15 Best Coffee Makers To Fit Any Budget
Jun 26, 2023
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While coffee has been a popular drink for centuries, recent years have seen the beverage attain a hitherto unforeseen status. This can partly be attributed to the rise of specialty coffee, which, for a long time, was predominantly found in coffee shops. The Coronavirus pandemic changed this. Forced to stay inside, many consumers began investing in complex coffee makers in an effort to replicate café standard coffee from their own homes. Even though the pandemic has abated, interest in these coffee makers remains high.
What makes the perfect coffee maker is a highly individualistic matter; a machine that works for one coffee drinker might not be suited to another. For example, those who like their coffee strong and black should focus on specialist espresso makers. People who enjoy lattes and cappuccinos are better off buying machines with in-built milk steamers. Just about every potential buyer, however, will need to consider cost. For that reason, we have found 15 excellent coffee makers that retail at a variety of prices. No matter your budget or coffee preferences, there's a coffee maker on this list for you.
When it came to selecting the coffee makers, we took a variety of metrics into account. These included the final quality of coffee made by the machine, how easy the machine was to use and clean, and how durable the coffee makers have proved to be. We predominantly focused on the three main types of coffee makers — espresso coffee makers, pod coffee makers, and bean-to-cup coffee makers — highlighting choices at three price points for each. Other types of coffee makers have received just one entry each.
Examining general press and customer reviews formed a large part of our research process, as did any awards the coffee makers had received. The type of technology featured in the coffee makers was also used to differentiate between those of a particular category. For instance, dual boiler coffee makers were generally considered better than single boiler coffee makers.
We have endeavored to include a wide range of coffee makers to ensure every budget is represented. As some types are more expensive than others, these prices are all relative. This means that the cheapest bean-to-cup machine is still going to be far more expensive than the most luxurious moka pot. For that reason, it is important to take into account the type of coffee you want to make and the type of machine you are looking to purchase when deciding your budget.
The best overall coffee maker is Breville's Dual Boiler. This hulking piece of stainless steel is neither cheap nor easy to store, but the brilliant coffee that comes out of it more than makes up for these sins.
An array of tasting notes is demonstrated with every shot pulled by the Breville Dual Boiler thanks to the PID temperature controllers, which ensure group heads, water, and steam maintain the correct temperature throughout the extraction process. Built-in pre-infusion negates any irregularities in the tamped coffee grounds, meaning every shot is as flavorful and consistent as possible. A detailed pressure gauge and informative LCD screen educate you about the coffee-making process.
Purchase Breville Dual Boiler on Breville for $1,599.95.
Most excellent coffees begin with a well-made espresso. Unfortunately, good espresso is notoriously difficult to make as it requires high pressure, accurate temperature control, and exact extraction times. Rancilio Silvia Pro X's numerous features make achieving these requirements possible. Built-in shot timers and PID temperature controllers are complemented by a pre-infusion system that maximizes flavor.
While the espresso is of unrivaled quality, the machine itself has some flaws. As with other Silvia models, it requires a skilled and knowledgeable individual to get the most from it.
Purchase Rancilio Silvia Pro X on Chris' Coffee for $1,940.00.
Although it is diminutive in size, Breville's the Bambino Plus packs a whole lot of features. For many, the most important of these is the milk steamer which, through its three settings, gives users the ability to make cafe-grade lattes and cappuccinos.
Thanks to a ThermoJet heating system, it only takes three seconds for the coffee to reach the perfect extraction temperature. Pre-infusion and a nine-bar extraction pressure ensure the espresso carries similar flavor and body to those served in the world's best cafes.
Purchase Breville the Bambino Plus on Breville for $499.95.
De'Longhi has a history of producing excellent budget espresso coffee makers, and the Stilosa is the most recent example. An impressive 15 bar pump gives it ample pressure to fashion a well-made espresso. What's more, a stainless steel boiler ensures the machine only takes seven minutes to preheat.
The group head comes with pressurized filter baskets that are designed to be used with coarsely ground coffee. However, you can purchase a single walled group set to use with finer grounds as well.
Purchase De'Longhi Stilosa on De'Longhi from $119.95.
Pod coffee makers are all about convenience. This doesn't mean that the quality of the coffee is not important. As the Nespresso Vertuo Creatista proves, people can have both a simple machine and excellent coffee.
With the push of a button, users can enjoy a range of drinks including cappuccinos, lattes, and flat whites. For each coffee, the Vertuo Creatista adopts different extractions thanks to the unique codes on Nespresso capsules. This means the shots poured for a cappuccino will be tailor-made for that drink. The built-in steam wand froths the milk for that drink automatically; no skill is required.
Purchase Nespresso Vertuo Creatista on Breville from $749.95.
The Lavazza Classy Plus is a small, sleek pod coffee maker that can produce five types of milk-based coffees as well as black coffee and espresso. This coffee maker comes with a glass mug and steam wand that is used to create the textured milk. As a fully automatic process, consistent results are guaranteed.
Lavazza Classy Plus only takes Lavazza blue and expert capsules, which limits the types of coffee available. Blue capsules cost around $50 for 100 and expert capsules $20 for 36.
Purchase Lavazza Classy Plus on Lavazza from $149.99 (usually $271.95).
For those with limited budget or space, the Nespresso Vertuo Pop is a greatgo-to pod coffee maker. Thankfully, its diminutive size and low cost do not translate into poor-quality coffee. On the contrary, the Vertuo Pop brews a dependable cup in five sizes ranging from espresso to 12-ounce.
Coffee makers at this price are always going to have shortcomings. This one has a small water tank that requires routine refill. However, this is a small gripe given the price and size of the machine.
Purchase Nespresso Vertuo Pop on Nespresso from $129.00.
At their best, bean-to-cup coffee makers offer the convenience of pod coffee makers combined with the quality of espresso machines. The Jura Z10 does this and more thanks to its ability to make an astonishing 32 types of excellent beverages. The machine even makes cold brew.
Jura Z10 won a German Innovation Gold Award in 2022 partly thanks to its innovative Product Recognizing Grinder, which changes the fineness of the grind depending on which beverage option is chosen. This, when combined with astonishing extraction methods, maximizes the flavor of every coffee that is brewed.
Purchase Jura Z10 on Jura from $3,999.00.
De'Longhi's La Specialista Maestro is a bean-to-cup espresso coffee maker that allows users to combine both their own skill and the machine's automated features. This is exemplified by the maker's grinding process. Users select one of eight grind settings while two sensors automatically dictate the ideal dose.
The maker also boasts five infusion profile settings to be used with varying bean types. Pre-infusion steps and assisted tamping also ensure consistency from pour-to-pour. La Specialista won an IF Design Award in 2021 for these features and they are sure to elevate every user's coffee game.
Purchase De'Longhi La Specialista Maestro on De'Longhi from $1,399.95.
Gaggia Velasca makes two types of coffee: espresso and espresso lungo. Both types are customizable with users being able to choose from 10 grind settings, five strength levels, and three temperatures. Additionally, the Gaggia Adapting System learns and self-adjusts the grinding time based on your preferences.
An automatic frothing wand allows for these espressos to be transformed into milky coffees like lattes and cappuccinos. The rapid heating boiler produces the perfect froth in under 30 seconds. While it won't set the world alight, this coffee maker definitely gets the job done.
Purchase Gaggia Velasca on Gaggia from $549.00.
Zojirushi Zutto is a small, drip coffee maker that is perfectly suited for kitchens with limited space. At only 10 inches high, 5 inches wide, and 8 inches deep, this machine can be squeezed into spaces much smaller than conventional coffee makers.
As a drip coffee maker, Zojirushi Zutto only produces black coffee, however, it is sought after for its durability and small size. One reviewer even stated, "Very compact, and designed so that the parts do not sag or wear as other traditional designs do."
Purchase Zojirushi Zutto Coffee Maker EC-DAC50 on Target from $79.99.
In the US, the most common method of making coffee at home is using a drip machine, and few can compete with Technivorm's Moccamaster KBT. This handmade machine can produce 10 cups of coffee at a time.
The quality of KBT's brewed coffee is unrivaled. The brewing temperature reaches 200 degrees Fahrenheit after two minutes and stays there until the brew ends at six minutes. The consistent temperature and perfect extraction time yield complex flavors and velvety textures from the beans. A five-year warranty and the company's pledge to repair the Moccamaster for life are the icing on the cake.
Purchase Technivorm Moccamaster KBT on Technivorm from $339.00.
The best Moka pots are simple to use and aesthetically pleasing. This is the case with Bialetti's Moka Express, an iconic Moka pot that is known just as much for its design as its ability to produce exceptionally full-bodied coffee.
It is important to note that, despite its appearance, coffee brewed with this Moka pot is not espresso. Instead of the nine bars of pressure created by espresso makers, Moka pots only produce two. As a result, the coffee made in Bialetti Moka Express might taste different than what you are used to.
Purchase Bialetti Moka Express on Amazon from $26.99.
Making coffee with a French press is incredibly simple. This, however, does not mean just any piece of equipment will suffice. Bodum Chambord is an iconically designed French press that's made with durable, non-reactive materials. This ensures the coffee brewed within retains its pure and complex taste, something which is not guaranteed with other cafetières.
Bodum Chambord has a small size, low price, and enduring design. The frame, lid, and plunger are made of stainless steel, and the carafe is made of heat-resistant borosilicate glass.
Purchase Bodum Chambord on Bodum from $39.99.
The Kalita Wave 185 pour over coffee maker is a brilliant piece of technology that has previously been used to win the World Brewers Cup. It has a flat-bottomed design and small extraction holes that ensure all coffee grounds are extracted equally. A special, patented wave filter ensures the water flows through evenly, which produces a strong brew without any bitterness.
While featuring a small design, the Kalita Wave 185 can brew either one or two cups. The design is intended to be foolproof, allowing both beginner and experienced brewers the ability to pour the perfect cup of joe.
Purchase Kalita Wave 185 on Kalita USA from $32.00 (usually $40.00).