- Why consider a Grind and Brew Coffee Maker?
- Who is going to love these?
- What makes the best grind and brew coffee maker?
- Product Review – Cuisinart DGB-900BC
- Product Review – Breville BES870XL
- Product Review – Cuisinart DGB-625BC
- Product Review – KRUPS Grind and Brew
- Product Review – Gourmia GCM4850 Grind and Brew Coffee Maker
Ok, you got us. This isn’t a French Press post.
But even us snobs at LeFrenchPress understand that freshly ground coffee is a better cup than pre-ground coffee.
Get the science, facts and explore some of the best Grind and Brew Coffee Makers in our quick roundup below.
These two-in-one units are available in every shape and size and come stacked with user-friendly features to excite both beginners and connoisseurs alike — but they’re not all created equal. If you’re ready to break up with your barista, let’s look at what makes these machines tick and how to choose the best grind and brew coffee maker for you.
Why do you need a grind and brew coffee maker in your kitchen?
The secret to great coffee is in the beans, but once they’re broken, loss of flavor and aroma begins almost immediately. To maximize flavor, it’s best to grind fresh beans seconds before brewing, but buying both a grinder and a coffee maker — especially top-quality models — is expensive, and having to clean, store and work with two separate appliances is a time-consuming hassle. Enter coffee makers with grinders.
These all-in-one machines grind and brew your favorite beans in minutes without the hard work of manual grinding or the messy process of transferring grounds from an electric grinder to your coffee maker. At their core, they’re simple machines designed to help you make the freshest, best tasting coffee possible in the least of amount time and the results are simply spectacular.
Who is going to love these?
If you’re accustomed to preground coffee — prepare yourself for a whole new taste sensation. The aroma of freshly ground beans is enough to rouse even the heaviest sleeper, and the coffee carries the subtle flavors and rich intensity that are lost when beans are ground too soon.
If you’re already a coffee connoisseur, you’ll appreciate having a cup that rivals your best home brew in a fraction of the time, and most models are so easy to use that you may finally get some help in the kitchen!
Everyone will appreciate the quick clean up, and the cost of even the best coffee maker with grinder is a fraction of what you’d pay for both appliances separately. It’s a win-win.
What makes the best grind and brew coffee maker?
Coffee makers with grinders come with a wide array of features from the most basic to the impressively refined, but what makes a brewer perfect for you is almost as individual as what makes your ideal cup of coffee, so you’ll want to choose one wisely. Here are the most important features to consider.
Grind and brew coffee makers come in sizes from single to 12-cup. For optimal flavor, coffee should be enjoyed within 20 minutes of brewing, so while a large capacity brewer can make a morning’s worth of joe, a smaller model may give you a deeper, more complex cup.
If you need a large capacity brewer for entertaining, but make just a few servings most days, look for a model with a dedicated small batch feature. While it’s possible to brew a single cup in any large coffee maker by controlling the amount of coffee and water you put in it, the first water from the brewing process is several degrees cooler than the temperature it takes to extract optimal flavor.
By the time 12 cups are brewed, the effect isn’t noticeable, but a single cup or two may be weak and tepid. Models with a small batch feature compensate for this by increasing the initial temperature so results are consistent no matter how much you make.
• Carafe Type
Dishwasher-safe glass carafes are fairly standard, and if the look and smell of freshly brewed coffee is an important part of your drinking experience, a see-through carafe with a traditionally vented lid is a must.
Insulated steel carafes are opaque, industrial-looking and trap those delicious aromas, but they also retain heat and prevent evaporation, keeping large quantities of coffee hot and fresh for longer. Put it in the dishwasher and you’ll risk the integrity of the thermal seal, but unlike glass carafes, they’re nearly indestructible and can be taken to the table for refill convenience without losing heat.
• Ease of Use
Coffee makers with grinders are as easy to operate as either appliance alone. There’s a learning curve with some models, and with more features comes increased complexity, but it’s a rare user who throws in the towel because they’re too complicated. The bottom line is — you can do it, but even the most intuitively designed machine can seem awkward if it features aren’t a good match for your space.
If you need to slip it in a narrow area between two cabinets, a side- or rear-mounted on/off switch won’t be as easy to reach as one located in the front. Attached lids that can’t be fully lifted under a short shelf will be frustrating, and the less said about short power cords the better.
Have a good look at your space, measure if you must, and visualize the experience you want from your new coffee maker. If you have the opportunity, read the instruction manual and check out instructional videos before you buy.
• Strength Settings
Strength settings are one of the biggest bonuses of a dual coffee maker and grinder. Instead of guessing how much coffee it takes to make a brew that is mild, medium, or strong, just add the beans, tell the maker what you want, and let it do the rest. More options means more ability to customize results, and a model with grind control gives you two paths to perfect results.
• Grind Control
The size of coffee grounds has a big impact on flavor. Coarse grounds produce mild coffee with less complexity while fine grounds produce a stronger, but often bitter tasting brew. For drip makers, a medium to medium-coarse grind is recommended, but there’s a lot of room for taste preferences, and models with variable grind control have a greater range of flavors to offer.
• Grinder Type
Grinders come in blade or burr style. Blade versions are more like a blender than a grinder and cut beans, resulting in a fairly uneven texture that may negatively affect how your coffee tastes. Burr grinders are more expensive, but truly grind beans and produce a more uniform consistency.
Burr grinders come in flat and conical shapes and both produce a superb grind, but conical styles rotate slower, creating less heat that can potentially rob beans of their subtle flavors.
• Ease of Cleaning
Cleaning a brew and grind coffee maker takes effort, but it shouldn’t be a chore. What makes it easier are high-quality components that fit together smoothly and have fewer nooks and crannies to clean. Parts that are dishwasher safe are a bonus, and materials that don’t encourage grounds to stick to their surface is a plus.
• Convenience Features
Perfect coffee is only the beginning of a great morning. Finding a grind and brew coffee maker with features that make the brewing process even more convenient is the next important step. Keep these in mind as you shop:
• Programmable timers
• Auto shut-offs
• Keep-warm features
• Handy accessories like cleaning tools and permanent gold filters
1. Cuisinart DGB-900BC Grind & Brew Thermal 12-Cup Automatic Coffeemaker
Cuisinart DGB-900BC Grind & Brew Thermal 12-Cup Automatic Coffeemaker
This grind and brew by Cuisinart has a lot to offer. It starts with a classic black and brushed stainless steel exterior and has a space-saving counter top footprint that’s no larger than a standard coffee maker. The 12-cup capacity is enough for a large crew, but the 2-4 cup option produces the same perfect results with no waste.
Set it the night before and the 24-hour programmable timer guarantees your coffee will be ready when you are. For peace of mind on those hurry-up mornings, the unit turns off automatically as soon as it’s done brewing while the insulated steel carafe keeps your coffee hot and fresh.
For foremost flavor, this maker is equipped with a flat burr grinder. The strength selector lets you choose a mild, medium or strong brew, and with the brew-pause feature, you can snag a quick cup before brewing is complete.
Functions are clearly labeled and lights indicate when they’re in use, eliminating guesswork. If you run out of beans, don’t worry — the grind-off feature lets you use preground coffee instead.
Each maker comes with a charcoal filter to remove impurities from tap water and a permanent, cost-saving gold filter that can be used with or without an additional paper filter.
The Best Part
The Cuisinart DGB-900BC has the perfect blend of features for the price and represents an excellent overall value.
• 24-hour programmable timer
• Space-saving footprint
• Insulated stainless steel carafe
• Quality burr grinder
• Lights indicate when functions are in use
• Flexible grind-off features
• Last cup in the carafe is tough to pour without spilling
• 8-ounce bean hopper is relatively small for its 12-cup capacity
• 12-cup capacity is based on small 5-ounce cups
• More difficult to clean than similar models
Cuisinart knows coffee, and the DGB-900BC makes the list of best grind and brew coffee makers because it has the most desirable features at a price any daily coffee drinker can afford. Beginners will appreciate the well-labeled, easy-to-understand controls and traditional brewing experience while more expert brewers will like the quality coffee it produces and the convenience features that make it easy.
2. Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine
Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine
Attention espresso lovers — this model is for you! It features a commercial-quality conical burr grinder that makes the extra fine grounds you need for superior espresso while precision water temperature control extracts the most flavor from each serving.
The unit heats in just three seconds and brews a single shot in under a minute. Volumetric controls give you one- or two-cup options and for convenience, you can program your preferences for future use.
What sets the Breville Barista apart from other espresso makers is it’s durable build and coffee shop shop features including:
• A flat shower head for even water distribution over grounds
• Non-slip feet to keep the unit steady during brewing
• A hands-free, mess-free portafilter and 54mm tamper for optimal control
• A large 67-ounce water reservoir with replaceable freshness filter
• Integrated extraction pressure monitoring and an easy-to-read gauge
• A removable drip tray with cleaning indicator
• A sealed, locking hopper
If you’re new to making espresso at home, you’ll be impressed with the impeccable brew the Barista Express makes and downright stunned at the bargain price.
The Best Part
If you treasure the quintessential cup of espresso, the Breville Barista Express is as close as you’ll get to an Italian coffee shop experience without leaving home.
• Conical burr grinder
• Heats fast and is immediately ready for next use
• Flat shower head and precision extraction optimize flavor
• User-friendly for beginners
• Value-priced for its features
• A few exterior plastic components detract from the unit’s overall quality
• Grinding can be messy
• Requires significant counter space
• Can’t be plumbed into a permanent water line like commercial espresso makers
The Final Word
Breville makes machines that are both lesser and greater than this one, but if an espresso machine’s mission is to make perfect espresso, this model is hard to beat for the price. You’ll pay for the features that make the biggest difference in coffee quality, but will save on those you don’t, and that makes the Barista Express a top value for home brewers.
3. Cuisinart DGB-625BC Grind-and-Brew 12-Cup Automatic Coffeemaker
Cuisinart DGB-625BC Grind-and-Brew 12-Cup Automatic Coffeemaker, Brushed Metal
If you’re new to grinding coffee at home or want to up your game without breaking the bank, this a good model to get your feet wet with.
It’s a basic brewer with no grind control or strength settings, and that’s a downer for experienced home brewers, but it’s simplicity eliminates some of the frustration novices experience with more complicated coffee makers while still offering basic options like a timer, brew-pause and a small batch setting.
This model by Cuisinart doesn’t have many bells and whistles. It’s as simple as putting beans in and getting coffee out. Like a traditional coffee maker, most of the adjustments for strength preference are up to the user, but unlike drip machines without a built-in grinder, it produces a much more flavorful cup of coffee.
The Best Part
It’s refreshingly simple to use and makes fresh, rich coffee at a reasonable price.
• Easy to use
• Budget-friendly price
• Permanent gold filter included
• Fully programmable timer
• Dishwasher-safe glass carafe
• No grind control and strength setting options
• Plastic components must be handled with care
• Complicated filter basket design is hard to clean
The Final Word
Technology can be intimidating, and sometimes simple is best. The Cuisinart DGB-625BC grind and brew coffee maker won’t wow you with high-end features, but it will give you a fuss-free, traditional brewing experience and one heck of a cup of joe.
4. KRUPS Grind and Brew Auto-Start Coffee Maker
KRUPS Grind and Brew Auto-start Coffee Maker with Builtin Burr Coffee Grinder, 10 Cups, Black
This budget-friendly drip coffee maker from Krups has more high-end features than it’s price would suggest. It’s conical-style burr grinder is expert-recommended for achieving the best quality grind, and it comes with the most sought after features including both grind control and mild, medium and strong strength options.
The total capacity is 10 cups, but the size selection feature lets you choose as few as two and still expect perfect results. A programmable timer has coffee ready and waiting on those tough mornings, and with the pause and serve feature, you never have to wait until the brewing cycle is done for your first sip.
For the sleepy heads in the house, the warm feature keeps the pot hot for two hours, and with the see-through glass carafe, there’s never any guessing about how much is left.
The Best Part
This is one of the easiest to use grind and brew coffee makers on the market — and cleaning is a breeze.
• High-quality conical burr grinder
• Programmable timer and keep-warm features
• Small footprint
• Permanent gold filter included
• Loud during the grinding cycle
• Hopper lid doesn’t lock
The Final Word
For the dabbler who want to experiment with different grinds, the user-friendly Krups is a dream come true. For the expert, it’s a little short on options, but it’s strong on basics and includes a top-notch conical burr grinder that makes the most of premium coffee beans. When quality counts, this model has what it takes to satisfy almost any user.
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5. Gourmia GCM4850 Grind and Brew Coffee Maker
Gourmia GCM4850 Grind and Brew Coffee Maker with Built-In Burr Grinder | Adjustable Grind Size | Cup Selection Dial | Brew Strength Selection | Keep Warm Function | 6-Cup
In a world of coffee makers made for one or a dozen, this 6-cup coffee maker with grinder by Gourmia is a solid, middle-of-the-road option. Its compact design boasts the smallest footprint on the list, and when every inch on your counter top matters, it’s a real space-saver — but don’t let its small stature fool you.
It comes equipped with an advanced burr grinder that produces uniform grounds, and that means better coffee in your cup. It’s not conical, but for the price point, it’s much more than expected. Strength options let you customize your brew and the 18 grind choices let you create the right flavor profile for every type of coffee beverage from espresso to latte.
The top mounted hopper is convenient for both loading and cleaning, and the removable water reservoir eliminates messy pours. Water heats quickly to a temperature that’s ideal for capturing complex flavors and although this model doesn’t have a timer, it brews so fast you may not even notice. The carafe is glass, so it’s not insulated, but the warming plate keeps coffee hot for 35 minutes after brewing.
Complaints about this model are rare, but one is that the symbols on the front panel require a little interpretation. Thankfully, the instruction manual is clearly written and once you’ve got it, it’s as easy as dump, grind, brew and enjoy.
The Best Part
This compact grind and brew coffee maker is perfect for small spaces and for those who want to make a wide range of premium coffee beverages at a bargain price.
• Removable water reservoir
• Quality burr grinder
• 2-, 4-, and 6-cup options
• Extensive grind selection
• Easy to clean
• No timer
• Short power cord
• No light or sound cue to indicate when brewing is complete
The Final Word
Compact coffee makers have a reputation for being short on features, but not this one. The burr grinder and extensive grind options offer the quality you want while the space-saving design makes it a boon for small kitchens. It makes enough coffee for two and a friend, but not so much that any goes to waste, and it’s speedy enough to brew a second pot in a jiffy when you need it. If it had a timer, it would be perfect, but alas, it’s good enough.
Whether you need a prime cup of coffee to get your day started, but prefer to keep things simple, or crave the most variety and widest range of features possible, there’s a model here for you. Nothing beats grind and brew coffee makers for creating morning magic. It’s time to bring a little of it to yours.