What is the absolute best type of coffee maker to own? Well, most people seem to think that the most suited for home brewing is a 4-cup coffee maker. It doesn’t need to be for one brewing method in particular.
Four cups have come to be regarded as the standard size at home. It is viewed as the perfect size for a home as it is a number that can easily be enough for a small family or for one person to entertain guests.
There are definitely smaller sizes, with 2-cup coffee makers being relatively popular. There are much bigger sizes. But generally, smaller coffee makers are seen as supplementary or owned in a special context, and bigger coffee makers are always owned in big households.
So in this article, we’ll go over some of the best 4-cup coffee makers in the market right now. We’ll start with a small sneak peek into our top three list.
- Top three choices for best 4 cup coffee makers
- The 8 best 4-cup coffee makers
- What to consider before buying a 4 cup coffee maker
Top three choices for best 4 cup coffee makers
Most 4-cup coffee makers are drip coffee machines, so bear in mind they are hard to compare to each other. After all, they are essentially the same machine with small differences.
- Mr Coffee
There’s just nothing to complain about, ever, about this coffee machine. It makes decent coffee, it makes it quick and it’s really use to use and even clean.The design is perfect and the quality of the carafe is maybe even too much for the price.
- Moka Musa
A weirdly perfect choice on this list. It’s a one-of-a-kind moka pot straight from the most reliable makers of moka pots in the world.
- Boly Espresso Maker
Espresso makers tend to be big, annoying machines to take care of.This super small espresso maker gets rid of all the disadvantages of owning one just by making it so compact. The perfect, albeit tiny, espresso maker.
The 8 best 4-cup coffee makers
Cuisinart is already one of the best brands at making products that are of standard quality, and sometimes standard is perfect for us. When looking for a 4-cup coffee maker, we just want a reliable coffee maker that is easy to use, clean, and so on.
And that is, in a nutshell, what you get here. It isn’t particularly good-looking or a particularly powerful coffee maker, but it has all the standard features and it makes a rather decent cup of coffee.
It is quite easy to operate and you already get the gist of it after one or two uses. If you’ve ever used a drip coffee machine before, then you probably already know how to use this one.
|Stainless steel carafe||Boring design|
|30-minute automatic shut off|
Gastrorag Coffee Percolator
A coffee percolator looks, on the outside, a lot like an electric kettle. And that’s essentially what it is: a kettle with an inner coffee compartment that brews coffee as the water heats up. It’s a really neat way to brew coffee that is different in flavor and aroma from the classic drip coffee.
And it’s easier! A percolator is a thousand times simpler than a drip machine. Both are simpler in design and simpler to use. All you need to do is pour water, coffee, and flip a switch. That’s really all there is!
Once you’re done, simply pour as if you’re pouring water from a kettle.
This percolator has a really unique look and a fantastic design. You can actually order it in different colors, from the classic stainless steel exterior to a more vibrant red color.
|Easy to use||Not very versatile|
|Easy to clean & store|
The musa is an elegant type of Moka pot that is manufactured by Bialetti, the same company that invented the Moka pot almost a century ago. So you know it’s legit.
Moka pots have always been very valued as home coffee makers. They can brew coffee in a matter of minutes, they are rather easy to use, and the coffee they make isn’t like your typical black coffee but it resembles espresso. It is concentrated, strong, aromatic.
One thing that has to be pointed out is that a Moka pot cup is not the same as a regular cup. Moka pots work in something similar to espresso shots. A Moka pot “cup” is really only the bottom half of a regular cup, maybe less.
Luckily, you can find the Moka musa in several different sizes. A 12-cup, for example, should be enough to fill 4 standard-size cups.
|Espresso!||Manual coffee maker|
|Small, compact coffee maker|
Mr. Coffee 5-cup
Mr. Coffee is one of today’s most beloved brands for coffee lovers. They always seem to know exactly what is the perfect balance between quality and convenience – and this particular coffee maker is the perfect example.
You can find several handy features in this coffee maker, like the Grab-A-Cup Auto Pause. This lets you pour yourself a cup of coffee without having to wait for the whole carafe to fill up! This is a great feature that honestly all drip coffee makers should have.
But the best thing about this coffee maker is the carafe. It has a great handle that is comfortable and sturdy. There are also ounce markings on the glass so you know how many cups you have left. Amazing!
|Grab-A-Cup feature||Coffee quality is a little disappointing|
|Great glass carafe|
|Very easy to use|
Boly Espresso Maker
Just like with the Moka pot, an espresso maker counts shots as cups. This machine lets you pull up to four shots at once, effectively making it a 4-cup coffee maker.
Of course, pulling four shots at one isn’t common. This espresso machine has undergone some modifications so as to make it more fitting for home use; it’s also rather small and compact, so it can fit in your kitchen much more easily.
The best part about having an espresso maker at home, aside from espresso, is that you get a steam wand. This wand lets you manually froth milk which makes it even more delicious. You can now make lattes, cappuccinos, and so on!
|Espresso||Not so easy to use/manual|
Grasseed Crystal Moka Pot
Although there’s already a Moka pot on this list, it’s probably nothing like this Grasseed one.
Usually, all Moka pots look the same. They kind of have looked the exact same for a century. But this Moka pot has a glass upper chamber, making it look incredibly fancy. It is such a show watching it brew coffee because you can see the chamber slowly fill up with coffee.
Technically, this Moka pot isn’t any different. It just looks different in a very unique way, and that really is enough for it to make our list.
|Glass chamber||Manual coffee maker|
|Easy to clean|
|Small and compact|
We finish up the list with a classic drip coffee machine.
The Brentwood is everything you look for in a coffee machine. It is rather easy to use and it guides you along the whole time: it has a small window with markings that lets you know exactly how many cups you can make with the ground coffee you’re pouring.
The carafe also has markings so that you can instantly know how many cups you’ve got left there.
The design is unconventional. Instead of all-black or stainless steel, you get an all-white design that honestly feels refreshing, fun; elegant.
What to consider before buying a 4 cup coffee maker
Even after the list, you might still be hesitant regarding which coffee maker is the best for you. So here’s a handy list of things to consider before buying that will point you in the right direction:
Utility and convenience
Above all, we have to think about convenience. Most modern coffee machines are engineered to put convenience first, and it’s obvious why. No matter how much we like good coffee, it’s pointless if it takes a long time or the machine is too difficult to operate, etc.
What we really want is an easy cup of coffee. A coffee maker that is easy to own.
Now, this will vary depending on the person, so you need to think about which one is the most convenient for you.
Drip coffee machines, for example, are great for two or more people. You can just switch them on and walk away, come back later and pour yourself a cup. Then you can leave the carafe on the table for everyone else to pour themselves a cup. You need that convenience.
But for two or just one person, they may seem like an unwanted convenience. In this case, you can get something like the Boly Espresso maker, which is small and only makes a small amount of coffee. Even then, because you don’t need so much coffee, it’s still a convenient coffee maker.
Just like that, you need to think about which one is the most convenient one for you.
Maintenance and cleaning
You don’t often think of this part when shopping for anything, really, much less a coffee maker. Big mistake.
Coffee makers can be extremely difficult to clean, which can in turn:
- Hinder their ability to brew coffee
- Mess with your coffee’s flavor
- Potentially break the machine
In other words, if you have a coffee maker that requires a lot of cleaning and you don’t do it, you can be sure that your machine will either stop making good coffee or stop making coffee altogether. It’s a very real problem.
Prevention is the best medicine. Look for a machine that is easy to clean so that you don’t even risk having this issue.
Of course, some people might not really mind at all. It really does depend on each person’s life. Some of you may not mind cleaning your coffee maker at all, and some may not even have to do the cleaning themselves.
The most annoying coffee makers to clean are, without a doubt, drip coffee makers. There are more parts to clean and they can get mucky real fast. Even the water tank needs to be cleaned, as mold and yeast can be found growing there.
As for the easiest, that would be the Moka pots. You can stick ‘em in the dishwasher and that’s that. Truly the easiest to clean coffee maker in the world.
Finally, what functions are you looking for?
If you want, need, to have a coffee maker that has the function for frothing and steaming milk so that you can make yourself a cappuccino, then you don’t really have another choice but to get yourself an espresso machine. You could get an electric milk frother, but you’d still need actual espresso to make a cappuccino.
That’s a good example of a function that you’d need to think about beforehand.
Another great example is the automatic shut-off function. Not many drip coffee makers have this, and it can be a real lifesaver. Without this type of function, your coffee maker can go on sucking electricity the whole day until you get home from work – an all too common scenario.
If you aren’t too hung up on functions and all you need is just some good coffee, then a Moka pot is definitely a good choice for you.
And now, hopefully, you’ve probably got a good idea of what kind of coffee machine is the best one for you. If after thinking long and hard about these considerations you still don’t find the best match on this list, that’s alright. There’s definitely an infinite number of choices out there and you don’t need to stick to just eight of them.
So good luck and happy brewing!
Marcelo is a filmmaker and passionate barista on the side. He spends his free time cooking up new and exciting recipes – and drinking too much coffee in the process.