Our TOP 3 Filter coffee machine buys
… with links to buying choices in UK, Europe, USA, and Canada.
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The best 3 coffee machines…
for 3 different great reasons.
We’ve ended up choosing the best 3 machines that we feel fit different lifestyles, and even cultures. We’re thinking from the perspective of a UK / European / International user as opposed to only U.S. To finalise our choices, we also examined the brand reputations worldwide, the expert and user reviews, and the awards.
1. Best craft coffee machine, to get the most of out of specialist coffees, at home.
2. Best percolator style coffee machine, from bean to cafetière quality all day long.
3. Best simple & sophisticated professional filter coffee machine for the purist.
When I started this post the no. 3 was my final choice but I had a sneaky suspicion it would outlast the others. And now, as our journey takes us to living in Sweden for a wee while, we’re lucky to have one to use every day! I’m smitten, just like the Bamix.
I wonder where are you on your journey with coffee, and which one might suit your needs best ?
filter coffee defined
What is Filter coffee ?
The coffee is made by pouring or dripping the water through coffee grounds held in a filter… traditionally to a carafe that then keeps the coffee warm for a significant length of time. We have to tell you that we have been particularly fussy in this category. There were so many choices, but we didn’t find many that we would recommend ! We’ve chosen the best, most different, most modern.
What makes a great filter coffee ?
My own coffee journey has also more recently also taught me about the importance of the coffee grounds, from farm to cup, and the filter shape, mould, hole size and material, rather than just the machine. As well as the actual filter though, the best quality cup of coffee still has to come from the best (or more suited ) beans, the roast, and grind, the water, and timing that makes that style of coffee.
Me… with one of the owners of Mistral coffee in Palma, testing out the different tastes you can get by using the same coffee bean- made manually two different ways – with a V60 and the flat bottomed Kalita wave.
These are the same two filters that you get with the Sage precision brewer machine below!
The difference was subtle and incredibly apparent at the same time ! Now I’m closer to know what I would choose depending on the coffee and my mood.
Filter Coffee machine vs. Filter Coffee maker
First, it’s important to understand what we mean here. To us, machines mean electric or battery-operated appliances, and the machine does some or all of the process, perhaps just heating the water or hotplate, pouring the water, grinding the beans, timing things, or even setting up automated programs. By coffee makers, we mean that you make it yourself, by hand, with a tool like a French press, an Aeropress, a V60, Chemex, Kalita wave funnel.
We tended to drink more espressos in the last 10 years, but I like a good long black coffee too. The reason for this was because of the quality of a big cup of joe we’d get from the filter coffee machine. My usual choice was an ‘Americano’ or a ‘Long Black’ – both made with an espresso coffee – but with a variation in when the hot water is added ( before, or after the espresso is poured).
Before espressos were the trend, and great domestic machines were available, there was a glut of cheap filter coffee machines on the market (way back then when we met;) and the quality was generally poor. So when we discovered the pure quality of espressos, we didn’t give filter coffee another glance for a while.
BEST craft coffee making machine
So what’s a craft coffee I hear you asking ! Well, you might have also wondered what 3rd wave coffee is… well it’s about getting the best coffee straight from the farm to a coffee roastery where they roast and grind the beans to supply the best coffee cafés. They’ll have hand picked the beans they want, and worked with the farmer to get it delivered just how they like it, and then roast and even grind it for us all, so that we get to really taste the flavours of the bean and the land and weather conditions that have produced this ever so fine product for us. When you order a craft filter coffee in a real roasterie café, they take the time to precisely measure the coffee, the water temperature, and the pour, so you get the perfect brew. Truly special eh ! Well this is what has been re-created here – in an automatic machine.
Also, when you order your coffee you have to decide which type of filter you want – you’ve also probably heard the trendy words… V60 filter coffee maker, Chemex, or the Kalita wave. Personally, I’ve really enjoyed trying coffee tests with these, and it’s unbelievable how different they taste depending on the pour, the drip, the shape of the filter cone. One is V shaped of course so the filter ends in a point, and the other has a flat bottom. So how the coffee is filtered through is slightly different, and it affects the taste. But do you want to start a specialist cupboard full different funnels and filters for the different coffees… no, not when you can have this clever new machine on the counter !
SAGE / BREVILLE PRECISION BREWER
Sage SDC450BSS the Precision Brewer Coffee Maker
(the model name and number for UK & Europe)
Breville BDC455BSS Precision Brewer Thermal
(the model name and number for N.America & Australia)
Brushed Stainless Steel, 36 x 16.8 x 39.5 cm, 60 oz. / 12 Cup, 1650watts
A precise drip coffee machine, with multiple coffee modes.
This model is quite new and unique ! Easy to use, and makes excellent coffee, in any volume, just as you like it. It features multiple coffee modes with it’s dual filter baskets – one flat, one V shaped. You can choose one of 6 to get different flavour profiles, including a customised one just for you, and a great cold brew too.
Precise, and adjustable temperature control allowing you also to manage the important coffee brewing elements that you would with an espresso machine – i.e. water flow rate and contact time between the coffee and the water.
Automatic presets and customisable too. Hot or cold brew, and uses the Sage / Breville technology we already know and love with their top espresso machines – PID temperature control and the thermo-coil heating system.
I suppose it’s like having your very own barista coffee maker… just like in a proper Roasterie / craft coffee café like this ! They know exactly how to measure, pour, get the temperature and the timing just right. Now you can have this done for you at home… and more… with this new machine.
You really get to enjoy the coffee journey with this machine. Depending on the coffee, our tastes, the time of year etc, you can use the different modes to really bring out the best of the bean – whether it’s light and floral, dark rich, earthy, nutty, caramel… It’s a feast for the coffee fan.
You don’t need to go to a precision coffee maker at your local roasterie cafe to pour a perfect cup of craft filter coffee – the machine does it automatically. Sage / Breville and ther baristas have worked with the best coffee associations to produce this automatic version with precise temperature and brewing times for you to have at home.
6 unique brewing modes – Gold, Fast, Strong, Cold, Pour Over and My Brew. Fine tune it to your own taste by adjusting the initial bloom time, the water flow rate and the brew temperature.
2 Year Limited Product Warranty
Is it 1.7L or 1.8L. Sage say 1.7L , Breville say 1.8L. Which is it – but does it really matter !
Can’t see any other negatives about this machine at the moment !
Conclusion: Why you would buy the Sage / Breville Precision brewer.
If you like to be right up there with the latest trends in coffee making then this is the one for you. If you like experiment with your coffee grounds, and explore the finer flavour profiles of the different beans from different parts of the world – grown, or dried or roasted in various ways, then this is the machine for you. You’ll make it so worth getting a pack of craft coffee grinds because you’ll get the most out of them… the best coffee, the best tastes. You’ll have the most fun with this machine, and learn a heck of a lot about coffee along the way.
BEST Filter and Pour, percolator style coffee making machine
A great solution if you need to fill a lot of coffee mugs all at once, or all day ! We prefer a thermal carafe to keep it hot as the coffee doesn’t seem to go stale as easily. Also for the safety aspect, as we have been a bit too close for comfort with children, when a glass carafe split ! Our choice here also goes to a model that has a burr grinder to grind the beans freshly before pouring through a great filter.
CUISINART FILTER COFFEE MAKER
Cuisinart Grind and Brew Plus
In N.America, we take you to the equivalent 12-cup Cuisinart DGB900.
WEIGHT 6.65kg / 15lbs. DIMENSIONS 33 x 33 x 46 cm / 7.86 x 12.7 x 15.86 in
A drip coffee maker, all the way from bean-to-cafetiere
This model’s design has been around for years – so it’s well tried and tested and still most popular. Both the UK and the US model looks good in brushed chrome and black – so either version will fit in with most kitchen appliances.
It takes your favourite coffee beans and grinds them freshly before you brew. It uses a ceramic burr grinder ( so you get a nice consistent grind with no burn taste !), and it has a clock and timer control that allows you to pre-grind or pre-brew up to 24 hrs in advance. It also has a strength control option, so you can choose from strong, medium or mild coffee.
You can see the beans through a transparent lid on the top and if you are running out, you can even disable the grind function if you want to try some other pre-ground coffee out.
It has an integrated charcoal based water filter which should last a few months, so this also helps with the taste. This water is then sprayed nice and evenly over the grounds, on top of the filter before dripping through to a 12 cup thermal insulated carafe.
The filter is a gold tone type, and we love that you can also use paper filters if you prefer. However, a lot of people say paper filters are still the best but reading the user reviews it seems that some have tested this out on the Cuisinart machine and it’s not necessary as the gold tone filter is excellent.
If you’re in a hurry you can pour yourself a cup of coffee before the whole carafe & brew is finished ! The machine recognises that the pot has gone and holds for 30seconds till you put it back. You can also program the machine ( in 1 hour increments) to turn itself off too.
The thermal carafe will keep your coffee hot for much longer than a glass one.
It’s pretty lightweight at 6.65kg / 15lbs
It’s meant to give 12 cups, but a lot of people say that in reality it’s 10 cups.
It’s pretty tall so make sure it will fit, if you’re putting it under kitchen cabinets, ( UK: 33 x 33 x 46 cm, US 7.86 x 12.7 x 15.86 in )
Some say it has lots of parts that need cleaning !
Conclusion: Why we think you should buy the Cuisinart Grind and Brew Plus
Something for big long coffee drinkers… so you can keep drinking it all morning – or share with the family or office mates. The quality of the coffee ( and the lovely smell !) comes from the instant grind before brewing process. One of the reasons we chose this model is the thermal carafe is that the thermal carafe keeps coffee fresh and hot for hours ( a lot longer than a glass one) ! It’s also safer to use than a glass one.
BEST professional filter coffee machine for purists.
This is one of a kind, iconic, unique design, and a real coffee lover status symbol. And look at all the cool colours you can get it in, matt or glossy!
Hand-made in Netherlands, well awarded by the industry, and it´s name is synonymous with being ´the world´s best coffee maker´, they happily give a 5 yr guarantee. Simple yet professional design. Looks great on the counter top in any of it´s 18 bright or sleek professional colours. So easy to use, professional grade, and really dependable. What else do you need… a fat wallet of course !
Technivorm Moccamaster KBG
The iconic, KBG version, in 21 colours – check them out.
JUG: 10cup / 1.25Litres WEIGHT: 3.6 Kilograms DIMENSIONS: 39.4 x 38.2 x 19.4 cm
Makes fabulous coffee, gets an unbelievable 4.9 / 5 last time we looked. It´s been around for a while ( hence the retro look) like the Bamix hand blender, since the 1960s and not much has actually had to change in the design ! If you have one of these, people know you´re serious, only buy the best, and make great coffee !
Technically, what you need to know is that it has an automatic drip stop, it´s quiet, and fast ( brews in about 5mins). It brews between 92 & 96℃, consistently, due to the anti-bacterial professional copper boiling element.
Now that I’ve used one myself every day I’m constantly amazed at the speed it produces coffee – in less than 2 minutes I get a large mug of joe ( 3-4 cups worth). Check out the video below.
This is probably the only electric drip coffee machine that pour-over loving baristas would (love to ) touch.
The water is sprinkled through 9 holes, over the filter basket to give a nice even soak and extraction.
Auto-shut off feature for safety.
Very durable, with easy to replace, affordable parts. People talk of having their Moccamaster for 10 yrs upwards.
Main body is made of alumium. and it´s all simple to clean, with easy to remove BPA free parts. Cleaning only needs to be done about once every 3 months.
With the latest´Select´version, you can make a full batch, or just half a batch I always want more than one cup anyway, and it stays hot on the plate. So even for 1 or 2 people, like us, we think it´s..perfect !
The only downsides could be the fact that it does just one thing – but it does it extremely well. But that´s what you want isn´t it ! Also, probably the price. If you´re a purist, or just want the best coffee at the touch of a button, this won´t bother you !
The best part of our travelling around is when we arrive in a rental owned by someone that loves cooking and coffee as much as we do. Without knowing it in advance, it turns out that we seem to have so much lifestyle in common with the owner of our first Stockholm summer rental, and ‘I’ was so beyond excited to see this on the kitchen shelf when we arrived. (Mr Kins still sticks strictly to espressos and was disappointed not to even find a Nespresso machine – can’t win them all! )
So then we went on the hunt for a great roastery ( I needed some beans for my hand grinder and Aeropress anyway). For this filter coffee style, I looked for an unwashed deep tasting bean, with just a little fruitiness because I don’t like a really light, fruity filter coffee ( I also don’t like fruit teas – prefer the herby or spiced ones.)
I asked them to grind it for a moccamaster (like a wet sand grain – see below) and it’s perfect! The coffee taste is consistently impeccable.
Why you would buy a Technivorm… and which one !
It´s been there since the beginning, proved it´s the best, and always ahead of the rest. They work constantly with the top coffee institutions ( ECBC , SCA) . You can depend on them to stay at the top.
Personally, we would choose the updated SELECT version so that we could do a full or half carafe. You might find you favour one of our other 2 favourites – the thermal jug version (KBGT) or the tempting new one cup version ( called cup one !) Check them out when you go through to Amazon.
I’m sold on any version of this machine. The consistent perfection and sheer speed it produces the coffee at wins me over.
Just look at how fast this makes the coffee!
And, sorry about the mess. Paul just made a sourdough loaf and the flour goes everywhere it seems!
listen to how fast it is, and ignore the mess whilst I’m working on getting the video picture to work!
See more here ↴
If this isn’t your type of coffee machine, but you want the best bean to cup, or quick fix capsule Nespresso style, or even fancy being a bit of a barista yourself, head over to those posts instead, or get a good overview first on our main coffee machine page.
We're hospitality professionals that have sold up the businesses, gave up the big possessions, and simplified life... but we didn´t give up the good stuff - family, friends, and food & drink.
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