Choosing the right coffee maker can be pretty simple as long as you know what type of coffee you will be drinking, and the amount of coffee that you need to make. Each individual will have different needs, so the machine that is perfect for one person may not be suited to another. Getting good value for your dollar isn’t always easy, so check out our review below to see which machine we chose as the best coffee maker under $100.
Keurig K55 Coffee Maker
Featuring a removable drip tray, programmable brew timers, and easy-to-access button controls, the Keurig K55 is undoubtedly the easiest to use and most versatile coffee maker out there. This is an automatic drip type coffee maker, meaning that it runs on electricity and prepares coffee with one press of a button. And, it is super-fast. The removable coffee tray allows you to fit in larger coffee mugs, and the 48 ounce water reservoir allows you to brew several cups before you have to refill.
You can select from three brew sizes – 6, 8, and 10 ounces depending on your personal requirements and taste. The easy to program timer can be set via the illuminated button controls on the front panel of this machine, and there are multiple LED’s to indicate the status of your brew. The sensors in the pod will monitor temperature and pressure levels, and based on the preset that you select, your coffee will turn out exactly the way that you wanted.
STAR BUDGET PICK
Black & Decker 5-Cup Coffeemaker
If you want a coffee maker that can turn out 5 cups of coffee at a time and is very inexpensive to purchase, then the Black & Decker DCM600B is the perfect coffee machine for you. It is a compact automatic drip style coffee maker, and features a Duralife glass coffee carafe with markings on the side to indicate levels. The carafe plate is non-stick, and the material used is specially designed to resist corrosion and scratches over time.
The coffee maker will start with the touch of a button, and features a removable filter basket on the top, which is compatible with any basket-type paper filters. The easy-view transparent water window has measurement markings and will let you know how much water you have inside, so you can brew just the right amount of coffee. The built in handy cord storage compartment, and the 9.75” x 7.25” x 10.75” dimensions make this a great choice for condos, apartments, and dorm rooms.
Cuisinart Programmable Coffeemaker
If you want a drip-style coffee machine that can handle up to 14 cups of coffee at a time, then the DCC-3200 from Cuisinart might be worth looking up. It features fully automatic operation for set-and-forget style coffee making, and it features superior heating technology to ensure that your coffee stays hotter for longer without causing any loss of flavor or taste. There is a dedicated brew strength control so you can choose between mild, medium, or strong while making your cup of coffee.
There is auto-shutoff and self-cleaning built into this machine, and it features a commercial grade gold tone permanent filter, along with a charcoal water filter. The thermal carafe features a drip-free pour spout and ergonomically designed handle. A special brew-pause function lets you sample the coffee before brewing is finished.
Hamilton Beach 12-Cup Coffee Machine
The Brewstation from Hamilton Beach provides some really awesome features at a super low price, which is why we decided to include it on this list. This particular drip-style coffee machine is actually a dispenser, so it does not feature any carafe. This might cause some people to question the design at first, but if you think about it, it actually means that you won’t be worrying about spills, pouring, handles, etc. All you need to do is put your cup under the dispenser nozzle, and enjoy your coffee.
There is a blue-backlit LCD display on the front panel that shows time, temperature, etc. and this dispenser comes with auto-shutoff, brew-timer, and programmable options so you can develop your cup of coffee exactly the way you want it. There are no hot plates to ruin your coffee flavor over time, so a subtle warming unit inside the dispenser will keep your coffee warm until you are ready to drink. You can choose between bold, mild, regular, iced coffee, and many other options from the front panel.
Choosing the Best Coffee Maker Under $100
First, you need to determine the type of coffee you will be making on your new machine, and these are the factors that matter the most: Bean variety and roast – determines the flavor of your coffee. Dark roasted beans produce a richer, deeper flavor than lightly roasted ones. Extraction – this is the part where the flavors and oils are pulled from the beans, and into the water. Strength of the brew – this refers to the total amount of dissolved solids in the coffee, and is also a measure of coffee concentration. Brew Ratio – amount of coffee grounds to the amount of water in the pot.
Based on the above parameters, you can get a good idea of what to expect from your machine, and which type of coffee you will make in it. Proceeding further, these are the main types of coffee machines out there:
Percolator – Percolators are a pretty old design, and were extremely popular back in the last century. But hey, they are every bit as good today, and vintage coffee connoisseurs still love them for their simplicity and reliability. You’ll find both new, as well as old designs in the market. The brand new stainless steel percolators of today can produce anywhere between 4 to 30 cups of coffee at a time. Some of them are electric (the one that is recommended for most people), while others are stovetop models.
Percolators include a cover with a transparent knob that comes in handy when you want to check on the color of your coffee as it is brewing inside the hot pot. The hot water in percolators bubbles up the stem and into the grounds inside the coffee basket. Then it filters back into the water pot. Percolators are easy to use and monitoring the coffee as it is brewing is much easier with a percolator. They also look retro and make for an amazing décor piece if you have a vintage theme going on in the house.
Automatic Drip – This is the type of machine that you’ll find in most American households. These machines are made up of a tempered glass carafe with a hinged plastic lid on the top. The base is fitted with an electric heating element, a filter, chamber, and a water reservoir. Some automatic drip machines come with brew timers and programmable presets that allow you to make different types of brew with a flick of the switch. These machines are convenient, programmable, and they are fast.
French Press – French press coffee makers use a glass or stainless steel pot, a lid with a plunger, and a screen filter attached to the plunger. Coffee purists adamantly argue that the French press machines deliver the finest coffee flavor, although operating these machines is not that simple and requires a fair amount of skill and experience on the part of the brewer. French press coffee machines allow you to control the water temperature, brewing time, and produce richer, more distinctive flavors. They also don’t require electricity since they run on stovetops or gas.
Espresso Maker – To use an espresso machine you need espresso grade finely ground dark coffee that has been well roasted. The brew from espresso machines contains a higher amount of suspended as well as dissolved bean solids than regular brews. Espresso machines include a portafilter, as well as a tamper to pack the coffee grounds in the portafilter. The spout and group head determine how many cups you can make at once. Brewing espresso takes quite a bit of time as it is a multistage process, and most of the machines built for home use only allow you to use two shots of espresso at a time. These machines produce gourmet coffee, and give your kitchen a professional look and feel, and they also bring out the full potential of the beans. Not to mention the fact that you save a ton of money over time by home brewing your espressos.