Coffee Maker Rating Sources
ConsumerReports.org tests dozens of coffee makers, including standard drip coffee makers with carafes, brew-and-dispense models, grind-and-brew coffee makers, mug to-go coffee makers and a few dual coffee/espresso makers. Each one is tested for brew temperature, convenience and carafe handling. Some models are "Recommended," others earn "Best Buy" status. There are also a fair number of customer reviews.
Editors of Cook's Illustrated test eight coffee makers, then, in May 2013, update the report with one more model. However, that one does not ultimately end up in the grid. For the original eight tested, two are highly recommended, with a winner and a best buy, one is recommended, and five are not recommended. The results are reached after a blind tasting panel evaluates coffee produced by each machine in terms of taste, aroma, body and bitterness. Brew temperature and brewing speeds are also measured. Most of the models tested remain current, but one has very recently been discontinued.
Cale Guthrie Weissman enlists a 10-person tasting panel for this roundup of the best coffee makers. She also conducts interviews and research to narrow down her picks to the final few. Ultimately, the Bonavita 1900TS comes out on top, with the Bonavita 1800TH (which has since been discontinued) as a runner up. Included in the testing are a Cuisinart and a Mr. Coffee brewer.
Michael Zelenko tests a variety of popular drip coffee makers in an attempt to find one that is space efficient while quickly and consistently producing a great cup of coffee. In addition to his research, he recruits knowledgeable taste testers to help narrow down the finalists. Ultimately, the Bonavita 1900 takes the top spot.
While CNET editors don't rate and rank coffee makers against each other, they have some of the most detailed reviews we found of individual coffee makers. Each is evaluated for performance usability and maintenance, design and features. Pros and cons are detailed and each coffee maker is ultimately assigned an overall rating on a 10-point scale. The top coffee makers earn editor's choice awards.
Testers at the Good Housekeeping Research Institute rank dozens of coffee makers. While Good Housekeeping's methods and criteria are not detailed, the reviews are thorough and include pros and cons. There are a variety of coffee makers tested, from single serve, to drip to thermal to pour-over machines. Each coffee maker is assigned a rating based upon a 5-star scale.
Amazon.com carries thousands of coffee makers in all types and price ranges. It is an excellent source for real world reviews of coffee makers over the long-term because they often note durability issues that professional testers don't have the time to track. It's also a great way to learn how well the coffee maker performs in real-world use. Ratings are all over the place in this category, with some machines that are highly-rated by experts getting raspberries from users, but some cheaper machines scoring much higher.
Unlike Amazon.com PrimaCoffee.com is devoted only to coffee makers and other products that are related to making coffee. There are not as many reviews in total here as at Amazon, but reviews are thorough and include breakdowns for quality and value, which is very helpful. Many older reviews have been updated by owners weighing in to provide updates on long-term performance and durability. Often, those leaving the reviews are extremely knowledgeable about all things coffee. The site itself has a lot of useful information, specs and photos of each of the products it sells -- more so than most retail sites.
You won't find a lot of high-end coffee makers here, but Walmart.com is a great resource for finding a plethora of reviews on some of the most popular, best-selling coffee makers on the market. Mr. Coffee and Hamilton Beach are tops here. Reviews tend to be thorough and somewhat more glowing than we find for comparable products at Amazon.com; reviewers can also say if they would recommend the product.
Macys.com is a great resource for high-end coffee makers like Cuisinart. While they have fewer reviews overall than at other sites, reviews tend to be very detailed and reviewers can say if they would recommend the product. Customers also have the option to give demographic information that gives an overview of their level of expertise on the topic.
There are significantly fewer total reviews for coffee makers at Target.com than at either Amazon.com or Walmart.com. For the products that do attract reviews, feedback tends to be more negative with lower overall ratings as well. Drip coffee makers don't score high in general, single serve models do better.
Lifehacker.com asked its readers to weigh in on what coffee makers they thought were best for their weekly "Hive Five" series that asks, "Which tool is the best?" In this case, they were inundated with votes, and they list the top five here, each with overviews of the type of coffee maker as well as thorough reviews of specific models in that category. The categories were the French press, pour-over, drip, and stove top Moka models.
Real Simple rounds up eight "high-performing" coffee makers including automatic drip machines, grind and brew, French press and old-fashioned percolators. Write-ups are very brief, and there is no mention of testing.