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Coffee Maker Without Carafe — Getting Coffee On Demand

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A dispensing coffee maker brews the coffee and holds it inside the machine, rather than putting it in a carafe. You get your coffee quickly and don’t have to worry about maintaining a carafe. A dispensing coffee maker is a coffee maker without carafe, it is not a single-serve machine. 

Single-serve coffee makers, like Keurig, brew coffee for every cup. Dispensing coffee makers brew coffee and hold it inside the machine, delivering coffee on demand.

5 Best Dispensing Coffee Makers For 2021

Comparison Chart

Cuisinart DCC-3000P1 12-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker Coffeemaker, Black
Hamilton Beach (47950) Coffee Maker with 12 Cup Capacity & Internal Storage Coffee Pot, Brewstation, Black/Stainless Steel
Hamilton Beach (48464) Coffee Maker with 12 Cup Capacity & Internal Storage Coffee Pot, Brewstation, Black
Cuisinart DCC-2000 Coffee-on-Demand 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker, Brushed Metal
Krups KM9000 Cup On Request, 12 Cup Coffee Maker

1. Cuisinart DCC-3000 — Best Overall

Cuisinart DCC-3000 is a 12-cup coffee maker. An internal double-wall reservoir holds roughly 60oz of coffee, measuring 5oz per cup. That’s probably a bit of workaround since most of us consider 8oz cup as a standard. So yeah, not a 12-cup brewer by conventional standards.

Measurements aside, the coffee is dispensed by using an actuator. It’s easy to use and it’s fairly convenient to get a quick cup of coffee. There’s a meter on the coffee maker that shows the amount of coffee still available in the reservoir. If it goes low, you know it’s time to brew a fresh batch.

Unfortunately, the meter isn’t very accurate and is more likely to be wrong than right. However, it is pretty good for forming an idea of when it’s time to brew a fresh batch. The built-in double-wall carafe is fairly capable and will keep the coffee hot for a couple of hours.

The coffee maker has a removable water reservoir on its side, which makes it convenient to use. A charcoal water filter is placed within the reservoir to remove possible contaminants in the water. The coffee filter basket includes a permanent gold-tone filter.

Towards the right side of the machine, you’ll find the controls. The buttons are located under a small digital clock. You can use the programmable function here to set the machine to brew coffee at a specific time. 

There’s also the option to run a quick cleaning cycle. It isn’t always desirable to brew a full pot. The machine includes an option to brew a small batch of 1-4 cups.

Coffee Maker Highlights

  • 60oz built-in carafe
  • Programmable options
  • Coffee dispensed through an easy-to-use actuator
  • Includes a meter to see the coffee level in the machine
  • Removable coffee reservoir and drip tray for easier cleaning
  • No warmer plate
  • Simple controls

2. Hamilton Beach (47950) Coffee Maker — Most Convenient To Use

Hamilton Beach (47950) Coffee Maker is a pro at the coffee maker without carafe game. The cup measurement used here is 6oz. If you’re using 8oz as the standard, this obviously won’t hold up as a 12-cup coffee maker. 

You can use the coffee maker to brew regular or iced coffee. When brewing hot coffee, the beverage is stored inside the coffee maker itself. You just push on the actuator to get your cup of coffee dispensed from the machine. An interesting feature is that this coffee maker keeps track of the time coffee was last brewed. So you always know if you’re getting a fresh brew.

Flicking a switch takes you to the “iced coffee” option. The brew option changes here, as you use only half the water reservoir and fill ice in the internal carafe. Of course, you can still take the regular route and put ice in the dispensed cup instead. Though that is a less convenient option.

The water reservoir is removable for easier cleaning. You can also use the “Keep Warm” option to employ the internal heater and heat coffee stored inside. I’m not a fan of this option. The double-wall carafe is a superior choice and better at preventing burnt flavor in the coffee.

Coffee Maker Highlights

  • Large built-in carafe
  • Includes option for iced brew
  • Coffee brew-strength choice between regular and bold
  • Coffee dispensed through an easy-to-use switch
  • Removable water reservoir and drip tray for easier use
  • Includes keep warm system to heat coffee in the internal carafe
  • Programmable options

3. Hamilton Beach 12-Cup Coffee Maker (48464) — Best Budget Option

Hamilton Beach 12-Cup Coffee Maker (48464) is a sibling to the Hamilton Beach (47950), which also features on this list. In essence, they are the same coffee maker, with a few changes that make the 48464 more simplistic. Perhaps minimalist would be a better word, as the Hamilton Beach 48464 doesn’t quite lose major features.

The water reservoir pulls double duty as the coffee reservoir in this scenario. There is some separation. However, it isn’t the same as in other models where the water and coffee reservoirs have clearly different chambers. You can choose between the bold and regular brew, though the button for iced coffee isn’t available here.

The machine does include the Keep Warm function to keep the coffee warm in the internal carafe. Hamilton Beach 48464 includes a programmable function to program the coffee maker to brew coffee at specified times. Rather than brewing the full 12 cups, you can choose to brew 1-4 cups of coffee.

Coffee Maker Highlights

  • Programmable options
  • Large built-in carafe
  • Coffee dispensed through easy to use switch
  • Removable water reservoir
  • Keep warm system heats the coffee so it stays warm

4. Cuisinart DCC-2000 — Most Reliable Option

Cuisinart DCC-2000 is the older model that was succeeded by the Cuisinart DCC-3000. While the latter is better in most functional aspects, DCC-2000 wins in reliability. The design does look dated, but the quality of construction is pretty good. The machine is housed in a brushed metal body.

A meter is included at the front. This measures the amount of coffee still available in the reservoir. It isn’t reliable so try not to depend on the meter too much. The machine includes programming options and can set a time for auto brew up to 24 hours in advance. You can also customize an auto shut-off for 0-4 hours, depending on your requirements.

Cuisinart has included a charcoal water filter with this machine to ensure the water remains free from contaminants. The brew basket holds a permanent gold tone filter that works pretty well for brewing as well as cleaning.

Cleaning this coffee maker is easy as the drip tray, water reservoir, and built-in carafe are removable. All materials that come in contact with coffee and water are BPA-free. It is worth pointing out that the interiors make generous use of plastic. The metal is only an exterior coat.

Coffee Maker Highlights

  • Large built-in carafe
  • Double-walled carafe keeps coffee hot for longer
  • Easy to dispense coffee
  • Programmable options to switch on/off the machine
  • Removable water reservoir, drip tray, and carafe for easier cleaning
  • Simple controls

5. Krups KM9000 Cup On Request Coffee Maker — Best Looks

If there is one thing that the Krups KM9000 coffee maker has got absolutely right, it’s the looks. This coffee maker looks pretty modern and sleek. It also has well-placed controls that are easy to manage, so the coffee maker can be operated conveniently. 

Use the manual button to draw the amount of coffee you prefer. Alternatively, use the “large” or “small” button to have the coffee maker dispense a preset beverage size. Fairly simple, huh!

Below the brew basket, there’s a stainless steel tank that functions as a coffee reservoir. This is a removable tank. Since its volume matches that of the water reservoir, you can use it to fill the reservoir as well. The “keep warm” option starts a heater that will keep your coffee hot for longer.

Krups KM9000 is programmable and allows customization for brew times of your beverages. Interestingly, rather than the conventional 24-hour programming, this coffee maker has a larger memory. It will allow different programmable settings for weekdays and weekends. 

That sounds like it will come pretty handy! The machine has excellent features and looks, but it does carry a price tag for that. This is the most expensive machine on our list. And it still falls flat compared to the Cuisinart DCC-3000.

Coffee Maker Highlights

  • Great looks
  • Keep warm function keeps the coffee hot for longer
  • Easy to use button
  • Programmable function for fixed brewing times
  • Programming can be customized for weekdays and weekends
  • Internal stainless steel carafe to hold brewed coffee

No Carafe Coffee Makers Versus Carafe Coffee Makers

The distinction between the two types of coffee makers is pretty clear by their names. Both of these are variants of the drip coffee machine. Your conventional carafe coffee maker will brew coffee and release it into an external carafe. This carafe is then used to serve coffee.

The non-carafe coffee maker changes the process a bit. These machines have an internal carafe and store the brewed coffee inside the machine itself. The brewed coffee can be dispensed in a cup by pressing available buttons or levers. This small change can appear more convenient for several users. Especially in a setting where a carafe may not be desirable.

Do Heating Plates Affect Taste And Flavor Of Coffee?

Most drip coffee makers with carafe have a heating or warmer plate. This plate warms up slightly and keeps the coffee in the carafe warm for a longer time. However, this can lead to over-extraction and often makes the coffee taste bitter. As a rule of thumb, avoid keeping your coffee on the plate for more than 30 minutes.

Many options for the no carafe coffee maker also have heating systems for the stored coffee. It is advantageous and is generally a requested feature. However, the end result is quite similar to keeping your coffee on a warmer plate. So if your no carafe coffee maker has this feature, put it under the same requirements as the warmer plate.

Making The Coffee Maker Choice

Having a dispensing coffee maker can be more convenient in several situations. It is important to remember that effectively these are no different than carafe coffee makers. The only difference is that the carafe is inside the machine. While they can act like single-serve coffee makers, they certainly don’t belong to that category.

If you’re picking a coffee maker without carafe, consider the Cuisinart DCC-3000. The second-best option to consider would be the Hamilton Beach (47950) Coffee Maker.

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