Craving that ideal cup of joe without having to shell out a small fortune? Well, your search ends right here. We’ve devoted our resources and expertise to bringing you the cream of the crop in affordable 4-cup coffee makers, ensuring your caffeine fix is met without leaving your wallet high and dry.
Choosing from a sea of available options can feel like a Herculean task, we also review the very best 4 coffee makers if you’re not thinking about budget, but don’t fret! We’ve done the heavy lifting, handpicking a select few to streamline your decision-making process.
After a thorough evaluation, we’re thrilled to introduce five top-tier 4-cup coffee makers that offer a bang for your buck without compromising on quality. If we had to crown a champion among them, one stands head and shoulders above the rest.
Top 4-Cup Coffee Makers to Consider
Ready to explore our top five picks? Let’s dive in.
Zojirushi EC-DAC50 Zutto
Claiming the throne is the Zojirushi EC-DAC50 Zutto, our top recommendation and a clear winner in the 4-cup coffee maker category. This splendid model offers an unmatched blend of quality and value, making it the undisputed leader.
What sets the Zutto apart from the crowd is its innovative design and unique features, making it an irresistible choice. Unlike its competitors, the Zutto houses its filter basket within the carafe, saving you the hassle of untidy coffee drips on your hot plate when you take out the carafe. Additionally, the star-shaped opening ensures uniform water distribution over the coffee grounds, promising a delicious cup of coffee each time. The included permanent filter is built to last, with replacements readily available if needed.
Cleaning the Zutto is a walk in the park, thanks to the easily removable water reservoir. However, to avoid damaging the delicate glass carafe, we suggest hand-washing it instead of using a dishwasher.
In terms of brewing, the Zutto pulls out all the stops with its precise brewing temperature of 200-205°F. In just under five minutes, using a #2 paper cone filter, you’re ready to savor a flavorful cup of coffee. While the exterior is made of plastic, the Zutto feels sturdy and sports a pleasing design with soft curves and a matte faux-metal finish that will effortlessly enhance your kitchen aesthetics.
Despite lacking certain features like auto shut-off, pause-brew, and programmability, the Zutto’s superior coffee quality and reliability more than compensate for these. It’s worth mentioning that some users have reported a fragile handle, but rest assured, Zojirushi has resolved this by utilizing thicker glass in newer models for added durability.
Making the cut as one of the best 4-cup coffee makers under $50 is the Cuisinart DCC-450BK. Crafted from stainless steel, this coffee machine adds a stylish touch to your kitchen. Bear in mind, though, that despite its stainless-steel make, it isn’t thermal and still requires a hot plate.
The DCC-450 is equipped with automatic shut-off and pause-brew features, powering down independently after 30 minutes. Its compact design ensures it won’t take up too much space in your kitchen. It features a showerhead that evenly distributes water through the coffee grounds, guaranteeing a delightful cup of coffee. Its BPA-free material ensures safe usage.
However, the design of the spout may pose a slight challenge, making it difficult to pour without any drips and spills. Moreover, some users find filling the reservoir a bit tricky due to the lack of clearance. The stainless-steel material may require more frequent cleaning since it tends to stain more than glass.
The Cuisinart doesn’t come with a permanent filter, so you’ll have to buy #2 cone filters separately. Available in black or white, it also includes a generous three-year warranty, adding peace of mind to your purchase.
Maxi-Matic Elite Gourmet Automatic Brew
The Elite Cuisine EHC-2022 MaxiMatic is undoubtedly a shining star on this list. Most of the drawbacks of other coffee makers revolve around a spout that causes spillage and mess, but you can trust Elite Cuisine to bypass this issue.
This machine features a semi-transparent water tank that provides a clear view of your brew, ensuring you can easily gauge the volume you’ve poured. The filter basket is conveniently removable for when cleaning time comes around and is safe for dishwasher use. However, it lacks a pause-brew feature, so you’ll need to wait for the brewing process to finish. It also doesn’t offer a programmable timer or automatic shut-off.
Upon purchasing a MaxiMatic, you’ll receive a reusable filter. Although it doesn’t pose a health risk, it’s worth noting that this filter stains easily, which might be visually unappealing.
When it comes to durability, Elite Cuisine may not be the most robust contender. The glass carafe is somewhat thin, which may lead to easy cracking, especially when exposed to cold water after brewing. Keep this in mind when using and caring for this machine.
Mr. Coffee 5-Cup Programmable
Don’t let the name fool you; the Mr. Coffee 5-cup Programmable machine is perfectly aligned in size with its peers in this review. This clever little gadget lets you pre-set your brew within a 24-hour window, allowing you to have your coffee ready exactly when you want it. The device boasts features like automatic shut-off (kicking in 60 minutes after brewing starts), brew-strength control, and a pause-brew feature.
Despite its compact size, it shares similarities with its larger sibling, Mr. Coffee’s 12-cup coffee maker, which made our list of best coffee makers under $50.
The machine’s base is crafted from rubber, ensuring a non-slip surface. The filter basket is removable for easier cleaning, and you’ll need flat-bottomed paper filters in 4 to 6-cup sizes to fit its flat-bottomed filter basket. It’s also compatible with a reusable basket filter sold separately.
One downside is the material: Mr. Coffee is predominantly plastic, which may impart a taste and smell, especially when new. The solution? Run a few cycles of water through the machine before your first brew to mitigate this issue. A regular clean with a water-vinegar solution and rinse with plain water is also recommended for a thorough clean. Over time, the clock may lag behind, so resetting might be necessary after it falls around five minutes behind.
Brentwood Appliances TS-213
If “value for money” is your mantra, then the Brentwood Appliances TS-213 may just be the coffee maker for you. This machine isn’t loaded with advanced features but makes up for it with a simplistic, user-friendly design. It boasts a one-button brewing system, lacking features like automatic shut-off, a programmable timer, and a pause-brew.
The machine might emit a strong plastic smell when new, but if you’re working within a tight budget, this should not be a deal-breaker. Highly popular among students for its affordability, this coffee maker comes in either black or white.
Before Wrapping Up: Key Factors to Consider
Now that we’ve introduced you to each of our top five models, let’s take a step back and consider some key factors that should inform your decision-making process.
Understanding “4-Cup” Coffee Makers
In the realm of coffee makers, a 4-cup machine does not necessarily serve four standard cups of coffee. It’s common for manufacturers to define a “cup” as approximately five to six ounces of liquid, which equates to roughly ⅔ of a standard measuring cup. Consequently, a 4-cup coffee maker serves around 20 to 24 ounces of coffee in total, which translates to two to three standard mugs.
Features to Look For
- Size and Counter Space: If you’re tight on space, consider a compact model that can fit comfortably in your kitchen.
- Ease of Use: A straightforward machine with simple functionality might be a great fit, especially for those who are less tech-savvy.
- Brew Quality: Research reviews to get an idea of each model’s brew quality. After all, the primary goal is a delicious cup of coffee.
- Durability: Look for a machine that will stand the test of time. User reviews can provide insight into the long-term reliability of each model.
- Cleaning: A model with dishwasher-safe parts or easy-to-clean features can save time and effort.
- Price: Set a budget that you’re comfortable with and look for a machine that fits within it.
- Additional Features: Consider what additional features are important to you. This could include programmability, automatic shut-off, or pause-brew options.
Now that you’re equipped with all the information you need, you’re ready to make an informed decision and enjoy delicious coffee at home without breaking the bank!
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Disclosure: No compensation or free products were received in exchange for writing this review.
The editorial staff at Crazy Coffee Crave is a team of coffee enthusiasts & Baristas who enjoy the one thing we all think about as soon as we get up in the morning. Trusted by thousands of readers worldwide.