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The Best Coffee and Expresso Machines

Last updated on November 6, 2019

We looked at the top 4 Smart Coffee Machines and dug through the reviews from 46 of the most popular review sites including Get A Coffee Maker, AG Ferrari, BestReviews, Daily Caller, Consumer Reports, Coffee Channel and more. The result is a ranking of the best Smart Coffee Machines.

Best Smart Coffee Machine

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Our Picks For The Top Smart Coffee Machines

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Our Take
  Best for Versatility

Hamilton Beach

2-Way Brewer Coffee Maker

Overall Take

Brewing OptionsWhether you want a single cup or a full carafe of coffee, this Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer Coffee Maker has you covered.

  Best for Espresso

Nespresso

Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Machine Bundle

Overall Take

Best Coffee TextureCentrifusion technology helps this Breville Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Machine Bundle create a smooth, thick cup of coffee.

  Best for Flavor

SharkNinja

Ninja 12-Cup Coffee Maker With Classic and Rich Brews

Overall Take

Most Flavorful CoffeeThis SharkNinja Ninja 12-Cup Coffee Maker uses technology to ensure that the flavor in your coffee is preserved during the brewing process with this.

  Honorable Mention

Cuisinart

10-Cup Classic Thermal Coffeemaker

Overall Take

Easy to CleanThis Cuisinart 10-Cup Classic Thermal Coffeemaker features a self-cleaning function to make cleaning up a breeze.

Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, Simplemost analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
11

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the smart coffee machines available to purchase.
4

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

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46

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources.

73,640

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including Amazon, Target, Walmart, Best Buy and 3 others.

The Best Overall

Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer Coffee Maker

Our Expert Score
8.5
30 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.3
12,358 user reviews
Our Take

Many coffeemakers force you to choose between a full carafe or single cup, but the Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer Coffee Maker gives you the best of both worlds. You can brew single-cup one day and a carafe the next, or brew a carafe and then make your own single cup, all in the same morning. You can program the carafe to brew up to 24 hours in advance, and it automatically shuts off after two hours of inactivity. During our testing, we loved the versatility of this maker and found it to be intuitive and simple to use.


Our Findings

SharkNinja Ninja 12-Cup Coffee Maker With Classic and Rich Brews

What We Liked: Taste is likely your top priority in choosing a coffemaker, and the SharkNinja Ninja 12-Cup Coffee Maker With Classic and Rich Brews excels in that area. The built-in XL Showerhead Thermal Flavor Extraction technology preserves the flavor in your coffee during the brewing process. This model is also easy to clean, thanks to a removable reservoir. During our testing, we liked the “stay warm” function, as well as the option to choose between “small batch,” “classic” or “rich.” The coffee tasted smooth and delicious.

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Nespresso Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Machine Bundle

Best for Espresso

Breville Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Machine, Chrome (Kitchen)


List Price: $249.95 USD
New From: $139.99 USD In Stock
Used from: $139.99 USD In Stock

What We Liked: If you like creamy, smooth coffee, the Breville Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Machine Bundle is the best option. The Centrifusion technology spins the capsule at a high rate of speed to create a delicious cup of coffee. While this model doesn’t have some of the more advanced features of other coffeemakers, the simplicity makes it very easy to use. In our test kitchen, we liked how sleek and small this maker was — it can easily be stored on the counter. We found the water tank to be very easy to detach and attach.

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Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer Coffee Maker

Best for Versatility

What We Liked: Many coffeemakers force you to choose between a full carafe or single cup, but the Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer Coffee Maker gives you the best of both worlds. You can brew single-cup one day and a carafe the next, or brew a carafe and then make your own single cup, all in the same morning. You can program the carafe to brew up to 24 hours in advance, and it automatically shuts off after two hours of inactivity. During our testing, we loved the versatility of this maker and found it to be intuitive and simple to use.

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Cuisinart 10-Cup Classic Thermal Coffeemaker

Honorable Mention

Cuisinart DCC-1150BK 10-Cup Classic Thermal Programmable Coffeemaker, Black (Kitchen)


List Price: $165.00 USD
New From: $71.95 USD In Stock
Used from: $71.95 USD In Stock

What We Liked: If cleaning your coffeepot has become a hassle, you’ll love the self-cleaning feature on the Cuisinart 10-Cup Classic Thermal Coffeemaker. This coffeemaker also provides an alert when your coffee finishes brewing, so you can set it and walk away. If you prefer to have your coffee ready when you wake up, you can program this pot to brew up to 24 hours in advance.

 

Our Expert Consultant

Julie Chernoff
Culinary Expert

Julie Chernoff is a long-time member of Les Dames d’Escoffier (past president of the Chicago Chapter, and current co-chair of the LDEI Legacy Awards Committee), the Association of Food Journalists (AFJ) and the International Association of Culinary Professionals.

Chernoff is the dining editor of Better, a lifestyle website and print magazine. Her journalism started in the test kitchens of Weight Watchers Magazine. She holds a BA in English from Yale University and is a graduate of the California Culinary Academy. She has spent the last few decades styling, photographing, teaching, developing recipes, editing, thinking and writing about food. Her work has appeared in Plate Magazine, CS and NS Modern Luxury, the Yale Alumni Magazine and the LDEI Quarterly.

Our Smart Coffee Machine Buying Guide

If you’re like many people, your day doesn’t start without a good kick of caffeine. For those who stumble to the kitchen, barely awake, only to have to struggle to get the coffeepot going, a programmable coffeemaker may be the best purchase you’ll ever make. Simply get everything set up and tell your brewer when to start the next morning. If you wake up at 6 a.m., set it so that by the time you walk into the kitchen at 6:05, all you have to do is grab a coffee cup and pour.

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“In addition to the general consistency, reliability, and speed of an electric coffee maker, smart machines go one step further: they allow you to control your coffee maker with your smartphone,” says culinary expert Julie Chernoff, food journalist, dining editor of Better magazine and member of Les Dames d’Escoffier. “Start your coffee brewing from the comfort of your bed on a cold winter morning or have it ready when you get home. Working from home? No need to leave your desk to start it brewing.”

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But programmability isn’t the only advanced feature available on today’s smart coffee machines. There are brewers that will give you the option of switching to carafe or single-cup mode. This can come in handy for those who prefer to grab a single cup to go during the week, then enjoy a full carafe on weekends.

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If you’re buying a carafe-based coffeemaker, make sure it has a pause and fill feature. This means once your coffee starts filling the carafe, the unit will pause if you pull it out to pour yourself a cup. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait for the entire brewing process to complete to even get your first cup.

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In addition to programmability, automatic shut-off is a handy feature to have in your coffeemaker. This is especially helpful when using a carafe-based coffeemaker, as accidentally leaving it on can damage the bottom of your carafe and even create a fire hazard. Most coffeepots with auto shut-off power down within an hour or two. If you like to leave your coffee on the warmer for longer than that, make sure you can disable this feature.

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While searching for a coffeemaker, check carefully into compatibility. If it’s a single-cup brewer, make sure you can easily find the pods you’ll need. Keurig’s pods are the most widely available, but they don’t work with all single-cup brewers. For carafe-based coffeepots, you’ll need to buy paper filters, but some come with mesh baskets that serve as eco-friendly alternatives. Simply wash and reuse.

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Also, check about compatibility in terms of operating systems before you buy! Is the smart coffee machine you’re looking at enabled for Alexa or Siri? Does it work with iOS or Android? Also check to see if it requires a Bluetooth smart outlet or other smart plug in order to operate with peak functionality when it comes to setting timers, controlling temperature, and other tasks.

If you’re on a budget or prefer to control the process mechanically yourself, recognize that a smart coffee maker may have appeal because it’s a cool new luxury item with fun features — but it might not be for you, and that’s okay too.

“This may be one one-note gadget too many,” says Chernoff.

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Simplemost Fun Fact

If you use webcams for any aspect of your daily life, you have coffee to thank for it. A group of computer scientists at Cambridge University invented a webcam way back in 1991 just to keep an eye on their coffeepot. The camera was set up near the coffeemaker and set to monitor coffee levels. The scientists saw a 129 x 129-pixel grayscale image of the pot, displayed at only one frame per second, but it was enough to let them know when their coffee was ready or close to empty. The camera continued to run until 2001, when it was switched off during a move, and later sold on eBay for a whopping $5,000.

The Smart Coffee Machine Tips and Advice

  • If you haven’t seen the Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer Coffee Maker, it’s worth a look. The number of brewing options far exceeds most of the competition. You’ll have the option of making an entire carafe, a single cup, or a pod. That means you can use it for your single cups most of the time, then use the carafe future when you have company. You can even fill your carafe, then make your own personal cup using the type of coffee you prefer.
  • Programmable coffeemakers are nothing new. If you’re operating outside the single-cup model, which tends to heat up and brew quickly, it’s important to consider a brewer with programmability. The carafe function of the Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer Coffee Maker will let you program your coffee up to 24 hours in advance. The SharkNinja Ninja 12-Cup Coffee Maker With Classic and Rich Brews has a “delay brew” function that lets you set brewing up 24 hours ahead of time, and the Cuisinart 10-Cup Classic Thermal Coffeemaker also lets you program as much as 24 hours in advance.
  • Auto shut-off can help save energy and protect your home. The Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer Coffee Maker and SharkNinja Ninja 12-Cup Coffee Maker With Classic and Rich Brews both shut off after two hours.
  • The Cuisinart 10-Cup Classic Thermal Coffeemaker beeps when your coffee is ready, which may come in handy if you start brewing and walk away.
  • No matter what convenient features your brewer has, it all comes down to how the coffee itself tastes. The Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer Coffee Maker lets you choose between either regular or bold, and you’ll find the carafe side brews a delicious, rich cup of coffee. The single-serve side isn’t quite as impressive, but still good. With the SharkNinja Ninja 12-Cup Coffee Maker With Classic and Rich Brews, you get Ninja’s special XL Showerhead Thermal Flavor Extraction technology, which brings out the full flavor of the coffee you’re brewing. The Nespresso Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Machine Bundle uses Centrifusion technology to spin the capsule at an exceptionally fast rate to make your coffee thick and smooth.
  • Coffee makers can be especially tough to clean. If this is a concern for you, steer toward the Cuisinart 10-Cup Classic Thermal Coffeemaker, which brings convenience with its self-cleaning feature. The SharkNinja Ninja 12-Cup Coffee Maker With Classic and Rich Brews is slightly easier than competitors to clean, thanks to the water reservoir that can be removed for cleaning and refilling.
  • Your coffeemaker becomes part of your kitchen aesthetic, so it’s important to consider design in your choice. The Nespresso Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Machine Bundle has a unique contemporary look that will enhance your décor.
  • Ease of use is also important. The simplicity of the Nespresso Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Machine Bundle puts it ahead of competitors in this area. You’ll only deal with one button that controls all the functions you’ll need.
  • When brewing an entire carafe, you’ll probably want to be able to pour while it’s brewing. The pause-and-serve feature on the Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer Coffee Maker and SharkNinja Ninja 12-Cup Coffee Maker With Classic and Rich Brews lets you pull the carafe out to pour a cup, pausing the brewing until the carafe is back in place again.

About The Author

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Stephanie Faris 

Stephanie Faris is a novelist and professional writer. She's also a foodie who loves trying out new cooking techniques and tools. She is addicted to meal preparation kits and regularly shares photos on social media of her creations. Her favorite thing about traveling is trying out new restaurants and tasting different cuisines.