Filter Coffee Machines for Those Who Get up on the Wrong Side of the Bed

To tell you quite honestly, I’m not much of a filter coffee drinker myself. I much prefer a latte or a cappuccino.

On the other hand, Tom really enjoys his morning filter coffee, so we do have one of these around, safely snug in his office (which means he has to clean it, and not me).

Now, if you already know everything you want to know about filter coffee and are just looking for a recommendation, just skip the next bit.

If you have however heard of this tasty beverage but don’t know how to operate a filter coffee machine, let me give you a very brief primer.

Filter coffee is black and strong. You can of course add milk to it to make it more palatable if you prefer a softer taste.

Filter coffee machines can either have permanent filters or paper filters. Permanent filters are more difficult to clean, but these machines are usually more affordable. On the other hand, paper filters need to be repurchased and replaced, but they tend to make better coffee, and the  machines that use them are also easier to clean.

Filter coffee machines can also come with or without grinders – meaning you will either be using coffee beans or ground coffee to make your cup of Joe. The freshest and best coffee is made when the beans are ground on the spot – but machines that come with grinders are also more expensive. You can also buy a coffee grinder separately, if you prefer to grind your own beans.

In the most general terms, the one downside of most filter coffee machines is that they are difficult to clean + they don’t keep the coffee warm for long. Of course, you can make your coffee a cup at a time, but that will take up more time. Some machines have hotplates that will keep the coffee warm a bit longer, but even they can’t do so indefinitely.

I would advise looking for three things in your filter coffee machine:

  1. A removable water tank – it’s easier to fill and easier to clean 
  2. An insulated jug – it will keep your coffee warmer longer
  3. A programmable timer – so you don’t have to fill the machine in the morning, and can find a fresh batch of the good stuff waiting for you when you roll out of bed 

9 filter coffee machines to take a look at

Now let’s look at the actual filter coffee makers:

1 – Melitta 1011-16 Filter Coffee Machine with Insulated Jug

  • Capacity: 1.2 litres 
  • Cups: 10 cups (125 millilitres)
  • Filter: paper
  • Coffee: ground
  • Keeps coffee warm: 120 minutes

This Melitta model comes in both black and white, so you should have no problem fitting it into your kitchen.

It has a capacity of 1.2 litres, which means that it should make 10 large or 15 small cups of coffee. More than enough in a home setting, and pretty good for an office too. You can make just one cup too, don’t worry.

It is a paper filter coffee machine, so you will need to keep buying filters. They usually come in a pack of 80 or more, so that should keep you going for a month or two (or three).

It also has a programmable timer, so you can set it up to start brewing your morning cup of coffee at just the right time. This can also be a great incentive to get up – you don’t want the coffee to get cold, do you?

With this model, you will have around two hours to get out of bed though, as its insulated jug keeps coffee warm for around that time.

The Melitta is also easy to clean – both on the daily and when it gets to the point of descaling. The Calc button will light up when that time arrives, and all you need to do is add cleaning solution to the water tank and press the same button to take care of the issue.

2 – Russell Hobbs Chester Grind and Brew Coffee Machine 22000 

  • Capacity: 1.5 litres
  • Cups: 12 
  • Filter: permanent
  • Coffee: ground and beans
  • Keeps coffee warm: up to 40 minutes

This is the model we actually have – so I’ve asked Tom for a little blurb about his precious filter coffee maker.

Here’s what he had to say for himself:

Love it. Great grinder (is loud, so brew coffee before meeting). Tell them to buy Lucifer’s Roast. 

He did text me that, so excuse the shorthand.

(I will also most certainly not tell you to buy Lucifer’s Roast, as it is very very strong, so only try it if you are used to strong, black coffee with a very intense kick.)

Now, about the actual filter coffee machine. 

Let me just note that this one is a bit pricier than some of the others, so bear that in mind before you fall in love with it.

Its key feature is the built-in grinder that can grind your coffee beans then and there, ensuring your cup of coffee is as fresh as it can possibly be. You can also use ground coffee too, if you prefer. The grinder is of course a bit loud, but nothing over the top. I’m told the machine itself is actually less noisy than other models.

Another big plus is that you can choose the setting of the grinder based on the coffee beans you are using, ensuring you get the best possible cup.

Other than that, it has a permanent filter (so no problem if you forget to buy the filters), and it also has a 24-hour programmable timer.

On the other hand, it will keep your coffee warm for only about half an hour, so you are best off making one by one cup. This is made easy with the pause option – where you can pour one cup and then let it get back to making another when you are ready.

Cleaning it is a bit fiddly, I do have to admit that – but you get used to it, and it’s not really all that difficult. I do think I would personally prefer a paper filter, but I really am no black coffee drinker.

3 – Netta 1.5 litres Filter Coffee Machine

  • Capacity: 1.5 litres 
  • Cups: 12 
  • Filter: permanent
  • Coffee: ground
  • Keeps coffee warm: up to 40 minutes

The Netta is another great option if you are looking for a reliable filter coffee machine. It is programmable and will give you 12 cups of coffee, so plenty to get you through the morning.

It has a 24-hour timer, meaning you can set your coffee maker now to start making coffee tomorrow at the same time. It also needs just 8 minutes to brew that cup of magic, so even if you forget to set it, you shouldn’t have to wait for long.

It also has a “pause and keep warm” option, where you can pause it mid-brew and get a cup in when you unpause it.

The filter is permanent, so will require a bit of a more thorough clean, but it will save you the trouble of forgetting to buy filters. It can be easily removed, so that’s a clear plus.

It’s also a nice and compact machine that won’t take up much space on your counter, so it can fit into the tiniest of mobile homes or dorm rooms as well.

Affordable and makes a decent cup of coffee, great if you are on a budget.

4 – Morphy Richards 162501 Equip Filter Coffee Machine

  • Capacity: 1.2 litres 
  • Cups: 10 
  • Filter: permanent
  • Coffee: ground
  • Keeps coffee warm: up to 40 minutes

Another good option is this Morphy Richards filter coffee maker, reliable and classic.

It also comes with a permanent filter you can remove from the machine to wash (similar to most of the other models we will see on this list), and it will also require ground coffee.

It is a bit on the smaller side, with a capacity of 120 millilitres, which should still be more than enough for your coffee needs.

What makes it stand out is the pour over shower head that makes sure the water is distributed evenly, meaning you will get better tasting coffee. It also has what the brand calls an “aroma blender”, meaning it will nicely spread the flavor out in the entire carafe.

And of course, it will keep your coffee warm for 40 minutes after brewing, at which point it will shut down for safety.

5 – Tower T13001 10 Cup Coffee Maker

  • Capacity: 1.25 litres 
  • Cups: 10 
  • Filter: permanent
  • Coffee: ground
  • Keeps coffee warm: up to 40 minutes

Here we have another classic filter coffee maker model, this time in a black and stainless steel finish, that should fit in nicely with your kitchen. It looks pretty much like you’d expect a coffee maker to look (is it obvious I am running out of adjectives to describe these guys?).

It also has a permanent filter and requires ground coffee to brew your morning (or afternoon) pickmeup. The filter is nylon and easy to remove, so you should have no particular issues there.

This model will also keep your coffee warm for 30 to 45 minutes, and it’s also one of the slightly smaller models, as it gives you 10 cups (or around 5 mugs) per load.

The Tower T13001 is a rather inexpensive model, proving you can have a good cup of coffee on a budget. It may be a bit more flimsy and slightly less sturdy and well-designed than some of the other coffee makers we are looking at here, but it doesn’t make the coffee taste any less good.

Another great choice if you don’t have a lot to splurge on a coffee maker.

6 – De’Longhi ICM14011.BK Active Line Drip Filter Coffee Machine

  • Capacity: 0.65 litres
  • Cups: 5
  • Filter: permanent
  • Coffee: ground
  • Keeps coffee warm: up to 40 minutes

If you are looking for something smaller, for a single or a couple, this De’Longhi coffee machine might be the best choice.

It is smaller than everything else we have been looking at so far (at 65 millilitres or about 5 cups), so it will fit even the smallest of kitchens, and can make it easier for you to brew that aromatic cup of coffee if it’s just you.

There are several different colours available (from red to black to white, to name just a few) – so you should have no problem matching it to your kitchen.

Both the filter (which is permanent) and the carafe can go into the dishwasher, so this little number will be very simple to clean. It also has an aroma button that will deliver the water to the filter more slowly, making for a tastier cup.

A great choice for that small household that wants to enjoy an excellent cup in the morning.

7 – Melitta Aroma Elegance, 1012-01 Deluxe Filter Coffee Machine

  • Capacity: 1.2 litres
  • Cups: 10
  • Filter: paper
  • Coffee: ground
  • Keeps coffee warm: up to 30 minutes

If you are looking for something a bit more sophisticated and something that definitely looks a lot more pro, the Melitta Aroma Elegance is definitely an incredible option.

The only downside is that it is a bit on the larger side, and a bit cumbersome, so it may not quite be a fit for the smallest of kitchens, but otherwise, it’s a winner.

It is programmable and comes with a timer, so your cup of coffee will be ready for you when you want it to. And it also has a hotplate you can also set up to keep your coffee not only warm, but fresh for up to two hours. This is longer than any other filter coffee maker on this list, so this might be the clincher.

It also comes with a feature called “aroma control” that ensures that the aroma and flavor of that great blend you’ve purchased makes it into every cup, and that every cup is just as good as the previous one.

It also comes with anti-calc protection, so descaling it will be easy and straightforward.

You will also need to invest in filters, as this one needs them, so bear that in mind as well when making your choice. Don’t forget that you still need to clean the machine even though the filter is a paper one.

A bit of an upper-scale model, but well worth the investment if you are looking for an extra delish cup of coffee.

8 – Moccamaster KBG 741 Filter Coffee Machine | Premium Model

  • Capacity: 1.25 litres
  • Cups: 10
  • Filter: paper
  • Coffee: ground
  • Keeps coffee warm: 40 minutes

Now, if you are really looking for something extra – then let’s have a look at a couple of premium models of filter coffee machines.

First, here is the Moccamaster KBG (which I keep calling KGB).

It looks like something out of Breaking Bad, I do have to say. It also comes in different colours, so you can certainly make it a feature in your kitchen. And it also makes an excellent cup of coffee.

It is handmade in the Netherlands, hand assembled and then tested in a live scenario (meaning someone actually makes coffee in it), ensuring that you get that perfect result every time. It is made from recycled materials, meaning it is also kind to the environment. Did I say it also makes an excellent cup of coffee?

I’m not sure I understand the technology behind it, but there’s something about copper parts that ensure the right temperature, and the drip of the water is also adjusted so that it lands on the coffee in just the right ratio and tempo – not that I can tell you what that means exactly.

It has a hotplate to keep your coffee warm as well, so not to worry about that either.

The bottom line is, this is certainly a pricier model (hence the premium label), but it is also worth the investment, according to more proficient coffee aficionados than myself.

9 – OXO BREW 9 Cup Coffee Maker | Premium Model

  • Capacity: 1.3 litres
  • Cups: 9
  • Filter: paper
  • Coffee: ground
  • Keeps coffee warm: up to 60 minutes

And just to give you plenty of options, here is this Oxo Brew model as well – also on the higher-end of the filter coffee maker range, but another worthy investment.

This one is SCAA-certified for high-quality brews, so it will certainly produce something better than your regular old run-of-the-mill coffee maker.

There is again a whole lot of technology and science involved here I’m not sure I can explain, but what it all boils down to is that it makes a barista-like cup of coffee.

The downside is that there is no option to make a single cup of coffee. But there is a pause button, and if the carafe is not replaced within 60 seconds, the machine will cancel the rest of your order, so there is a way to work around this issue.

It will also require filters, so if you are looking for something with a permanent filter, this is not the machine for you.

While you certainly can’t control a bunch of the features of the process, the entire point of this apparatus is to limit your thought cycles and do all of the thinking for you. All you have to do is add the coffee (and don’t forget the filter).

An excellent choice for real coffee lovers.

Which filter coffee maker should I buy? 

The answer to that question will depend on the investment you want to make, and your level of obsession with coffee. If you are looking for a simple and affordable option, some of the models I list first should be a great addition to your morning (or evening).

If you are looking for something a bit more on the premium side of the spectre, one of the two premium models I’ve listed might be worth looking into.

Either way, I really hope you enjoy the next cup of coffee you drink – no matter where it comes from, and who pours it out for you.

J.

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