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When Consumer Reports recently tested the top selling coffee makers on the market, their results came as no surprise to fans of the Hamilton Beach 12 Cup Brew Station. The inexpensive 12-cup Hamilton Beach Brew Station Coffee Maker took top marks in the tests, coming out ahead of the KitchenAid Pro Linea which costs nearly twice as much. Consumer Reports tested 34 different coffee makers, including several single-serve coffee systems to come up with the results of their testing.
Overall, say the CR experts, 8-12 cup coffee makers offer the best features and the greatest convenience at the best price. Among the 8-12 cup coffee maker range, they tested the Cuisinart Brew Station and the Hamilton Beach Michael Graves Design, which scored a Consumer Reports Best Buy rating at $40. The top scorers in the 8-12 cup range also included the Oster Counterforms coffee maker.
Other Consumer Reports Best Buys were the Hamilton Beach Brew Station and the Mr. Coffee GBX23 in the 12 cup brew station range. However, the top scoring 12 cup Brew Station was the Cuisinart Brew Station. Interestingly, that was a big upset from the November issue of Consumer Reports, which listed the Black & Decker Smart Brew DCM 2500.
Over at the Consumer Reports forums, though, the magazine’s readers tell a bit of a different story. There, a number of people complain that the Hamilton Beach Brew Station leaks after a few months of use, and none of the machines really get the water hot enough to brew a decent cup of coffee. The Consumer Reports forum readers highly recommend two other machines – any coffeemaker by Bunn, and the Technivorm Moccamaster KB741, a pricey European import that’s handmade and certified by both the American Specialty Coffee Association and the European Coffee Brewing Centre. The Technivorm runs about $240, but has been top-rated by nearly every consumer testing agency out there, including Cooks Illustrated, Consumer Reports and the testers at Coffeegeek.
If you like your coffee one mug at a time, Consumer Reports gave top marks to the Melitta Take2, giving it 90 of 100 points. At $25, it’s one of their Best Buys. The second place single cup drip coffee maker, the Cuisinart Two to Go scored 86 of 100 points and sells for $30.
In the Grind and Brew drip coffee maker category, the $50 Mr. Coffee GBX23 with blade grinder took top marks with 76 of 100 points. It came in head and shoulders above the other coffee makers in the category, all of which are at least twice the price.
The Consumer Reports team rated machines on convenience, speed of the first cup, how easy it was to handle the carafe and the brewing range. Those measures leave out a few things that are very important to coffee gurus – for instance, the testers didn’t check the brew temperature for water, which most coffee experts will tell you is vital for extracting the best flavor from coffee. They also didn’t test the machines for durability, which becomes a major issue when a coffee maker is used daily – or many times daily. The major complaints about many drip coffee makers is that they start leaking after a few months of use.
Still, if you’re looking for a good automatic drip coffeemaker at a decent price, the Consumer Reports listing is a good place to start.