If you’re like me, you can’t even remember being taught how to use one —…
The drip coffee maker has come a long way in the past decade. A well-rounded machine used to cost you upward of $200. But times have changed. This Taotronics 12-cup coffee maker is proof that drip makers can be both capable and affordable.
If you are browsing for a machine that is under $100 but has a lot of features for the price, then this drip maker will likely catch your eye. While this particular model is not yet SCA certified and might not be as attractive as those pricy high-end models, its features make it worthy of review.
Read on to find out how my experience with the Taotronics Drip Coffee Machine went and whether you should consider trying it too.
A delicious cup of coffee, of course! You can use grounds or grind your own whole beans beforehand and let this drip brewer do its job.
This 1000-watt machine comes with a carafe that can hold 1.8 liters (or nearly 2 quarts), an internal reservoir, a hot plate with three keep-warm temperatures, basket, scoop, and – of course – a user guide.
This machine is meant for anyone wanting an affordable drip brewer that can make enough cups of coffee for the whole household every morning – and does so without any fuss.
The Taotronics drip brewer isn’t for those who want to just make 1-4 cups of coffee for a strong cup. Unfortunately – as I’ll explain momentarily – this function isn’t as effective at generating a strong brew as it should be.
This drip coffee machine can make up to 12 cups at once. Brewing at the 1-4 cup option is said to make the brew stronger. You can also program it up to 24 hours in advance.
I’ll be honest: This Taotronics model has a few setbacks. But it is user-friendly and doesn’t make a bunch of noise. But the lacking capabilities of the 1-4 cup brew size hold this coffeemaker back from getting some seriously high marks.
You’ll notice that this coffee maker has a square frame. This does help it fit in between other countertop appliances. However, the design makes it difficult to pour the water in. You cannot empty a carafe of water into the tank because of the way the carafe’s lid is designed. Instead, we suggest using a pitcher or large measuring.
Another notable feature was the showerhead-style spout. This helps sprinkle the water evenly over the grounds, giving you more even extraction.
Drip brewers should be easy to use, and this model doesn’t disappoint. Brewing times feel somewhat slow, taking up to nine minutes to complete a full carafe. But, even though this machine wasn’t designed to meet SCA standards, its brewing temps are definitely adequate. Also, the front panel involves no real guesswork in which button performs what function.
This coffee maker comes with a reusable metal filter. In theory, no paper filter is needed. However, when I brewed a pot without a paper filter, the result was a cloudy, gritty brew. Also, the filter is difficult to get the grinds out of. I recommend using a paper filter.
This drip coffee maker performs just fine when brewing at full capacity. But don’t expect much in the way of added strength when you brew at the 1-4 cup setting. There is no noticeable difference. I don’t recommend using this setting. Even if you’re aiming for a measly 20 fluid ounces, the result is a brewing time of around 7 minutes and a temperature of about 86 degrees Celsius by the end of brewing.
A supposed selling point for this brewer is the small-batch option. I tested brewing a 12-ounce serving with and without the 1-4 cup option. The result in both trials was weak coffee with little to no aroma. It took about three minutes to brew on the regular setting and just over four minutes to brew with the 1-4 cup feature selected. If you want the ability to brew a small or large batch with equal flavor and aroma, you might want to look at a different drip coffee maker.
While the brew is going, you won’t hear much. Aside from the beep, it makes when the machine powers off, all you’ll hear are the water heating up and the usual transport sound. You won’t run the risk of waking up the rest of the household.
I highly recommend brewing at the 12-cup capacity since it comes out hotter and doesn’t take much more time than the 1-4 cup setting. 12 cups ensure that nobody in your house will be left fighting for the last bit of joe in the morning.
For the price, you have to expect a few downsides. However, you get an abundance of features that don’t come on all drip brewers at this price point.
I run a tight ship in the morning, so I enjoy having a 24-hour programmable brew setting. This lets you set your brew time and strength before you go to bed. When you wake up, your coffee is there, waiting on the hot plate for you.
Want to pour prior to brew completion? Any time you remove the carafe from the hot plate, the drip will automatically stop. It resumes when you put the carafe back. Handy, right?
However, in practice, the brewer released several drops of coffee onto the hot plate when the carafe was pulled out.
One of the things I like best about the Taotronics Drip Coffee Maker is that the smart touch control panel on the front is straightforward. Brew settings and the clock show up clearly on the LCD screen.
The Keep Warm function keeps the hot plate to 70°C, 78°C, or 81°C for up to four hours. You can choose your preferred temperature.
Need to caffeinate an entire household in the morning? Tired of expensive, non-eco-friendly K-Cups? Maybe you should consider drip coffee.
Drip coffee makers are best suited for busy households with multiple drinkers. They are more eco-friendly than Keurig pods and are ideal for those who want something simple yet effective at achieving a good brew strength and temperature.
Drip brewers are slower than Keurigs. Expect one to take 7-12 minutes to complete a pot. Luckily, the Taotronics has a 24-hour programmable function that shaves off time in the morning.
If you and your fam consume more than four cups in the AM, a drip coffee maker makes more cups in a shorter time than, say, a Keurig. You get a well-sized glass carafe with this model, allowing you to brew up to 12 cups at once.
Fancier drip brewers can set you back hundreds of dollars. Sticking with a more affordable model like this one keeps you within a reasonable budget while still checking most of the boxes for coffee deliciousness.
A few alternatives exist. I recommend checking into the Ninja CE251 Programmable Brewer since it has the small batch option. The Cuisinart DCC-3200P1 Perfectemp Coffee Maker is another solid alternative since it can brew up to 14 cups at once.
You might also want to try:
Ultra affordable and widely available, this 12-cup machine has a quick clean-up and automatic shutoff. Try this model if you're on a tight budget but still want a great cup of coffee.
No carafe required! Just set your favorite mug down below the drip and let it roll. It even accommodates travel mugs. Try the BrewStation if you want to grab a quick mug to go and have no mess to clean up.
The Taotronics Drip Coffee Maker might not be SCA certified, but it packs in a lot of value. For a reasonable price, you get desirable, helpful features like 24-hour programming and automatic drip pause.
This is sure to satisfy your household’s morning caffeine needs. The hot plate’s three temperature settings keep coffee at a warm temp for up to four hours, so everyone can grab a hot cup in time. It also shaves time off your morning routine since you can program your brew 24 hours in advance. And, to be quite honest, it has one of the most user-friendly interfaces I’ve encountered on a drip machine.
Click here to check this drip coffee maker out.