How to Choose A Grind & Brew Coffee Maker
The smell of freshly brewed coffee alone makes it a bit easier to wake up in the morning. With our lives busier than ever, taking the time to manually grind our own beans to prepare that first cup may require too much time and effort.
Fortunately, grind and brew coffee makers can make preparing the perfect cup easy, fast, and convenient. With the press of a button, these time-saving machines follow through with their promise of great-tasting coffee without the mess and extra effort that hand grinding can require.
This is not a convenience that has always been available. It used to be that if you wanted fresh ground coffee, you would be putting the muscle in to grind it yourself.
There are some really great automatic grinders these days, but it still involves an extra step, plus the mess that is inevitable when transferring grounds to your coffee maker of choice.
Taking advantage of the technology that is available today can get your coffee into your cup faster and more efficiently.
The Ultimate Grind & Brew Coffee Maker Guide
Knowing what features to look for, the benefits of each and how much you should be prepared to spend on a quality machine that fits your lifestyle is the goal of this guide.
Having some insight into which popular coffee makers other people have purchased and enjoyed can make your search a bit easy when it is time to shop for a new machine.
What are Grind and Brew coffee makers?
Before spending the time and money on a new coffee maker, it is best to have a general idea of what you are looking for.
When you invest in a grind and brew coffee maker, it is usually because you want the enhanced flavor of freshly ground beans without the mess and effort that would normally go into preparing this by hand.
Not all grind and brew coffee makers are the same. The grinders that are embedded in these machines can vary in type, quality, and function.
The typical options in popular grinders include burr grinders or blade grinders. Both are readily available but there are some differences to note that may affect your choice.
Blade grinders are often found in the more budget-friendly machines. This method involves the use of propellor-type blades that create a finely ground product.
One possible drawback to this type of blade would be that the consistency of the grounds is sometimes not uniform. If you have sensitive tastes, you may notice a difference in quality.
A burr grinder is often more expensive, but discerning tastes notice the difference that a consistent grind can have. Within the category of burr grinders, there are flat plate and conical.
The sharp ridges of the cones grind and crush the beans to a uniform product. The flat plate involves the use of serration using special rings that are situated parallel to each other and work to carefully create a consistent grind.
No matter what type of grinder you go with, one feature that may make a difference in your satisfaction is the grinder settings. Some people prefer a very fine ground while others prefer a coarse grind.
The ability to control this is definitely something to look into. If you aren’t sure whether this will affect your enjoyment, consider doing a taste test at your local coffee shop.
Read Our Best Bean-to-Cup Coffee Machines Guide
How much do Grind and Brew machines cost?
As with most products, you get what you pay for. There are some great budget-friendly machines that will do the job and include some helpful features.
If a mid-range option is in your budget, you will most likely find a better quality product that may last longer and have more features than just the basic functions.
The higher-priced options are usually going to have the best materials, highest quality product and most likely, a brand name that is synonymous with other luxury appliances.
To determine which model is going to give you the most value for your money (no matter what your budget) it is important to determine the following:
- How often you will be using the machine
- Which features are most important to you as a coffee drinker
- How much volume will you make each day
- Space available
- Style or brand
The range in price for a basic model is around $70-120. The Secura Automatic Coffee Maker with Grinder is usually available on Amazon at the bottom of this price range and does have a programming option as well as the ability to grind whole beans.
If you’re looking for the next level up, you should expect upgraded features, a consistent grind, and quality components that should last you for several years. The Cuisinart SS-GB1 Coffee Center Grind & Brew Plus is an example of a moderate-priced machine that is priced at about $200.
The highest-priced coffee makers in the grind and brew category should be made of materials meant to last have additional features and benefits (such as thermal carafes) and/or be designed to be a beautiful additions to the kitchen.
What to Consider When Buying a Grind & Brew Coffee Machine
As you begin your search for a grind and brew coffee machine that is right for you, take into consideration the following important factors.
Manual or Automatic
The ability to ‘set and forget’ is one feature that those with busy mornings often require. Knowing which option best fits your lifestyle and preference before you start shopping is one way to narrow down your options.
Volume & Frequency of Use
If your household is one that runs on a constant stream of coffee, you may consider getting a sturdier machine that is designed to last. You would also benefit from an option that allows you to brew more than one cup at a time.
The Type/Quality of the Grinder
As mentioned above, there are some subtle differences in the flavor when coffee beans are ground using a conical burr as opposed to a blade grinder.
Some people have strong opinions about this, so it is something to keep in mind. Also, if cheap, low-quality components are used, the grinder will most likely not function as consistently or for as long as a better quality model.
Flexible Brewing Options
Some people love having a full pot of coffee available to top off their cup or share while others enjoy the ability to grab and go with an individual serving size.
The ability to program your machine and know that it will automatically turn off are also features that many people look for.
Cleaning & Maintenance
With any home appliance, good maintenance is key to keeping things working correctly and will impact the longevity of the product.
That being said, some machines are easier to clean and maintain than others. Knowing which products to use and how expensive it may be to replace parts or have your coffee maker serviced may be part of your decision-making process.
The Best Grind & Brew Machines Available Now
Even with all this information available, it is still beneficial to know what coffee makers other people have already tried and loved. It takes some of the guesswork out of the process and can be really valuable information.
Below are some of the most popular grind and brew coffee machines available on the market today.
1. Cuisinart 12-cup Grind & Brew Coffee Maker
The chrome and black design will fit perfectly in a modern kitchen and it is space-efficient.
The carafe is dishwasher safe and the machine has auto-shutoff, all of which makes this a great-value, entry-level coffee maker.
2. Krups Personal Café Grind & Brew Coffee Maker
Whole beans or pre-ground coffee can be used with the option of fine ground or coarse and most components are dishwasher safe.
This machine provides excellent quality and great value for money as it is always very reasonably priced, especially when compared to some of the more expensive machines with the same/similar features.
3. Gevi 10-Cup Grind & Brew Automatic Coffee Maker
The 10 cup carafe and warming plate make it easy to serve coffee for a crowd or keep it hot for yourself.
With a burr grinder, the option to use beans or ground coffee, and a range of programmable features, it’s not surprising this coffee maker is a popular choice.
1. What’s the benefit of a coffee maker with a grinder?
The majority of coffee lovers agree that it takes better when made from freshly ground beans. A grind and brew coffee maker will therefore give you great tasting coffee, without having to grind the beans yourself.
Another benefit is that you can avoid the mess that comes with transferring grounds from a manual grinder to the machine.
Purchasing a grind and brew machine that produces an even, consistent ground without the mess and fuss makes brewing coffee convenient and improves the coffee drinking experience.
2. Why do you want different grind settings?
The main purpose for different grind settings is the ability to produce a cup of coffee that is exactly the way you like it.
Preferences vary from person to person so being able to adjust to a fine or a coarse grind really can make a big difference in flavor and strength.
3. Are drip coffee makers as good as espresso machines?
Depending on personal preferences, a drip coffee machine can make coffee that’s comparable to an espresso machine. The big difference is that espresso machines use pressure to extract the coffee, which can give a taste and strength some people prefer.
A drip coffee machine (depending on its features) will often cost less, as espresso machines are usually a bit more expensive , but could be worth it if you love super strength, perfect espresso. If you are looking for the option to make either kind of coffee drink, you might want to consider a dual-purpose, combination machine.
The Last Drop
Purchasing a new coffee machine can seem overwhelming, but hopefully, this guide will make the choice a little easier.
There are amazing grind and brew coffee makers available in a range of styles that can fit just about any budget.
Depending on taste and flavor preferences, consider the benefits of the different types of grinding blades and settings. Volume, frequency of use, cleaning ease and the benefits of automatic vs. manual settings are also important things to keep in mind.
If you are stuck in your decision, the above-mentioned machines are a great place to start as you search for your new grind and brew coffee maker.