s SteamBrew™ patented technology is actually pretty revolutionary. There are six rotating hot water jets, a brew-viewing window, gold-tone filtration, and all the automatic, programmable features you would expect. But its claim to fame is that it makes coffee with steam, resulting in coffee that tastes creamier, bolder and more flavorful.
According to the company, drip coffee makers extract unevenly, which results in unwanted acidic and bitter coffee oils. Single-serve coffee makers do the same thing: the water runs through only one part of the pod, so over-extraction happens here, too. Using a French press solves this problem, but many people find it time consuming to brew and clean, and it is limited to only a few cups that can get cold fast.
If you’re intrigued, check out the 90-second video to see how it works. The iCoffee system is brand new and in stock at Snow’s in Orleans.
Note: All coffee makers are excluded from this weekend’s savings pass, but that’s not a bad thing. Why? Well, Snow’s coffee makers are sold at the MAP (Minimum Advertised Price) every day. This price is significantly lower than the MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price), so the customer never has to wait…they are always offered at a “sale” price!