Single serve coffee machines are great, but if you need more than just one cup at a time, they can become somewhat of a hassle. That’s why a 4-cup coffee maker is well worth considering.
First we need to clarify the cup measurement used by coffee makers. A 4-cup machine will give you about 2 – 3 regular mugs of coffee, as the “cup” refers to a 5-ounce unit. Yes, it’s a bit silly, but that’s the way the industry measures it.
Still, for very little work you get a carafe full of coffee that will give you a large mug plus at least one full refill. So, with that sorted out, let’s take a quick look at two 4-cup coffee maker brands you’d do well to consider.
1. Mr. Coffee
Mr. Coffee is a well-known brand. They cater mostly for the budget market with very affordable, but decent coffee machines.
Their range of 4-cup coffee makers will suit most needs. For example, the DRX5 model is a fully programmable unit. Set the timer before you go to bed and you can wake up to a hot carafe of coffee all ready and waiting for you. It also has other useful features, like an automatic shut-off function.
If automation is not important to you, save a few dollars and try a model like the TFGTF, which is a simple switch operated machine. However, be aware that a model like this is completely bereft of advanced features, and lacks even a basic function like an automatic shut-off.
They do have a few other models as well, but I’d recommend you stick to these two as they earn the highest ratings among consumers. Both create a decent cup of coffee, although you won’t exactly get Starbucks quality out of them. With a price tag of between $20 and $30, you really can’t expect restaurant class results.
Cuisinart is famous for their kitchen appliances, including coffee and espresso makers. Their entry in the 4-cup market is the DCC-450BK model. Unfortunately, this is a model plagued by issues, most notably a messy carafe.
Still, it seems that in recent times this issue has been addressed. The DCC-450BK offers a stainless steel thermal carafe instead of the usual glass carafe that you get with most coffee makers. It makes a great cup of coffee as well. It is not rich on features, but at least boasts a 30-minute automatic shut-off.
If Cuisinart can once and for all sort out the carafe issues on this model, it will be a great little all-round coffee maker.
These are the two best brands to consider when shopping for a 4-cup coffee machine. They are both established brands with a good reputation, so hopefully you’ll find the right unit for yourself among them.