For keeping coffee piping hot, nothing beats a thermal carafe. Thermal coffee makers come with one included, and often have other advanced heating technology that ensures your daily joe will be hot and fresh whenever you drink it. Let’s look at the best options out there so you can find the best one for your kitchen!
The Mr. Coffee Optimal Brew Coffee Maker is the best thermal coffee maker for those who like their daily brew piping hot. Its 1,300-watt heater brews at 205°F, the top end of the optimal brewing range. Coffee is hotter when it reaches the carafe, and stays that way thanks to the insulated carafe that’s included.
The Cuisinart Thermal Coffee Maker is a user-friendly way to brew consistently delicious coffee. You can customize the coffee strength and program the brew to start up to 24 hours in advance on the intuitive display. It’s hot-brewing, too, for full flavor extraction from your grounds.
Consistency is the main advantage of the Black+Decker Thermal Coffee Maker. Its small batch setting gives you the same full flavor when brewing 1-4 cups that you’ll get from full carafes. You’ll also get even ground saturation with every brew thanks to the advanced showerhead water dispenser. The included carafe has a smart design, too, with a wider opening for easier cleaning and a spout designed to limit messes.
The Cuisinart Coffee Center is the perfect thermal coffee maker for busy households. Use the single-serve brewer for one quick cup, or brew full 10-cup carafes on the drip side. It’s fully-automatic, as well, with a programmable brew start and a self-cleaning function that makes it easy to use and maintain.
The Cuisinart Classic is one of the more compact 10-cup thermal brewers on the list, which can make it a great choice for small kitchens that still need full-batch brewing capacity. For smaller batches, the 1-4 cup setting optimizes the brew for lower quantities, so you can count on it to give you the same great taste every time.
Thanks to its integrated grinder, the Cuisinart Thermal Grind & Brew lets you take advantage of automatic brewing without sacrificing the flavor of fresh-ground beans. Direct flow technology makes sure you get the right coffee to water ratio, with adjustable grind settings and brew strength options that let you customize the flavor of the brew to suit your tastes.
The sleek and stylish OXO Brew Coffee Maker is a top choice if your main concern is coffee quality. It replicates the pulsed water dispersal used in manual pour-over brewing, with a powerful heater that maintains the optimal temperature throughout the brew. The freshness timer on the display is helpful, too, letting you see how long the coffee’s been sitting at a glance.
If you want the option of making more than just drip coffee, the Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker is your best bet. Its 4 brew settings include a concentrated shot for making drinks like lattes and cappuccinos, with an integrated frother for the milk. You don’t have to sacrifice quality for variety, either. It meets the Golden Cup standard for brewing, with even ground extraction and consistent brew temperature.
The Krups ET351 is a convenient choice for those looking for a simple automatic drip brewer. We like the simplicity of the controls, which give you good brewing options without becoming cluttered or complicated. The one-touch descaling option is a handy feature, too, making it just as easy to maintain as it is to use.
With the Hamilton Beach FlexBrew, you’ll get both a fast-brewing single-serve machine and a high-quality drip brewer in one compact package. Dual water reservoirs make it easier to fill the brewer and control the capacity on each side. You don’t have to use K-Cups on the single-serve side, either, since it includes a brew basket for regular grounds.
As you might guess from the name, this is the ideal brewer if you want your coffee fast. It can brew up to 10 cups in about 4 minutes—less than half the time of some drip brewers. Precise temperature control on the tank maintains a consistent 200°F to make sure you’ll still get the full flavor from your grounds.
Bonavita brewers have a reputation for coffee quality, and the Connoisseur stays true to this rule. The optional pre-infusion blooms the coffee to release its full aroma and flavor, while the powerful heater gets water to the ideal brewing temperature every time. Along with that, it’s one-switch operation makes it one of the easiest brewers to use.
A thermal coffee maker is a drip coffee machine that comes with a thermal carafe. These carafes are made of stainless steel and use a double-walled, insulated design that prevents heat loss, keeping the coffee inside hotter for longer.
Because they include a thermal carafe, these brewers don’t have the warming plate you’ll find on other drip brewers. This means they use less electricity overall, in addition to better maintaining the flavor of your brew.
That depends on the carafe. At minimum, you can expect a thermal carafe to keep coffee hot for 2 hours. Many carafes will work for longer than this, though, with some retaining the heat of what’s inside for as much as 12 hours.
How hot the coffee is when it enters the carafe is a factor here, as well. For the longest heat retention, look for a brewer that reaches between 200°F and 205°F during brewing.
It’s also helpful to limit the amount of contact between the coffee and the outside air. The best choice is a thermal coffee maker where the lid of the carafe is in direct contact with the dripper.
Brew temperature is one big factor we already mentioned. Beyond that, though, there are other factors you’ll want to consider as you’re deciding which coffee maker to buy, such as:
Thermal Pour Servers Vs. Glass Carafes: Which Makes Better Coffee
Testing Thermal Carafes
Thermal Carafe Coffee Makers
Best Coffee Maker Buying Guide