It’s no exaggeration to say that the working world, not to mention student life, often revolves around coffee. That first cup of the day, whether at home or en route, is the lifeblood that sparks our daily routine. Finding the perfect coffee maker for you can be tough in the Amazon age, but there are a few that stand far, far beyond the rest.
Check out Sous Vide Guy’s picks below!
Top Pick: Ninja Hot and Cold Brew System
The Ninja Hot and Cold Brew System is, hands-down, one of the best all-in one coffee makers on the market right now. There’s a reason why it’s sometimes referred to as a coffee shop on a counter. For percolator purists give the smart brew setting for rich coffee a shot.
As a brand, Ninja has been pushing at improving the at-home coffee brewing experience for more than a few years. The Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System is no exception. This is an absolutely wonderful piece of smart technology. As mentioned above, this particular unit has an intelligent basket-system built in. Brewing options are displayed based on whether you insert the basket for tea or the basket for coffee.
For those on the go, this is a game changer. It also features one-button smart brewing through its auto-iq system. Likewise, for tea drinkers it’s as simple as selecting which sort of tea you’re brewing and letting the Ninja Hot and Cold Brew System handle the rest. Even better, the Ninja works for a variety of styles of coffee – from speciality, espresso-based drinks like the flat white all the way to your day to day percolated coffee. Admittedly, the speciality option involves both more counter space and effort. With that said, it’s hard to get away from the craftsmanship needed to brew a truly exceptional espresso-based drink.
For those of you who tend to drink specialty coffee regularly, which has significantly less caffeine than typical drip or percolated coffee, make sure to consider adjusting the included recipes. Based on testing, about half of the suggested quantities, or whatever your specialty roster recommends, works best.
- Largely stainless steel and rubber design, although there are some plastic components.
- Extremely flexible for a wide variety of uses.
- Offers specialty coffee at home with substantially less work than a fully manual set-up.
- Not compatible with well water unless filtered and redistilled (an important note for rural folks).
- No hot plate beneath the carafe.
- High-end price point.
Runner Up: Presto 12-cup Stainless Steel Coffee Maker
The Presto 12-cup Stainless Steel Coffee Maker is an absolute workhorse. If you’re looking for consistency, consistency, consistency then this is the product for you.
The Presto 12-cup Stainless Steel Coffee Maker is slightly heavier than other units in its price range, but more than makes up for the heft with a compact, primarily vertical design. It also sports both automatic shutoff and an indicator light. Even better, the cord is detachable allowing for table side service if you so desire.
There’s something to be said for coffee machines that just… work. Here at Sous Vide Guy we value consistency as much as craft.The Presto 12-cup has both.
- Sleek, compact design with a large reservoir and primarily stainless steel components.
- Lightweight and both countertop and event-space friendly.
- Particularly good for those who like strong coffee, or who like strong java offset with sugar, milk or cream.
- One button brewing.
- Some newer models have an aluminum nut that connects to the stainless steel percolation tube, leading to a higher risk of corrosion over time.
- Following the above, expect to service this percolator semi-regularly with warm, sudsy water (only clean the reservoir – the base contains electrical components).
- The electrical cable can be a little finickity and may not stand up to long-term use. This is likely due to its detachable nature.
Best Quality: Alessi 6-cup Espresso Maker
The Alessi 6-cup Espresso Maker is one of the only almost entirely stainless steel stove-top percolators out there, and its price reflects not just the unit’s quality, but the care required in its use as well.
- Very high build quality,
- Includes a reducer from brewing 3 cups rather than 6
- Compatible with induction burners
- No electrical connection, must use stovetop method instead
- The clip-on feature, rather than screw-on, has a higher chance of degrading over time and causing vapour loss during brewing
For Coffee Scientists: Yama Glass Stovetop Siphon Coffee Brewer
The Yama Glass Stovetop Siphon Coffee Brewer is as visually impressive as its results are luxurious.
The Yama Glass Stovetop Siphon Coffee Brewer is made of industry standard Borosilicate glass. This means that the material is non-porous and won’t absorb odours or chemicals during both brewing and cleaning. Prepare for clean, rich and smooth coffee, but buyer beware that patience is a virtue. Although technically not a percolator, the siphon system strikes a fine balance between drip and perc coffee.
This is the one for coffee connoisseurs, espresso explorers, and drip druids.
- Sleek, modern design that’s sure to spark conversation.
- Extremely rich coffee.
- Lid doubles as a stand for the syphon.
- The Yama’s glass design means using medium to low heat – in short, you’re in for longer brewing times of up to 15 minutes.
- Parts are difficult to replace individually.
- The cloth filter, although reusable, is much more difficult to clean than a glass filter – check out the Cona Glass Filter Rod for Siphon Coffee for a better, long-term alternative that is compatible with Yama.
For the Eco-Friendly: Grosche Milano Stovetop Espresso Maker
The Grosche Milano Stovetop Espresso Maker is a stiff competitor with many of the biggest brands in Moka brewing, perc coffee’s espresso based cousin.
One of the most persistent problems with eco-friendly percolators comes with materials. The ones to avoid, generally, are plastic and aluminum. The Grosche Milano Stovetop Espresso Maker, in an impressive and somewhat unique display of design, manages to just barely avoid both. Instead, the Grosche uses rubber handles treated with a heat resistant plastic finish. This is heads and shoulders above their competitors, many of whom still use plastics to reduce heat transfer into both the handle and the knob at the top of the unit.
Although the thin layer of plastic isn’t environmentally friendly it’s the closest thing we’ve seen to a fully eco-friendly percolator in a long while. For that reason alone we’d recommend giving the Grosche Milano Stovetop Espresso Maker a shot. Just be careful on gas elements, and make sure that the handle is as far off the heat as you can manage.
- Extremely slick design which competes, aesthetically at the very least, with some of the best Moka pots on the market.
- Fast brew times on all burner types save for induction style cooking ranges.
- Due to the more sustainable nature of the product, take care with excessive indirect heat near the handle. Direct exposure from, say, a gas flame turned to max risks melting off the heat resistant plastic coating.
- Doesn’t work especially well with increasingly common induction burners.