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The Best Programmable Coffee Maker

A fresh cup of coffee is just what you need to start your day, but sometimes you just don’t have the time or the energy to go to your local café. There’s no rule that says the best coffee comes from a shop, however, so why haven’t you started making coffee at home? With a programmable coffee maker, you can set it up the night before and wake up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee in the morning.

The Top Programmable Coffee Makers

Coffee makers generally aren’t very expensive, but you need to be careful when it comes to making your selection. You don’t necessarily need to spend a fortune, but you should know that you get what you pay for. If you’re looking for special features like programmability, don’t assume that it comes included.

Even if you’re not sure you’ll use the programmable feature every day, it’s definitely worth having.

With a programmable coffee maker, you can set the machine up before you go to bed and know that it will start automatically in the morning. By the time you get dressed and wander down to the kitchen, you’ll have a hot pot of coffee waiting for you. What could be better than that?

Here are the best programmable coffee makers on the market:

Cuisinart Coffee Plus 12-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker

Award: Best Overall

Enjoy the convenience and predictability of a fresh cup of hot coffee each morning with this simple, affordable programmable coffee maker.

When you don’t want to wait for a perfect cup of coffee, the Cuisinart Coffee Plus is the programmable coffee maker you need. With 24-hour programmability, this machine lets you set the desired brew time simply by pressing a button. This coffee maker comes with a generously sized 12-cup carafe with a heated plate with three temperature settings. You’ll also enjoy auto shutoff for safety.

The Cuisinart Coffee Plus 12-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker features Brew Pause which allows you to pour a cup of coffee before the brewing cycle has finished. This model comes with a separate hot water system with its own power button and a 54-ounce reservoir that operates independently, so you never have to wait. You’ll also enjoy the benefits of a charcoal and gold tone filter to remove impurities.

Pros:

  • Simple operation with 24-hour programmability
  • Carafe temperature control with three settings
  • Brew Pause feature to pour a cup while brewing

Cons:

  • May be noisier than some models
  • Water fill container is awkwardly placed

Specs:

  • Price: $70
  • Capacity: 12 cups
  • Features: Auto shutoff, self-clean, carafe temperature control
  • Programmability: 24 hours

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Black & Decker 12-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker

Award: Best Budget

You don’t necessarily need to spend a fortune to get a coffee maker that works well and gets the job done. This programmable coffee maker is affordably priced and works very well.

You could easily spend over $100 on a programmable coffee maker, but why spend that money if you don’t have to? The Black and Decker 12-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker is affordably priced under $25 and gives you everything you need in a coffeemaker. With a programmable clock and auto brew features, this machine brews up to 12 cups of perfect coffee at the touch of a button.

The Black and Decker 12-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker offers the Sneak-a-Cup feature which enables you to pour a cup before the brewing cycle is finished. This machine comes with a Duralife carafe and removable filter basket, both of which are dishwasher-safe for quick and easy cleaning.

Pros:

  • Simple to use, easy to program
  • Sneak-a-Cup feature to pause brewing cycle
  • Removable filter basket for cleaning

Cons:

  • May be difficult to judge the water level
  • Carafe lid isn’t removable for cleaning

Specs:

  • Price: $25
  • Capacity: 12 cups
  • Features: Sneak-a-cup, auto brew, programmable clock
  • Programmability: 24 hours

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Krups Grind and Brew Auto-Start Coffee Maker

Award: Best with Built-In Grinder

Enjoy the flavor of freshly ground coffee beans in every cup with this programmable coffee maker featuring a built-in conical burr grinder.

The benefit of going to the coffee shop each morning is that the beans are freshly ground. Freshness makes a big difference when it comes to flavor, but you don’t necessarily need to leave home to enjoy it. The Krups Grind and Brew Auto-Start Coffee Maker features a built-in conical burr grinder with five different grind settings so you can create the perfect cup of coffee right in your kitchen.

This programmable coffee mater is easy to customize and you can schedule your brew to start, knowing your fresh coffee will be kept warm for up to 2 hours. The Brew Pause feature allows you to pour a cup before the brew cycle has finished and the user-friendly design and easy-to-read LCD screen makes things simple. Plus, the coffee pot is dishwasher-friendly for easy cleanup.

Pros:

  • Built-in conical burr grinder for freshly ground flavor
  • User-friendly design with clear LCD screen
  • Auto-start and keep warm feature (up to 2 hours)

Cons:

  • Makes more noise than some coffeemakers
  • Grounds may get stuck in the walls of the container

Specs:

  • Price: $132
  • Capacity: 10 cups
  • Features: Built-in grinder, auto start, brew pause
  • Programmability: 24 hours

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Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker

Award: Best for Specialty Beverages

Nothing is better than a fresh cup of coffee but if you like to switch things up, this coffee maker brews everything from cappuccino and macchiato to cold brew and iced coffee.

Nothing beats a hot cup of coffee but when you want something a little different, it helps to have a programmable coffee maker like the Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker. Designed to brew both hot and cold beverages, this machine makes everything from super-rich coffee concentrate for lattes, cappuccino, and macchiato to iced coffee and cold brew.

Choose from six different brew sizes for single servings or travel cups and choose the carafe if you’re going to share. This coffee maker comes with a fold-away frother for hot and cold milk, and the carafe has a 10-cup capacity. If you want the option to brew specialty beverages but don’t want to deal with single-serve pods, the Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker is just what you need.

Pros:

  • Brew coffee or a variety of specialty beverages
  • Choose from six different beverage sizes
  • Fold-away frother usable for hot and cold milk

Cons:

  • May brew too warm for some cold beverages
  • Plate doesn’t keep warm (carafe keeps beverages warm)

Specs:

  • Price: $200
  • Capacity: 10 cups
  • Features: Six beverage sizes, hot or cold brew
  • Programmability: 24 hour

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Keurig K-Elite Coffee Maker

Award: Best Single-Serve

You can’t beat the flavor of freshly ground beans, but sometimes you just need a hot cup of coffee quickly and that’s where this single-serve coffee maker really shines.

When you need a single serving of hot, fresh coffee, the Keurig K-Elite Coffee Maker is what you need. Choose from five cup sizes ranging from 4 to 12 ounces, and brew in anything from a traditional mug to a travel mug. You can even select the “Iced” setting to brew over ice for a delicious iced coffee. This coffee maker is programmable as well with adjustable temperature control and auto on/off features.

The Keurig K-Elite Coffee Maker gives you a fresh cup of hot coffee in a matter of minutes. The 75-ounce water reservoir saves you time and simplifies your morning routine – simply pop in your K-cup and you’re ready to brew. You can even adjust the brew strength according to your taste.

Pros:

  • Choose from 5 different cup sizes (including travel mugs)
  • Adjust the strength of coffee according to your taste
  • Programmable with temperature control and auto on/off

Cons:

  • Not designed for multiple servings (won’t fit a carafe)
  • Single-serve pods create waste

Specs:

  • Price: $165
  • Capacity: 75 ounces
  • Features: Strong brew, multiple cup sizes
  • Programmability: 24 hour

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Hamilton Beach Programmable Extra-Large Coffee Maker

Award: Best for Large Quantities

When you’re serving a crowd, it pays to have an extra-large coffee maker like this. Brew up to 14 cups at once with this large-capacity coffee maker featuring an easy-fill front.

You may only need to brew a few cups for your personal use each day, but when the weekend comes around and everyone is home you may find yourself starting and restarting the coffee maker throughout the morning. If you’re looking for a programmable coffee maker with a large capacity, consider the Hamilton Beach Programmable Extra-Large Coffee Maker. This model is fully automatic and programmable, designed with customizable brewing options for small and large batches.

The Hamilton Beach Programmable Extra-Large Coffee Maker features an easy-fill front and a generously sized water reservoir. With auto shutoff, you never have to worry about leaving the coffeemaker on and the auto pause feature lets you pour a cup without waiting for the end of the brew cycle. You’ll also love the reusable cone filter that makes cleanup a breeze.

Pros:

  • Large-capacity carafe brews up to 14 cups
  • Reusable cone filter to maximize flavor
  • Fully automatic with 24-hour programmability

Cons:

  • May be larger than necessary for everyday use
  • Carafe sometimes drips while pouring

Specs:

  • Price: $60
  • Capacity: 14 cups
  • Features: Easy-fill front, auto shutoff, reusable cone filter
  • Programmability: 24 hours

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Tips for Choosing a Programmable Coffee Maker

Not all coffee makers are created equal, as you’ll find out once you start shopping. Because there are so many different models to choose from, it can become overwhelming. You don’t necessarily need to spend hours doing research before you start to shop, but it does help to have an idea what you’re looking for. This will help you narrow down the options to find the best model to suit your needs.

Here are some things to look for when shopping:

  • Think about how adjustable you want the programming to be – some models let you set a specific time while others brew at the same time each day.
  • Consider whether you want to brew multiple servings at once or a single serving.
  • Ask yourself if you prefer to grind the coffee fresh, use ground coffee, or use single-serve pods.
  • Think about how much you’re willing to spend – you don’t have to pay a lot for a coffee maker and expensive models aren’t always better.
  • Consider whether you want to brew different types of coffee beverages – some models brew concentrated coffee for cold brew and have a milk frother for cappuccino and lattes.
  • Look for convenience features like a dishwasher-safe carafe, a warming plate, and automatic shutoff that will make the coffee maker easier to use.
  • Think about how you want the coffee maker to look – choose a finish to match your other appliances and your kitchen décor.

If you’re really not sure what you’re looking for in a programmable coffee maker, there’s no harm in starting with something simple and affordable. Once you use the coffee maker for a few months, you’ll get a better idea what you need and you may be prepared to upgrade.

The Bottom Line

No matter how you take your coffee, what really matters is that it’s fresh. If you don’t have the time to spend fiddling with a coffee maker in the morning, a programmable coffee maker you can set the night before might be the solution to your problems. Consider the options we’ve recommended above and choose the model that fits your needs as well as your budget.

Once you’ve brought your coffee maker home, all that’s left to do is start testing it! When you take that first sip of hot, freshly brewed coffee, you’ll have no doubt that you’ve made the right choice. A good cup of coffee is worth its weight in gold and a programmable coffee maker is your treasure chest.

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