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Coffee Maker Reviews
Coffee Makers Performance
Experts and consumers posting coffee maker reviews range from those who revere an artisanal brew to those just in it for the caffeine rush, and their expectations vary accordingly. America's Test Kitchen concludes that no inexpensive model brews a perfect cup, a finding that's backed up by consumers and other experts.
Brewing Time.A common complaint in coffee maker reviews is that budget models brew too slowly. Fast brewing isn't only a matter of convenience; it also prevents the coffee from becoming too bitter. However, a brewing time that's too short can result in weak, watered-down coffee. The best coffee makers strike a balance. Experts say that a pot of coffee should take no longer than five or six minutes to brew, but larger low-cost machines in particular don't hit that mark. An expert at HowStuffWorks reports that the 12-cup Mr. Coffee JWX27 takes about 13 minutes to brew a full carafe. Other budget 12-cup machines appear comparable -- for instance, a consumer posting a coffee maker review on Amazon finds that the Hamilton Beach Ensemble 43254 (starting at $38, Amazon) takes about 10 minutes.
The smaller, 4-cup Cuisinart DCC-450 (starting at $21, Amazon) makes a full batch in about five minutes, according to Whole Latte Love. The Black & Decker Brew 'n Go Personal DCM18S (starting at $19, Amazon) takes only about three minutes, says one consumer who posted a coffee maker review on Amazon.
Temperature.Experts agree that the best-tasting coffee is made with water that's just under the boiling point. Budget coffee makers generally do not hit that mark -- some not by a long shot. The Mr. Coffee JWX27 (starting at $35, Amazon) is one low-cost model touted by experts for having a brewing temperature consistently over 195 degrees.
To a certain extent, the temperature of the coffee itself is a matter of personal preference. But when numerous people posting coffee maker reviews say their coffee doesn't come out hot, you know there's a problem. One coffee drinker who posted a review of the Mr. Coffee TFTX85 (starting at $40, Amazon) on Epinions has to heat the coffee in a microwave after brewing to get it up to the desired temperature.
In coffee maker reviews at Macy's, several users say the Cuisinart DCC-450 can make hot coffee; however, it automatically shuts off after 30 minutes instead of keeping coffee warm throughout the morning. A few users say the coffee doesn't stay hot even that long. On the other hand, the Hamilton Beach Ensemble earns raves from users posting coffee maker reviews on Amazon for coffee that stays piping hot (although purists might lament that coffee left sitting on a burner becomes bitter and often tastes burnt). The Hamilton Beach BrewStation Summit 48464 (starting at $47, Amazon) stores coffee in an internal tank instead of in a carafe on a hotplate, so it stays hot for hours without acquiring that burnt taste, according to users who have posted coffee maker reviews on Amazon, although a few complain their brew is lukewarm.
Don't Bother Cheap Coffee Makers
Bodum Chambord Review
Black & Decker CM1650B Review
Mr. Coffee TFTX85 Review
Cuisinart DCC-450 Review
Hamilton Beach BrewStation Summit Review
Mr. Coffee JWX27 Review
Hamilton Beach Ensemble 43254 Review
Black & Decker Brew 'n Go Personal DCM18S Review
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