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Best Coffee Maker with Thermal Carafe

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Last updated: December 15, 2023

Quick Answer: The best coffee maker with a thermal carafe is the Technivorm Moccamaster.

This is my roundup of the best coffee makers with a thermal carafe.

I own a coffee maker with a thermal carafe. I also spent a whole day researching people’s experiences with these machines to put together this roundup.

Let’s get started.

Top Picks

Best Overall: Techivorm Moccamaster

Best Affordable: Bonavita 8 Cup

Best Tasting Coffee: Ratio 6

Best with a Built-in Grinder: Breville Grind Control

Best Overall: Technivorm Moccamaster

Best Overall
Technivorm Moccamaster 79112 KBT
$339.00

The Technivorm Moccamaster offers the best balance between coffee quality, durability, and cost, making it the best coffee maker with a thermal carafe.

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02/27/2024 05:58 pm GMT

Quality of Coffee

The Technivorm Moccamaster makes excellent drip coffee due to its precisely calibrated brewing time. Its coffee quality is second only to Ratio 6.

America’s Test Kitchen tested seven popular coffee makers with thermal carafes and found that the Technivorm Moccmaster made the best coffee of the lot (they did not test the Ratio 6, however).

This high coffee quality is down to the fact that the Technivorm is one of the few machines that brew for the ideal drip coffee brewing time of 6-8 minutes (this ideal brewing time has been established by the Specialty Coffee Association of America).

Although many other machines brew at the correct brewing temperature, very few brew drip coffee for long enough. This creates a watery final coffee. 

The Technivorm does not have this problem, meaning that the coffee that it makes has a complex, rich flavor.

America’s Test Kitchen also noted that the Technivorm Moccamaster brews a very consistent quality of coffee brew after brew.

This is rare among drip coffee makers whose heating elements often deteriorate the more you use them, resulting in blander coffee over time.

The Technivorm Moccamaster stands the test of time and will brew its thousandth coffee as well as it brews its first one.

Quality of Coffee Rating: 9/10

Design and Build Quality

The Technivorm Moccamaster is very smartly designed with the machine built for durability and outstanding brewing performance.

The Technivorm Moccamaster has an incredibly high internal build quality.

This is evidenced by testing that shows that it brews to a consistent temperature and time for coffee after coffee.

Moccamasters have been around for over 50 years, with people reporting that their machine still works like new after decades of ownership. 

Technivorm is also known to be very lenient with its (already generous) five-year warranty, often providing fixes even once this warranty has expired.

Such a long warranty and generosity in fixing issues for free further demonstrates Technivorm’s confidence in the build quality of their Moccamaster machines.

The Moccamaster makes no attempt to hide the fact that many of its external components are made out of plastic.

Tecnhnivorm actually uses fairly cheap exterior parts on purpose because they know that if their machine lasts over five years then these parts will suffer wear and tear regardless of the materials that they are made out of.

The idea is that these external components can be easily and cheaply replaced, boosting the longevity of the machine overall.

The one part where the Technivorm Moccamaster falls down is with its carafe.

The carafe’s spout can become very drippy and spluttery when you pour from it. This means you’ll probably have to give your cup, carafe, and counter a wipe after every coffee that you pour out. Not ideal.

Design and Build Quality Rating: 9/10

Value For Money

The Technivorm Moccamaster is one of the more expensive drip coffee makers out there, however, this is backed up by its excellent quality and durability.

It should last you much longer than almost any other drip coffee maker, thereby justifying its cost over the course of its existence.

Value For Money Rating: 8/10

Techivorm Moccamaster Pros

It makes excellent coffee.

It is durable and should last you a very long time.

It has a five-year warranty and excellent customer support.

Its exterior parts are cheap and easy to replace if there is any wear and tear.

Techivorm Moccamaster Cons

Its carafe can be a bit dribbly and make a mess when you pour from it.

Best Overall
Technivorm Moccamaster 79112 KBT
$339.00

The Technivorm Moccamaster offers the best balance between coffee quality, durability, and cost, making it the best coffee maker with a thermal carafe.

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02/27/2024 05:58 pm GMT

Best Affordable: Bonavita 8 Cup

Best Affordable
Bonavita 8 Cup
$188.99

The Bonavita 8 Cup makes coffee that can rival any drip coffee maker and is about half the price of the other best machines.

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02/27/2024 06:10 pm GMT

Quality of Coffee

The Bonavita 8 Cup makes excellent coffee and is one of the best-performing coffee makers in this regard.

In America’s Test Kitchen’s comparison of drip coffee makers, they concluded that the Bonavita 8 Cup’s coffee was of a similar standard to the Technivorm Moccamaster. These two machines were ranked as making the best coffee.

The machine is SCAA certified meaning that it brews at the ideal brewing temperature throughout the entire brewing process and can brew at the golden cup ratio – the ideal coffee-to-water ratio for drip coffee.

The machine’s showerhead saturates the coffee evenly, resulting in an even extraction which creates a nicely balanced coffee.

Overall you’ll have no complaints with the coffee quality from this machine.

Quality of Coffee Rating: 9/10

Design and Build Quality

The Bonavita 8 Cup has an excellent internal build quality and brewing system. Its external build is not the best however which makes it prone to certain technical issues.

The Bonavita 8 Cup is SCAA-certified meaning that its brewing mechanism is in line with the brewing recommendations made by the Specialty Coffee Association of America. 

SCAA certification requires that you have a high-quality heating mechanism that can brew at a consistent temperature. A coffee maker therefore cannot become SCAA-certified unless its manufacturers do not cut corners with its internal build quality.

The Bonavita 8 Cup is therefore as good as any other coffee maker as far as internal build quality is concerned.

The Bonavita 8 Cup’s external build quality is, on the other hand, quite poor.

The machine’s exterior and brew basket are made out of thin plastic. 

Several users of this machine on Reddit have claimed that some of these plastic components can melt due to the heat produced by the machine when brewing. You can find a thread that talks about it here.

The machine’s carafe also has a poor-quality spout meaning that it often drips and makes a mess when you pour from it. Many thermal carafes have this problem, to be fair.

Design and Build Quality: 6/10

Value For Money

The Bonavita 8 Cup makes a similar standard of coffee to the Ratio 6 and Technivorm but is significantly cheaper than both of these machines.

The machine is not as durable as these two more expensive options, but ultimately I still feel it is a very reasonable price for what you get.

Value For Money Rating: 9/10

Bonavita 8 Cup Pros

Makes very good coffee.

It offers outstanding value for money.

Compact and suitable for crowded countertops.

Bonavita 8 Cup Cons

It has a poor external build quality with lots of plastic parts that can melt if the machine overheats.

Best Affordable
Bonavita 8 Cup
$188.99

The Bonavita 8 Cup makes coffee that can rival any drip coffee maker and is about half the price of the other best machines.

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02/27/2024 06:10 pm GMT

Best Possible Coffee: Ratio 6

Best Possible Coffee
Ratio Six
$339.00 $285.00
The Ratio 6’s slow pulsed brewing means it makes the best coffee of all drip coffee makers. If coffee quality is your highest priority then this is the machine for you.
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02/27/2024 05:02 pm GMT

Quality of Coffee

Ratio 6 makes the best-tasting coffee of all drip coffee makers.

The Ratio 6 brews coffee significantly slower than other machines, brewing with pulses of water rather than in a steady stream.

This slow brewing increases the contact time between the ground coffee and the brewing water. 

This means that more of the flavorful compounds in the ground coffee are extracted into the water, creating a richer and more complex final coffee.

In his comparison of five popular coffee makers, YouTube barista James Hoffmann agreed that Ratio 6 makes the best-tasting coffee. Hoffmann also cited this complexity in the Ratio 6’s as the reason why it was better than that made by the other machines tested.

Quality of Coffee Rating: 10/10

Design and Build Quality

The Ratio 6 has an excellently built brewing mechanism and exterior. It does have a significant flaw however in that the measurements on its water tank are inaccurate.

Ratio 6 has an excellent internal brewing mechanism, as evidenced by the quality of the coffee that it makes.

It also has the highest external build quality of all the machines in this article. It uses virtually no plastic in its exterior (other than in its water tank). You cannot say this about any other machine.

Ratio 6 does have one major design flaw, however: the measurements on its water tank are inaccurate.

This means that to get an excellent coffee out of the machine (which is presumably why you are paying a premium for this machine) you need to measure out your water with a separate measuring jug.

This adds an extra annoying step to the process of making a coffee with the Ratio 6.

Design and Build Quality: 8/10

Value For Money

Ratio 6 does not represent the best value for money. You are paying a large premium compared to other machines for a fairly small step up in coffee quality.

Ratio 6 is by far the most expensive machine listed here.

While it makes the best-tasting coffee of all the machines, the difference between its coffee and coffee made by the Technivorm Moccamaster is marginal.

I do not think that it justifies its large price tag unless you really want to make the best possible coffee with your machine.

Value For Money Rating: 5/10

Ratio 6 Pros

Makes the best coffee of all drip coffee makers.

Built with the least plastic of all these machines.

Ratio 6 Cons

The measurements on its water tank are inaccurate.

Best Possible Coffee
Ratio Six
$339.00 $285.00
The Ratio 6’s slow pulsed brewing means it makes the best coffee of all drip coffee makers. If coffee quality is your highest priority then this is the machine for you.
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02/27/2024 05:02 pm GMT

Best with A Grinder: Breville Grind Control

Best With A Grinder
Breville Grind Contol
$349.95
The Breville Grind Control has an excellent build quality and gives you a lot of options to customize your brewing. However, the quality of coffee isn’t as good as machines with separate grinders.
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02/27/2024 03:28 pm GMT

Quality of Coffee

The Breville Grind Control’s coffee is a bit on the watery side as it does not grind enough coffee to hit the ideal brewing ratio for drip coffee. This becomes a more significant problem as you make larger servings of coffee because its brew basket cannot hold enough coffee to make these larger servings properly.

The Breville Grind Control automatically doses out your coffee and water for you based on the number of coffees that you program the machine to make.

Unfortunately, the Breville does not dose out enough ground coffee to meet the “golden cup ratio” – the optimal coffee-to-water ratio for brewing drip coffee.

Although you have strength settings that change the quantity of ground coffee used in your drink, even on the strongest strength setting the machine only grinds enough coffee to meet the golden cup ratio for up to eight cups of coffee (the machine can brew up to twelve cups).

The reason why it cannot grind enough coffee to make large portions of coffee at the correct brewing ratio is that its brew basket is not big enough to hold such a large quantity of ground coffee.

Therefore, if you want to make more than eight cups of coffee, you will end up with watery coffee.

This small brew basket is because the machine has to fit a grinder and a brew basket in a relatively small space. They, therefore, sacrifice some brew basket capacity and this negatively impacts coffee quality at larger portions.

Quality of Coffee Rating: 6/10

Design and Build Quality

The Breville Grind Control has an impressive number of features, however, it does have a major design flaw in that its grinder clogs up very easily.

The Breville Grind Control has an impressive internal build quality with mechanisms that allow you to control finer points of brewing like bloom length and brewing temperature.

It has an intuitive user interface with a display screen that allows you to finely control your brewing without too much difficulty. 

Since a lot of the brewing is automated, it is the easiest to use of all the machines listed in this article.

The machine does have one really bad flaw in its design, however. 

Its grinder and the chute below it that the ground coffee passes through on the way to the brew basket have a tendency to clog up. This is particularly likely if you grind the coffee on the grinder’s finest settings.

If you look at reviews of this machine on Amazon and Reddit you will see this come up time and time again.

While you usually can unclog the machine by poking at the holes in the grinder with a brush (the machine even comes with a brush to do this) you cannot always get it unclogged. If you cannot unclog the grinder then the whole machine is out of use.

Still, if you manage to avoid this problem, then the machine is very reliable. Try to avoid grinding on the finest two settings to minimize the chances of this happening.

Design and Build Quality Rating: 7/10

Value For Money

The Breville Grind Control represents good value for money for a machine with built-in grinder standards.

You will however get a better quality drip coffee set up for the same amount of money with a separate coffee machine and grinder.

This is why I would recommend getting a separate coffee maker and grinder for the majority of people.

Value for Money Rating: 7/10

Breville Grind Control Pros

It gives you a lot of control over your brewing conditions including bloom length and brewing temperature.

It has a very intuitive user interface with a digital display screen.

Automates your dosing for you so coffees are very easy to make.

Breville Grind Control Cons

Its grinder has a tendency to clog up. Until the grinder is unclogged the machine cannot be used.

It brews watery coffees when set to larger serving sizes as it has limited space in its brew basket.

Best With A Grinder
Breville Grind Contol
$349.95
The Breville Grind Control has an excellent build quality and gives you a lot of options to customize your brewing. However, the quality of coffee isn’t as good as machines with separate grinders.
Get it on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/27/2024 03:28 pm GMT

What Should I Look For When Buying a Drip Coffee Maker With a Thermal Carafe?

Here are the key factors that determine the overall quality of a drip coffee maker with a thermal carafe. Try to pay attention to these features when shopping around for such a machine.

Brew Time

You want a machine that can brew five cups (40 oz) of coffee in 6-8 minutes.

Any longer than an eight-minute brew time your coffee will become overly bitter as a lot of the harsher tasting compounds in the ground coffee extract into your water.

Coffee brewed much slower than 6 minutes can result in a bland drink as there has not been enough time for significant extraction to occur.

The table below shows how long it takes each of the machines featured here to brew five cups (40 oz) of coffee.

Machine nameHow long to brew 5 cups of coffee
Technivorm Moccamaster6 minutes
Bonavita 8 Cup6 minutes
Ratio 67 mins 40 seconds
Breville Grind Control4 mins 30 seconds

Brewing Temperature

Your coffee maker should heat your brewing water to 195-205 Fahrenheit and have it at this temperature throughout the entire brewing process.

The ideal brewing temperature for drip coffee is 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the Speciality Coffee Association of America (SCAA).

If your coffee is brewed at a lower temperature than this your final drink will be bland and hollow tasting.

Brewing at a higher temperature than this can result in you burning your coffee resulting in a very bitter burnt taste in your drink.

While most drip coffee makers reach a temperature around 195 – 205 Fahrenheit, many cheaper machines only arrive at this temperature by the end of brewing.

Machines that only reach the ideal temperature by the end of brewing will therefore brew the majority of your coffee below this ideal temperature. As mentioned earlier, this creates a very bland-tasting coffee.

You, therefore, want a machine that heats your water to the ideal brewing temperature at the start of the brewing process. 

Heating your brewing water in this way is one requirement that a coffee maker must meet to become SCAA certified (the other is having a brew basket big enough to brew at the golden cup ratio – more on this later).

The table below shows which of the machines featured in this article heat your water to the ideal brewing temperature at the beginning of brewing:

Machine nameDoes it heat your water to 195-205 Fahrenheit at the start of the brewing process?
Technivorm MoccamasterYes
Bonavita 8 CupYes
Ratio 6Yes
Breville Grind ControlYes

Brew Basket Size and Brewing Ratio

Your machine should have a brew basket big enough to allow it to brew at the “golden cup ratio” of 10 grams of coffee for every 6 oz of water.

Brewing with the correct ratio of ground coffee to water is vital to make coffee that is not watery.

The Speciality Coffee Association of America recommends that you brew with 10 grams of coffee for every 6 oz of water used. The SCAA refer to this ratio as the “golden cup ratio”.

Many drip coffee makers do not have brew baskets large enough to brew larger quantities of coffee according to this ratio. 

This is why drip coffee makers have a reputation for making watery coffee, and why more manual coffee makers like the French press have grown in popularity recently.

Having a brew basket big enough to brew according to the golden ratio is another requirement for a coffee maker to become SCAA certified.

The table below shows whether each of the coffee makers featured in this article can brew to their capacity according to the golden cup ratio:

Machine nameCan it brew to its capacity and still stay within the golden cup ratio?
Technivorm MoccamasterYes
Bonavita 8 CupYes
Ratio 6Yes
Breville Grind ControlNo

Bloom Function

You want a machine that automatically blooms your coffee bed before brewing. Being able to customize your bloom time is a bonus, but not essential.

Drip coffee brewing best practices dictate that you should wet (“bloom”) your coffee grounds with a small amount of hot water prior to brewing. This benefits your final drink in two ways:

  • Blooming your coffee grounds causes them to release some carbon dioxide. This gas needs to be released from the coffee grounds before their flavorful compounds can be extracted into your brewing water. Blooming, therefore, ensures that extraction occurs at the very start of the brewing process.
  • Wetting your coffee grounds causes them to compact and stick together. This means that your water can more easily cover your coffee so all the grounds in your coffee bed get extracted.

You, therefore, want a drip coffee maker that automatically blooms your coffee prior to blooming.

Some machines allow you to control how long this blooming process lasts. While this is a nice touch that gives you even more control over how your final coffee tastes, I don’t think that it is absolutely necessary. The difference that this makes to your final coffee is marginal.

The table below shows which of the machines featured in this article have an automatic blooming functionality and whether you can control this blooming time:

Machine nameDoes it bloom your coffee automatically?Can you control bloom time?
Technivorm MoccamasterYesNo
Bonavita 8 CupYesNo
Ratio 6YesNo
Breville Grind ControlYesYes

Water Tank Quality

You want a machine that has a water tank with clear measurements and for those measurements to be accurate.

Drip coffee makers require you to measure out your brewing water. Therefore, if you want to brew according to the golden cup ratio you will need to be able to measure out your brewing water accurately.

For drip coffee makers to allow you to measure out your brewing water accurately their water tanks need to have:

  • Measurements that are clear to read
  • Measurements that are accurate (this is actually less common than you’d think)

The table below shows whether the machines featured in this article have a water tank with measurements that are clear and accurate:

Machine nameDoes it have clear measurements on its water tank?Are the measurements on its water tank accurate?
Technivorm MoccamasterYesYes
Bonavita 8 CupYesYes
Ratio 6YesYes
Breville Grind ControlYesYes

Carafe Quality

You want your machine to have a carafe that does not spill or drip when you pour out of it.

Thermal carafes have a tendency to have lids and spouts that spill and splutter when you pour out of them.

This is annoying because you’ll have to wipe down your carafe or counter after every cup of coffee that you pour out.

Lots of video reviews of drip coffee makers test out whether their carafes splutter when you pour. The table below shows whether the machines featured in this article have splutterly spouts or not:

Machine nameCan you pour out of its carafe without it making a mess?
Technivorm MoccamasterNo
Bonavita 8 CupNo
Ratio 6Yes
Breville Grind ControlYes

Final Verdict

The best coffee maker with a thermal carafe is the Technivorm Moccamaster. The Technivorm makes excellent coffee and is built to last, making it justify its expensive (but ultimately not very expensive) price tag.

Best Overall
Technivorm Moccamaster 79112 KBT
$339.00

The Technivorm Moccamaster offers the best balance between coffee quality, durability, and cost, making it the best coffee maker with a thermal carafe.

Get it on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/27/2024 05:58 pm GMT

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