Prefer to kick-start your day with a fresh cup of joe? If yes, you would also prefer to make coffee at home. How do we know this? It is seen that 79% of coffee lovers drink homemade coffee.
What could trump the ease of a coffee maker in your kitchen? With this in tow, you can brew a fresh cup of coffee anytime you want. If you are a mid-size family, a 4-cup coffee maker should suffice your family needs.
But with a myriad of all-in-one designs available, selecting one can be an overwhelming task. Our buyer’s guide and a list of Best 4-Cup Coffee Makers in 2020 may make this decision easier for you.
Why Use a 4-Cup Coffee Maker?
The first obvious reason is that you need more than one cup of coffee at a time. The issue with a Nespresso or Keurig machines is that they make the coffee one by one by one by one. Who has time for that? I’ll answer that… No one has time for that. Especially if you have a roommate or other person you share reality with!
Then there is the cost. Each time you put one of those pieces of plastic (pods) into the machine you hear “kachink, kachink, kachink”. The monopoly guy did it again! Another dollar in his coffers.
Let’s break the chains…
Then there is the final reason. Nostalgia. Remember those times when you were able to brew one pot of coffee for everyone? Oh, the camaraderie. Each person in your house sharing the same experience at the same time. What about that is not special?
Is everyone having their own choice really better?
Things to Look for While Buying a 4-Cup Coffee Maker
Just like any other appliance, there are multiple features that can come handy while selecting a 4-cup coffee maker. Let’s take a quick look at some important ones.
There is no one size fits all model for coffee machines. They come in every square under the sun: squares, rectangles, ovals, octagons, you name it. It’s important you consider your counter space as well as the dimensions of any product you are evaluating.
In addition to the size of the device itself, think about the size of the carafe. Is a 4-cup coffee maker actually large enough for your household? If you’re like me and live with several sales people, the answer is no. We opted for a modest 12-cup coffee maker, which allows us to save time and brew less often.
You can even go smaller and pick a single serve coffee maker.
Ease of Use
A major factor that affects this experience is the ease with which you can clean your coffee maker. Some models have easily removable parts and reusable or throw-away filters. While others may lack these features and make the cleaning process trickier.
Many models also come with easy-to-clean and non-stick hot plates that save your cleaning effort and time.
Moreover, it is always a good option to invest in a coffee maker that is convenient to operate. The good news about these small coffee makers is that they come with a set of brewing options or just need you to just turn them on. So, you can select a model that suits you the best.
Coffee makers come with different carafe options. Some have a thermal carafe, which is vacuum-sealed and double-walled to keep coffee hot for hours. As these carafes are not suitable for hot plates, such coffee makers don’t come with the base heating element.
Traditional carafes, on the other hand, are single-walled and used with a base hot plate. You can also consider how they drip while pouring. Some drip easily while others may resist dripping. In any case, it is better to get a lightweight option
What kind of materials do you prefer, BPS-free plastic or stainless steel?
Think about what material you want and if the plastics used are BPA free or if a glass carafe. What would suit your needs or kitchen design? Moreover, if you prefer an eco-friendly option, you can opt for a model that comes with a reusable filter basket.
Most of the 4-coffee makers we love the most have a programmable timer. This feature is super handy as it allows your machine to start and shutdown automatically.
So, you can set the timer for hours you are planning to sleep and get a fresh cup of coffee once you wake up.
It is also a good idea to look for coffee makers with an auto shut-off feature. This aids in safety as well as consumes less electricity.
The ability to maintain or retain the temperature may also be essential while choosing the right coffee maker. Many models offer to keep coffee hot even after a few hours.
Ideally, coffee makers should be able to retain temperature between 195 to 205°F.
Oh, what an underrated feature of a coffee maker. Let me play this scenario out for you. It’s 5:30am in the morning. Your flight is at 7:00am. Luckily, the airport isn’t all that for, but nonetheless, you can’t waste time. Still, you have to get your cup of coffee. You prep the brew, it’s dripping into the pot…. drip… drip… You can’t watch it drip any longer.
“There’s enough in the pot! I don’t need it to completely finish.”
Insert the pause function. You press the button. The drip finally stops. You proudly pour your coffee in your to go cup and hit the road. This anecdote hits home a little too much…
Precautions While Using This Product
Here are some precautions while using 4-cup coffee makers:
- Use knobs and handles. Do not touch hot surfaces.
- Avoid placing the plug, cord, or base unit in water to protect against electric shock.
- Unplug the machine when not in use.
- Allow the parts to cool before taking them off and cleaning the machine.
- Kindly avoid the use of the machine with a damaged cord or plug.
- Avoid the use of accessory attachments.
- Don’t place the machine near a heated oven, hot gas, or electric burner.
How to Keep Them Clean
The way you clean your machine can affect the taste of your coffee and also the look of the coffee maker. For instance, limescale from tap water can accumulate and debris from the beans can clog the coffee maker.
Ideally, clean your machine at least once a month. Some tips that can come handy while washing them are:
- Try and wash all removable parts every time you use them with soap and water. You can also use a dishwasher if they are dishwasher friendly.
- You can use vinegar to prevent the build-up of minerals and to decalcify the machine. For this, set-up the machine to brew mode and repeat this cycle with vinegar. Once this is done, clean it with soap and water. It is also a good idea to run two brew cycles with fresh water to ensure vinegar removal.
- Alternatively, you can use lemon juice as the acid level is similar to vinegar.
- You can add rice and soapy water to the coffee machine and swirl the mixture. This helps to loosen accumulated dirt. You can also use a sponge to clean sides with the mixture added. Your machine will shine as good as when you removed it from the box.
Review of Five Best 4-Cup Coffee Makers
Without further ado, let’s have a look at our five best picks.
It is one of the smallest 4-cup coffee makers. There are many things you may like about this Cuisinart coffee maker.
Cuisinart’s 4-Cup Coffee Maker has a knuckle guard and a dripless pour spout for wooden or clean spotless countertops that stain easily. It also comes with an auto-off and brew-pause setting. Made with stainless steel, this coffee maker is easy to clean and durable. We love the fact that it comes with an ergonomic handle, which is comfortable to hold.
You can get your coffee before it brews completely with the brew-pause setting. The auto-off feature is activated after 30 minutes to keep your coffee hot in the carafe. So, it is easy-to-use and an intuitive machine. Moreover, if you are having some difficulties in operating, it comes with an easy-to-read manual.
As it is built to North American Electrical Standard, it works without needing any special outlet. Cuisinart DCC-450BK is safe as all the parts are BPA free. Furthermore, the auto-shutoff feature and knuckle guard enhance safety further.
It is pocket friendly and available in different colors. However, as it is made of stainless steel, you will be unable to see the coffee while brewing. It also doesn’t come with a filter. But this coffee maker uses standard filter papers that can be easily available anywhere.
Mr. Coffee Simple Brew Coffee Maker
Mr. Coffee Simple Brew machine offers to brew rich-tasting coffee effortlessly. What we liked about the coffee maker in the first instance of a stylish and compact design.
Unlike this first product, this machine has a dual water window that allows you to monitor the brewing process. While it allows you to have a clearer view of the brewing process, it is also the best feature for amateurs who wouldn’t know the exact amount of water to use.
Another interesting feature of this machine is its hot plate. It allows you to reheat your coffee and is also stain-resistant. It thus saves money, time, and effort. So, Drink, Save, and Repeat (literally!)
The carafe is made up of high-quality materials to keep your coffee fresh for a long period of time. The carafe is also dishwasher friendly.
Furthermore, the “Grab-A-Cup” or auto-pause function comes handy when you want to grab a cup of coffee before the brewing process is complete.
The best part is that it is available at a fraction of the cost you would have to pay for other machines. However, the cups are smaller in size. So, it might actually brew 3 cups instead of 4. It also lacks the auto-shutoff feature and the glass carafe may lose heat too quickly.
Black + Decker CM0700BZ
Black + Decker CM0700BZ is a compact and sleek and thus can accommodate almost anywhere.
We loved the improved ergonomic carafe that is curated for drip-fee pouring and comfortable handling. It also has a removable lid, which makes it easy to clean. The front-facing window displays the amount of water.
Sneak-a-Cup Feature stops the flow of coffee temporarily. So, you can get a cup of coffee even before the brewing process is over. This coffee maker comes with a permanent filter basket and thus is eco-friendly. The filter is also easy to clean
Like the above two models, this machine also comes with the light on/off indicator for your peace of mind.
However, the carafe is made up of glass and is thus not durable.
Mr. Coffee JWX9-RB
A second Mr. Coffee Model on our list. Unlike the first option, this model is programmable. So, if you are always on a go, this can be a best option for you. It also allows you to use your coffee maker with ease, anytime, and anywhere.
Mr. Coffee JWX9-RB has a tad bit bigger carafe than the classic version without affecting speed or space. This version is a 5-cup coffee maker. The carafe is also dishwasher safe.
It also comes with an option to choose the strength of your coffee. This allows you to have a rich cup of coffee as per your taste.
It drips well and includes a keep-warm function. It also comes with a programmable option of planning your brew even 24 hours before you plan to have your coffee. So, if you have your coffee at the same time every day, this may be a great option for you
As with all other models, this machine also comes with a convenient pause brew feature. So, you can get a fresh cup of coffee even before the brewing is complete. Mr. Coffee JWX9-RB comes with a removable filter basket. This model also has an auto-shutoff function.
However, similar to the classic version, the carafe is made up of steel and thus you cannot monitor the brewing. But steel makes it more durable than those models that are made up of glass. It also locks the brewed flavors. You can also store the cord in the machine.
The backlight on the screen is also missing. So, it may be difficult if you are programming in the dark. Also, the lid of the machine can be difficult to close.
One more attractive, compact, and sleek coffee maker on our list. Similar to the programmable Mr. Coffee model, this is also a 5-cup coffee maker. What we love in the product is the removable water tank. This water tank has a charcoal filter that can last for two years.
The charcoal adds flavor and purity to the coffee. The filter cones adapt in the decanter and thus making them easy to use. Furthermore, the cone shape allows the water to run evenly through grounds to get a robust flavor coffee.
The coffee can be kept warm with the automatic keep-warm function and you can thus have a cup of coffee whenever you need one or a top-up. The on/off switch also makes it easier to use.
However, it’s on the higher side and the plastic material makes it prone to breakage.
With a myriad of options available, selecting the right 4-cup coffee can be a challenging task. To pick a best machine, take an extremely close look at their features – to see what matches your requirements the most.
We feel Mr. Coffee JWX9-RB is the best choice of all as it has almost all features a 4-cup coffee maker needs to make you a cup of delicious coffee. It is sleek, programmable, and easy to use.
However, if you are a beginner, Cuisinart DCC-450BK would be a better option for you as it is easy to use and doesn’t have complex programs.
But if you need a machine that has almost all features and has value for money, then Mr. Coffee Simple Brew 4-Cup Coffee Maker can be a better option
We hope this concise guide and reviews will help you make an informed decision. Happy brewing!