With so many different ways to brew coffee, you might be wondering which exactly is right for you. Sometimes you just want a method that gives you a great cup consistently. Preferably without all the fuss of brewing enough to fuel an army. A simple set-up to brew 5-cups is perfect for personal use and for entertaining. Great news if you’ve been fussing with a pour-over, repeating the process over and over until you make enough for everyone. So what do you need to know? We’ve broken it down and took a look.
This Black and Decker Coffee Maker does exactly what it sets out to. It can brew a 5-cup pot quickly, easily, and without much fuss.
It has a few special features that set it apart. The filter that the machine uses is removable which makes it a lot easier to clean. Just slot a paper filter in and you’re ready to go.
The Black and Decker 5-Cup makes the coffee in under five minutes. However, if this isn’t quick enough for you it has a neat feature to let you get your coffee early. If you pull out the carfare early to pour yourself the first cup brewed, the drip will stop running. You won’t have to suffer through coffee splashing on the heater again.
The machine is small and pretty lightweight. All you need from a drip brewer is in there, but it won’t take up unnecessary space or hog your counter. The only problem we can see is a lack of frills. There is no clock or programmable timers. But if you just want to brew a good cup of coffee quickly and without a fuss, the Black and Decker does it.
The One-Touch 5-Cup Coffee maker is the latest entry from Bonvita. They manufacture quite a lot of drip brewing systems. So what can you expect from this one?
It has some specific advantages. One of the things that you want from a 5-cup brewer is the taste and quality of individual cups. So many of the giant machines capable of brewing 10, or 20, or a thousand cups, loose quality. While the Bonvita isn’t as big as some of the others offered by the company, it does brew at a high quality.
The temperature of the water used is heated until it’s perfect. The Bonvite One Touch even has an immersion mode for you to use before brewing. If you’re after a really flavourful cup, the Bonvite is going to make it quite a bit easier.
Of the drawbacks, one for a lot of people might be the absence of a heated plate for the carafe. This is by design though. Coffee kept warm under a hot plate goes bitter quickly. You can preheat your carafe by cycling some hot water before brewing your coffee. That keeps is going to keep your 5-Cups warm for as long they’re good to drink.
The Holstein Housewares coffee maker immediately grabs you with its bright colors! This is a 5-Cup machine that comes with some nice added features, for that extra convenience.
The filter basket is removable, but the size isn’t uniform, so you may have to get some specific filters for it. It features simplified controls with just a one-touch on and off system. The glass carafe is as stylish as the body of the machine itself.
One of the really nice things about this Holstein Housewares coffee maker is its ease of use. The filter included doesn’t take much work and it comes with a measuring spoon. The only drawbacks we could see are a few missing features. Dripping can be a problem and it doesn’t power off automatically. The Holstein only takes 5 minutes to brew, so this is hardly a big problem.
This machine is mainly going to attract people because of its look. This extends right down to the power cord which can be easily clipped away. You’re getting a quality brew without sacrificing style in your kitchen appliances.
The Yama Stovetop Siphon is something slightly different, a siphon brewing system. Convenience and siphon brewed coffee are rarely two words that fit together, but this 6-cup stovetop set-up seems to achieve it.
This brews coffee using a vacuum and heat to force water through that vacuum, a completely different style to drip-brew. The result is a coffee that has a clear taste and a distinctive flavor.
The Yama Stovetop Siphon takes the high-quality siphon coffee and adds convenience. This doesn’t take much work to operate on a stove, although you need to be more active in brewing than you would with a pot and drip. Slightly more work, but it is an enjoyable process.
The majority of the vacuum is created by the design itself, which is ingenious. There is even a wire diffuser, to help if you’re using an electric coil burner. Since the design bulks everything into a few pieces, clean-up is a lot easier than with most siphons. The Yama Stovetop Siphon is a great choice if you’re looking for something different.
The Mr. Coffee brand has something of a reputation, but not one it deserves if this 5-cup brewer is anything to go by.
The Mr. Coffee JWX9-RB is a nicely designed and well-functioning machine. It has quite a few added features that you might really enjoy, but at its core, it still brews a great cup.
The stainless steel thermal carafe is available in glass if you prefer that style. Although, even with the thermal material the pot itself can be easily cleaned and maintained. There’s also an automated pause on brewing when you remove it, no more scrubbing off dried splashes.
The Mr. Coffee has a programmable system. You can set timers and ensure there’s a pot of nicely brewed coffee waiting for you in the morning. This particular feature can come in handy. There is also an auto-shutoff after an hour and a tie back to keep the cord safe and out of use. These little add-ons improve the economy of this coffee machine.
While it isn’t the flashiest looking, the JWX9-RB can give you a great coffee reliably, without muss fuss to clean, and at a predetermined time.
Quality of water is a key and often neglected factor in brewing a good clear cup of coffee. Water quality varies from street to street and city to city. That’s why it’s often recommended that you use filtered water to brew coffee. Although most people don’t actually follow this. The Zojirushi EC-DAC50 Zutto machine takes care of that for you.
The coffee machine features a removable water reservoir for easier cleaning. However, this is a removable filter. It sits within your reservoir and filters all of the water that makes its way into your coffee machine. Better water in means better coffee out.
The Zojirushi also has a nice glass carafe, a sleek design, and simple controls. The removable filter basket makes it easy to clean. The water filter for the machine itself should increase its lifespan. Cleaner water makes for less limescale build-up, and less junk making its way into your coffee.
One slight curiosity is the inclusion of the coffee filter within the carafe itself. This should result in a brew that quite a bit different from your typically drip coffee. This isn’t necessarily a negative, but be aware you’re going to be drinking a coffee that is a bit different. It is closer to a pour-over machine than a typical filter, but this is a positive.
The Hamilton Beach 5-Cup Coffee Maker comes in at a pretty admirable price point. For what you’re paying, you’re going to get a nice cup of coffee that doesn’t require much work or clean up. The features of the swankier models might be missing, but this doesn’t detract from a great machine.
It has a compact design so it won’t be hogging your counter space. Small batch 5-Cup brewing is always going to result in a clearer taste. The Hamilton’s pause and serve feature won’t stop you from taking your first cup out early either. You can remove the carafe without the coffee continuing to drip.
The entire carafe and brew basket are removable and dishwasher safe. So clean up is pretty easy. The filter basket takes standard sized filters so there’s no need to shop for anything specific. If you’re just after a tasty and defined cup of coffee, then we think the Hamilton is a good fit.
Most siphon coffee makers add an element of the theatrical to the brewing process. Although, the Hario NEXT also brings with it an appreciation for craftsmanship. This entire set-up is nicely made and stylishly presented, an underrated trait.
Hario’s siphons have a reputation for being well made. This smaller entry into their products is no exception. The glass is clear, reinforced, and easy to clean. The entire product is accentuated with brass fastening too. It French press with a design that perfectly suits the siphon method.
Of course, a full siphon brew is going to require a little more effort than your standard drip machine. This is no exception and it doesn’t try to simplify the method for you. The reward from this trade-off though is evident in every vacuum brewed cup.
The only real problem we can see with the Hario NEXT is the included burner. While perfectly fine for brewing up occasional mugs, some might want to switch to a butane burner for that flavor that comes with the optimal temperature. Otherwise, this is a fantastic choice.
The Boeng Coffee Siphon is an intriguing middle ground. It sits between a full-on siphon brew and convenience of a drip-brew. However, it isn’t one that disappoints.
Disassembled, it has the appearance of a full science kit but isn’t that difficult to use. It’s made from reinforced glass so you will have no problem with cleaning and maintaining. The alcohol burner included slots right into the build. It’s easy to set-up and use, even for anyone unfamiliar with siphon brewing. As a tabletop siphon, it is easier to operate than a regular set-up.
Like with the NEXT brewer, the Boeng includes an alcohol burner. This will be fine for most, but it doesn’t quite give the speed or exact control that you get from using a butane burner. This isn’t a major problem considering the price point. It’s a fantastic siphon kit if you’re interested in this unique method.
The Godmorn is a small package that brews a great cup. It comes with quite a few time-saving features that really simplify the experience.
One of the first differences between this and your standard drip coffee brewer that you’ll notice is the permanent filter. This is a mesh filter that is designed to be completely reusable. It shouldn’t stain or leave any build-up that is going to taint your coffee. This eliminates the need for buying paper filters. It also saves you from those annoying coffee-less mornings. No more worrying about forgetting to pick up filters.
This machine comes with a hot plate that keeps your coffee at that perfect temperature. However, unlike most, it keeps it at that temperature on a specific timer. No more forgetting to turn the machine off and waking up to some crusted still warm day old coffee.
The Godmorn is a great choice for a solid cup. Especially so if you’re looking for convenience and features designed for usability.
The Tao Drip Coffee maker has a few convenient features that make it a great choice for a 5-Cup coffee maker. It can, of course, quickly make up a small batch of coffee with a fantastic taste. What helps this one brew is the automatic agitator.
This is a feature that stirs the coffee periodically when brewing. This ensures all of the grinds and evenly soaked in the filter and gives you a light, crisper taste. This can help to bring out the flavor in your blend compared to a conventional brewing method.
On top of this, there are some cool other features. The filter pot is completely removable so cleaning up isn’t difficult. There is a valve for the coffee dripping that prevents those nasty run-offs when you go to get a cup mid-brew. These touches make the Tao a great package.
This machine is another drip filter; this one comes with cool features that save you quite a bit of time. The main selling point is the programmable timers.
By some simple programming in the machine, you can set the Gevie to brew you up a pot ready for wake up. There are some other smart features that might attract you to this machine. The heater underneath the carfare will shut off after 40 minutes. This keeps your coffee warm and shuts off when it becomes too sour. There is also a permanent filter, so no need for paper ones.
All parts of the Gevi are dishwashable which is always a bonus. There’s also an anti-drip feature, but some people have reported problems with this. The Gevi is a great machine if you’re looking for something that is reliable and makes coffee to your schedule.
The Autoday works pretty well as a drip-brew machine. With a permanent filter and easily programmable interface, the coffee you get is on time and crisp.
One important thing to note is that this is in no way an espresso machine. Despite the naming convention, it brews drip coffee. The Autoday doesn’t have the pressure or design required to make espresso. However, with this aside, it does make a smooth cup of filter coffee.
There is an anti-drip system at play here. It’ll stop your coffee filtering while you reach for that first cup mid-way through. You can also easily program in timers, so you can schedule your coffee to be made throughout the day. Then, there’s a nice reusable filter to save on paper.
It is hard to go wrong with the Autoday, just don’t expect it to be brewing a carafe of espresso!
This is a different way to brew up to five cups of coffee, but it is a classic method. It’s a French press. This little device makes coffee that carries an intense flavor and body.
Bodum is an established maker of the French press. You can be sure when you buy this that you’re getting the highest quality. The glass is reinforced and can stand the pressure of high heat.
Often a worry with a French press is the filter, its quality, and ability to push your grinds down. The Bodum’s filters are metal, thin, and efficient. You won’t find any grinds in your cup if you’re operating it properly.
With this French press, your cup at the end is a reflection of your brewing method. Its taste is going to be affected by how long you left the beans to steep, the evenness of your plunge, and the grind. You can make a cup of fantastic coffee if you do things delicately. The Bodum is a great choice if you enjoy the ritual of making coffee.
The Aerolatte is another French press, with a similar design to the Bodum. In function, it’s the same. However, where the Bodum looks traditional, the Aerolatte gives a taste of the modern. Its design is sleek and a bit different.
This French press has a handy water gauge. This is helpful if you’re not that experienced with one since working out where to fill can be tricky. It also has a stainless steel frame and reinforced glass to ensure it’s going to stand up to multiple uses.
While this is a 5-cup French press, it depends on how big your cups are. It brews 20 ounces of coffee at full capacity, which is 4 ounces per mug. This is quite a bit smaller than most average sized cups of coffee. Bringing out a French press to five people waiting for coffee has a sophisticated look. Although, this one might lead to some half-filled cups. This isn’t a major issue as long as you’re aware of how much it is you’re going to be brewing.
This is a slight drawback, but overall the Aerolatte is a great choice for a French press.
The last French press offers something visually different for a 5-cup coffee maker. The Mueller is an entirely metal French press.
In terms of how well it brews, the material change still gives you that unique and flavourful taste. The filters used are of a high quality, keeping all grinds out with a steady hand on the plunger.
The pot itself is considerably thicker and quite a bit heavier than what you would get with glass. This thing is drop-proof, rust-proof, pet-proof, it can withstand some big knocks. Compared with glass, this is great news for the horrendously clumsy. The look of it uses some nice edges to keep it appealing despite being all metal.
Like with thermal carafes, this will also keep your coffee warmer for longer. Just like those though, the coffee will sour before it cools anyway. The choice between this and a glass French press is largely going to come down to individual taste. If you’re prone to dropping things, the Mueller is an obvious choice.
When you’re looking for the perfect coffee maker, a lot comes down to your needs and preferences. By narrowing it down to a 5-cup coffee maker, you’ve already started to figure this out! If you’re having trouble finding which one is right for you, this buying guide should help you.
You’ve got quite a bit of freedom when looking for a way to brew 5-cups.
Drip coffee machines are definitely the most common. A drip coffee is produced just as easily for five cups as it is for ten, but you will get a better taste from brewing in the smaller amount. This type of brewing suits you if you want something quick and easy. Drip brewing can be as easy as pressing one button with some of these machines.
If you’re feeling more adventurous, then a siphon brewed coffee can be its own reward. These cups have a great clear taste that brings out the best in your beans and grind. However, it does take more work. It is going to take some research and practice to get the hang of heating the siphon and creating a vacuum. While more theatrical and rewarding in the end product, it is more difficult than with the drip method.
A French press is a classic way of brewing. You soak the grinds for five minutes, then just plunge. The only real drawback is that you’ll rarely get five normal-sized cups from a French press. However, they are inexpensive and produce a flavourful cup of coffee.
Cleaning a drip coffee maker is pretty simple. Even more so with removable parts. You can clean the filter basket and glass carafe easily by using your regular washing up routine. Some soap and water should be sufficient to cut through stains on a mesh filter.
You can wipe down the machine itself after it has been powered off and completely cooled down. This is fine for regular cleaning, but once every 6-12 months you should give the machine a fuller clean. In that case, you should put coffee machine cleaning solution or a homemade alternative into the reservoir. All you have to do is cycle it through the entire drip coffee machine. You do this by placing an empty filter in the basket, and brewing a pot of cleaning water! This ensures the liquid is pushed through every part of the machine. Be sure to give it a good rinse when you’re done though.
Cleaning a Siphon or a French press is as simple as disassembling the set-up and washing it. These don’t use anything fancy that can’t be cleaned with just a bit of elbow grease, water, and cleaning liquid.
Do You Need to Use Filters?
You can use paper filters with every of the filter machines in this buying guide. Some of them come with permanent mesh filters that can work without a paper filter. Each of the siphons come with metal filters and a French press doesn’t require any extra filtering.
Can You Brew a Single Cup?
With all of these machines, you can brew a single cup and then turn it off. Just adjust the amount of coffee and water used accordingly.
What Coffee Do You Need?
The type of grind is going to vary depending on the brew method rather than the machine. Medium ground beans are going to be ideal for brewing drip coffee. For a Syphon, the coffee needs to be ground just a bit finer than this. This isn’t as fine as you’d grind it for Espresso or a Turkish press, but more so than a Drip coffee maker. For a French press, your coffee needs to be grind very coarsely, this method uses the coarsest ground beans.
Should I Use a Glass Carafe or Thermal?
Most coffee makers that are suited to brewing small batches like 5-cups at home use glass carafes. However, there are some that stick with the thermal. The thermal carafe will keep the coffee insulated much better than the glass. This traps the heat aside.
Although, there is a thing to keep in mind. Even if a thermal carafe can keep your coffee warm for longer, it will still become bitter at the same rate. This makes the thermal factor a bit irrelevant since the coffee will go sour long before it goes cold.
Siphon Coffee – https://siphoncoffee.net/how-to-clean-a-siphon-coffee-maker-2/
Coffee Grinding Basics – http://www.coffeeteawarehouse.com/coffee-grind.html
Testing Thermal Carafes – https://www.cooksillustrated.com/articles/373-testing-thermal-carafes