Whether you want to replace your old drip coffee maker, brew made-to-order beverages one at a time with a single-serve brewer, or craft true coffeehouse creations with an espresso maker, we have the right brewer for you. Learn more about coffee makers and which one best suits your lifestyle and your design style.

Choosing a Brewer

  • Think about how you like your coffee to taste, the quantities you make at once, and the amount of effort you want to put into your brew, and you will have the formula for the best coffee maker for you. You may even want to treat yourself to more than one kind!

    If you like your coffee rich and full-flavored, plus you're willing to spend a little extra time on each cup, an espresso maker or French press may be your perfect solution. On the other hand, if you're less interested in that deep, complex flavor, and more concerned with an easy way to make larger quantities of coffee at one time, check into a drip coffee maker. Modern versions of this familiar countertop appliance might surprise you with their advanced, time-saving features and their upscale designs. If you're really in a rush, consider a single-serve brewer. They can brew a highly personalized cup of coffee — even espresso — quite quickly, replacing your daily stop at a coffee shop for just a fraction of the price.

Multi-Cup Coffee Makers

Still an easy and reliable method of making coffee in quantity, the trusty drip coffee maker can be found on the countertops of most American households. Most models serve at least 8–12 cups per carafe, so they're perfect for dinner parties, households with more than one coffee drinker, or for people who need more than one cup to become fully awake in the morning. While you won't get a customized coffee treat using a drip coffee maker, there are plenty of optional functions to make your morning easier and tastier.

  • Drip Coffee Maker Features

  • Multi-function
    Great for people who like all kinds of hot beverages in a variety of sizes, these machines can dispense a cup of hot water for your tea, or a fresh cup of coffee directly into your coffee cup or travel mug.

  • Carafe size
    Most make 8–12 cups per carafe, but many commercial machines handle multiple pots. If you're not a hard-core coffee drinker, or if it's just the two of you, a 4-cup machine may be just the right size.

  • Programmability
    Set your coffee to brew before you go to bed and wake up to the fresh aroma of brewing coffee the next morning.

  • Strength and temperature selections
    Control both the temperature of the water and the time it takes to saturate the grounds, creating a stronger or subtler flavor.

  • Carafe type
    Glass carafes are common, but a durable thermal carafe will keep your coffee hotter longer, even if you choose to set the carafe on the morning breakfast table.

  • Built-in coffee grinder
    A space-saving way to grind beans just before you brew, a method believed to produce the best-tasting coffee.

  • Automatic shutoff
    A necessary safety feature found on most machines.

  • Pause function
    Allows you to grab a cup before the brewing is done. However, this first cup may be considerably stronger than the rest of the pot.

  • Filter basket or paper filters
    Machines with built-in filter baskets eliminate the cost and waste of paper filters but require more time to clean and may allow finely ground coffee to seep into your finished cup.

Single-Serve Coffee Makers

It's the latest trend: Brewing one cup of coffee at a time. If you like variety in your life, and you want your coffee fast with very little clean up, this may be the perfect machine for you. In fact, many people buy a single-serve machine to supplement their drip machine and use it when they're running short on time. Since single-serve machines can brew coffee using both a drip or espresso method, make sure you buy a machine that produces the coffee you like to drink. In addition, many single-serve machines utilize prepackaged "pods," which are sold in a fantastic array of coffee varieties and flavors. These pods make it easy to change up your morning routine with a cup of tea, hot chocolate, or even hot cider. Some beverage pods work only with certain machines. In many cases, the machine can read the pod's barcode and adjust settings for the perfect cup. But you will want to make sure you can easily find compatible pods after you purchase a machine.

  • Single-Serve Coffee Machine Features:

  • Reservoir size
    You'll brew one cup at a time, but you may want to make several in quick succession.
    If you often make beverages for a crowd, consider investing in a machine with a
    larger reservoir.

  • Cup height
    A smaller machine may occupy less space on your countertop, but make sure yours
    is large enough to accommodate your travel mug if you want to just grab your coffee
    and go.

  • Variable cup size
    Some single-serve machines let you choose the size of your beverage.

  • Strength and temperature selections
    Choose your coffee strength while using the same amount of coffee. These machines can control both the temperature of the water and the time it takes to saturate the grounds, creating a stronger flavor. The National Coffee Association recommends hot water temperatures between 195°–205°F.

  • Availability of beverage pods
    Some pod-based single-serve machine manufacturers also produce their own coffee pods. Make sure you can easily purchase the correct ones for the machine you buy or check to see if other pods are compatible. The most common coffee pod is the K-Cup, made for Keurig and other machines. Other brands on the market are Easy Serving Espresso (ESE) pods or Nespresso pods, exclusively for Nespresso machines. K-Cups can be found in large variety packs to get the most pods for your money.

  • Create your own pod
    Some companies sell earth-friendly and economical reusable filters or fillable pods that you can use with your own ground coffee. However, some brewer models may not be compatible with these products.

  • Storage
    Coffee pods require a little wrangling. Consider storage options that keep them organized and close at hand.


Multi-Use Coffee Makers

For the ultimate in flexible coffee brewing, consider a multi-use coffee maker — one machine that will brew either an entire carafe or a single serving at a time, depending on your needs. Some of these machines require proprietary pods for each cup or carafe, because the pod contains a barcode that ensures you get the right amount of water and strength for the beverage you desire.

Espresso Machines

Creating espresso drinks can take a little more time and effort to make only one espresso shot or cup, and you may end up spending a bit more money on an espresso machine than a drip coffee maker, but the rich and flavorful brew can be completely customized to your tastes.

Espresso makers work by forcing a small amount of water through tightly packed, finely ground coffee to create a shot of espresso you may use as the base for many other coffee drinks: caffe latte, cappuccino, mocha, Americano, macchiato and more. Espresso machines typically also have a steaming wand to make steamed milk for lattes and froth for cappuccinos.

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The part of the machine that holds the packed, ground coffee is called the porta-filter. If you are using your own coffee (instead of a pod), you will pack it using a tamper, creating a dense puck of coffee for the water to seep through evenly, which extracts the coffee oils and flavor. Tampers are typically included in all but super automatic machines (they tamp the coffee for you). Once you've made a shot of espresso, you'll see a rich foam-like substance at the top of the shot; this is called crema.






  • Types of Espresso Machines

  • Pod-based
    Similar to single-serve brewers, an espresso maker that uses pods will ensure that the entire pod is enclosed in a pressurized container.

  • Steam
    These (usually lower-priced) machines are called espresso makers, but do not use the fully pressurized system of true espresso machines, often producing a cup of coffee more like that of a drip coffee maker than an espresso machine.

  • Super automatic
    Simply press a button and the machine grinds, doses, tamps and brews your espresso, then ejects the coffee puck, leaving you with a hot shot of espresso.

  • Semi-automatic and automatic
    You may need to grind and tamp your own coffee in these machines. Pump pressure, water and steam temperature are automatic but you will either program or manually control the amount of water and temperature of each shot of espresso.

  • Manual (lever)
    Manual machines are definitely not for the novice espresso maker, but available to those who want to practice the art of professional baristas. You decide how long the coffee is pre-infused (the time the hot water sits over the tamped coffee), the amount of water you want to use and when you want to use it.

  • Espresso Maker Features

  • Construction
    As in most appliances, metal construction typically means lasting durability, though you may want to spend less on a lower-end plastic model. Models with rubber feet on the bottom of the unit can reduce noise and vibration.

  • Usability
    Consider indicator lights and their location. Will you be able to see them in your kitchen's lighting? Note the dimensions of the machine and the location of the water reservoir. If you don't have adequate clearance under your kitchen cupboards, you may end up having to move the machine every time you use or need to add water. Are style and design elements important to you? Your espresso machine can be a focal point on the countertop.

  • Built-in frother
    Many espresso machines feature frothing wands, which product a stream of hot air that will heat and aerate milk, creating a sweet, foamy topping for your morning cappuccino. Frothers may also be purchased separately, with or without a heating function.

  • Built-in grinder
    Some machines come equipped with coffee bean grinders, so all you need to do is add whole beans and go. If you want to save counter space, this may be for you.


French Presses

Get rich coffee flavor without the expense of an espresso machine. Completely manual, but very easy to use, a French press (or coffee press) steeps coarsely ground coffee beans in hot water for several minutes after which a plunger isolates the grounds from the finished coffee. Available in various sizes, a French press can make 1–4 cups at a time, though not nearly as much as most drip machines or percolators.

A French press is very portable, making it great for travel — even backpacking or hiking trips. Though they are typically made of glass, you can find sturdier, even insulated models. You do run the risk of floating grounds in your coffee, but many connoisseurs believe that this "thick" and intense coffee, with its oils and sediments that might otherwise get caught in a filter, is the most flavorful brew.

Boil water for your French press machine, or for a cup of tea, with a tea kettle, available in both stovetop and electric models. Fast and economical, some tea kettles will heat water to a specific temperature to create the perfect cup.


Percolators

The precursor to the drip coffee maker, percolators have been around since the early part of the twentieth century. Available in electric or stovetop models, they often make hotter coffee which, if left unattended, may boil and taste bitter.

However, modern electric percolators eliminate the risk of boiling coffee, switching to a warming function once the coffee is brewed. The reliable percolator may not have made a trendy comeback — yet — but it's easy to use, relatively inexpensive, can make large amounts of coffee at once, and may just make your perfect pot of coffee.







Grinding Your Own Coffee Beans

Almost every coffee expert agrees: Coffee tastes better when you grind the beans just before brewing the coffee. Hot water extracts flavor more or less quickly depending on the particle size of the bean, so how finely you grind your beans impacts the flavor of the brewed coffee. In general, the shorter the brewing cycle, the more finely the coffee should be ground. A quick espresso cycle requires finer grounds, whereas a longer-steeping French press cycle requires coarser grounds. Some coffee makers and espresso makers have built-in grinders, but they are also available separately.

  • Types of Grinders

  • Blade grinders
    These entry-level grinders allow you to control the coarseness of the ground beans simply by the amount of time you run the machine. They are typically less expensive, but you may have trouble getting consistent results.

  • Burr grinders (burr mills)
    A step up from a blade grinder, this machine uses precision-fit discs or cones to crush coffee beans into a uniform size. You can usually choose a setting on the grinder to control the particle size.

Filtered Water

The recipe for brewed coffee includes just two ingredients: Coffee beans and water. Since only oils and flavors are extracted from the beans, your coffee is 98% water. So, while you may be spending a ton of money on fancy beans, they won't overcome unpleasant flavors that originate in your tap water. A good water filter can make your coffee tastier as well as keep your brewer from clogging. Some machines include built-in filters for convenience but if your machine lacks this feature, you may want to consider purchasing a filter pitcher to improve the overall flavor of your coffee. According to the National Coffee Association, you should not use distilled water for making coffee.






Accessories

No matter which coffee brewer you choose, you may want to augment it with more bells and whistles — or simply replace a broken carafe. Best Buy carries coffee grinders, replacement and storage carafes, filters, and more. Even more specialized accessories are available for espresso machines: frothing pitchers for steaming and frothing milk, tampers, thermometers and everything you need to make that perfect cup.




Shop Online or In Store

Find a wide variety of coffee makers and espresso makers at BestBuy.com. Your local Best Buy store also has a selection of brewers. Plus, our friendly Blue Shirts are there to answer questions and help with choosing the best coffee maker or espresso maker for
your needs.