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Those of us who look forward to a caffeine boost in the mornings know that the best cups of coffee can't just be made with any old machine. Whether you're trying to cut back on coffee shop visits or simply want to try your hand at making a barista-quality latte at home, stocking your kitchen with the right gadgets can make all of the difference.
To make your quest for the best at-home coffee easier, Consumer Reports has almost 150 coffee makers to the test to determine which ones are worthy of a spot in your kitchen. From temperature to cup size consistency, these coffee makers have been evaluated according to a number of factors. Digital Lifestyle Editor Elliot Weiler joined the 3rd hour of TODAY to share the top picks for coffee novices and aficionados alike that earned the approval of testers in their lab.
Keep reading to discover some of the best coffee making essentials, according to Consumer Reports.
This model from Hamilton Beach can make a "mean cup of joe at a fantastic price," according to Weiler. It's unassuming and has all of the essentials, including programming and an auto-shutoff feature. It earned Very Good ratings for convenience and carafe handling in lab tests and can whip up a fresh pot in just 10 minutes.
This sleek coffee maker boasts touchscreen control and can yield enough cups for dinner party guests with a 14-cup carafe. It received an Excellent rating from CR testers based on its brew performance and also earned praise for its programming and auto-shutoff features, permanent filter, brew strength control and small-batch setting, among other things. Weiler notes that although it is pricey, it is a machine that you can count on time and time again.
When it comes to cold brew, this coffee maker came out on top. It is an affordable option that earned an Excellent rating for convenience — and its dishwasher-safe parts are a plus. Though Weiler notes it is the only cold brew maker they tested that calls for a 24-hour brew time, the results are worth the wait.
For those who like a coffee shop-style latte or cappuccino, this single-serve maker is an option to consider. It is quick to brew one cup after another and is "admirably" consistent in brew size and temperature, Weiler said. The removable water reservoir, adjustable drip tray and auto-shutoff features also make it stand out. This item came from Consumer Report’s review of the best drip coffee makers. You can find out more about shopping for a coffee maker on their website.
A more affordable option our of Ninja's lineup, this specialty machine is a one-stop-shop. It makes both hot and iced coffee, lattes, macchiatos and other fancy brews. It received an Excellent rating for brew performance and features such as an over-ice brew mode, built-in milk frother, brew-strength control and size adjustment.
After you make your coffee, you need something to put it in. This slim mug is way ahead of the competition and keeps drinks hot for over 13 hours — six hours longer than the runner-up in CR's lab. Testers gave it an Excellent rating for temperature retention and found it easy to open and fit car cup holders. The lock feature on the lid is also a plus for parents of young kids with wandering hands.
For more stories like this, check out our Best Product Reviews hub with Consumer Reports.