Best Coffee Makers for Perfect Coffee

December 9, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
Are you looking for ways to save during these tough times? Buying coffee every morning can be an "automatic drip" out of your wallet.The 12-cup Cuisinart brew central was among the easiest to use and the best consumer reports tested, but it costs nearly 100-dollars. You don't have to spend that much to get an excellent machine.

Whether you're making coffee for a crowd or just yourself, you'll find top picks that perform for well under $100-dollars.

Every coffeemaker promises a pleasing cup of joe, but not every machine delivers.

Consumer Reports devised new tests to measure brewing temperature. To get a good cup of coffee, brewing temperature should be between 195 and 205 degrees.

Lead tester Bob Karpel found that not all coffeemakers get hot enough to extract the best from the beans and avoid a weak or bitter brew. "We found, during our new brewing tests, that many coffee makers, even some costing more than 100 dollars, didn't perform nearly as well in these brew tests as others costing half that price."

In all, consumer reports tested 34 coffeemakers, and found one of the most convenient models that reaches an excellent brew temperature is the Michael Graves 12-cup coffeemaker, available at target. For $40 dollars, it's rated a consumer reports best buy. It's also programmable.

"The programmable feature is a really nice feature. It allows the coffeemaker to start up in the morning before you wake up, so that you have coffee when you get up," said Karpel.

Single-serving pod machines let you simply drop in a sealed packet of coffee with no grinding, no scooping, no mess. But consumer reports found the coffee pricey, 25 to 50 cents per pod, four times as much per cup as drip-coffee using supermarket brands.

Instead, take a look at the Melitta Take2, which cost just $25 dollars and brewed a superb cup of coffee quickly.

Whichever coffeemaker you choose, Consumer Reports said consider trading the usual paper filter for a permanent metal one, which typically costs between five and ten dollars and can pay for itself in as little as a year.



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