shop-n-surf: need a new drip coffee maker

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Apparently I don’t know my own strength, because the other day I broke our coffee maker’s carafe just by putting the damn thing down too hard on the counter. I was going to buy a replacement, until I realized that it cost just a few dollars less than the whole thing, which wasn’t that great to begin with. Maybe it’s time to upgrade a notch, maybe get one that we can program the night before and then be woken with lovely caffeinated aromas in the a.m. Browsing around they all sort of look the same to me. There are┬áthree I’m considering including this Cuisinart DCC-1200 12 Cup Brew that’s been marked down from $150 to $78.50. Still a little steep, but it’s stainless steel (plus!) and has gold-tone filter. See two more after the jump. Any suggestions on which one I should go with? Maybe I’m missing one? — Angela M.

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I don’t know if this Braun is any better than the last, but I love the way it looks and you can program it 24-hours in advance. It’s the Braun KF590E 10 cup, $59.

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Another cute model is this Krupps 467-71 crystal arome time 10-cup coffeemaker, $50. In addition to being programmable, it also has three flavor settings: full flavored, medium and strong. Is that a good thing? I’d rather just buy better coffee than flip a switch, wouldn’t you?

From our partners

I have that Braun (although mine is white, not stainless) and my in-laws have a similar Krups–theirs doesn’t have the “flavor” setting but it has the same carafe. I’ve always found the Krups carafe hard to pour when you get to the last 2 or 3 cups–the lid flops off. I suppose they might have redesigned it but I would check that out in a store if you can.

Having or not having a gold-tone filter shouldn’t be your dealbreaker–you can get replacement “permanent” filters for almost any coffeemaker out there anyway.
I love my Braun although that could just be because the first morning you wake up to coffee brewing on its own timer is just SO AWESOME that it makes you obsessed with your coffeemaker forevermore.

I’ve been very happy with my older model braun – it’s been going strong for 8 years now. I did like the programmable feature for early mornings when I had to dash out the door (though I rarely use it now that I have a toddler and can brew and drink a pot of coffee in the time it takes her to put on one shoe).

We recently replaced our coffee maker with this Mr. Coffee model that’s $50. I really like it- it’s programmable, beeps when it’s done and when it turns off two hours later. It also has two settings – we like our coffee strong, so I’ve never tried it on the weaker option, but I appreciate the option, I guess. For $10 more, you can get a thermal pot model. I’d definitely recommend it! In fact, I did to my mother and a friend, and they all like it too! I’m surprised by the negative reviews at Target. I’ve had only good experiences with it.

My husband got me the Cuisinart one at Costco this past Christmas. We love it!! It’s easy to program and even better, it turns itself off so if one person makes coffee early, the other person doesn’t come down to find it’s turned into tar.

The deal clincher for him was while he was standing in the store looking at it, 3 different people came up to him to say that they had that one and how much they loved it.

Slugworth

If you want to splurge… My wife bought me the Tassimo system last Christmas and we love it. It is rather expensive. The individual coffee cartridges are also expensive. However, the coffee is great. It also makes espresso, very credible cappucino made with real milk, hot chocolate, tea, etc. The big advantage is no mess to clean up.

I write for Consumerseplace, which compiles and analyzes reviews of consumer products. The information is free. I’ve included a link to a meta-review of coffee makers.

Here’s a comparison chart that shows each machine:

http://www.consumerseplace.com/www/kitchen/coffee-maker-reviews/comparisonchart.html

The article addresses differences between the 12-cup Cuisinart and the Braun thermal model.

–Molly

Brianne

Since getting the Senseo, I can’t go back. The pods are pricey, but it’s still cheaper than Starbucks and much better.

becky

Have you considered a coffee maker with an insulated carafe instead of a warming plate? If I was going to buy a new coffee maker, it’s one thing I would look for.

marielle

I second that insulated carafe recommendation – Braun makes a decent one.

PQ

We have that one and love it! The plus plus is that it has a timer so you can set it all up the night before and wake up to a freshly brewed pot of coffee in the morning. Worth every penny, and we paid full price!

Erica

I concur with the Cuisinart lovers. I bought mine a couple of years ago, and it makes some of the best coffee I’ve ever had. The timer is easy to operate and the turn-off function is great, but it’s mostly the taste that makes this one a must for me.

rachel

we have the cuisinart and i really, really love it. aside from all the features a person really wants (and actually uses with a coffee maker (plus the permanent filter and charcoal water filter), it’s just really good looking. there are few things that give me such simple pleasure as flipping that little toggle switch.

we go through two whole pots a day and every one is consistent. i also really appreciate the temperature control — you can set the carafe temp to high or low.

and did i mention that it was good looking?

I would highly recommend getting a thermal carafe model — we have a tendency to drink coffee all weekend, but once it’s cold, it’s just not the same warmed in the microwave. So we got one of the Starbucks thermal carafe models two years ago, and although we’ve had to replace the basket spring mechanism twice (Starbucks replaced it both times for free with no hassle whatsoever), we love ours. When we make coffee now in the morning, it’s still warm and fresh-tasting in the early afternoon. :)

Andrew

Get the Cuisinart with the thermal carafe. I got the glass carafe model but got the thermal carafe model for my Dad. It’s awesome. It gives you good-tasting hot coffee without cooking off all the water and making the coffee taste bad. Additionally, it solves your carafe breakage issue — permanently.
Also, from a “user interface” standpoint, I think the Cuisinart is simplicity itself. It has a lot of functions but I don’t need a manual to figure them out.

Dawn

Well, I bought the Cuisinart model about three years ago–after a couple good years, it died on me. It’s difficult to clean the internal mechanisms (despite the self-clean button) and it was spitting very stale, very old grounds into my fresh brew. Bleh. No matter how much I cleaned it (and believe me, I tried) it never recovered. Now I use a Senseo machine for a quick cup before work, and my french press when I have a bit more time.

I love the Cuisinart. We got it two months ago as a wedding gift, and I’ve been a happy caffeine addict ever since. My favorite feature is the 1-4 cup button that keeps smaller amounts of coffee warm.

d in dc

Cuisinart! It is easy to use, including setting the timer, even for coffee-machine idiots like me. I love it.

Dana

We have the cuisinart model and love it. A previous comment mentioned buying it at costco, where we also purchased ours. It is a slightly different model (no cute flippy switch, but a knob instead) but has most of the same features. Most important for me was the $50 price tag!!