A thermal carafe is the ideal way to keep coffee hot without ruining its flavor. Getting a coffee maker with a thermal carafe included saves you the cost and hassle of buying another vessel. If you like to brew a pot in the morning and drink it throughout the day, one of the coffee makers below will be a great way to get consistently delicious coffee hours after brewing.
The Cuisinart Stainless Steel Thermal Coffeemaker is our top choice for flavor and convenience. Its advanced heater brews hotter than most drip machines without boiling or burning the grounds. Thanks to the small batch setting, you’ll get consistently delicious coffee whether you’re brewing 1 cup or 12.
For versatility, the Cuisinart SS-20 is our top pick. Brew thermal carafes from the automatic drip side, or use the single-serve brewer for a quick cup. It’s also fully programmable and customizable, making it a top choice for convenience in any home kitchen.
The intuitive controls on the Mr. Coffee Optimal Brew make it easy to brew now or later, with a convenient side-filling basket and delay brew option. It brews at a consistent 205°F and has built-in water filtration, so you’ll get hot, delicious coffee every time.
This Black+Decker coffeemaker is easy to both use and maintain. The carafe design has a wider opening, so it’s much easier to clean than many thermal carafes. You can customize both your strength level and your batch size on the display, which also has a timer for tracking the freshness of the brew.
Here’s another great two-way brewing option. The Hamilton Beach FlexBrew can brew single cups from either ground coffee or K-Cups, as well as full carafes up to 10 cups. Dual reservoirs and a large, easy-to-read display make it intuitive to fill, program, and use.
If you’re looking for a simple and compact drip machine, the Cuisinart DCC-1150 is an excellent option. It has a comparatively small counter footprint for its capacity, along with convenience features like programmability and a self-cleaning function.
If you’re looking for the best possible drip coffee flavor, the Bonavita BV1900TS is your brewer. It’s certified to meet the SCA’s Gold Cup standards for taste and uses advanced brew technology, with a wide showerhead water dispenser and optional pre-infusion bloom. Precise temperature control and a double-walled carafe get the water hot enough for a full-flavored brew, and keep it hot until you drink it.
The streamlined, modern design of the Bunn BT Velocity Brew is both super-compact and one of the most unique-looking automatic drip machines you’ll find. It’s fast-brewing, too, giving you a full 10-cup carafe in minutes, with a powerful heater and large showerhead for optimal brew flavor.
The Ninja CM407 Specialty Coffee Maker goes beyond even 2-way brewers in its range of options. Its built-in milk frother can make both hot and cold foam, and the customization options for the brew include an iced coffee setting. If you want to go beyond drip coffee without the hassle of a full espresso machine, the Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker is a top choice.
Here’s another great multi-beverage option from Ninja. The Hot and Cold Brewed System includes separate systems for brewing coffee or steeping loose-leaf or bagged tea. It can do hot or cold versions of both, with a smart control system that optimizes the brew for your beverage.
The Bonavita One-Touch Coffee Maker is our top choice for making batches of 5 cups or less. It uses the same brewing technology as the BV1900 above, including precise temperature control and a pre-infusion mode. The main difference is the showerhead, which is designed specifically for small batches. It’s more compact, too, ideal for fitting in small kitchens.
There’s a reason the Technivorm Moccamaster is the top choice of coffee experts. It’s both fully-customizable and easy to use. The most unique feature is the adjustable brew basket, which gives you control over how quickly the coffee flows into the carafe. We also appreciate the simplicity of the design, which both saves space and is convenient to fill with grounds or water.
All of these coffee makers are designed to brew coffee hot, and keep it hot for hours. To choose the best one for you, though, there are a few other factors to consider.
The carafes on this list range from 5 cups to 12 cups. Consider how much coffee you make in an average batch. A 5-cup model is fine for 1-2 people, while a larger model is better for entertaining (or serious coffee drinkers).
The option of a delayed brew start lets you wake up to the smell of fresh-brewed coffee and can be a convenient feature for busy coffee lovers.
Two-way brewers let you use either ground coffee for carafes or K-Cups for single servings. This gives you more versatility and a quick-brewing option when you’re pressed for time.
Misconception 1: A hot plate is a good way to keep coffee hot.
Hot plates use direct heat, so when you use one you’re not just keeping the coffee warm—you’re cooking it. Applying heat to brewed coffee causes chemical changes in the brew. This makes it taste bitter and burnt and raises its acidity.
Misconception 2: Coffee can be reheated in the microwave.
Just like hot plates, microwaves will change the flavor compounds in your brew, bringing out more of the bad acids that give you a sour stomach and make the coffee taste flat. The exception to this is cold brew. The offending acids are never extracted by cold-brewing, so you can microwave it without ruining the flavor.
Misconception 3: If it brews hotter, it will stay hotter longer.
While this is scientifically logical, it’s not the best idea. Brewing coffee at temperatures over 205°F can be just as detrimental to its flavor as re-heating it after brewing since many of the best-tasting flavor compounds are destroyed (rather than extracted) by boiling water.
Carafe temperature is how hot the coffee is when it reaches the carafe. With some brewers, the water starts hot but cools off as it flows through the filter and drip mechanism.
Limiting the coffee’s exposure to the air is the best way to prevent this. A carafe whose lid directly contacts the pour spout of the coffee maker is ideal. It’s also helpful if you can keep the lid on during brewing since a lot of heat will be lost through an open carafe lid.
The same concept is behind both, which is to use insulation or double-wall construction to prevent heat loss and keep beverages at the right temperature.
There are two main differences: size and design. Thermal carafes are built to hold large quantities of coffee and keep it warm until you’re ready to drink it. Many thermoses just hold enough for one. This makes a thermos more portable, so you can take your drink with you on the go.
Carafes are also meant to be serving vessels, with a lid and spout designed for pouring, not drinking. Most thermoses are designed to allow you to drink straight from it if you prefer.
This isn’t necessarily the question you want to ask. You don’t want a coffee maker that brews above about 205°F. Once the temperature passes this point, the coffee could end up scalded or burnt, and that will negatively impact the flavor.
For those who like their coffee hot, look for a machine that gets into the 200°-205°F range. The Cuisinart DCC-3400P1 and Mr. Coffee Optimal Brew are both great options that meet this standard, providing piping hot coffee that still tastes great.
The Perfect Coffee Brewing Temperature
How to Keep Coffee Hot, Not Warm, Without Burning It
Hotplate vs. Thermal Carafe: Which is Best at Keeping Coffee Hot?
How to Choose the Best Coffee Maker