There are some coffee connoisseurs who dislike programmable coffee makers. But not us at Milkwood Restaurant. While there are lots of terrible coffee makers that produce sludge that tastes like brown sludge… there are also gems hidden among the sludge. Programmable coffee makers have some amazing features, whether it’s the flavor or the brew time.
Find the best programmable coffee maker for your morning commute on our list of the best ones that work quickly, efficiently, and produce great brews.
Cuisinart DCC-3200 Programmable Coffeemaker
This programmable coffee maker has a capacity of 14 cups, making it the largest on our list. However, that’s not what makes it the best.
Features include a stylish stainless-steel design with BPA-free plastic components, LCD control panel, gold-tone permanent coffee filter, charcoal water filter, and hot plate with adjustable temperatures.
The carafe itself does not retain heat well, but the enclosed hot plate can be kept at low, medium, or high temperatures, so you won’t experience cold coffee, even after several hours.
The computer panel features a brew strength selector, 1-4 cup brew optimizer, 24-hour programmability, brew pause, adjustable auto-shutoff (up to 4 hours), and self-cleaning functions.
In addition, Cuisinart provides a limited 3-year warranty, the longest warranty period of any programmable coffee maker on our list. The 14-cup and 12-cup models are both under $100, which we think is very reasonable. Bizarrely, the 14-cup model is currently cheaper than the 12-cup. A no-brainer on which you should buy!
This is the best programmable coffee maker because it has everything you could ever need. No matter how many cups you order, you’ll always get delicious coffee at the right temperature.
In this review, we check out the programmable model that includes the thermal carafe. Because if you’re going to buy a fancy option, you might as well go all out.
The glass carafe is still beautiful with its double wall for insulation, but the thermal carafe is sleeker and will keep your coffee hot for longer. However, you will have to pay more for it. For the price of the Bonavita thermal carafe, you could buy a whole new coffee maker (see the last 3 on this list). You can also buy 3 brewers instead of this one. This model is not cheap. Although it does deliver good-tasting coffee, it is also very reliable.
The one-touch brewing option comes in handy when you need a cup out of the blue, plus there’s a programmable timer for auto-starting in the morning. For the internal tech, the coffee tray has a wide flat bottom. Combining wide showerheads and the wide extraction tube results in delicious extraction.
The machine is made of stainless steel, which looks and feels premium. Additionally, all plastic components are BPA-free. Carafe lid, filter basket, and showerhead are dishwasher-safe, which adds to convenience.
We only have one problem: there is no drip-stop feature. When you remove the carafe before it’s finished, it will just drip down. It’s not a deal-breaker, but it’s definitely something to keep in mind before you grab a cup at 6 am!
Black & Decker Smart Brewer
After seeing the price tag and design, the first impression isn’t good. It looks like a typical office coffee maker. Do not be fooled, however. It’s a classic that Black and Decker has refined. The glass carafe is not thermal, but it is non-drip. It does not leak, it’s easy to pour, and it will not release steam that can burn your hands or destroy the machine.
Taking a closer look at the features, you’ll discover this 12-cup brewer is designed to keep up with the rest. All the features you’d expect, including a hot plate, auto-switch off, mid-brew pause, and a timer for waking up to coffee.
So why is it so cheap?
The answer is simple. There are no special filters (you must use paper baskets), and there is no intuitive tech to tell you when the coffee is getting cold or when the unit needs descaling. All materials used are plastic. Despite being sturdy, it’s plastic nonetheless.
It’s a very good option for those who don’t need lots of special features they’ll never use. Be prepared to replace the unit entirely if something breaks, since fixing individual parts isn’t worth the cost. If you would like more options of black and decker coffee maker, you can find them in a guide we have compiled.
KRUPS’ programmable coffee maker offers all the features you’d expect from a mid-range coffee maker from a well-known brand. The newcomer, however, comes at a very reasonable price, in our opinion.
The ease of use isn’t straightforward, but it’s also not overly complicated. You can program separate coffee schedules for weekdays and weekends using the rotating knob and LCD screen. Many similarly priced coffee brewers do not offer this feature. In addition to the window into the reservoir, there is also a wide opening so that you don’t spill water all over when topping it up.
The Krups unit uses ground coffee and a gold-tone filter – no problems here; the coffee was smooth for a 12-cup carafe, 1 cup service, and mid-brew paused serving.
However, there is no water filter. You can use bottled water or use the in-built descaling program on a regular basis.
There is nothing special about the carafe – just a simple glass design. With the enclosed hot plate, you might have trouble finding a thermal carafe that fits into the gap. The hot plate can keep your coffee warm at 180°F for four hours.
We recommend this sturdy, programmable coffee maker for those who need coffee during their workday and on weekends as well.
Hamilton Beach (49980A)
Hamilton Beach’s model allows you to either brew a whole carafe (12 cups) or drip coffee directly into your travel mug. It is certainly convenient, since you don’t have to wash the carafe after pouring into your mug. The thing that really gets us going is just how versatile this programmable maker is.
The Hamilton Beach coffee maker has two separate water reservoirs, instead of one for the single serve and one for the carafe. The single travel cup dispenser is also adaptable – you don’t have to purchase a Hamilton Beach travel mug, you can pull down the top of the coffee maker to securely fit any travel mug under 14 inches.
For the actual coffee, you can use ground beans or soft pods (Senseo pods work well) but not hard plastic pods, like the K-pod.
With its standard auto-start, pause brew and timer functionality, this coffee maker is great for those who need different brew sizes and strengths.