A coffee maker was probably the single most valuable thing I took from home to my dorm. I didn’t think so at the time, but an older, wiser sister insisted that I take it. While I would never tell her this, I am so glad she did that! In order to pay it forward, I have put together this list of the five best coffee makers for college. All are currently available (2016) for a sensible price.
Whether you need a kick in the morning or a little help pulling an all-nighter, a reliable coffee machine is always there when you need it.
To my mind, any ‘best’ coffee maker has to do five things well.
- Brew good coffee.
- Be simple to use.
- Be easy to clean and maintain.
- Be able to use all kinds of coffee.
- Be reliable enough to always be there when you need it.
While a $20 coffee machine might last a while, investing a little more in a quality piece of equipment will pay massive dividends during term time. I have purposely ignored all those cartridge models as they only use branded cartridges that are way overpriced in comparison to good ground coffee. So in no particular order are my five best coffee makers for home or college.
1. Cuisinart Burr Grind & Brew Thermal 12-cup Automatic Coffeemaker
The snappily-named Cuisinart Burr Grind & Brew Thermal 12-cup Automatic Coffeemaker is a top pick because it not only brews and keeps your coffee warm, it can also grind beans as well as use ready ground. It offers maximum flexibility depending on what coffee you can get, or afford at the time.
At $199, it isn’t cheap but it is an investment that will more than earn a return over your college years.
2. Hamilton Beach Single-Serve Coffee Maker
The Hamilton Beach Single-Serve Coffee Maker is a firm favorite because of its price and flexibility. It looks pretty good too. If you’re not likely to need multiple cups at a time, a single-serve coffee maker is what you need. If you want to use pods you can, otherwise it will take coffee grounds.
At only $40, it is well worth the money, especially because of the stylish exterior and small footprint.
3. Kitchen Aid 12-Cup Glass Carafe Coffee Maker
The Kitchen Aid 12-Cup Glass Carafe Coffee Maker has both single-serve and multi-cup capability that offers the best of both worlds. With a 12 cup capacity, there is more than enough caffeine potential in this device for any term paper. The neat display shows how long the coffee has been prepared which is a cool touch for longer sessions.
At $99.99 this sits firmly in the middle ground for price and functionality. I particularly like the flexibility of single-serve and multi-cup.
4. De’Longhi DC514T 14 Cup Drip Coffee Maker
The De’Longhi DC514T 14 Cup Drip Coffee Maker is fast, good looking, delivers hot coffee and keeps it hot for up to 2 hours. It’s a nice package, in silver with a small LCD screen. It also has a 24 hour timer, which makes waking up and smelling the coffee a reality.
At $80 it is reasonably price for its utility too.
5. Mr. Coffee SKX23 12-Cup Coffeemaker
The Mr. Coffee SKX23 12-Cup Coffeemaker is ideal for those or care more for the caffeine than the flavor of the coffee. It is a basic coffeemaker that does what you need it to do without any fuss. It features a brew strength selector, timer delay, pause and easy clean functions. It serves up to 12 cups and works reliably over the long term.
At a little under $30, it is the cheapest here but still manages to compete with the more expensive coffeemakers for the non-purists.