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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Best Value Thermal Coffee Maker

Thermal Coffee Maker Features

My high end Mr. Coffee thermal coffee maker kicked the bucket and it was time to find a replacement coffee maker. After some thought, here are my top features for a new coffee maker:
  1. Thermal Carafe. Coffee tastes bad when it sits on a burner too long. For me, any time on the burner is too long. Coffee makers with a thermal carafe do not heat the coffee on a burner. It is hot when it comes out and stays hot in an insulated carafe.
  2. Simple. The Mr. Coffee had a timer feature to automatically start brewing that I only used a couple times. It also had sensors to cause it to stop brewing if all the lids, etc. were not closed tight, possibly a safety feature. All of these extra features cost money and make failure more likely. I really don't even need a clock on the coffee maker.
  3. Good value. Of course, price is always important. Good coffee is important too. I was looking for a good value, a machine that would make good coffee, last a while, and not cost too much.

Thermal Coffee Maker Options

There are some good choices for stainless steel thermal coffee makers under $100. My favorites are:

Mr. Coffee 10-cup thermal coffee maker

Price: about $65
There are a couple Mr. Coffee thermal models available. My previous Mr. Coffee thermal coffee maker that I purchased about 5 years ago cost about $150. Now there are a couple choices for under $100. The X95 is the cheaper model and features more plastic than stainless steel. The X91 is a fancier model and features more stainless steel.
Although there are a couple choices with thermal carafe from Mr. Coffee in the under $100 price range, I was ready to try something different.

Frigidaire Professional 10-cup thermal coffee maker

Price: about $100
Filter type: cone filter
The Frigidaire Professional, also known as Electrolux, is a very sharp looking product. This product looks and feels expensive and would look great in any kitchen. It has lots of stainless steel surfaces, and the parts feel heavy and strong. I found the one in the picture for sale at Target, but have not seen it on amazon yet.
One problem with this coffee maker is that it may make the rest of your appliances look inadequate since it is very sharp looking! I was interested primarily in great coffee rather than the appearance of the coffee maker- you do pay about $40 extra for the fancy appearance compared with other models of thermal coffee makers. I decided to go with the simplest coffee maker with a thermal carafe.

Melitta 10-cup thermal coffee maker

Price: about $65
One great thing about this coffee maker is its simplicity. This unit has a power on/off button, the only one you really need. It also has a brew strength button and 3 buttons for programming the clock as well. It has black plastic and stainless steel surfaces. The plastic feels a bit flimsy, but overall a very good coffee maker.
Filter type: Uses #4 cone filter.
The Melitta thermal coffee maker is my choice for best value coffee maker. It has all of the features I need and makes great coffee. I decided to buy this model and give it a try.

Melitta 10 cup thermal coffee maker with cone filter basket- simple!
Image Source: Dr. Penny Pincher
The Militta uses cone filters. This is my first experience using cone filters. Initially I was worried that they would be difficult to find in local stores, but this has not been a problem.
The coffee maker was easy to use and makes great coffee. The cone filter basket is easily removable for cleaning. The top of the coffee maker has a couple lids that open to provide access to the filter basket and water reservoir from the top (see picture).
I like the digital LCD clock with blue backlight and the red accent on the thermal carafe. At $54.99, it is not the cheapest coffee maker you can get, but is one of the cheaper ones with a steel thermal carafe. The Melitta thermal coffee maker is a good value for the money and makes great coffee with its cone filter. It has everything you need to make great coffee.

Melitta coffee maker- easy access to filter basket and water reservoir
Image Source: Dr. Penny Pincher

Coffee Making Tips:

  • Brew coffee at home every day instead of buying coffee at a coffee shop and save a couple dollars per day. This can add up to over $500 per year!
  • Use a coffee maker with a thermal carafe for the freshest tasting coffee at home
  • Black coffee has almost zero calories and can be part of your diet plan.
  • Switch to decaf coffee or coffee alternatives in the afternoon to avoid loosing sleep.
Copyright © 2013 Dr. Penny Pincher. All Rights Reserved. Coffee Maker Journal

1 comment:

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