The 25 best coffee products we tested in 2021
CNN Underscored is constantly testing products – whether it’s coffee makers or office chairs – to find the best in each respective category.
Our testing process is rigorous and consists of hours of research (consulting experts, reading editorial reviews, and reading user reviews) to find the best products in each category. Once we settle into a test pool, we spend weeks, if not months, testing and retesting each product multiple times under real conditions. All this with the aim of choosing the absolute best products.
This year, we’ve tested dozens of coffee-related products – from single serve coffee makers to grinders – to find the best products you need to make any coffee with ease.
If you want to make real espresso drinks at home but are on a budget, then the De’Longhi Stilosa is the machine you should consider if you need to spend as little as possible. It’s a capable machine, although it takes a bit of technique and practice to get the best results – you will need to grind the coffee to powder level (all espresso machines should have a good grinder) and make sure you pack well.
The Breville Bambino Plus takes the guesswork out of great espresso, with automatic features to help you every step of the way in making coffee-quality drinks.
The latest update to a 30-year-old design, the Gaggia Classic Pro doesn’t have as many automatic features as some more modern machines, but there’s no better machine for learning barista skills. And it makes great espresso and milk drinks.
If you don’t have a grinder or prefer an all-in-one machine, the Breville Barista Pro has the same automatic features as the Bambino Plus, plus a quality grinder and a bit more programmability.
Beautifully designed, built like a tank and well suited for the serious hobbyist looking for a luxury machine, the ECM Casa V is a traditional single boiler machine that should last for many years and give you quality espresso. steamed coffee and milk along the way.
If you make a lot of dairy drinks, the Rancilio Silvia Pro – an updated and well-designed version of the classic design – has two boilers for all-round convenience, whether you want an espresso or a latte.
If you want espresso drinks at the push of a button, the Philips 3200 does it all, from grinding to steaming milk, without any extra effort. It is always ready to serve a quality espresso, latte or cappuccino.
â¢ Learn more about our espresso machine tests here.
The Baratza Virtuoso + has an elegant and intuitive design. It also has 40 settings to choose from. Having more options allows you to micro-customize the grind size to your liking, so that you get the exact taste you want from the beans. It was easy to quickly customize our grinds, from espresso and Turkish coffee to the French press or cold brew.
The Bodum Bistro Burr Mill comes packaged in a contemporary look (we especially liked it in poppy red) and includes a dozen adjustable settings, an anti-static glass bean collector, and just enough special features to make it a machine of ideal start.
Best Manual Coffee Grinder & Best Hand Grinder: Porlex Stainless Steel Mini Coffee Grinder ($ 66.50; amazon.com)
At just 8 ounces, the tiny Porlex Mini handheld delivers precision grinding, with 18 settings, in a travel-friendly size. At your desk or when you’re outside or traveling, it’s hard to beat.
â¢ Learn more about our coffee grinder tests here.
The Hario Mizudashi Cold Brew Coffee Maker is a sleek, sophisticated and streamlined carafe that produces 1 liter (approximately 4.25 cups) of rich, robust brew in just eight hours. It was among the simplest to assemble, it performed exemplary brewing in the shortest amount of time, and it looked classy doing it. Plus, it ranked as the second most affordable in our inventory.
Also pleasantly easy to use and a nice visual addition to a breakfast table, the Ovalware Airtight RJ3 Cold Brew Maker was narrowly lost in favor of the Mizudashi only because its glass handle is a bit more fragile and therefore slightly less. friendly. As simple as any brewer, this was one of the most premium in terms of design without feeling fussy.
Best Travel Cold Brew Machine: Takeya Cold Brew Coffee Maker ($ 24.99; amazon.com)
The all-plastic Takeya Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker produces a fantastic 1.8 liters of cold brew – more volume than some of its single-decanter brethren – and is the lightest and easiest model to throw in a bag. weekend without fear of breakage during take-out brewing for a group or a large family.
â¢ Learn more about our cold brewer tests here.
We’ve brewed countless pots of coffee with the Braun KF6050WH BrewSense Filter Coffee Maker, ranging from light roast to dark roast, and each one made a strong and delicious cup without sediment, thanks to the golden filter, designed to remove bitterness coffee like as well as reduce the waste of disposable paper filters. The machine we tested was white, but it’s also available in black, and it’s compact enough to fit under cabinets in a smaller space compared to some of the more bulky machines we tested.
It was, in our eyes, the most beautiful and least designed of the simple self-brewers, delivering a clean and tasty cup. It only lost the top spot because the touchscreen may not be for all consumers and the brewing time is significantly longer than other machines we’ve tried.
In just five minutes, the Technivorm Moccamaster 59636 KBG coffee maker produces an entire pot of lovely, perfectly brewed coffee, and the process is as mesmerizing as a focused Netflix trailer.
One of the cheapest options we tested, the Mr. Coffee 12-Cup Brewer is compact, easy to use, and gives a very competitive cup.
â¢ Learn more about our filter coffee maker reviews here.
The Kalita Wave 185 pour-in coffee dripper features a flat bottom with three drip holes, which makes it easier and more even to saturate the coffee grounds. The flat-bottomed shape and larger surface area resulted in a single, rich, sturdy cup of coffee, and it was also the most user-friendly of the drippers that required a swirl pour, producing between 16 and 26 ounces at a time.
The Oxo Brew Pour-Over Coffee Maker is perfect for beginners as it takes the guesswork out of the pouring process by simply allowing you to fill the water reservoir to the desired amount and allowing it to control the flow. Don’t expect the coffee to be as robust as it is with the Kalita.
For those times when you need to brew several cups at once, you can’t go wrong with the Chemex Glass Pour-On Coffee Maker. It delivers a light, flavorful and balanced infusion every time. An all-in-one model, there is no need for a separate carafe.
â¢ Learn more about our overflow coffee maker reviews here.
If you are looking for a coffee machine that can brew a great cup that’s always piping hot, brew an espresso, be extremely easy to use, and look great on your counter then you need Breville. -Nespresso VertuoPlus. This single serve coffee maker stood out from the crowd in almost every category. It produced the hottest coffee in the bunch, tasted the same with every cup, allowed for a variety of brewing options, and really couldn’t be easier to use.
For the best value for money, we fell in love with the Sboly single serve coffee maker. One of the cheapest machines we tested, it scored big points for its compact size and ease of use, but most importantly for its ability to brew four different sizes using grounds or K-cups – an option that we really appreciated.
â¢ Learn more about our single serve coffee maker reviews here.
The Blue Bottle coffee subscription won us over with its balance between variety, personalization and, above all, taste. The flavors are complex and bold, but unmistakably delicious. Beyond its coffee, Blue Bottle’s subscription is straightforward and easy to use, with tons of options to suit your caffeine needs.
Trade offers a useful coffee quiz, plenty of customizable settings, and over 400 coffees to choose from. With a seemingly endless variety of coffee beans to choose from, there will always be new, interesting coffees to try. Additionally, Trade allows you to choose which coffees are sent to you, which gives you more control than many other services.
Angel’s Cup Black Box Membership will have you feeling like a coffee connoisseur in no time. This subscription sends you a box of four different roasts, with only the roast date and a five-digit number to tell them apart. The idea is that each send is a blind tasting, so once you’ve brewed and drunk each coffee, you can access an app to rate it for yourself and record your notes.
â¢ Learn more about our coffee subscription tests here.