The Best Coffee Maker Today

By Cale Guthrie Weissman, The Sweethome

After two months spent surveying readers; interviewing coffee experts; researching makes, models, and reviews; and testing five finalist machines with a 10-person tasting panel, we recommend the $190 Bonavita 1900TS.

This post was done in partnership with The Sweethome, a list of the best gear for your home. Read the full article here.

After two months spent surveying readers; interviewing coffee experts; researching makes, models, and reviews; and testing five finalist machines with a 10-person tasting panel, we recommend the $190 Bonavita 1900TS. It's the best coffeemaker for most people who love good coffee but don't have the time or patience for pour-over. The 1900TS brewed the most consistently delicious coffee among all of the machines we tested. That's thanks to a smart internal design: a wider showerhead, a flat-bottomed filter (the normal, wavy kind), and a built-in pre-infusion timer.

Why you should trust us

To get to these picks, we talked to coffee experts of various backgrounds from different parts of the industry: Humberto Ricardo, the owner of the renowned Manhattan coffee shop Third Rail Coffee; barista Carlos Morales, who just won third place in the Northeast Brewers Cup Championship; and Mark Hellweg, who founded and runs the speciality coffee accessory company Clive Coffee, which recently developed and released a high-end coffee machine of their own design. We also chatted with pretty much every barista we encountered at shops to get their perspectives.

Tasters sipped their samples, then wrote down impressions.

We combined what we learned from these experts with reviews from the best sources on the web—including Consumer Reports, Cooks Illustrated, Serious Eats, CNET, and WIRED—to narrow our list down to five top contenders. We then conducted a blind tasting panel with 10 coffee enthusiasts who all voted on which machines produced the best-tasting beverage. In the end, there was one clear winner.

Our pick

The Bonavita 1900TS makes consistently great tasting coffee. It was also the easiest to use and the fastest to brew out of all the machines we tested. Nothing will give you better-tasting coffee with less hassle. Using quality, well-ground beans, some of our testers even compared the brew favorably to handmade pour-over coffee. In our tests, coffee was drinkably hot for a couple hours after brewing (thanks to the stainless steel insulated carafe) but fell to room temperature after six hours.

Pouring water into our top pick, the Bonavita 1900TS. Each coffee machine used a recipe containing 120 g of coffee and 1.7 L (48 fl. oz.) water (which is to the 8-cup mark on all the machines).

Operation couldn't be simpler. There's only one button. You press once to make coffee or press and hold for five seconds to activate the pre-infusion timer. Pre-infusion allows the grounds to fully and evenly wet before brewing fully begins—this leads to more even extraction and clarity of flavor. The machine shuts itself off after the coffee has been brewed, or you can turn it off anytime by pressing its single button. Plus, maintenance and cleaning is just like any other automatic drip machine—toss the grounds, give everything a rinse, and occasionally de-scale if you don't use filtered water.

The runner-up

If the 1900TS is unavailable, the older Bonavita 1800TH is the next best option. We prefer the glass-lined thermal carafe in the 1800TH because it keeps coffee warm for longer without wasting energy on heating plates. The 1800SS is also a good option, but it uses a steel-lined thermal carafe, which many coffee aficionados claim can color the flavor of the coffee within.

One of the most obvious differences between the new 1900TS (right) and the older 1800TH (left) is the 1900TH's flat-bottomed brewing basket.

In closing

The Bonavita 1900TS is a cut above the rest for consistently delicious brew with coffee maker convenience and was unanimously preferred by our testing panelists. Its flavor-enhancing design and a simple one-button interface show that you don't have to sacrifice your morning to pour-over rituals to produce an excellent cup of coffee.

This guide may have been updated by The Sweethome. To see the current recommendation, please go here.