The Filter Coffee machine is the simplest of them all, yet still produces some the best coffee you’ll ever taste. Admittedly, you must be patient as you have to rely on a slow infusion to bring out the best flavour possible, thus Filter Coffee machines are for best able to wait or for those who are happy to set a timer and wake up to the smell of a fresh brew.
Generally, Filter Coffee machines are relatively inexpensive and top out around £200.00 and at this level, you’re paying for features more than you are paying for a greater quality of brew. However, sometimes it is an additional feature or two that really makes a machine right for you.
We’ve compiled our list of the top ten best Filter Coffee machines available at present to give you all you need to know to find your perfect fit:
Buffalo 1.8 Litre 2020Watt coffee machine – £132.97
We start off with one of the more expensive models available. Looking to see if there was anything to be gained from spending more, we weren’t immediately bowled over by the Buffalo’s looks. It’s very 1980s office looking and things didn’t seem to get any better from there.
A very simple machine with a slide out filter tray, it uses costly paper filters in order to spoon the pre-ground coffee. Sliding the tray back in and flicking a switch begins the brewing process. This takes around five minutes for 12 cups. Once the jug is sufficiently full, another switch activates the heated base plate to keep the brewed coffee at a suitable temperature.
There’s little else to say about the Buffalo and, if anything, it seems to be designed for commercial use rather than domestic. If you work from home it’s a good option but there’s not much domestic application beyond this. It’s shame really as the Buffalo is a solid piece of equipment but it scores: 4/10 for domestic and for commercial, a healthy: 7/10.
Moccamaster KBGT 741 coffee machine Alu Poliert – £217.78
A highly rated machine, the Moccamaster is visually striking and produces a lot of fresh coffee in a very short period of time. It’s another simple machine designed for the sole purpose of brewing Filter Coffee in large amounts.
It is expensive, very expensive, actually. Still, it is another Filter machine likely designed for more commercial applications. It wouldn’t look out of place in an office or a commercial kitchen but this causes domestic side of things to suffer.
The machine boasts a rather clever pulse action that operates during brewing to ensure the coffee is of the highest possible quality but after this, it’s something of a dumb machine. Disappointing really, as the produced coffee is very pleasant.
More bad news comes in the form of the plugs supplied, they only fit European sockets meaning you will need an adapter if you’re going to use this machine. Domestic rating: 2/10, commercial: 9/10.
Bialetti 2-cup crystal moka Red – £34.99
Now we’re talking…a beautiful design using an unusual under-brewing system! The jug on top is half filled with water whilst the filter is filled with coffee. We find it has more in common with a cafetierre than a traditional Filter Coffee machine.
It’s aesthetically pleasing, seeing the machine at work as the coffee filters in amongst the water resembles a living art installation and the results are truly amazing. This combination of traditional Filter Coffee and the cafetierre produces outstanding results. At such a low price, you would be a fool not to try.
Sadly however, it doesn’t produce the greatest amount of coffee per brew; in fact it’s a mere two cups. We were very impressed but would like to see increased capacity: 7/10.
Russell Hobbs 19900-56 Mini Coffee maker – £48.07
This machine is probably the most traditional of all we’ve reviewed in terms of style and process. The Russell Hobbs product sports an impressive 1.8 litre tank and produces up to 12 cups per brew. Sadly, it can’t be programmed to only produce a certain number of cups so you must monitor it but this isn’t too much of a hardship.
The water tank itself has indicators showing how many cups can be brewed with the current water level meaning you are able measure it. It’s a fairly simple system and to be honest, we expected a more from Russell Hobbs.
Granted, the design is superb with a Mini motor car theme; though this brand partnership has probably increased the cost and will appeal more to a mechanic’s office than to a kitchen – plain models are available at slightly lower cost.
A good all-rounder but we expected more: 6/10.
Russell Hobbs steel touch kaffeemaschine – £129.85
Another offering from Russell Hobbs sees the German made Kaffeemaschine enter our list. You can’t help but look at it, it’s bizarrely impressive with its rear mounted tank and bold red centre column, like something you’d find on the Starship Enterprise.
Featuring an eight cup jug, brewing takes little time and the large tank means less time filling, more time brewing. It does use paper filters which is disappointing, though, a small price to pay for an otherwise impressive machine. It even has cable storage should you wish to store the machine in between uses.
Suitable for both home and commercial usage: 8/10.
Melitta 1011 Look IV Therm Coffee filter machine – £49.99
For £49.99, some people may not expect much but in this instance, you get a lot for your money. The Melitta fully understands the needs of the end user and even offers some Italian style to go with its functionality.
At 1.2 litres, the rear mounted tank is enough for ten cups in one brew but it isn’t the capacity that is most impressive. It’s the added features where your value for money comes in. The Melitta has a timer fitted to allow you to program when you would like the machine to start brewing.
The technology doesn’t stop there, the machine also boasts a built-in descaling program. In addition to this, it gives options to adjust how the coffee is brewed depending on the water hardness in your area.
This Melitta is head and shoulders above machines costing three times as much and we can’t recommend it enough:10/10.
Russell Hobbs 20134-56 coffee maker – £45.00
A reasonable price from a usually impressive brand; the Russell Hobbs machine isn’t quite what we expected of a purpose designed domestic machine. It’s a bit small and slow. The 1-litre fixed water tank is much smaller than comparative machines and is more of a drip system rather than a Filter Coffee machine.
It’s as basic as it comes, there’s more technology in a graphite pencil than this machine. If you are seeking simple with a good warranty then by all means opt for this. Though, if you want a little more for your money – consider that Melitta!
An underwhelming: 5/10.
Severin are fast becoming one of our favourite brands, they are exceptionally functional and pay attention to the design of their machines. This Café Caprice is no exception and they have created a modern looking machine with superb functionality.
The water comes to temperature very quickly and is then deposited into the filter chamber allowing gravity to do the infusion work. Thisis as opposed to applying mass pressure to the coffee. Applying mass pressure can cause the flavour to taint but this guarantees a fresh cup of coffee each time.
We love this machine but sadly you will do well to find one. Amazon have few available and there are some sellers who import them. If you do import, exercise caution – you will need an UK plug adapter! We give this machine a respectably strong: 8.5/10.
Melitta Look selection filter coffee maker – £69.54
Melitta’s Look Filter Coffee maker is more expensive than the Look IV we reviewed but offers less than half the functionality. There is no timer and is nothing anywhere near as remarkable as its sister machine.
There are some positives, this Melitta model is very basic and brews very quickly. This makes it perfect for those on the go or for business application. As a domestic model, it’s no good. The company actually try to suggest a removable filter tray is a key feature, an indication of just how basic this machine is.
We like the coffee it brews and we like Melitta as a brand. That said, this machine just doesn’t do it for us: 6/10.
Andrew James 1000 Watt Programmable Filter Coffee Maker – £32.98
We wouldn’t be doing our job properly if we didn’t include an offering from Andrew James. The budget appliance company just don’t seem to make lacklustre products and this Filter Coffee machine doesn’t fall short.
12 cups takes just 12 minutes to brew. The permanent, washable filter means you will save a small fortune on paper filters and the positives don’t end there. The LCD screen offers you the chance to set a timer for whenever you feel the need for a brew and this timer is one of the easiest we have encountered in terms.
Typically with Andrew James, the purchase price is astonishingly low and also includes a full two year warranty. Their customer service is some of the best you will encounter should anything go wrong.
Andrew James products always score well with us. It would be full marks but that slow brewing time leaves this machine at: 9/10.
Filter Coffee machines definitely don’t need to be expensive to produce fantastic coffee. In fact, our two favourite machines are both under £50.00!
You can go ahead and spend a small fortune on a Filter Coffee machine but you will be wasting your time and money.