Best Thermal Coffee Maker

How to Choose a Thermal Carafe Coffee Maker for Your Household

For many of us, the perfect day starts by relaxing and recharging with a cup of freshly brewed coffee, but shopping for a new coffee maker can be anything but relaxing with all of the many options, features, and types available to choose from. A thermal coffee maker is one particular type that is ideal for those of us who want the convenience of a hot cup of coffee always at our disposal.

Zojirushi coffee maker

A thermal coffee maker solves the problem of having to reheat an old pot of coffee, or even worse, drink cold coffee. Many seasoned coffee drinkers say they enjoy a cup or two of java at a time, but naturally prefer the taste of a freshly brewed pot instead of bitter tasting coffee that lingers on the palate after its been heated too long.

Coffee makers with thermal carafes eliminate the need for wasting coffee and also wasting time brewing fresh pots. Instead of relying on the machine's hotplate for keeping the coffee warm, and eventually causing that stale taste to ruin the entire pot, a thermal coffee maker's carafe does the work by retaining heat, and also freshness.

Many people ask the question "What is the best thermal coffee maker around?". Such a question is not possible to answer since everyone of us has different taste, priorities and budget. So, instead of attempting to come up with one model of thermal carafe coffee maker that would be the best for all, let's talk about the things that you need to consider when deciding which product to buy.

This is in many ways similar to choosing the best drip coffee maker. However, there are several issues that are specific to coffee makers with thermal carafe.

Probably the most important of these is the heat retention. It is obviously important to choose a coffee maker with a carafe that can keep your coffee hot for several hours. The problem is that it is difficult to find actual numbers for heat retention of the various thermal carafes. The best way to do this is to read as many user reviews as you can to get a good idea about how the various coffee makers perform in this respect.

One coffee maker that is supposed to keep your coffee hot for a long time is the Zojirushi EC-BD15 Fresh Brew. This is a relatively cheap thermal coffee maker with very good reviews. It is also fully programmable.

Cuisinart coffee maker

Another model that seems to have very good heat retention is the Cuisinart DGB-600BC, a grind and brew coffee maker with beautiful stainless steel finish. The user reviews are rather mixed - but that is the case for most grind and brew coffee makers.

Another important thing that you need to consider when choosing the best thermal coffee maker is the temperature at which the coffee is brewed. Not all coffee makers brew coffee at the right temperature. In fact, most coffee makers use water that is well bellow the ideal brewing temperature. The brewing temperature obviously impacts how long your coffee will stay hot. The coffee will not be hot even with the best thermal carafe if it is only lukewarm to start with.

But there is another aspect to this. A lot of people don't realize this, but the temperature at which you brew coffee determines the taste of your coffee. If you want a delicious cup of coffee, you should try to get a coffee maker that brews coffee somewhere in the range of 195°F to 205°F. Again, this information can be quite tricky to find. Here, I will mention a few models that are said to brew at the right temperature.

First, it is the Bunn coffee makers - they are known to make excellent hot coffee and they also brew it very fast. There are several models with thermal carafe, for example the Bunn BTX-B ThermoFresh or the Bunn STX Specialty.

Another manufacturer to check is Capresso. Again, there are a few different models around. The most basic one is the relatively new Capresso MT-600. There are not that many user reviews yet, but some of them seem to suggest that the new model is not as good as its predescesor - the MT-500.

Other coffee maker from Capresso is the CoffeeTEC which is worth considering if you like milk-based drinks. It comes with it's own milk frother that allows you to steam milk. Then there is also CoffeeTeam TS which comes with a built-in coffee grinder.

Finally, a coffee maker that is known to brew at just the right temperature is the Technivorm Moccamaster. You can read more about its pros and cons in my article about this Technivorm coffee maker.

I hope that you found this article useful and that it has helped you understand some of the issues you need to consider when you want to select the best thermal coffee maker for your needs.

Further Reading

Automatic Drip Coffee Maker
Here I talk about what you need to consider when selecting an automatic drip coffee maker.

Thermal Coffee Maker
This is about all the pros and cons of a thermal coffee maker.

Best Thermal Coffee Maker (Recommended Models)
This is yet another article about various thermal coffee makers.