Welcome to our big filter coffee maker test 2021. Here we present all the filter coffee makers we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the internet. We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best filter coffee maker for you. You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should pay attention to if you want to buy a filter coffee maker.
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 Summary
- 3 The Best Filter Coffee Machine: Our Picks
- 4 Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a filter coffee machine
- 5 Decision: What types of filter coffee machines are there and which is the right one for you?
- 5.1 How do the standard and basic models work and what are the advantages and disadvantages of the way they work?
- 5.2 How do the models with very good features work and what are the advantages and disadvantages of the way they work?
- 5.3 How is the standard model equipped and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
- 5.4 How is the model with simple features equipped and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
- 5.5 How is the basic model equipped and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
- 5.6 What features can I expect in a very well-equipped model and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
- 6 Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate filter coffee makers
- 7 Trivia: Interesting facts about filter coffee makers
- 7.1 How long have people been drinking coffee?
- 7.2 How do I prepare my coffee?
- 7.3 How much coffee does a filter coffee maker need?
- 7.4 How do I descale a filter coffee machine?
- 7.5 What is the lifespan of my filter coffee maker?
- 7.6 How do I store my coffee beans or ground coffee?
- 7.7 Which coffee beans are best for filter coffee?
- Unlike fully automatic coffee makers, filter coffee makers allow you to brew more than a litre of coffee at a time.
- The coffee machines differ in their features. You can choose between standard models and machines with simple, good or very good features.
- The standard model has a smaller capacity than other machines. While filter coffee makers with basic features can only brew filter coffee and keep it warm, models with good or very good features have built-in functions such as a timer, cleaning programme or grinder.
The Best Filter Coffee Machine: Our Picks
Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a filter coffee machine
For whom is it worth buying a filter coffee machine?
If you prefer your filter coffee black, a filter coffee machine is just as ideal for you as if you refine your hot drink with a shot of milk after the brewing process. If you prefer to have a variety of specialities such as cappuccino, latte macchiato or espresso available at the touch of a button, then we advise you to buy a fully automatic coffee machine. If you fill large coffee machines with little water, the low water level is often not detected correctly and the machine does not brew properly. So if you usually drink less filter coffee at a time, it is advisable to go for a small machine or to make sure that a model with a large capacity has a water level sensor.
Nowadays, it is no longer the case that there are only larger machines for many cups. There are also machines that have a capacity of less than one litre. This is also the ideal choice for single households whose occupants want to drink little coffee at a time.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of a filter coffee maker compared to a fully automatic one?
In addition to the lower purchase costs, the filter coffee machine is also easy to clean and descale. However, you should bear in mind that, in contrast to the fully automatic machine, there is not always an automatic indication when the machine should be cleaned or descaled. Therefore, for products with simple features, it is advisable to have the last cleaning date in mind so as not to be reminded of it when the cup of coffee tastes strange. This traditional coffee maker is also popular because the strength of the coffee can be changed very easily, depending on how many coffee spoons of ground coffee are used. However, as the filter coffee machine has a water tank but no device for milk, only black coffee can be prepared.
Which coffee filter machines are available in retro design?
Decision: What types of filter coffee machines are there and which is the right one for you?
Nowadays, it is no longer the case that there is only the model of filter coffee machine that you remember from your grandmother. Your machine can be equipped with additional features that make it much easier for you to prepare a good cup of coffee.
How do the standard and basic models work and what are the advantages and disadvantages of the way they work?
Most machines work according to the widely used principle with a bubble pump, which is why these models are on average significantly cheaper than those with a brewing system. Here you fill cold water into the water tank, which is fed through a return valve into a pipe in the heating plate under the thermos. There, the water is heated and steam bubbles are created, causing the valve to close again and the now hot water to rise up another pipe and drip onto the coffee filter. The water takes on the aromas of the coffee powder and eventually drips into the thermos. This is where the coffee machine's "rattle" sound comes from. This process is repeated until the water is used up.
If the brewing system is not listed in the coffee machine's product features, you can assume that a bubble pump is built into your machine.
How do the models with very good features work and what are the advantages and disadvantages of the way they work?
Most coffee machines in this segment work with the direct brewing system. With this type of coffee machine, the water is not heated step by step in the tube, but the entire water tank is heated to 90 degrees at once and then poured over the coffee filter in one gush.
This optimal brewing temperature helps the powdered or bean coffee to develop its aroma best. In addition, the brewing process is completed more quickly.
How is the standard model equipped and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
This model is characterised by its simple design. Because it does not have any other technical features, it is uncomplicated to use. Especially for individuals who do not need a whole pot of filter coffee for themselves, the cup-by-cup preparation is highly recommended.
Instead of a thermos jug, a thermos mug is often included, making it quick and easy to take the coffee with you immediately after preparation. Conversely, of course, this also means that for a household with several coffee drinkers, a machine with a thermos jug is far more practical. As a handy device, it is also easy to take along on trips.
How is the model with simple features equipped and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
The cheapest coffee machines with a coffee pot come with a glass or plastic pot, which makes it easy to brew 1-1.5 litres at a time.
However, the coffee should be drunk as soon as possible after preparation, as most models in this price range do not have a heating plate and glass and plastic jugs, and thus the hot drink, lose temperature more quickly than stainless steel jugs.
How is the basic model equipped and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
This mid-priced category works with the technically advanced direct brewing system, which in itself has some plus points. Depending on the manufacturer and model, either a glass or a stainless steel jug is included, whose filled coffee does not get cold so quickly due to the warming plate.
Design lovers can find retro and elegant models in this price range.
What features can I expect in a very well-equipped model and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
The best models are equipped with all the technical details the market has to offer. The advantages of the brewing system have already been reported. The additional built-in grinder allows the end user to decide whether to prepare their coffee with powdered coffee or coffee beans. Because the beans are freshly ground, they have a particularly strong aroma, which can be recognised by the aroma and taste. Powdered coffee, on the other hand, loses its aroma much more quickly after opening the package.
In addition, the stainless steel jug not only makes an elegant impression, but also helps to maintain the coffee temperature for as long as possible thanks to the double insulation. Depending on the model, the high-end products are equipped with additional features such as a timer or aroma control, which does not always make them easy to operate.
Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate filter coffee makers
In the following, we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate coffee filter machines. Depending on your personal preferences, you can easily identify which coffee machine is suitable for you. The most important decision-making features are:
- Equipment type
- Coffee pot
- Ease of cleaning and descaling
- Filter insert
- Water tank
- Automatic switch-off
- Aroma selection
- Drip stop
In this section we present the individual purchase criteria separately and give you more detailed information about the individual models.
The most important distinguishing feature regarding coffee filter machines is how many additional features your machine is equipped with. These include a timer, automatic switch-off, hotplate, drip stop, grinder and direct brewing system. You need to decide for yourself whether you prefer a standard model that is easy to use or a model that combines all the features. Parts such as the filter insert and water tank, which are present on each type, also differ greatly depending on the product category. In the following, we will go into more detail about the individual parts.
Coffee machines are available in different sizes, with standard models for 1-2 cups being the handiest. Machines in the higher price ranges are equipped with more additional features and are therefore larger and heavier than classic models.
If the machine is to be taken on holiday, a cheaper model is therefore more suitable.
With the smallest machines you can brew one cup, with other models up to 1.5 litres in a single brewing process. Consider how many people the machine is intended for or how much coffee the end user wants to drink. If it is a single household where the user only drinks one cup every morning, we advise you to choose a machine with a small capacity. If you want to brew a lot of coffee at once or if the machine is intended for a company, a thermos jug with 1-1.5 litres is recommended. Even individuals who like to drink a lot of coffee sometimes prefer to brew by the cup, as this way the hot drink is fresh and warm and does not lose its aroma by standing on the hotplate for a long time. Most coffee pots and water tanks have either litre or cup capacity information on them, which helps you determine the right amount of water depending on the amount of coffee you want to make.
Coffee makers in the lower price range are often equipped with a plastic jug; glass jugs predominate in the mid-price segment and stainless steel jugs in the upper price range. With plastic and stainless steel jugs, thermal jugs are preferable, as they are extra insulated and thus conserve the heat of the hot beverage for longer. These also have a double bottom and can thus be placed on any surface without any problems. With conventional glass jugs, on the other hand, an additional coaster is necessary to prevent damage to the table. Small devices often offer a thermal mug instead of a jug, which is convenient for taking the mug with you on the go.
How it works
As we already mentioned in the first part, the filter coffee machine works either with a bubble pump or direct brewing system. Many fragrant lovers swear by the latter, as this method of preparation preserves the aroma better and the brewing process is completed more quickly.
On average, however, you have to spend more on the machine.
Ease of cleaning and descaling
With standard models and models with simple features, the machine has to be cleaned and descaled by hand, whereas more complex coffee machines often have a corresponding automatic programme built in. In this case, the electronic display informs you when cleaning or descaling is necessary and carries it out automatically. If there is no automatic programme, you should occasionally remember to carry out the relevant steps manually yourself. To make cleaning the machine easier, it is advantageous if individual parts such as the water tank or filter insert are removable and can thus be easily cleaned under the tap or even in the dishwasher.
Your filter coffee machine either has a filter insert in which you have to insert a paper filter, or a permanent filter made of fine-pored material that you can use several times without a paper filter. Especially for people who consume a lot of coffee, a permanent filter can be worthwhile, as you don't have to buy paper filters and can save money with longer use.
On the other hand, paper filters can be disposed of quickly, whereas the permanent filter is removed after each brewing process and has to be cleaned. The filter insert is either a fixed part of the coffee machine or it is available as a removable swivel filter. This is easier to clean and can be conveniently folded to the side in the machine to pour in the coffee.
With some coffee makers you can remove the tank to fill it with water under the tap, whereas with other machines the tank is not removable and must be filled separately with a bottle or with the thermos jug filled with water. To clean the water tank, it is easier if it is removable and can thus be cleaned separately from the machine. If the water tank is marked with measurements, you will have a good overview of how much water you need to fill it with to make the desired amount of coffee.
You can get up in the morning and find coffee already brewed thanks to the timer. You can programme it for a specific time at which the brewing process starts automatically. To do this, you set the desired time on the electronic display, fill water into the tank and coffee powder into the filter. Then you switch the machine off and it switches on automatically at the desired time and brews the filter coffee.
Since 2015, it has been a requirement in the EU that all newly manufactured models from this date onwards have an automatic switch-off function. It is therefore highly likely that your new filter coffee machine is equipped with this function. Depending on the setting, the machine switches off automatically 30-60 minutes after the coffee has been brewed, which saves electricity and prevents overheating.
If you have a coffee machine with a hotplate, the filter coffee stays warm even after the brewing process is finished. The automatic switch-off helps you to set the desired time when the hot plate is switched off. This function is particularly advantageous with non-insulated pots and glass pots in particular, as you can pour yourself a cup and the coffee on the hotplate will still not get cold. However, if the hot beverage is heated for a long time, it loses its aroma or the coffee may become sour or bitter.
Some machines with a grinder also allow you to select the grind and experience the different coffee taste of coarse and finely ground coffee beans. Higher-priced models with good features allow you to individually adjust different taste nuances even with powdered coffee. Depending on the time of day, you can have either a mild or a stronger coffee.
Machines with a drip stop allow you to remove the jug even during the brewing process without the coffee dripping onto the floor of the machine.
If you want your coffee machine not only to brew good coffee, but also to look good in your kitchen, the design can be a decisive purchase criterion. Especially in models with simple features, the housing is usually available in a plastic look in black, white or red and is thus kept rather plain. Since standard models with a thermo cup have not been on the market for too long and have only become more popular in recent years, more and more manufacturers have paid attention to making the machine appealing, especially to the target group of young adults. Coffee filter machines with good and very good features are often made of stainless steel and thus exude an upscale elegance. Retro models are also available and are usually kept small and come in different colours.
Especially filter coffee machines in the upper price segment are often equipped with a grinder for coffee beans. Since ground coffee loses its aroma much more quickly after breaking than whole beans, you do not have to accept any loss of flavour with a grinder. With some machines, you can also determine the degree of grinding and experience the different coffee taste of coarse and finely ground coffee beans. Despite the coffee grinder, it is not a fully automatic machine, but still a filter coffee machine. This means that even with machines with a grinder, you always have the option of preparing your coffee with ground powder by filling it directly into the filter.
Trivia: Interesting facts about filter coffee makers
How long have people been drinking coffee?
According to written sources, coffee has been drunk on the Arabian Peninsula since the 15th century. At the end of the 16th century, Europeans who had visited the Orient brought the plant to our continent. Before the drink became popular as a stimulant, it was first used as a remedy for stomach problems, among other things.
How do I prepare my coffee?
Simply follow our step-by-step instructions. The instructions are for the standard model with paper filter and ground coffee.
- Place a paper filter in the designated device.
- Fill the filter with ground coffee according to the desired strength.
- Fill the coffee pot with water, depending on how many cups of coffee you want. The corresponding mark can usually be found on the coffee pot.
- Do not pour the water directly over the coffee filter, but into the separate water tank.
- Switch on the machine and wait until the brewing process is finished.
- Throw the paper filter in the rubbish.
How much coffee does a filter coffee maker need?
This depends a lot on how strong the flavour of the coffee you buy is and how strong you want to drink it. A rough guideline, where you can achieve a coffee with a balanced flavour with most ground coffees, is about 60g per litre of water, which corresponds to about twelve heaped coffee spoons of coffee powder. For a 200ml cup, this would be 12g of ground coffee. If you prefer a more pronounced taste, use a higher dosage. If you have bought coffee for espresso machines, the dosage can be lower. On the jug there are either litre/millilitre markings or the corresponding number of cups is indicated. Depending on how your teaspoon is heaped, the amount of coffee used will differ from the 60g. For particularly accurate measurements, a precision scale is recommended. Some machines with a coffee grinder also have an integrated aroma function that allows you to conveniently set the desired strength at the touch of a button. To find the strength that suits you best, it is best to try out different quantities.
How do I descale a filter coffee machine?
If you make coffee with water from the tap, the limescale it contains will sooner or later leave traces on your machine. Fortunately, descaling is very easy. Ready-made products are available in supermarkets and drugstores, either as a dry product (powder) or as a liquid essence. You dose this descaling agent according to the package instructions with the specified amount of water and fill the mixture into the water tank. Now run the water mixture through the machine until it is used up. Of course, you do not use a coffee filter with powder or beans in the case of machines with a grinder. After the water has been used up, you should fill the water tank with fresh water again and let it run through so that no acidic residues get into your coffee. Alternatively, you can also clean the machine with a conventional vinegar, as the acid it contains effectively combats calcification. To do this, fill the water tank with one litre of water and one tablespoon of vinegar; proportionally less for smaller water tanks. In this case, too, remember to rinse several times after the water has been completely run through. https://youtu.be/H8RFoy4eO3Q
What is the lifespan of my filter coffee maker?
This type of coffee machine is characterised by a particularly long service life, especially compared to fully automatic machines. Thanks to their simple function and design, they also require little maintenance. Therefore, you can enjoy your coffee machine with filter for many years.
How do I store my coffee beans or ground coffee?
To prevent loss of aroma, you should follow these tips:
- If you have a coffee grinder or a machine with a grinder, it is advisable to buy beans instead of powder. The outer shell of the beans preserves the flavour better than powdered coffee.
- Store the coffee in a dark, dry, cool and odourless place.
- Carefully close the packaging of your coffee or transfer it to another container such as a ceramic or glass jar. Make sure that the tin is tightly closed and that no air can get into it.
- Use the instant coffee as soon as possible after opening, but within a few weeks at the most.
Which coffee beans are best for filter coffee?
Which coffee beans are used for filter coffee depends entirely on your own taste. Depending on which aromas and roasting substances are contained, different taste and smell notes result. Nevertheless, there are some tips and tricks for making the best choice. In the following table, we have collected information for you to help you make your decision.
|Evaluation criteria||Arabica bean||Robusta bean||Arabica-Robusta bean||Espresso beans|
|Properties||Low caffeine content and particularly fine aroma||Rather bitter taste||Harmonious taste||Intense taste|
|Conventional cultivation area||Colombia, Central America, Kenya||Southeast Asia, West Africa||Mixture from several countries||Mexico, Dominican Republic, and many more.|