More than a few very fine drip coffee makers retail for less than $50. This should not come as a surprise since the majority of coffee makers are of this type. The question really comes down to what you want in the way of quality and features, and how much you want to pay. You can get an excellent brew from the lower-priced models belonging to the Mr. Coffee and Cuisinart product lines, and these two brands are certainly worth considering if you are looking for a basic, low-priced, 4-cup to 8-cup coffee maker.
The $50 to $100 range has a much more to offer however, particularly if features such as timers or programming are important to you. To be honest, there is much to be said about a drip coffee maker whose only operational feature you need to be concerned with is the On/Off switch, but for those who prefer to have some measure of control over the brewing process, programmable models are usually a better choice.
Many Top Brands to Choose From
Popular brands in the #$50 – $100 price range include Mr. Coffee and Cuisinart, together with Krups, Hamilton Beach, and Zojirushi. The latter brand features some of the more innovative drip coffee makers on the market today. Single brew models should not be ignored of course, which is where Keurig, Nespresso and a few other brands really shine, but some are expensive, and if it is just a good cup of coffee you are interested in, you may be paying for features you really don’t need.
A Cuisinart Top Seller
The Cuisinart DCC-1200 Brew Central model is a 12-cup drip coffee maker that has proven to be one of the most popular models in this price range. One of its nicer features is you can brew as few as 1 to 4 cups, so there is never a waste. This particular model is often listed at $150, but if you look around, you will sometimes find it sold at a discount for under $100. The Cuisinart Extreme Brew is another popular choice.
Innovative Zojirushi, and Good Old Mr. Coffee
Zojirushi has made quite a name for itself in recent years. Its models tend towards the elegant and innovative, and almost everything marketed under this brand name produces excellent coffee. The Zojirushi Fresh Brew Model has had some good reviews. Not to be overlooked is the Mr. Coffee FTX. The FTX has a control panel that features, of all things, an analog clock, rather than the somewhat boring digital version that blinks at you. The brew strength can be adjusted on the FTX.
Bunn features several excellent coffee makers in this price range, but specific models are not mentioned because of a technicality. Their Phase and Velocity product lines are not true drip coffee makers, as they use spray and water turbulence rather than drip techniques to bring out the flavor in the grounds.
While it is almost impossible to ignore Mr. Coffee’s offerings, the best brand name for drip coffee makers in the $50 to $100 range would seem to be Cuisinart.
Want More for Your Money? Add a Grinder
To get the very best cup of coffee you want to purchase whole beans and grind your own. A blade grinder is OK, and they are relatively inexpensive, but to get the most flavor coffee beans can deliver, you should use a burr grinder. More and more models currently feature built-in grinders, with some combination coffee maker/grinders retailing for under $100, including several Cuisinart models. It’s worth thinking about.