- Kitchen Electronics
Best 4 Cup Coffee Maker
Having been an avid coffee drinker for many years, when it comes to coffee makers I have pretty high standards. For the purposes of writing: best 4 cup coffee makers I selected a cheap, mid-priced and premium drip coffee maker and briefly reviewed them. I also had a look at a very good 4 cup percolator, for those who prefer the taste of percolated coffee.
What to look for when buying a coffee maker:
- Price: Most coffee makers sell for under $100 and I wouldn't buy one for less than $20.
- Durability: A coffee maker should last for at least 3 years. The problem some coffee makers have is a glass carafe, that's prone to cracking.
- Weight: In an attempt to produce coffee makers more cheaply, some machines have become too light weight. This makes them prone to falling over, when you remove the carafe.
- Keeping the coffee hot: I don't like cold coffee so the machine needs to keep the coffee hot for a couple of hours after brewing it.
- Pause and serve: If you can't wait for the coffee to finish, you should be able to pause the machine and pour a cup without making a mess.
- Filtration: I like to filter the water before I brew. Some machines have a filter built in. Not everyione needs this feature but some coffee drinkers do prefer it.
Zojirushi EC-DAC50 Zutto 5-Cup Drip Coffeemaker
The Zojirushi is our pick as best premium coffee maker. It's biggest drawback is that it only comes in grey, while most coffee makers come in black and white.
The removable water reservoir is a big plus from both a filling and cleaning point of view. The overall design is compact and tasteful.
The Zojirushi's strongest point is that it makes really good coffee. The cone bottom filter was partly responsible for this and it was definitely hot enough. I am not a fan of lukewarm coffee. The replaceable charcoal filter is a great idea, removing impurities from the water before it is boiled.
In the past, I have had problems pouring coffee from some makers but the Zojirushi pours perfectly: no mopping up needed!
I was pleasantly surprised with my findings. Apart from the color, that I could live with, I couldn't find anything wrong with this well designed, durable product.
Hamilton Beach 4 Cup Brewer
I've always liked Hamilton Beach products. This particular model is mostly used in hotels. Commercial grade products are usually higher quality than consumer products.
I found the Hamilton Beach Aroma Elite's stainless steel carafe to be a very nice feature. It retains heat well and pours well.
The product has an auto pause and serve cycle, which does exactly what is says, so that you can have a quick cup of coffee without having to wait for the complete cycle to finish.
Being made from stainless steel this product is heavier than it's competitors.
Mr. Coffee DRX5 4-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker
Mr Coffee 4 Cup Programmable Coffeemaker is an ideal product for one to three people. It has a very convenient programme that enables the machine to be set up, up to 24 hours in advance and is perfect for a “get up and go” coffee, first thing in the morning. Similarly, it is a bonus for dinner; when you can prepare coffee before sitting down to enjoy your meal, knowing that you will be serving coffee directly after dessert, without any further attention needed.
An added function it has is the ability to see the volume of water in the reservoir, so you can always accurately measure the quantity required and view the contents. Other features are a two hour switch-off button, allowing coffee to be kept warm for two hours before closing down and a drip-free spout, for efficient pouring.
I find this product to be perfect for my requirements, very compact, easy to clean and very cheap.
Farberware FCP240 2-4-Cup Percolator
The Farberware FCP240 is a sturdy four cup percolator. It's made from hard wearing stainless steel which would blend with my kitchen décor although its design maybe a bit too modern for conservative tastes.
The brewing process is fast and when brewed it switches to a keep warm mode which ensures the coffee is hot for hours. Many other percolators lack the ability to keep coffee consistently hot.
I was impressed with the maneuverability of its handle, cover knob and base that are cool to the touch, preventing any burnt fingers: another vital point. The detachable lead is also a plus when serving coffee.
I found that it is advisable to rinse in soapy water when you have finished as it becomes much easier to clean. For further care of this appliance, a descaler every month or two is a good idea just to ensure it is kept really spotless.