Filter Coffee Machines

The Filter Coffee machine truly is the simplest of them all, and yet still produces some the best coffee you’ll ever taste if you are patient enough to wait. Relying on a slow infusion to bring out the best flavour possible, Filter Coffee machines really are for those capable of waiting or those who are happy to set a timer and wake up to the smell of a fresh brew.

As a rule, Filter Coffee machines are relatively inexpensive and top out around £200.00 – by this level you are paying for features more than you are paying for any greater quality of brew but 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 started off with one of the more expensive models available to see if there was anything to be gained from spending more and we weren’t immediately bowled over by the Buffalo’s looks – it’s very 1980s office looking and things didn’t improve much from there on.

It is a very, very simple machine with a slide out filter tray, which uses costly paper filters, in which to spoon the pre-ground coffee. Sliding the tray back in and flicking a switch begins the long process of brewing – 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 very little else to say for the Buffalo and, if anything, it seems to be designed for commercial use ahead of domestic. If you work from home it’s a very good option but there’s not much domestic application beyond this – a shame really as the Buffalo is a solid piece of equipment – 4/10 for domestic and a healthy 7/10 commercial.

Moccamaster KBGT 741 coffee machine Alu Poliert – £217.78

A highly rated machine that is visually striking and produces a lot of fresh coffee in a very short period of time; the Moccamaster is another simple machine designed for the sole purpose of brewing Filter Coffee in large amounts.

It is expensive, very expensive but it is another likely designed for more commercial applications – this wouldn’t look out of place in an office or a commercial kitchen but the domestic side of things does suffer unless you have an unhealthy coffee addiction.

It does have a very clever pulse action that operates during brewing to ensure the coffee is of the highest possible quality but after this it is something of a dumb machine – disappointing really as the produced coffee is very pleasant.

Further bad news comes in the form of the plugs supplied with the machine only fitting European sockets – you will need an adapter to make the most of 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 and the filter is filled with coffee before setting the machine to brew – it actually has more in common with a cafetierre than a traditional Filter Coffee machine but there really is nothing wrong with this as a design.

It is a visual delight to see the machine at work as the coffee filters in amongst the water; it’s almost like a living art installation and the results are truly amazing. This combination of traditional Filter Coffee and the cafetierre produces astounding results and at such a low price you would be a fool not to try it out.

Sadly, it doesn’t produce the greatest amount of coffee per brew; in fact it’s a misery two cups but once the coffee is used you can watch again in awe as it brews your next round. We were very impressed but would like to see increased capacity – 7/10.

Russell Hobbs 19900-56 Mini Coffee maker – £48.07

Probably the most traditional of all the machines we have reviewed in terms of style and process – the Russell Hobbs machine has 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’ll have to 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 can meter it but it’s a fairly simple system – we expected a more from a Russell Hobbs machine.

The design is superb with a Mini motor car theme; though this brand partnership has probably pushed up the cost price 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 expect more from Russell Hobbs 6/10

Russell Hobbs steel touch kaffeemachine – £129.85

Another offering from Russell Hobbs sees the German made Kaffeemachine enter our list and you can’t help but look at it – it’s bizarrely impressive with its rear mounted tank and bold red centre column – it looks like something you’d find on the Starship Enterprise.

Featuring an eight cup jug, brewing takes very little time and the large tank means less time filling, more time brewing. It does use paper filters which is a little disappointing but this is 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 home or commercial usage – 8/10.

Melitta 1011 Look IV Therm Coffee filter machine – £49.99

For £49.99, some people may not expect too much from a coffee machine but, in this instance, you get an awful lot for your money. The Melitta fully understands the needs of the end user and even offers some Italian style to go with the impressive functionality.

The rear mounted tank is 1.2 litres, enough for roughly 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 starts to kick in. The Melitta has a timer fitted to allow you to program in when you would like the machine to start brewing.

The technology doesn’t stop there either: the machine also has built in descaling programs and options to adjust how the coffee is brewed depending on the water hardness in your area – utterly superb.

The Melitta is head and shoulders above machines costing three times as much and we can’t recommend it enough – a 10/10 from us without question.

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 – if anything it’s a bit small and a bit slow! The 1 litre fixed water tank is much smaller than comparative machines and it is more of a drip system than a Filter Coffee machine.

It really is 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 coffee maker as it is exactly what you are seeking but if you want a little more for your money – consider that Melitta!

An average 5/10.

Severin KA 5702 ‘Café Caprice’ coffee maker – £84.64

Severin are fast becoming one of our favourite brands – they are exceptionally functional but also take a keen interest in the design of their machines. This Café Caprice is no exception to this habit as 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 to allow gravity to do the infusion work rather than applying mass pressure to the coffee causing some of the flavour to taint – this guarantees a seriously fresh cup of coffee every time you brew with the Severin.

We love this machine but sadly you will have to look fairly hard to find one – Amazon have some available and there are some sellers who import them but exercise caution; you will need an UK plug adapter! We think the Severin deserves a strong 8.5/10.

Melitta Look selection filter coffee maker – £69.54

Confusingly, Melitta’s Look Filter Coffee maker is more expensive than the Look IV we reviewed previously but offers less than half the functionality. There is no timer and nothing anywhere near as remarkable as its sister machine – disappointing really.

There are positives, this Melitta model is very basic and brews very quickly making it perfect for those on the go or for business application but as a domestic model it rather lets the side down. The company actually try to suggest a removable filter tray is a key feature – this gives you an idea of just how basic this machine really is.

We like the coffee it brews and we like Melitta as a brand but this machine doesn’t really 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 don’t seem to make a lacklustre product and this Filter Coffee machine is no exception to that rule – in fact it’s absolutely brilliant.

12 cups takes 12 minutes and it has a permanent, washable filter saving you a small fortune on paper filters; but the good news doesn’t stop there. The LCD screen offers you the chance to set a timer for whenever you feel the need for a brew – the 24 hour timer is one of the easiest we have encountered to set and firmly believe it should be a standard feature on all Filter machines.

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 could wish to speak to, we can assure you.

Andrew James product always score well with us but that slightly slower brewing time leaves this machine at 9/10.

Summary

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 spend a small fortune on a Filter Coffee machine but you will probably be wasting your time, unless it is for commercial purposes, the more you spend the less you seem to get in most instances and, let’s be honest, there’s a good chance even if your budget machine does go wrong – it won’t cost much to replace.