What is the Best Coffee Maker with a Thermal Carafe?

Verdinut

Verdinut

Audioholic Samurai
Hey Guys!

What is the best
available coffee maker with a thermal carafe nowadays?

I'm using a Canadian brand Oster Coffee maker which is exactly the same product as the Mr. Coffee brand which I believe is sold in the US. I have been using it now foe several years, and I have had a replacement one since last Winter. I recently noticed a strong plastic smell from the water container and I strongly suspect that it contains BPA. I want to discard the product for my health sake and I'm looking for a dependable replacement that makes good tasting coffee. I like dark roasted coffee as is, black without any sweetener.

I have been looking on the web through Google and I got several different recommendations as we usually find when we do such research. Two brands that frequently come out in the several lists of recommendations are ZOJIRUSHI and NINJA. I know that Zojirushi mentions that their water container is free of BPA, but I'm not so sure about the Ninja product. Of course, reliability is also important.

So, would any of you, coffee lovers, have a recommendation for a reliable product that makes good tasting coffee? Your comments would be appreciated.
 
Dan

Dan

Senior Audioholic
The best I know is the Technivorm. There are several models you can compare on this site. https://www.sweetmarias.com/technivorm-cdgt-10-cup-coffee-maker-with-thermal-carafe.html

They are one of the few that get the water hot enough to make a god extraction.Expensive but an excellent long lasting design. Swerd has one and can tell you more. I use a tea kettle and the Melita method with a clever coffee brew valve cone. But I am a solo drinker, for more people the Technivorm is what I would get.
 
Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Spartan
What is the best available coffee maker with a thermal carafe nowadays?

So, would any of you, coffee lovers, have a recommendation for a reliable product that makes good tasting coffee? Your comments would be appreciated.
The single most important thing to making good coffee is the water temperature during brewing. It should be just off the boil, about 205°F or 96°C. To achieve this requires a potent electric heating element, about 1300 to 1400 Watts. As you might expect, this costs money. You probably will not like the price of the best electric drip coffee maker that I know of, made by Technivorm Moccamaster, which now sells in the US for $310. I have one, which I use daily, and has lasted well over 12 years.
Most cheaper coffee makers use 1000 to 1200 Watt heaters, and heat water only to roughly 180°F or 82°C. During brewing, the lower heat actually produces bitter, poor tasting coffee. Most people respond to this by using fewer coffee grounds, resulting in weak but bitter coffee. These cheaper coffee makers usually don't last long. Those I've used in the past never lasted more than 2 or 3 years.
I'm using a Canadian brand Oster Coffee maker which is exactly the same product as the Mr. Coffee brand which I believe is sold in the US. I have been using it now foe several years, and I have had a replacement one since last Winter. I recently noticed a strong plastic smell from the water container and I strongly suspect that it contains BPA. I want to discard the product for my health sake and I'm looking for a dependable replacement that makes good tasting coffee. I like dark roasted coffee as is, black without any sweetener.
Is the thermal carafe on your present coffee maker lined with plastic? It should be glass or stainless steel.

Most plastics manufactured today have eliminated BPA, especially if they will be exposed to hot water. BPA additives were meant to keep plastic flexible, especially if the plastics were meant to be used at lower temperatures. There are now better additives that keep plastic containers flexible at low temperatures.

I highly doubt if you or anyone else can smell BPA.
 
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GO-NAD!

GO-NAD!

Audioholic Ninja
If you don't want to spend that much, the Mr Coffee BVMC-PSTX95 is the top-rated maker with a thermal carafe on Consumer reports. It's currently CDN$133 on Amazon.ca. CR may have lower standards than Swerd though. They specify a brew temperature of 195°F to 205°F.
 
dolsey01

dolsey01

Audiophyte
I own the Technivorm, it's the equivalent of a turntable in the coffee world, 100% analog. Like a turntable makes beautiful music, it make excellent coffee, but to do so it needs some extra effort. Pre Technivorm, I would grind my coffee, put it it maker, set timer and wake up to coffee every morning. My new routine is to wake up, grind my coffee, put in Technivorm, wait a few minutes and then stir coffee grounds in filter, open up filter stop, wait another few minutes, remove pour through carafe top, pour cup, put in carafe travel top to keep coffee warm.

I have no doubt this coffee maker will last a decade, I'm just not 100% I will be able to keep this routine.

If I had to do it again, I would probably have bought the Breville as a compromise.

Don't buy the Cusinart Pour Over CPO-850 model, I thought it would be a budget alternative but it makes lousy coffee.
 
2

2channel lover

Audioholic Field Marshall
The single most important thing to making good coffee is the water temperature during brewing. It should be just off the boil, about 205°F or 96°C. To achieve this requires a potent electric heating element, about 1300 to 1400 Watts. As you might expect, this costs money. You probably will not like the price of the best electric drip coffee maker that I know of, made by Technivorm Moccamaster, which now sells in the US for $310. I have one, which I
I agree 100% on the water temp to make a great cup of coffee.

Years ago we had a commercial Bunn, and it made great coffee, piping hot and great flavor...but as the lifestyle drifted to drinking less coffee, we started looking at the single serve coffee makers and we went thru two Keurig machines. We stumbled upon Bunn's single serve coffee maker...the My Cafe MCU...it came with a stainless carafe...not sure if it's thermal.

I can make a single k-cup, or more traditional with ground coffee, but it comes out just like the old Bunn commercial unit we had.

This was under $200...I think we paid $160-170....the only draw back imo...it prefers tap water over bottled...strange but true.
 
cornemuse

cornemuse

Junior Audioholic
I use a mr coffee less than $20 machine. I find that most folk grind their coffee beans WAAAY too long. 8 ± seconds, max.
I have a kettle to boil water & then pour it in the machine. As soon as its finished, I pour my 1st cup and turn off the machine. In the machine, coffee scorchs when its left on. Keeking it hot in thermal pots almost as bad unless you use it up quickly.
I've been drinking coffee for more than 60 years.
 
Verdinut

Verdinut

Audioholic Samurai
If you don't want to spend that much, the Mr Coffee BVMC-PSTX95 is the top-rated maker with a thermal carafe on Consumer reports. It's currently CDN$133 on Amazon.ca. CR may have lower standards than Swerd though. They specify a brew temperature of 195°F to 205°F.
My Oster coffee maker is the same product as you are suggesting. Oster and Mr. Coffee are both Sunbeam brands. It's not very well rated, some reviewers say that it is among the ones that don't make the best tasting coffee. I have to conclude that the CR reviewers are not coffee experts.

The Zojirushi maker is advertised by the Japanese manufacturer where they specify a brewing temperature of 200°F. It is reputed by several reviewing teams to make excellent coffee.
 
Shanman

Shanman

Audioholic
I like my Behmor Brazen. Stainless reservoir that drops water down into the basket like a pour over, with programmable bloom times, temp, etc. Thermal carafe itself isn't the best, maybe good for 45 mins or so, I pour into a better aftermarket carafe. This may be nuts to do so, but the Behmor makes such good consistent coffee so I deal with the extra step.
 
Verdinut

Verdinut

Audioholic Samurai
The single most important thing to making good coffee is the water temperature during brewing. It should be just off the boil, about 205°F or 96°C. To achieve this requires a potent electric heating element, about 1300 to 1400 Watts. As you might expect, this costs money. You probably will not like the price of the best electric drip coffee maker that I know of, made by Technivorm Moccamaster, which now sells in the US for $310. I have one, which I use daily, and has lasted well over 12 years.
Most cheaper coffee makers use 1000 to 1200 Watt heaters, and heat water only to roughly 180°F or 82°C. During brewing, the lower heat actually produces bitter, poor tasting coffee. Most people respond to this by using fewer coffee grounds, resulting in weak but bitter coffee. These cheaper coffee makers usually don't last long. Those I've used in the past never lasted more than 2 or 3 years.
Is the thermal carafe on your present coffee maker lined with plastic? It should be glass or stainless steel.

Most plastics manufactured today have eliminated BPA, especially if they will be exposed to hot water. BPA additives were meant to keep plastic flexible, especially if the plastics were meant to be used at lower temperatures. There are now better additives that keep plastic containers flexible at low temperatures.

I highly doubt if you or anyone else can smell BPA.
@Swerd,

I've had a look at this Moccamaster brewer. It's a very interesting machine and a bit expensive. Also, it uses the conical shaped filter which is not compatible with the Breville Smart Coffee grinder that I have which handles the basket type filters.

The Zojirushi EC-YTC100XB maker which sells for just over C$230 is the one which I'm considering at present. It's a Japanese designed machine that uses a 1200 watt element and they advertise it heats the water to 200°F. It seems to be well designed. The company, which has been manufacturing glass vacuum bottles for more than 100 years, has a branch in California. After sales support appears to be good and replacement parts are easily available.

As for the inside lining of the Sunbeam/Oster thermal carafe, it's most likely a sort of plastic as it's not glass or stainless steel. I've just had this second brewer since the beginning of the year, and the carafe doesn't keep the coffee warm as long as when I started using the machine. To me, it's a questionable Chinese made product which Consumer Reports reported as the best coffee maker. It's obvious that their reviewers are not coffee experts.
 
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Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Spartan
I've had a look at this Moccamaster brewer. It's a very interesting machine and a bit expensive. Also, it uses the conical shaped filter which is not compatible with the Breville Smart Coffee grinder that I have which handles the basket type filters.
I do agree, the price is high. But I've been using mine most everyday since 2005 if I remember correctly. So that high price must be divided by the number of years you can expect to get from it. Compared to the much cheaper electric drip coffee makers I had previously used, which all died after 2 or 3 years, the Technivorm is a bargain.
The Zojirushi EC-YTC100XB maker which sells for just over C$230 is the one which I'm considering at present. It's a Japanese designed machine that uses a 1200 watt element and they advertise it heats the water to 200°F. It seems to be well designed. The company, which has been manufacturing glass vacuum bottles for more than 100 years, has a branch in California. After sales support appears to be good and replacement parts are easily available.
That Zojirushi looks pretty good on the web page. And that company does have a good reputation for it's vacuum bottles. What you can't know in advance is how long it might last. If the heating element dies after 3-5 years, then it's not a bargain.
 
Mikado463

Mikado463

Audioholic Field Marshall
anybody drink perc coffee anymore ?

what's your favorite source for purchase of beans ? unroasted or roasted ?
 
Verdinut

Verdinut

Audioholic Samurai
I do agree, the price is high. But I've been using mine most everyday since 2005 if I remember correctly. So that high price must be divided by the number of years you can expect to get from it. Compared to the much cheaper electric drip coffee makers I had previously used, which all died after 2 or 3 years, the Technivorm is a bargain.
That Zojirushi looks pretty good on the web page. And that company does have a good reputation for it's vacuum bottles. What you can't know in advance is how long it might last. If the heating element dies after 3-5 years, then it's not a bargain.
Even if it lasts 4-5 years, it would have cost me about $5 a month, that's nothing compared to what I was spending (over $5 a day at a coffee shop) when I was working in 2015. I'm sure to obtain better tasting coffee than the one with the Oster product.

EDIT: I've just ordered the Zojirushi:

 
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M

Mr._Clark

Audioholic
I'm a Technivorm Moccamaster guy. I went through a series of cheaper coffee makers but I was never satisfied with the flavor. So far the Technovorm has been indestructible.

Truthfully, I don't drink that much coffee anymore. I keep caffeine pills and a water bottle on my nightstand. When the alarm goes off I pop a caffeine pill and hit the snooze. When the alarm goes off the second time I'm ready to roll! Yeah, it's kind of lame, but it works.
 
GO-NAD!

GO-NAD!

Audioholic Ninja
Even if it lasts 4-5 years, it would have cost me about $5 a month, that's nothing compared to what I was spending (over $5 a day at a coffee shop) when I was working in 2015. I'm sure to obtain better tasting coffee than the one with the Oster product.

EDIT: I've just ordered the Zojirushi:

I'd be interested in hearing how it performs when you receive it.:)
 
Verdinut

Verdinut

Audioholic Samurai
I'd be interested in hearing how it performs when you receive it.:)
I will let you know. It brews the coffee at 200°F which is ideal to get the full flavor. Zojurushi is a 100 year old Japanese company with a good reputation.
 
Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Spartan
This morning I went for my 2 mile walk early in the day to escape the heat & humidity. I skipped breakfast and coffee. When I got back, I ate breakfast but skipped the coffee. By mid-day I was suffering from the lack of caffeine. My whole body had the 'slows'. So I made a pot and really enjoyed having coffee.

Once I was riding the caffeine curve, I thought about this thread. And I decided I wanted to 'preach' a bit about good coffee. Here's what I've learned over the years that really matters when it comes to making good coffee. As usual, YMMV.

What Really Matters for Making Good Coffee:
  • Brewing Temperature – we've already discussed this above. Aim for 200-205°F.
  • Water – I use tap water, but remove the chlorine. There are 2 easy ways to do that: 1) Boil the water in a kettle. All the chlorine is driven out of the water as chlorine gas just before the water boils. 2) Filter the tap water through activated charcoal filter, such as a Brita filter.
  • Fresh Roasted Coffee Beans – Because I roast my own coffee at home, I've learned how wonderfully good fresh roasted coffee can be. By fresh, I mean a time frame between 2-3 days to <2 weeks after roasting. For reasons I can't explain, coffee tastes much better 3 days after its been roasted, 1 or 2 days after is too soon. Coffee steadily grows stale, and after ~2 weeks it has lost much of its flavor. Most roasted coffee I can buy in stores is already more than 2 weeks past it's roast date. And plenty of coffee in stores never tell you the roast date.
  • Fresh Ground Coffee Beans – I always grind coffee beans just before I brew it. Once you grind the coffee, it grows stale within hours, not days. Storing ground coffee in a refrigerator or freezer will not help delay this enough to make a difference. The type of coffee grinder doesn't matter, as long as you get consistent results. Coffee hipsters will obsess over the make and type of coffee grinder, but I disagree.
  • Coffee Bean Type – By type, I mean where it was grown. I like coffee from Central America (especially Guatemala) and East Africa (Ethiopia & Kenya). This is strictly a matter of personal preference. I know what I like, and you know what you like. We don't have to agree.
  • Coffee Roast Level – This also is strictly a matter of personal preference. I know what I like, and you know what you like. We don't have to agree.
  • Brewing Method – This doesn't matter much, as long as you consistently get coffee you like each day. All the different brewing methods work. Coffee hipsters will dwell over the make and type of brewing method, but I disagree. For any method, you have to learn how much coffee to use, how much water, and how fine or coarse to grind the beans for your brewing method. French Press makers do better with coarse grind, filter drip does better with medium fine grind, and espresso requires fine or very fine grind. I weigh both coffee beans and water with a food scale. If I use eyeball methods, it doesn't work very well for me.
Obviously, I needed some coffee just to be able to write this :).
 
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Verdinut

Verdinut

Audioholic Samurai
This morning I went for my 2 mile walk early in the day to escape the heat & humidity. I skipped breakfast or had any coffee. When I got back, I ate breakfast but skipped the coffee. By mid-day I was suffering from the lack of caffeine. My whole body had the 'slows'. So I made a pot and really enjoyed having coffee.

Once I was riding the caffeine curve, I thought about this thread. And I decided I wanted to 'preach' a bit about good coffee. Here's what I've learned over the years that really matters when it comes to making good coffee. As usual, YMMV.

What Really Matters for Making Good Coffee:
  • Brewing Temperature – we've already discussed this above. Aim for 200-205°F.
  • Water – I use tap water, but remove the chlorine. There are 2 easy ways to do that: 1) Boil the water in a kettle. All the chlorine is driven out of the water as chlorine gas just before the water boils. 2) Filter the tap water through activated charcoal filter, such as a Brita filter.
  • Fresh Roasted Coffee Beans – Because I roast my own coffee at home, I've learned how wonderfully good fresh roasted coffee can be. By fresh, I mean a time frame between 2-3 days to <2 weeks after roasting. For reasons I can't explain, coffee tastes much better 3 days after its been roasted, 1 or 2 days after is too soon. Coffee steadily grows stale, and after ~2 weeks it has lost much of its flavor. Most roasted coffee I can buy in stores is already more than 2 weeks past it's roast date. And plenty of coffee in stores never tell you the roast date.
  • Fresh Ground Coffee Beans – I always grind coffee beans just before I brew it. Once you grind the coffee, it grows stale within hours, not days. Storing ground coffee in a refrigerator or freezer will not help delay this enough to make a difference. The type of coffee grinder doesn't matter, as long as you get consistent results. Coffee hipsters will obsess over the make and type of coffee grinder, but I disagree.
  • Coffee Bean Type – By type, I mean where it was grown. I like coffee from Central America (especially Guatemala) and East Africa (Ethiopia & Kenya). This is strictly a matter of personal preference. I know what I like, and you know what you like. We don't have to agree.
  • Coffee Roast Level – This also is strictly a matter of personal preference. I know what I like, and you know what you like. We don't have to agree.
  • Brewing Method – This doesn't matter much, as long as you consistently get coffee you like each day. All the different brewing methods work. Coffee hipsters will dwell over the make and type of brewing method, but I disagree. For any method, you have to learn how much coffee to use, how much water, and how fine or coarse to grind the beans for your brewing method. French Press makers do better with coarse grind, filter drip does better with medium fine grind, and espresso requires fine or very fine grind. I weigh both coffee beans and water with a food scale. If I use eyeball methods, it doesn't work very well for me.
Obviously, I needed some coffee just to be able to write this :).
What is your procedure for roasting the coffee beans? I'm intrigued. Would you elaborate?
 
Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Spartan
What is your procedure for roasting the coffee beans? I'm intrigued. Would you elaborate?
I'll try to be brief, but I'm afraid talking about roasting coffee at home can quickly become lengthy.

All I've learned about DIY roasting coffee has come from this web site.
It also required a fair amount trial & error before I learned to be any good. Read those links on that web page for more information. The owner of Sweet Maria's (located in Oakland, CA) does understand what he is talking about, but he is quite verbose. He seems to drink a lot of his coffee.

The web site shows a number of roasters they sell, from very cheap ($20 for an electric popcorn popper, to $2,800 (US$) for an elaborate device called an Aillio bullet. If you are considering doing this, I suggest you limit your roasting to the amount of grams of coffee beans you use within 2 weeks. That would be an electric popcorn popper, or if you prefer a dedicated coffee roaster, the Fresh Roast SR800 or SR540.

At present, I use a Gene Cafe roaster. It cost more than I would like. At first I had trouble learning how to best use it. With time, I got better at it. I can roast 200 g of green coffee beans at a time. Typically the green beans loose about 12 to 13% of their weight during roasting.

Another option you might consider is to find a local coffee roaster where you live. Is that Quebec? You can buy smaller amounts of freshly roasted coffee that will be much better than anything sold at larger stores like Costco. Try it once or twice to see if freshness makes enough of a difference for you. It will cost more per gram.
 
Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Spartan
What is your procedure for roasting the coffee beans? I'm intrigued. Would you elaborate?
Also, you should be aware that achieving a dark roast at home will require a more potent roaster, and it will make smoke. Do you have an exhaust fan in your kitchen that works well?

I like a medium roast which takes less time and makes much less smoke. This photo shows how I exhaust most of the smoke. The stove has a built-in down-draft exhaust fan. I connected the roaster to the fan with a short length of 3" flexible dryer hose.
IMG_0569.jpg
 

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