A staple in most kitchens, coffee makers offer many features to help you make your perfect cup of Joe. In this guide, we look at common features of automatic coffee makers to help you narrow down your search.
Capacity: Coffee makers can make anywhere from one to 20 cups, select the right capacity to suit your coffee-drinking needs.
Brew Pause: For those who just can't wait for all 10 cups to brew, the brew pause setting allows you to pause the process and pour a cup of coffee. Once you've returned the carafe to the maker, you can continue brewing more cups.
Strength Setting: For a custom cup of coffee, a strength setting feature allows you to choose the intensity of your brew.
Hot Plate: Some coffee makers have a hot plate which will keep the coffee warm. It's important to note that this feature can burn coffee if it's left on too long and it can also become a safety hazard.
Water Filter: This feature filters the water that will be used to make the coffee.
Single Serve: Ideal for one or a household where coffee drinkers prefer different strengths of java, single serve coffee makers brew only one cup of coffee at a time. A popular brand is Keurig, which brews each cup individually by using small pods of beans.
Programmable Clock: If you want to wake up with a fresh pot of coffee ready for you, you'll want to look for a model that has a programmable clock. It allows you to set a time when you want a fresh part to start brewing.
Automatic Shutoff: For forgetful coffee lovers, this safety feature automatically turns off the coffee maker and hot plate so the coffee doesn't burn or start a fire.
Carafe: The two most common carafes found on automatic coffee makers are glass and insulated. Glass is the traditional choice, but an insulated carafe helps keep the coffee warm.
Filter: Coffee makers either have paper or permanent filters. For paper filters you'll want to remove and throw them away after each use. Permanent filters need to be rinsed and cleaned after use.
Bean Grinder: For fresh-ground beans, some coffee makers will grind beans and make coffee.
Water Level Window: A window usually found on the side of the coffee maker makes it so you'll always know if you need to add more water.
Espresso Maker: Though espresso machines are an entirely different appliance, some coffee makers come with an attached espresso machine.