Finding a good drip coffee maker is great. Finding one that has been approved by experts in the field is better. If you like to brew a pot of coffee, there’s nothing as convenient as the drip coffee maker. SCA (Specialty Coffee Association) sometimes certifies coffee makers that meet its rigorous standards. We take a closer look at the best drip coffee makers using the SCA certification as a standard. Not to be constrained to certifications, we’ve also included 5 more amazing coffee makers you can buy.
Knowing The SCA And Its Standards For Drip Coffee Makers
SCA, or the Specialty Coffee Association is a membership-based non-profit association that deals with the various aspects of coffee, all the way from the farmer to the consumer. The association was recently formed with the merger of Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) and the Specialty Coffee Association of Europe (SCAE). There were several SCAA certified coffee makers in the market, and SCA has continued the tradition.
SCA tests drip coffee makers through several requirements. Some of the requirements are water temperature (197.5-205F), brewing time (4-8 minutes depending on volume and requirements), and meeting SCA golden cup recommendations (minimum 55g of coffee per liter of water).
Recommendations form the SCA also work with European Coffee Brewing Center, so the selected models pretty much are cream of the crop. SCA tests and certifies models every year, so the models listed here are the best of 2019.
Quick Recommendations For Getting The Best From Your Drip Coffee Maker
Getting one of these amazing drip coffee makers is half the battle. Here are a few other things you should know, that will make even a cheap drip coffee maker costing under 100 bucks produce better coffee.
- Use Fresh Ground Beans: Invest in a nice burr grinder, and you will notice that the fresh ground beans make your coffee taste much better. Unlike espresso machines, automatic drip machines don’t usually come with grinder attachments.
- Golden Cup Requirements: SCA recommends at least 55 grams of coffee per liter of water. Adjust to taste, but try to hit at least 55.
- Soft Water: It works better with machines and the extraction process
- Rinse Paper Filters: If you’re using a paper filter, rinse before you use it. This removes any unpleasant tastes the filter might have.
Coffee Maker Buying Guide — Quick Checklist
Here are a few things to keep in mind when you buy a new coffee maker.
- Your Preference: When all is said and done, it is your personal preference that makes all the difference. You should be able to enjoy the coffee maker you bought. Whether its looks, functions, or features, your choice comes first.
- Carafe/Serving Size: Can the coffee maker serve enough coffee for your needs? A single serve is great, but not so awesome if you have four more people waiting for their coffee. Many coffee makers have generous pot sizes.
- Water Temperature: This, and the other SCA requirements we discussed above are important. You want water to be heated in the range of 195-205 Fahrenheit. That ensures you get good extraction, but also the brew is piping hot in your cup.
- Programmability: Features to let your machine automatically brew a cup of coffee at the time of your choosing.
- Brew Strength Control: Need your coffee stronger or lighter? Quick controls on a machine can make it happen.
- Pause To Serve: You don’t have to wait for the full pot to brew before you get your cup of java. Pause functions on machines let you do just that.
- Warmer Plate: Coffee makers with warmer plates keep your brew warm after it has been transferred to a carafe. Warmer plates are very popular with consumers, which is why coffee makers often add them. They are not a great option, and your coffee will lose its flavor the longer it is on the plate. If you must use one, consume the coffee within 30 minutes.
- Auto Clean: Every coffee machine needs regular cleaning/descaling. An auto clean feature makes the process easier for you, and keeps coffee tasting great as any stale coffee in the pipes and other impurities are auto cleaned.
Drip Coffee Maker Reviews — The Top 8 SCA Certified Coffee Makers
Brim 8 Cup Pour Over Coffee Maker Kit, Simply Make Rich, Full-Bodied Coffee Every Time, Set Includes Glass Carafe, SCA Measuring Scoop, Silicone Sleeve, and Healthy-Eco Reusable Filter, Stainless Steel
Bonavita Connoisseur 8-Cup One-Touch Coffee Maker Featuring Hanging Filter Basket and Thermal Carafe, BV1901TS
Ninja 12-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker with Classic and Rich Brews, 60 oz. Water Reservoir, and Thermal Flavor Extraction (CE201), Black/Stainless Steel
Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer Coffee Maker, Single-Serve and 12-Cup Pot, Stainless Steel (49980A), Carafe
1. OXO BREW 9 Cup Coffee Maker
Better known as the OXO Barista Brain, the OXO Brew does a great job matching drip coffee makers to pour over coffee. It automates the manual drip coffee maker and makes pour over coffee – drip machine style.
Once water is heated to the right temperature, it is sent to a sprinkler that sprays it evenly over the coffee. Eventually, the water seeps through and your coffee is collected in a sealed thermal carafe. The carafe will keep your coffee fresh and warm for longer, though you shouldn’t be keeping it stored for more than 30 minutes.
OXO Barista Brain has a pleasing minimalist design. Even the built-in clock shows itself quite subtly. The clock sits on an LED interface with a backlit screen. It’s not just for show and is utilized to program the machine.
If you want your cup of coffee to be ready right when you wake up, program the machine and let it do its work. Barista Brain can be programmed up to 24 hours in advance, and it will be sure to have your coffee ready right at the time you need it.
While the machine is rated for 9 cups, you don’t have to brew a full pot every time you want some coffee. The OXO Brew Barista Brain will work just as fine with two cups to brew.
|Thermal carafe keeps your coffee warmer for longer||Combination of drip machine and pour over can make it slow|
|Excellent minimalist design||Several consumer complaints of the machine being leaky|
|Programmable functions make it more convenient|
2. BUNN HB Heat N Brew Programmable Coffee Maker 10 cup Stainless Steel
BUNN HB Heat N Brew has the classic look of a drip coffee maker and appears to take its job rather seriously. All it takes for the BUNN HB is 10 minutes to pour a full carafe of 10 cups. That’s not too shabby, considering the time it has to spend heating up the water.
The machine utilizes a spray head to ensure that the coffee is soaked uniformly and completely. BUNN HB is a programmable machine and will let you set a fixed time to brew and prepare your coffee. There’s also a helpful indicator to let you know when it’s time to refill the water reservoir. Automatic functions in the BUNN Heat N Brew turn off the warmer plate after 2 hours of brewing.
|Programmable machine makes things easier||Only glass carafe available|
|Tiny footprint makes it great for any counter space||Possibility of plastic taste for a few cycles in the beginning|
|Reliable 3-year warranty|
3. Cuisinart CPO-850 Pour Over Coffee Brewer Thermal Carafe
One look, and you’ll know the Cuisinart CPO-850 is well made. Cuisinart is best-known for their budget models, but this drip coffee maker isn’t one of them. It utilizes the pour over method to get you a great cup of coffee. And it does an admirable job.
Manually brewing pour over coffee often requires under 50 bucks of expense. Making the process automatic obviously raises the cost a bit. Cuisinart has loaded this machine with features, and it is one of the more decent pour over drip coffee makers you can buy.
Unfortunately, like other budget-priced machines, the Cuisinart does run the risk of getting a plastic taste in your coffee. To its credit though, that problem is rare and only shows up if you’re really pushing the machine and making back to back batches of coffee.
Cuisinart CPO-850 wins style points for its metallic finish, and it rounds it up by using a metal carafe. It can brew up to 8 cups in one go and has excellent features to go along the coffee.
Cuisinart lets you choose the preferred strength of your coffee, and you can also select the temperature of your brew.
Should you want a cup quickly rather than wait for a full pot, you can pause the machine and grab your beverage. The machine has a self-clean function, so you spend less time maintaining the Cuisinart CPO-850.
|Excellent looks and design||Display can start dimming after some time|
|Feature rich programmable machine lets you control brew strength and temperature||Coating on the heating plate can be unreliable|
|Steel carafe keeps your drink warmer for longer|
4. Technivorm Moccamaster 59691 KB Coffee Brewer
Technivorm Moccamaster 59691 KB Coffee Brewer is our choice as the best drip coffee maker, where it shares the title with the Breville Precision Brewer. Sure it is more expensive than the others and has a glass carafe, but it is built to last. This machine will stay with you for years. Plus, it makes great coffee, so there’s every reason to choose it.
The body of the Technivorm Moccamaster is made from metal, though the brew basket is made from plastic. To the credit of the Moccamaster, you don’t quite get the displeasure of tasting plastic in your coffee.
It uses a high-grade copper boiling element to quickly heat up the water. You can have a full carafe in just about six minutes. That happens, thanks in part, to the 1475 Watt power it draws. The warmer plate is designed to keep your coffee at the optimal temperature for 100 minutes, after which it shuts down automatically.
A manually controlled drip-stop function lets you grab a quick cup without having to wait for a full pot to brew. And here’s the thing, everything about the Technivorm Moccamaster is manual. For this price range, we certainly think that programmable functions should be present on the machine.
|Excellent and durable construction||Lack of programmable functions|
|Prepares coffee relatively quickly||Expensive|
|Great looks and design|
5. KitchenAid KCM0802CU Pour Over Coffee Brewer
The compact and powerful KitchenAid KCM0802CU brews your coffee by employing the pour over method. It’s relatively quick to action and brews 8 cups of coffee in one go. An interesting feature is a small screen with a progress bar that keeps you abreast with each step of the brewing process.
You don’t have to brew the full eight cups, and you can easily limit it to brew just 2 cups of coffee. The body is largely metallic, so you can expect the machine to last long. As an additional bonus, the lack of plastic parts means no more weird taste in your coffee.
Other features include a warmer plate and programmable functions. You can program the KitchenAid KCM0802CU to brew your coffee right at the specific time of your choice. The programmable timer is limited to 24 hours.
The retro-modern looks of the KitchenAid are certainly a plus in its favor. Great construction, great looks, great coffee… this is an excellent package.
|Charming retro-modern looks||Glass carafe|
|Minimizes heat loss during brewing||Flimsy plastic clip holds the filter in place|
|Easily programmable, including options to make between 2-8 cups|
6. Brim 8-Cup Pour Over Coffee Maker
Another drip coffee maker in the pour over style. The Brim 8-Cup Pour Over Coffee Maker practically works like you would expect a manual pour over coffee system to work. There’s a clear distance between the sprinkler and the filter cup, I guess that means if you really wanted to, you could easily replace the filter/carafe assembly with one of your choosing. I mean bringing in a Hario V60 or a Chemex could be interesting, right?
Markings on the reservoir indicate volume, so you can conveniently choose to make less than 8 cups of coffee. After all, you don’t necessarily have to brew a full pot every time. It’s an excellent machine, although it does seem a bit overpriced.
|High quality construction||No programmable functions|
|The filter and carafe can also be used for manual pour over coffee||Water loses temperature while brewing|
|Includes a permanent fine mesh filter|
7. Bonavita Connoisseur 8-Cup One-Touch Coffee Maker
The Bonavita is a pour over system that can brew 8 cups of coffee in just about 6 minutes. Now that’s great timing!
It has a monster 1500 Watt heater to get water to the right temperature quickly and keep it there through the brewing process.
Once water is hot enough, it travels to the sprinkler and is sprayed evenly over the coffee. There’s an optional pre-infusion mode if you prefer to let the coffee bloom before you brew it. You’ll be informed with an audible signal once the brewing is done.
Bonavita Connoisseur uses stainless steel in its construction and for the carafe, though the filter assembly is made of plastic. Overall, the machine is built to last and will be on your counter for years. The only downside here is the lack of programmable options.
|Long-lasting stainless steel construction||Lack of programmable features|
|Powerful, fast working machine||Lack of a drip-stop function means you have to wait for a while after brewing or risk a mess|
8. Breville BDC450 Precision Brewer Coffee Maker
It may be a bit expensive, but the Breville Precision Brewer makes really wonderful coffee. This good looking machine brings some of Breville’s best technology to drip coffee makers. The temperature is controlled by a PID system, so you can be sure that you always have the right temperature for brewing. You can also change the flow rate to your preferred contact time.
It is a pour over coffee maker and it does place premium on that. Breville Precision Brewer makes it easy to remove the filter assembly and carafe to use the pour over brewer of your choice. Kalita, Hario, Chemex, or for that matter, whatever else you prefer, take your pick!
Breville Precision Brewer BDC450 includes a small digital display with some presets. You can use a control knob to select your preference of presets, or control water flow and temperature. The “gold” setting is built to exactly match SCA recommendations.
The machine is made out of stainless steel, including filter assembly and carafe. It is built to last and is an amazing coffee maker.
Breville BDC450 Precision Brewer is our top selection for the best drip coffee maker, along with the Technivorm Moccamaster.
|Beautiful design and great looks||Expensive|
|Solid, stainless steel construction that is built to last||The carafe is not completely sealed by its lid|
|Several preset brewing options as well as easy customizations|
5 Bonus Drip Coffee Makers With Amazing Features
Here are five more drip coffee makers that are packed with amazing features and quality. These are not SCA certified, but we like them, and they have great consumer reviews.
1. Ninja 12-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker with Classic and Rich Brews
Ninja Programmable Coffee Maker is a compact machine overflowing with features. I mean, look at this guy, they practically ran out of place on the panel to put more buttons! The machine has a Thermal Flavor Extraction system that ensures water stays at the right temperature for flavor extraction, and you get the best coffee possible.
Brew strength control buttons let you choose your preference from classic and rich options. In case you only want a couple of cups, you can skip brewing the full 12-cup system and hit the “small batch” button. That should have you covered for up to four cups. Other features include a programmable 24-hour timer for auto brewing a batch of coffee, automatic brew pause on removing the carafe, auto-clean system, and a warm plate.
|Feature-rich machine at great price||Can give coffee the plastic taste and smell for the first few cycles|
|Preset brewing options for convenience||Small batch feature can be glitchy|
2. Hamilton Beach 49980A Coffee Maker
This is one of those straight down to business coffee makers that you will appreciate. No frills, no random options, just to the business of coffee. Oh, that doesn’t mean it’s devoid of any extra features, the Hamilton Beach 49980A Coffee Maker has plenty of features. It’s just more business-like.
You can brew a full 12-cup carafe, or just flip a switch and the machine will go into single-serve mode for a quick cup. It is compatible with soft pods like ESE pods, making the single-serve process a lot easier. Other features on the Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer include programmable brew 24-hour timer, auto-pause functions, and a warming plate.
Amazon has almost 10,000 reviews on this machine, with 62% going straight to five stars. Now that’s the kind of review you can’t help being impressed by.
|Very simple to operate||Limited features|
|Single-serve option compatible with pods||Can be very slow to brew a full pot of coffee|
|Great value for money|
3. Cuisinart DGB-700BC Grind & Brew 12 Cup Coffeemaker
Integrated grinders are a rarity for drip coffee machines, but they’re not exactly absent. The Cuisinart DGB-700BC adds a grinder to the conventional drip coffee machine, and serves them both up at a great price. You’ll always have freshly ground coffee as the built in burr grinder does its work. Use your coffee making skills to match up grind control with coffee strength options to get your coffee exactly as you want it.
The integrated burr grinder definitely is the star of the show here, but there are other features as well. This Cuisinart coffee machine includes a charcoal filter for the water, and a permanent gold-tone filter for the coffee to ensure better brew quality. The machine has programmable features for up to 24 hours, the ability to skip the grinder and use pre-ground coffee, brew pause function, and auto shut off.
|Very simple to operate||Can be noisy, especially with grinder|
|Excellent features with great usability||Slow to brew|
|Great value for money|
4. BUNN GRB Velocity Brew 10-Cup Home Coffee Brewer
‘Velocity’ in the name of the BUNN GRB Velocity Brew 10-Cup Home Coffee Brewer is quite literal. This machine is one of the fastest in the market when it comes to brewing coffee, brewing a full 10-cup carafe in just about three minutes.
Being quick to brew is this machine’s biggest super power. And in terms of features, that’s pretty much all it offers. It might almost seem trivial, but a drip machine that pours coffee that fast is actually quite rare. You can choose to brew anywhere between four to ten cups, and have your brew ready in a few minutes.
While it does sacrifice other features for speed, the machine does keep its priorities on coffee taste well in place. Filter, carafe, and water temperature on the machine are well arranged to ensure maximum extraction, and great tasting coffee.
|Very quick to brew a full pot of coffee||Newer model risks sacrificing optimum water temperature for speed|
|Compact dimensions don’t hog the countertop||General lack of features|
|Simple to use|
5. KRUPS Grind and Brew Auto-start Coffee Maker with Builtin Burr Coffee Grinder
A skillful combo of a coffee grinder and drip coffee machine, the KRUPS Grind and Brew Auto-start Coffee Maker takes you all the way from coffee beans to great tasting coffee. The machine uses a conical burr grinder with five settings ranging from coarse to fine. Match up these settings with three brew strength control options, and you can pretty much have full control over your coffee’s taste.
The machine goes to a maximum of 10-cup capacity, but will allow you to freely choose brew options from 2-10 cups. Other features include programmable auto-start function, pause and serve, removable gold tone filter, and a warm plate. Controls are fairly simple, and easily handled.
This coffee maker has pretty stellar reviews on Amazon. There are more than 13,300 reviews, with about 67% giving it a straight five stars. Talk about impressive!
|Integrated grinder adds more features and usability||The grinder requires some skill to be used correctly|
|Excellent control over brew strength and grinding options||Grinder size may be too small for those who prefer rich coffee|
|Simple to use|
Best Drip Coffee Maker — The Final Word
The SCA has pretty high standards of quality, and the 9 drip coffee makers you see here have passed the test, going beyond hundreds of other options. Take a look at the drip coffee maker reviews above and make your selection. Options include classic drip coffee makers as well as pour over coffee makers. My favorites on the list are the Technivorm Moccamaster 59691 KB Coffee Brewer, and the Breville BDC450 Precision Brewer Coffee Maker. The price may be on the higher side, but both of these will give you amazing coffee for years.