Best Filter Coffee Machines

Often overlooked in the UK, filter coffee machines offer an excellent way to enjoy a quality cup of coffee. The best filter coffee machines don’t necessarily cost the earth, can be super easy to use and are an underrated hassle free brewing method for great coffee.

If you’ve had enough of drinking instant coffee granules from the supermarket that taste like an ashtray, but you don’t want to get involved with espresso machines that look like aliens and require a degree to work out how to use, let alone fork out the small fortune that some of them cost then a filter coffee machine may be right up your street.

This method of brewing your coffee is incredibly popular in the United States but less so in the UK because I think there is a perception that you need to brew a whole pot of coffee if you own a filter coffee machine.

I can totally dispel that myth because all of the filter coffee machines recommended in this article are perfectly capable of brewing 1-2 cups if that is all you want to make.

I think the idea of having to make a whole pot probably comes from all the American movies we’ve all watched when you see the coffee dripping down into the pot for the whole family to drink.

The Americans call them “drip” coffee machines because the coffee drips into the pot below but I like to think of us Brits as a little more cultured and “Filter” coffee machine sounds a lot better and makes more sense as the water filters its way through the coffee and into the pot.

One of the main benefits of using a filter coffee machine is how versatile and flexible this brewing method can be with the amount of coffee it can produce.

If you want to make coffee for the whole family, no problem, you can brew a whole pot but if it’s just you and you only want a mugful then that’s fine too, all you have to do is add the appropriate amount of water and coffee for the number of people you want to serve.

How much water and coffee should you use?

Using the right amount of coffee and water (brew ratio) is crucial to the overall taste, with any coffee brewing method. With filter coffee machines as a general rule I recommend 65g of coffee per litre of water.

That will get you about 8 cups of coffee so if you only want 4 cups then half that or for two cups divide by 4.

If you get it wrong then your coffee could taste watery and flavourless or the other end of the scale with too much coffee and not enough water will make your coffee far too strong and overpowering.

Here is a great video that explains it perfectly:


Why should you buy a filter coffee machine?

James Hoffman uses one every day. Who the hell is James Hoffman?

He is a highly respected coffee aficionado and has many accolades to his name, in fact he’s one of the world’s most knowledgeable people when it comes to coffee.

He owns a successful coffee roastery, has won the World Barista Championship and is the author of best-selling coffee book, The World Atlas of Coffee

This is someone that REALLY knows what they’re talking about when it comes to producing a great cup of coffee.

He uses the Sage Precision Brewer (which happens to be one of my recommendations below) to make his coffee every morning, and prior to this, he used Moccamaster filter machines for years (which happens to be one of my other recommendations).

He could use any type of brewing method he chooses including coffee machines costing thousands of pounds, I’m sure he’s not short of a few quid, but he chooses a filter coffee machine that costs a couple of hundred pounds.

You don’t need to spend that much as there are some really good machines that cost a lot less, but the point is that the fact that someone this knowledgeable about speciality coffee uses (daily) a filter coffee machine shows that they produce really good coffee.

They are also really easy to use. Just add water and coffee, press one button and your coffee is delivered in a few minutes.

Different types of filter coffee machines

All filter coffee machines work on the same principle of the water gets poured over the top of ground coffee and makes its way through to your pot below but depending on how much money you are prepared to spend there are different specifications that can enhance your overall coffee drinking experience.

Things to consider are:

Do you want to use paper filters or is that too much hassle? Some machines come with a permanent filter so you don’t need to bother with paper.

It is generally accepted that using a paper filter will produce better flavour and you can guarantee that you won’t be left with any bits of coffee at the bottom of your cup but there is nothing wrong with buying one that has a permanent filter as they can make a perfectly decent cup of coffee.

The method used for pouring the water over the coffee. The cheapest machines will just pour the water over your coffee a bit like a tap and that means you won’t get an even distribution of water into the coffee grinds as it filters through and into the pot.

Spend a little bit more and these machines adopt so called showerhead technology as they spray the water over the entire bed of the coffee and this ensures better coverage and better extraction.

Do you want to wake up to fresh coffee in the morning? Some machines will allow you pre-program the time you want it to fire up and kick into action.

Just add the water and coffee the night before and when you walk into the kitchen its ready and waiting for you.

Choose the strength of your coffee. Some machines have a strength selector that will regulate how fast or slow the water is pumped over the coffee and will produce a stronger or milder coffee as a result.

These are the best filter coffee machines in the UK:


Russell Hobbs 20680 Buckingham Filter Coffee Maker

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  • Brew up to 1.25L of coffee 
  • Quick heat up time
  • Reuseable filter
  • Glass carafe 
  • Hot plate
  • 24 hour auto brew timer 


If you enjoy freshly brewed coffee, you will love the taste and aromas of the freshly filtered coffee you will enjoy from the Buckingham filter coffee maker.

This filter coffee maker produces great tasting filter coffee, due to its showerhead technology brewing system, which extracts more of the coffee flavour. 

The showerhead brewing system ensures all of the ground coffee in the filter is evenly showered with water. This leads to more of the ground coffee being captured and dissolved, leading to a richer coffee flavour and less of the ground coffee in the filter being wasted. 

The Buckingham filter coffee machine reaches the optimum brewing temperature up to 50% faster, and has a 24 hour automated coffee brewing timer, allowing you to have coffee waiting for you exactly when you like it.

This filter coffee maker can produce enough filter coffee for up to 10 cups at a time, but you don’t need to brew a full carafe. You can make as little as 2 cups (250ml) at a time.

What’s more, the Buckingham Filter Coffee Maker is compact and stylish in design, and will look at home in any modern kitchen.

My Observations

This is a filter coffee machine that has sold very well in the UK over the past decade or so, it’s one of the best selling low cost filter coffee machines, and it’s easy to see why.

It’s very cheap, it’ll brew from 250ml – 1.25L of coffee at a time, it has an auto brew timer function, and it looks pretty good. 

It comes with a reuseable filter, or you can use paper filters if you prefer.

Quick tip: Most filter coffee machines come with a reuseable mesh filter. Just buy some paper filters and taste the difference. If you don’t like the idea of paper filters (re sustainability) then try a reusable fabric filter. Both will produce better tasting filter coffee than most of the mesh filters.

It has a 1.25L brewing capacity, and if you believe the blurb that’s enough for 10 coffees – and it is, if you drink 125ml cups of coffee ;-).

A standard UK “builders mug” when filled up to about an inch from the rim, is about 280ml. I can’t imagine that anyone drinks 125ml cups of filter coffee. I think most people probably drink 200-300ml cups of filter, so being realistic, this will brew enough for 1-5 decent sized cups.

Going through the reviews, the one thing I’d be put off by with this machine is the glass carafe appears to be prone to breaking, and the cost of the replacement carafe is almost half the cost of the filter coffee machine including the carafe, which seems a bit steep.

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The Sage Precision Brewer Filter Coffee Machine

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  • Brew up to 1.7L of coffee
  • Sturdy metal insulated carafe
  • Multiple presets & customisable brew settings 
  • Swap out the filter cone with your favourite pour-over filter
  • PID for Precise temperature control
  • 3 flow rate settings
  • Small cup detection for brewing single cups
  • Comes with flat and cone filter baskets
  • Cold Brew Function


The Sage Precision Brewer is the world’s first 1.7L capacity filter coffee machine with the built-in precision required to automatically produce speciality quality filter coffee. 

Experience the very best from your favourite coffee, with precise PID temperature control, flow rate selection, adjustable bloom time, flat or cone filter baskets and the ability to use your favourite drip filter maker.

With the Sage Precision Filter Brewer, you have precise control over the brew temperature, bloom time,  flow rate and contact time. In addition, the thermo coil heating system delivers more pure water than typical filter coffee machines that use Aluminium.

Gold Cup Standard

In the Gold Cup mode, the Sage Precision Brewer automatically brews filter coffee to meet the exacting standards of the Speciality Coffee Association. So if you’re not interested in customisation, you simply want automatic high quality speciality coffee, simply choose the Gold Cup setting & continue with your day.

Small Cup™ Detection and Auto Steep & Release Technology

The Sage Precision Brewer detects when you’re using a single cup instead of the carafe, and the patent pending steep and release valve automatically ensures the perfect single cup is delivered.

My Observations

This is an amazing filter coffee machine from Sage, and if I was going to buy a filter coffee machine for use at home or in my office/studio, it would be this machine. 

As I’ve said in many other blog posts and videos about Sage coffee machines, Sage doesn’t tend to make coffee machines the same as other manufacturers.

Instead, they develop a clear goal for what they want to produce, and they then get to work making it possible, which often involves completely re-thinking the way things are done, and inventing components. 

This is certainly the case with the Precision Brewer.

This machine is perfect for anyone who loves filter coffee, whether you just want to press a button and walk away with a fantastic cup of coffee, or you want to really get involved in customizing the brew to find your perfect cup.

If you’re not fussed about tweaking things, just select the Gold Cup option, and you’ll get coffee brewed to SCA standards, automatically. As long as you’re using great coffee beans, without any faffing about with settings, you’re going to get some lovely tasting filter coffee with this setting. 

Also, thanks to the auto brew timer option, you can have this coffee brewed and ready for you when you wake up.

But if you consider yourself to be a home barista, and you want to work on achieving the best possible cup of coffee for your tastes, you’ll also love this filter coffee machine. It allows you to precisely customise the brew temp, bloom time and flow rate. 

It also allows you to choose from cone filters or flat bottomed filters, or even to automate brewing via your favourite manual pourover device, such as the Hario V60 or Kalita Wave. 

The Carafe is a sturdy insulated stainless steel jug, which means no warming plate required to keep your coffee warm, and it also means it’s less likely you’re going to have to buy a replacement carafe than with machines with glass jugs.

But if you want to brew directly into your cup, or travel mug – you can simply place this under the filter instead of the carafe, and the Precision detects this, and changes the way that it brews in order to deliver a single cup. Very clever machine!

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Melitta Look V Filter Coffee Machine

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  • Brew up to 1.25L of coffee 
  • Removable water tank
  • Programmable keep-warm time
  • Durable Borosilicate glass carafe 
  • Hot plate


Removable, Transparent Water Tank with Cup Scaling

The water tank can be very simply removed for filling, and for cleaning. The easy to read fill markers also make achieving the right coffee to water ratio much easier.

  • Choose from mild or strong filter coffee with the Aroma Selector
  • Swivel Filter with removable insert & drip stop
  • 3 in  limescale protection with programmable water hardness
  • Dishwasher safe parts and durable borosilicate glass carafe
  • Elegant looking stainless steel design

My Observations

This is a fairly low priced filter coffee machine, and overall I think it’s fairly good for the price. You can spend a bit more on the timer version if you need the brew timer option, but if you’re looking for a lower cost filter coffee machine from a very well known filter coffee brand, then this machine is worth a look.

Mellita invented filter coffee, by the way, so they should know what they’re doing 😉 – and overall, Mellita coffee machines have a decent reputation. 

This machine has some obvious positives, a less flimsy carafe than some other low cost machines. Auto limescale protection, programmable water hardness, auto descaling, 3 keep warm settings. 

The thing I don’t quite understand is the aroma selector.

It’s implied that by selecting mild or strong you can change the strength of the coffee, but I can’t get my head around how this would actually work, and the comments in the reviews would indicate that it doesn’t actually do anything. 

Surely the only way you’d change strength would be to change the coffee to water ratio. I suppose it could be that contact time is increased at the “strong” setting? I’m not sure if this is the case or how that would work, I can’t find anything about it except for comments from users who say it doesn’t do anything at all.

The fact that it has three keep warm settings I think is a good thing. When you keep a pot of coffee on a hot plate, after a while the taste will start to deteriorate, so if you have a hot plate which is constantly on, you have the potential for ruined coffee. 

I know this from experience. Years ago when I started my first business, I had a tiny little office in an old mill converted into office space, in which I had a small desk, PC, and a filter coffee machine (I actually think it was a Mellita but I can’t remember for sure). 

That office had a very distinctive smell, of bitter coffee. Everyone would comment on it even when just walking past the door ;-).

The reason was, I’d brew a full pot of coffee, leave it on the (always on) hot plate & forget about it. An hour later, I’d have an office with a very strong bitter coffee smell, and very bad tasting coffee. I’d drink a bit of it, grimace, brew a fresh pot & do the same again ;-).

I would highly recommend that if you get this coffee filter machine, you just use the 20 min keep warm function if you’re going to use any. 20 minutes is just about the maximum I think you’re really want to keep a pot of coffee on a warming plate. 

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Russell Hobbs Chester Grind and Brew Filter Coffee Machine

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  • Brew up to 1.5L of coffee 
  • Freshly grind your own coffee beans
  • Quiet Brew Technology
  • Reuseable filter
  • Pause and Pour option
  • 24 hour auto brew timer 
  • Glass Carafe


Enjoy the most freshly brewed filter coffee with the Chester Grind and Brew Filter Coffee Machine. 

Simply put your coffee beans into the grinder, select your grind size preference, choose your strength and number of cups, press the button & enjoy delicious filter coffee in minutes.

Be Awakened to Freshly Ground & Freshly Brewed Coffee 

The Chester Grind & Brew’s auto brew feature lets you programme your machine to grind and brew so that you have freshly brewed coffee when you wake up, or for your lunch break if working from home, or for after your evening meal. 

The warming plate will also keep your coffee warm for up to 40 minutes.

Quiet Brew Technology

The Chester Grind & Brew is quieter than other bean to cup filter coffee machines (tested to be 60% quiter than our 14899 grind and brew machine), which is a big plus when you’re wanting to grind and brew coffee first thing in the morning.

Permanent filter with removable filter holder

You can choose to use the included permanent filter or to use paper filters. 

Digital Coffee Grinding Adjustment

Select your grind settings at the touch of a button.

Visible Water Level

Being able to clearly see the water level of the tank makes it easier to achieve your preferred water to coffee ratio.

Pause and Pour

If you want a quick coffee before the coffee has finished filtering, you can simply pause the brew while you pour yourself a cup, then place the carafe back on the plate and allow the brewing to continue.

My Observations

This is the first bean to cup filter coffee machine to feature in this best filter coffee machine run down. 

The very cheapest electric burr grinders start at almost the same price as the Chester Grind & Brew, so this is a very low cost option for both grinding and brewing your filter coffee.

Looking through the reviews, this is one of the coffee machines that appears to come out of the box with a very strong plastic odour which is difficult to get shot of.

Quick tip: Thoroughly wash all of the washable parts (carafe, filter, filer holder, water tank) with hot soapy water, and leave it to soak. Rince it all off, and get some a 250g bag of very cheap coffee beans from any supermarket (Aldi sell some really cheap coffee beans), it’s OK, you’re not going to drink it.

Make a few full pots of coffee using this coffee, just keep going until you’re through the entire bag, pour it all down the sink. You should have now got rid of the “new machine smell” and you can put decent coffee beans in it & start brewing coffee you’re actually going to drink.

This is a filter coffee machine with lots of users, and there are a huge number of helpful tips and guides within the reviews. If you go for this machine, I’d highly recommend going through these reviews and printing off some of the guides provided by other users, as some of them are very well written and helpful. 

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Melitta Optima Timer Filter Coffee Machine

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  • Brew up to 1.2L of coffee 
  • Removable water tank
  • Brew timer 
  • Programmable keep-warm time
  • Durable Borosilicate glass carafe 
  • Hot plate
  • Auto descaling & limestone warning


Freshly Brewed Coffee When You Wake Up

The Melitta Optima Timer coffee filter machine features timer controlled brewing, functioning like an alarm clock, but waking you with the aroma of freshly brewed coffee.

Calcification Warning Light

No need to stress about limescale, the Melitta Optima Timer will let you know when descaling is required.

Durable, Removable Water Reservoir
The removable dual walled water reservoir is sturdy, and features clear water level marking for precision brewing.

  • Strong, removable and measurable water tank allows brewing of 8-10 cups of coffee
  • Hot, freshly brewed coffee at your desired time, with flexible timer settings
  • Removable and measurable water tank for 8 – 10 cups
  • Calcification warning light helps ensure descaling cycle is done as required
  • German Designed Coffee Machine

My Observations

Another filter coffee machine from Melitta, the inventors of filter coffee, this is about twenty quid more than the Melitta Look V machine I mentioned earlier, and the main difference is the timer option. 

It features the same stronger glass carafe as the Melitta Look V, and the calcification warning, but no “aroma selector” which I think is probably a plus, as I don’t think it actually does anything.

Just one thing to note is that the blurb on some websites does state that this machine features temperature control, and as far as I can see from the reviews, it doesn’t. 

Again, don’t pay too much attention to the number of cups the blurb states. It’s suggested that a small cup is 85ml and a large cup is 125ml. If you have scales or a measuring jug, just go see what 85ml or 125ml look like. 85 ml isn’t even a swig! 😉

If we were talking espresso, OK fair enough. But for filter coffee, most people are going to be drinking standard sized cups, 200-300ml, so you’ll get a few full cups from one brew.


Geepas Filter Coffee Machine

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  • Brew up to 1.5L of coffee 
  • Anti Drip
  • Auto Shut Down
  • Boil Dry Protection
  • Brew timer 
  • Reuseable filter
  • Durable glass carafe 
  • Hot plate


  • Non-Slip Base
  • Reusable filter
  • Boil Dry Protection
  • Auto Shut-Off
  • Durable Glass Carafe
  • Anti Drip Feature
  • 6 Functional Time Saving Buttons
  • Make Up To 12 Cups

My Observations

This is a very low cost filter coffee machine, and it would appear to have a lot going for it for the cost!

1.5L max brew, reusable filter (or you can use paper filters of course), anti drip feature, durable glass carafe – for the price, this filter machine appears to offer great value for money.

As I’d expect with such a cheap coffee machine, though, the reviews are mixed, which I think is mainly down to faulty units. There are a significant number of users reporting the machine failed after a very short space of time.

You’ll generally find that the cheaper the machine, the higher the instances of manufacturing faults. The good news is that if this happens, if you’ve bought from Amazon, you can usually get a refund or replacement without any hassle.

It’s not only cheap machines that have faults, of course, any machine can come with a manufacturing fault, but the cheaper you go the more likely it is to experience a fault, so it’s a risk you take when you go for the very cheapest machine you can find, in my humble opinion – but not all that much of a risk really when you’re buying from Amazon.

Although, having said that, one of the reviewers mentioned that the fault was a leaking water tank that tripped the power. There are plenty of great reviews, too though, so I think if you’re lucky & you get one without a fault, this could potentially be a filter coffee machine offering great value for money at this price. 

If you’re unlucky though and get a faulty unit – remember, one of the benefits of Amazon is it’s fairly straight forward to return faulty goods.

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Melitta Easy II Filter Coffee Machine

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  • Brew up to 1.25L of coffee 
  • Clear water tank with easy to read level indication
  • Keeps coffee warm for up to 40 minutes
  • Anti Drip System
  • Machine washable reusable filter
  • Compatible with size 4 filter papers
  • Durable Borosilicate glass carafe 
  • Hot plate


Compact Clear & Practical – The Melitta Easy 2 Filter Coffee Machine

With it’s practical forward-facing water level indicator and a one and a half litre water tank, the Easy II coffee maker freshly brews enough of everyone’s favourite flavourful coffee the first time around, up to 10 large cups, or 15 small cups. 

The hard-wearing Borosilicate carafe will keep your coffee warm for up to 40 minutes, and its anti-drip feature ensures coffee only drips into the carafe, not onto your kitchen worktop or desk. 

The Easy 2 filter coffee machine offers compact and convenient design, including integrated cable storage & removable dishwasher-safe reusable filter.

My Observations

This is another low cost filter coffee machine from the German inventors of filter coffee, Melitta.

This looks like a fairly old school filter coffee machine, not much in the way of bells and whistles, but for a machine at this price I think it potentially offers very good value for money.

Again we have Melitta’s durable glass carafe plus anti drip, keep warm function (up to 40 minutes), dishwasher safe reusable filter, and very small footprint, a plus if you’re wanting a small coffee machine for an already cramped kitchen worktop, motor home or home office.

If you’re looking at the reviews, just keep in mind that this product has various options. The Easy II which is this one, Easy Therm II which comes with an insulated stainless steel carafe, Easy Therm II with extra jug, which is of course the Easy Therm II with two stainless steel jugs, Easy Top, and Easy Top II.

When you’re reading through the reviews, just look for the “Style Name” in the top of the review, so you can see which version is being reviewed.

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Breville Mostra Filter Coffee Machine

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  • Brew up to 1.8L of coffee 
  • Pause and pour option
  • 24 hour auto brew timer 
  • Water filters
  • Auto blooming (pre-soak)
  • Glass carafe
  • Freshness indicator
  • LED digital display


Want freshly brewed filter coffee when you wake up, with zero effort? The Mostra Filter Coffee Machine will perfectly brew your coffee for you via the timer setting, or on demand, for coffee that’s ready when you are. 

The Mostra blooms the grounds, to maximise the flavour of your favourite brew, and thanks to the freshness indicator, you’ll see how long it has been since your coffee was freshly brewed.

With a large twelve cup capacity, the Mostra is perfect for home use, or for the entire office. 

Unsure of how much ground coffee beans to use? That’s no problem thanks to the easy colour coded scoop indications. 

Zero paper waste – be more environmentally friendly with the reusable, washable filter. 

My Observations

This is a nice looking filter machine from Breville, with a very decent 1.8L brew capacity! 

Looking at all of the features, including the auto bloom, I think this is a decent option for a mid-priced filter coffee machine. If you don’t want the very cheapest, but you just can’t afford (or justify to yourself or the boss…) spending a couple of hundred quid on a coffee machine, then this actually looks like a decent middle-ground option. 

Do I think I’d prefer the sage precision brewer – yes. But, do I think I’d prefer the Breville Mostra to many of the cheaper filter coffee machines I’ve mentioned, yes.

By the way, a quick explanation about the Breville Vs Sage thing. You’ll often find info on Sage coffee machines which refer to them as Breville coffee machines. For example if you google the Precision brewer, you’ll find a Breville version too. 

The reason for this is that Breville sold the brand name in Europe in the 80’s, so the Australian designed Breville machines can’t be sold in the UK under this brand name, hence they’re sold under the brand name Sage Appliances, instead.

So the Breville machines we know of in the UK, are a completely different brand to the Sage Appliances machines in the UK, which are sold in the US, Australia and most other countries outside of Europe, as Breville machines.


Moccamaster KBG Filter Coffee Machine

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  • Brew up to 1.25L of coffee
  • Copper boiling element
  • Brews at SCA approved temperature
  • Solid Aluminium build
  • Iconic Style
  • Auto drip stop
  • Half jug brew function
  • Huge range of colours


Moccamaster filter coffee machines have been manufactured in the Netherlands by Technivorm since 1968. Moccamaster coffee machines are made by hand, and are often regarded as being among the world’s best filter coffee machines.

The popular Moccamaster KBG model includes a hard-wearing glass carafe, and an automated drip stop feature, ensuring that the coffee stops flowing when you remove the carafe.

The unique copper brewing element ensures an SCA preferred brewing temperature of 92-96 degrees. 

The 9 water shower bar evenly and gently distributes the water over the ground coffee, to mimic manual drip brewing as closely as possible. 

Thanks to the new select switchyou can easily select between brewing a full or half jug, with the brewing process being slowed down when used in the half jug position, to ensure that you always get a perfect coffee regardless of the volume being brewed. 

This makes the Moccamaster KBG Select the perfect filter coffee machine for single cups or full jugs of freshly brewed filter coffee.

My Observations

I have to be honest and say that I absolutely love the look of the Moccamaster machines, they look so cool! Technivorm have been making these filter coffee machines since the late 60s, and they’ve not strayed too far away from the original design, which makes gives them a retro yet authentic and unique look. 

They’re very solidly built machines too, the KBG is made from aluminium.

The hot plate has two heat settings, which is fairly unique, filter coffee machines generally just have one heat plate setting. 

This isn’t a cheap machine, which to be fair it really can’t be when you consider the materials used, but these are solidly built machines, so this isn’t a machine you might have for just a few machines. I’d think anyone investing in any Moccamaster machine would be buying a filter coffee machine to use for years, decades even.

A quick look at the amazon reviews gives a good indication of what kind of machine this is, you’ll have to look very hard to find negatives, most people who own this machine appear to love it, and are very generous when it comes to describing the design and the coffee it produces.

To compare the Moccamaster KBG, or other Moccamaster filter coffee machines with the closest machine I’ve included in this post in terms of price, the Sage Precision Brewer, is similar to comparing two of the most popular but hugely different espresso machines, the Gaggia Classic Pro & the Sage Bambino plus.

The Moccamaster machines, like the Gaggia Classic feature unique timeless design, and the overall focus is on doing the important things very well, and doing them reliably for years to come. The Sage machines are completely at the opposite end of the spectrum, similarly priced, but featuring state of the art design and features. 

I’ve said in previous posts that this comparison is similar to the comparison between the Land Rover Defender and the Tesla Model X. I couldn’t imagine someone swapping from one of these to the other and being happy.

So if you’re looking for high tech features, user-friendliness and modern design, you’d probably be best with something like the Sage Precision Bewer. If you’re looking for a workhorse, designed simply to brew decent filter coffee, and to keep doing so for years to come, then a machine like the Moccamaster may be right up your street. 

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How to grind coffee for a filter coffee machine

The easiest thing to do is to buy a packet of pre-ground coffee from the supermarket but there is a much better way to capture the amazing flavour that brewing with a filter coffee machine can produce.

Buying pre-ground is a significant step up from instant coffee because you will be brewing your coffee for the first time.

An often overlooked fact is that instant coffee has been turned into coffee already and then frozen before being broken down into the granules you find inside the jar, often months before you grab it off the shelve in the supermarket.

But there are several issues with pre-ground that will stop you from getting the maximum flavour from your coffee.

The first is freshness. Coffee always tastes best when it is ground just before you drink it so if you can, always buy fresh coffee beans and grind them yourself with a coffee grinder.

If that sounds a bit scary and not something you have ever done before, it is a lot easier than you think and takes literally a few seconds to turn coffee beans into ground coffee ready to be added to your filter machine.

There are a multitude of different options for grinding your own beans that range from a few pounds to hundreds of pounds but that’s outside the scope of this article but if its something you want to investigate further I have several articles that can help you choose the best coffee grinder for your needs:

Best Burr Coffee Grinders
Best Manual Coffee Grinders

Using a coffee grinder will not only ensure you drink the freshest possible coffee but makes sure you control a very important variable that can make the difference between an average cup of coffee and a great one and that is grind size.

The supermarket pre-ground stuff is normally ground so that it accommodates and is “suitable for all coffee machines”.

Well that is just a load of tosh and is pure marketing because they don’t want people with different types of coffee machine not buying their coffee so they just say its fine for all machines.

The truth is that different brewing methods require different grind sizes.

For espresso you need a very fine grind as the water gets forced through the coffee at high pressure and it needs to be tightly packed into a portafilter to produce that lovely syrupy black stuff that wouldn’t be possible if the beans were ground more coarsely.

For filter coffee you need a grind size that is more coarse than for espresso because the water needs to make its way through the coffee on its own using gravity and “filter” its way through the grounds and into the pot or mug below.

But too coarse and it will push through too quickly and too fine and it won’t be able to push through at all and that’s where a coffee grinder comes in because you can tweak the grind size until you have got it just right.

And once you have it set how you like it you can produce the same great results every time.

What coffee is best for a filter coffee machine?

A common perception with coffee is the more you pay the better it is but that is not necessarily the case because at the end of the day everyone’s palette is different.

I have found that a good way to determine the coffee you like the best is to compare it to wine. Let me explain.

I’m a big fan of wine and over the years I have experimented with many different wines across many different price levels all the way from the cheap as chips £4 variety that tends to taste like vinegar up to around £50 per bottle.

I was going on the basis that the more expensive a bottle of wine is the better it would taste.

What I personally discovered was that this was true for me up to about £15-£20 per bottle and I really noticed the difference between a £5 bottle of wine and a £15 bottle.

Once I went over £20 I struggled to notice the difference and I couldn’t justify spending the extra money.

Where I have ended up is spending between £10-£15 on a bottle wine and that is what works best for me when balancing quality with value.

I’m definitely not a wine expert so perhaps I couldn’t appreciate the nuances of a really good expensive bottle of wine but I’m not bothered about that, what I care about is getting the best possible flavour and enjoyment for my palette.

If you apply the same principles as my wine analogy to coffee you won’t go far wrong. The really cheap stuff such as the supermarket instant coffee granules is pretty nasty and should be avoided and they are clearly not suitable for filter coffee anyway.

Pre-ground coffee is ok but you don’t get to choose the grind level so you won’t get the right extraction which will impair the quality and flavour of your coffee.

Stick to coffee beans and you won’t have to pay the earth to get a high quality cup of coffee. I have found that spending in the region of £15-20 per kilo is a pretty good sweet spot for great tasting coffee.

Down at the £8 per kilo prices you’ll get mostly very dark roasted beans that are oily and bitter but spend a little more and it can make a big difference but just like wine you don’t need to venture into the silly price points to get a fabulous coffee experience.

There are some great coffee subscriptions out there as well. More information on where to buy great coffee beans and some of the best coffee subscriptions can be found in these articles:

Best Coffee Beans OnlineBest Coffee Subscriptions 

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Originally posted at Coffee Blog

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