You are sick of spending a few dollars everyday just for coffee? There's gotta be a cheaper way to enjoy a delicious cup of freshly brewed coffee. Well, there is and we made a list of the top 5 best coffee makers for under $100 on the market. Let's look into it.
Best All Round Coffee Maker: LuxHaus Moka Pot
You've probably heard of the Moka pot and know it as the classic Italian coffee maker. It is one of the most widely spread, not only in Italy but in the world and for a good reason. It makes strong, delicious coffee and it costs significantly less than 100$. Here's why the LuxHaus Moka pot is the best coffee maker for under $100 and why a cup of Moka pot coffee is so good.
The LuxHaus stovetop espresso maker (as the Moka pot is also known) is one of the coffee makers that are easiest to use. It only has a handful of parts that make brewing coffee a straightforward process.
A Moka pot is made of two chambers: bottom and top, and a filter that goes in between. Brewing a cup of coffee starts when you pour water in the bottom chamber. Now, there are two approaches here, but according to our tests it's best if you heat up the water before pouring so it gets hot faster. This way you are less likely to end up with an over-extracted cup of coffee.
At this point you might be wondering what makes this coffee maker the best? There are a few reasons:
- The LuxHaus Moka pot is made of high-quality stainless steel. This means that will be getting the best tasting coffee from the first cup. A key difference here that we have to point out is that an aluminum stovetop coffee maker would require brewing a few rounds of coffee before you get the great Moka pot taste.
- The LuxHaus Moka pot will give you a strong cup of coffee that will keep you awake till the afternoon. When it comes to coffee makers under $100, a Moka pot makes the strongest coffee. Additionally, a cup of coffee made in a Moka pot has the lowest price per mg of caffeine out there. The LuxHaus coffee pots come at a price of just $31 for the 3 cup brewer and $34 for the 6 cup, making it significantly cheaper than an espresso maker and most drip coffee makers.
- The LuxHaus coffee maker comes with a lifetime quality guarantee. This means that if you're not completely satisfied by your coffee maker at any point after purchasing it, you will get a full refund. No questions asked.
- Moka pots are among the easiest ways to make coffee. All you need for a great cup of coffee is a stove, some water and coffee, obviously. You simply heat up the water, pour it in the bottom chamber, put the coffee in the filter, and put the coffee pot on the hot stove. Your coffee will soon start brewing and in a few minutes you will hear a gurgling sound. When that happens, your coffee is ready.
- A Moka pot will give you a more personal way of brewing your coffee than all coffee machines out there. With a Moka pot you're the artist of your own coffee. There are no complicated machines and it's all done with heat and pressurized water. As simple as that.
- Moka pots are straightforward to clean. Another great advantage over other coffee makers is that the LuxHaus is made of stainless steel which makes it easy to clean. Just rinse with hot water after usage or throw it in the dishwasher. The metal is going to be intact after it.
Best Coffee Maker for Coffee Enthusiasts: Pour Over Coffee
Pour over coffee is the latest trend among coffee enthusiasts. It offers a completely manual brewing process that gives you a cup of aromatic coffee. While it takes longer than most other brewing methods, one thing is for sure - the wait is going to be worth it. What's even better about this type of coffee is that you will only need to use any sort of kitchen equipment to get hot water. We have the solution, though.
The LuxHaus pour over kettle helps you heat up water faster than most other kettles and even has an accurate thermometer. This way you can make sure your water is hot enough for a cup of coffee. This way your brewing process will be made easier and you are more likely to end up with a delicious cup of coffee.
How do you make pour over coffee though? The whole concept is very simple. You need a glass carafe, coarsely ground coffee, a paper (or metal) filter and hot water. Once you have acquired all that, you put the filter in the carafe, add the coffee and slowly start pouring water. The trick to the best tasting cup of pour over coffee is pouring the water slowly. This way you will extract enough taste from your coffee to enjoy an aromatic cup that's not even remotely bitter.
There are a few key differences between pour over coffee and any other type of coffee maker.
- To make delicious pour over coffee you need to practice and be patient. Your first cup or two of pour over coffee will probably not be your best. We recommend that you time your first brew, but in general you should take 30-45 seconds to pour the water in the carafe.
- Pour over coffee is not as strong as Moka pot coffee but is stronger than most other coffee makers. While it's around half or even a third as strong as the coffee made in a Moka pot, pour over is still stronger than regular drip coffee that you'd make in most machines.
- The taste of a cup of pour over coffee is something else. As you can easily control the temperature of the water, the brewing time and strength of the coffee, you can get it just the way you want it to be. This will give you the best cup of coffee possible.
- It's very easy to clean. Just rinse the carafe and you're ready for a new cup.
- There are plenty of recipes online. This way you will have a wide variety of coffee flavors.
Best Two-in-one Coffee Maker: Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer Coffee Maker
The biggest strength of the Hamilton Beach coffee maker is that it can work as a regular drip coffee maker and give you a full carafe of coffee or make it straight into a travel mug. In addition to that, it has a programmable timer that can start brewing your coffee before you wake up so you can have a cup to go when you're out of bed.
The single serving brewing option is what had us sold, though. We love this feature because it gives you exactly one cup of coffee, unlike other machines that give you an entire carafe and you usually have to throw a lot of coffee away.
Something that we haven't seen in many other coffee makers is the filter that doubles as a scoop. While we see why this might not be to everyone's taste, we loved it as it makes the whole coffee making process easier.
Another great advantage that this brewer has over other machines, is that it has an auto-shutoff timer. It steps in 2 hours after your coffee maker starts brewing your coffee and turns the brewer off. Unlike most other coffee makers, this is enough time for most to fully enjoy their coffee without it getting cold.
The last benefit that this coffee brewer has over some other machines is that great price of $79 as of writing this article. This is significantly less than an espresso machine for example.
The biggest disadvantage that we could find is the lack of K-cup compatibility. Even though K-cups are very widely spread across The US, their inflated price might be the reason why you choose this coffee maker over the competitors.
Best Brewer for Coffee Newbies: Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker
The Keurig K-classic is probably a coffee maker you're already familiar with. This brewer is the top choice if you're a one-cup-a-day coffee drinker. It's easy to use and makes delicious coffee. Additionally it is cheap, costing just $119 with 60 K-cups on Amazon.
The K-cups (also known as K-pods) are Keurig's single use coffee pods. They come in different sizes and flavors so there's plenty to choose from. It's a straightforward system that requires minimal cleanup. Additionally the Keurig K-classic comes with a massive 10-ounce water tank so you will only need to refill it once every few days.
The biggest downside here is that said K-pods are on the expensive side. It's worth it, though, as it's a lot more convenient than most other coffee makers. Unfortunately the K-cups make a lot of waste so if you are environmentally conscious, that might not be the choice for you.
An additional advantage that this coffee maker has, though, is that it makes one cup per brew. This means there's going to be less coffee wasted and you will always enjoy a fresh cup of brew.
Best Programmable Coffee Maker: Cuisinart DCC-3200P1 Perfectemp Coffee Maker
This Cuisinart coffee maker is no ordinary brewer. It comes with settings for 1 to 4 cups, but can go all the way to 14. Additionally rocks a warming plate that will have your coffee at just the right temperature and if you haven't drank it in 4 hours it will automatically switch off to save power.
The programmability of this coffee maker lets you enjoy a cup of coffee without having to be around while it's brewing, making it very easy to use. Not only that but the coffee that comes out of it, while not as strong as Moka pot coffee, is delicious.
While it may seem similar to the Keurig K-Classic, it's a lot more environmentally friendly as it doesn't work with single use coffee pods. Instead, it works just like your normal coffee maker.
Some disadvantages that this brewer has is that it makes your coffee somewhat slower than other models and that you will need to change the water filter every month.
The slower brewing time shouldn't be that much of an issue, as unlike some other machines, you can have your Cuisinart brewer start making your coffee at a specific time. This way you won't even know how long brewing a round takes.
How Do You Know What Coffee Makers Make the Best Coffee?
Now that you know what are our recommendations for a coffee maker under $100 let's look into what makes them worth it and what not.
What's the Coffee Brew Time?
The coffee brewing time is most important if you've decided to go for a coffee maker that is not programmable to make you a cup of coffee at a certain time. These are the manual options and some significantly cheaper automatic options. If you've decided to go with a coffee maker that has a brewing timer, you probably wouldn't care as much about the brewing time as you'll have it programmed to make your cup of coffee at a certain time.
If you decide to go for a Moka pot or pour over, you should know that brewing will take up to 10 minutes, depending on how much coffee you will want to make. A 3 cup Moka pot like the LuxHaus pot will have your coffee ready in under 5 minutes if you start with hot water. If you go for the bigger 6 cup coffee pot, it should take around 7-8 minutes. Pour over will take 3-4 minutes for a single cup and every additional cup will add around the same amount of time.
As we already mentioned, the brewing time of a programmable coffee maker is probably not going to be a concern but most models take around 5-10 minutes to have your coffee ready.
An automatic coffee maker is also going to take around the same time but you'll have to press the button to start the brewing process. This means that you will need some more time in the morning.
How Many Cups of Coffee Can You Make?
The amount of coffee you can make per round can be crucial when choosing a coffee brewer. As we previously mentioned, there are machines that make from one all the way to twelve cups of coffee.
If your coffee maker makes a lot of coffee per round you will need more water, more ground coffee, and a bigger carafe. If you're usually making coffee only for yourself, this might mean that you'll be generating a lot of waste. This is not only going to make it all too expensive for a single cup, but is also bad for the environment. Nevertheless, if you're usually making coffee for more people or you drink a lot of coffee at once, this is the way to go.
On the other hand, if you go for a coffee maker that only makes one cup per round, you might be wasting a lot of time. As you will be starting every next cup from the beginning, you will need more time to get the water to the right temperature. A single serve coffee maker is perfect for a one-person household as this way you will be saving on coffee grind and the brewing will be taking significantly less time.
How Easy Is It to Make Coffee?
The difficulty of brewing can make the difference between making coffee every day and having your coffee maker stay in a cabinet untouched. The rule of thumb here is, the more of a coffee enthusiast you are, the more likely you might be to enjoy one of the more complicated brewing methods.
By complicated we don't mean, you will have to go through a witchcraft course to know all the magic potions. You will simply need to be more precise with some stages of the brewing process. This might include making sure what the water temperature is, pouring it for exactly 45 seconds (or more) or learning how your coffee maker works.
Is It an Automatic Coffee Maker? Does it Come with a Grinder?
Automatic coffee machines are perfect if you can't be bothered making your coffee manually. No judgment here. We are all very busy trying to balance personal and work life so the more time you can save the better.
An automatic coffee maker can give you a delicious brew with just the single press of a button. This is made even easier by machines that come with a built-in coffee grinder. In these models you won't need to grind coffee but simply pour it in the tank and voilà.
How Easy Is it to Clean?
The best coffee maker doesn't only make coffee but is also very easy to clean. If you have ever used an espresso machine you will know that they are a pain to take apart, clean and then put back together. That is something we really put into consideration when making this list. You can take all the models apart, rinse them under running running water and have them ready for another round in less than 15 minutes. We tested it.
Does it Turn Off Automatically?
Having a coffee maker that turns off automatically is a blessing. Whenever you decide to have a cup of coffee, you will only need to wait to finish, drink as much as you feel like and then the machine will turn off by itself. This is great if you're unsure about how much coffee you will drink or if you forget to turn off the machine on your way out the door.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a Cheap Drip Coffee Maker Any Good?
This depends. If you go for the cheapest model you can find on Amazon, it's probably not going to be good. We're not only talking about the taste of the coffee, but also the lack of functionality and potentially dangerous malfunctions.
Are Expensive Coffee Machines Worth It?
An expensive coffee machine can be well worth it if you're a real coffee enthusiast. While espresso is strong and delicious, an espresso machine's price tag can be a deal breaker. We would recommend getting one of the cheaper options first and then, if your passion (and thirst) for coffee grows, go for the better models.
Is There a Top Choice for all Coffee Drinkers?
Everyone likes their coffee differently. While good coffee is good for most people, when we talk about the best coffee out there, most coffee enthusiasts will disagree.