Coffee maker advice

So, to be honest, I’m really not that much of a coffee drinker. However, I do like to entertain and I’d like to be able to serve my guests a good cup of coffee if they want one. I currently have an old Braun drip. It does fine, but I’m thinking it might be time for an upgrade. Any recco’s for a good machine around $100? I’m not interested in bells and whistles, just bang for the buck.



Capresso MT600 with thermal carafe (which I think is key). And if you want to pony up a few more $s, get the model that grinds its own beans (it didn’t exist yet when I bought mine).

Makes good coffee. No mess. A million different choices in coffee and tea.

CostCo carries the Cuisinart 12-cup model that is pretty good, reliable and quick. However I do suggest going for the insulated carafe as opposed to the glass one if they offer it.

+1. Mine has worked well for several years. Besides the Technovorm, it’s about the only drip machine that gets the water to the right temp for a good cup of coffee.

Agreed. Always fresh, always perfect amount.

I bought a plastic “K-cup” and filters from EZ-Cup ( That way I have control of what coffee I want to buy, and is much more economical.

There’s another thread on this topic. We have a Keurig pod maker at work and I’m not a fan. The pods get sort of expensive if you drink a lot of coffee (approx 50¢/cup), though they will stay fresh for a while. Plus, the coffee just does not turn out a well.

If you want to impress guests with good coffee, buy a french press. They are cheap and a bit of a pain to clean, but the coffee will be significantly better than anything you will get from a pod coffee maker or a drip maker.

If you’re really gung ho on a pod maker, get one of the Nespresso models – the bottom line model can be had for about $150 and the coffee comes out much better than from a Keurig. Still pricey, but definitely more impressive.

One issue with a French press or a pod maker though would be volume. Fine for 1-4 people, but if you have a dinner party of 8 or 12? How do they do then ?

Make a batch, put in a thermos. Repeat. A good thermos will keep for hours. I made green tea for a Chinese-themed party for 20 people that way. Nice thing is that you can offer coffee and serve all at once.


They make slightly larger french presses, but it’s the same issue with the pods – you have to make one cup at a time (albeit, they brew pretty quickly).

I bought this one at Costco and love it.

The thermal carafe/pot is great. You can go from the coffee maker to the table and the coffee stays warm for hours. Hell I’ve poured out coffee in the evening from the morning and it was still warm. Deal for $70

Yeah and I don’t throw large parties that often - it’s 6 people etc. Just was wondering.

I disagree with this. French press is definitely different than drip but I wouldn’t say it’s always better.

I will say that I’ve never had coffee that I’ve liked from a pod coffee maker. Whether drip or french press, I tend to brew my coffee very strong. And while it’s possible to control the grind and type of coffee, and to some degree the amount of water, in a pod maker…I find it fairly limiting and have never gotten a strong enough cup.

I’m definitely leaning towards another drip. I’ve had good coffee from French press, but it’s definitely a more involved process and I’m looking for ease. However, I really haven’t seen too many good reports about those pod machines and the few times I’ve had coffee from them, they’ve failed to impress, so those are out.

Many thanks for the recommendations so far!


I like a nice French Press brew, but find it more trouble to clean up afterwards.

Actually, if you’ll be brewing only occasionally, might I suggest you pick up the large size Chemex pot and a nice thermal carafe. Brew ahead in the Chemex and then store for serving in the carafe. Actually serving in the Chemex is quite nice, but doesn’t hold heat for long without a burner.

A french press sounds like a cheap alternative, but quality level of the end result is directly affected by how your beans are ground. If you have a good burr grinder that can put out a consistent, course grind, then by all means go french press. But you are really looking at a $200 investment - $30-50 for the press, and the balance on a burr grinder.

There is Techinvorm and there is everything else. I’ve never owned a Capresso but enough folks who have had both that and a Technivorm pretty much stand behind it as an equivalent so I’m willing to defer to them.

Pod machines are not even in the discussion. If the coffee is for Brad’s guests he’d never live down a Keurig purchase. [snort.gif] [soap.gif]

I don’t know if Brad has a grinder but a cheap Burr grinder can be had for $99 new online plus if Brad is really buying fresh coffee to be used within a few days of purchase there is no issue with having the beans ground at the point of purchase. As he said it’s mainly not for his own around the house use and if I were a guest I would probably be just as happy with Stumptown coffee ground on premise at 3pm and served at 9pm vs. taking it home whole bean and grinding myself!

I bought a Technivorm with thermal carafe after reading a bunch of people saying it was great. It’s fast, makes a real hot cup of coffee and have been very happy with it.

Technivorm for ease, or 8-10 cup Chemex for $40 and slightly more work but high quality cup. Transfer to an airpot if you need to keep hot. Amazon has some good deals on mid-range burr grinders.