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Coffee makers tested to see which brews best

November 9, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
People are cutting back on all sorts of things these days, but coffee doesn't appear to be one of them. In the past year, consumers spent more than $3 billion on ground coffee and beans, but in order to really enjoy your home brew, you need a good coffee maker. Consumer Reports tested 50 coffee makers to find the best one.The coffee makers that were tested cost anywhere from about $20 all the way up to $265.

"Even the most expensive coffeemaker is going to save you money instead of buying your coffee every day," said Celia Kuperszmid Lehrman from Consumer Reports.

First, testers looked at brew performance.

"Ideally, you want the coffee maker to get the water hot enough so that it's going to extract the most flavors from your coffee," Lehrman said.

All of the coffee makers rated at least good, but that might not cut it for some.

"Good brewing performance is fine if you're not that fussy about your coffee. But if you're a coffee connoisseur, you really want to stick with a machine that rated excellent for brewing," Lehrman said.

Features are another consideration, and coffeemakers are offering more than ever, like a Hamilton Beach coffee maker. It has voice-activated programming, but it proved frustrating for some.

Some more expensive coffee makers even have removable reservoirs that let you add water right at the sink so there are fewer spills.

In the end, testers recommended more than a dozen coffee makers, including a $40 Cooks coffee maker from JC Penney that rated excellent in brew tests.

Consumer Reports says no matter which coffee maker you buy, remember, it's only as good as the coffee you put in it. Eight O'Clock 100 percent Colombian Coffee rated excellent in previous Consumer Reports' taste tests and costs about $6 per lb.


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