Coffee Buying Guides

Best 4 Cup Coffee Makers in 2019: Top 5 Picks


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When you are short on space or don’t want to waste coffee, it can be challenging to pick a product to suit your needs. Luckily there are a few coffee makers that make just the right amount of coffee and fit in the kitchen! A 4 cup coffee maker could be the answer, whether you love a fresh pot, you’re the only coffee drinker in the house, or don’t have space for a big coffee machine.

The next step is selecting a model that suits you. Hopefully, our review of the best 4 cup coffee makers out there can make the process easier. You’ll also find some pointers on what to look out for when making a purchase and some FAQs to help you get to grips with terminology and the basics. For many of us, it is the way we start our days, so your coffee maker purchase decision is an important one!

We took a look at what you can find on the market:

Best 4 Cup Coffee Makers Review: Top 5 Picks

1. Cuisinart DCC-450BK 4-Cup Coffeemaker

Cuisinart DCC-450BK 4-Cup Coffeemaker with Stainless-Steel Carafe, Black

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This drip coffeemaker sits in the middle range of prices for the items we have reviewed. Cuisinart will be a recognizable brand for many, and supplies a reliable little machine.

It is functional rather than stunningly designed. Making a pot of coffee is simple, and the result is an enjoyable cup. 

Features

The Cuisinart has a compact design and a small footprint so that it will take up less space on the counter. The coffee is dispensed into a stainless steel carafe, which has a knuckle guard on the handle to prevent you from touching the hot steel surface.

There is an indicator light to show when the machine is on. You can pause the brewing process to pour a cup of coffee, and the device is fitted with an automatic shutoff that shuts down the coffeemaker after 30 minutes.

 Pros

  • Compact
  • Auto shutoff
  • Makes good coffee

Cons

  • The lid is tight to fit and remove
  • Makes 4 small cups

Customer Sentiments

Many users commented that this makes good coffee, but they use almost half of it in one cup since they like a larger serving. Several customers like having a stainless steel carafe as it is shatterproof.

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2. Mr. Coffee 4-Cup Switch Coffee Maker

Mr. Coffee 4-Cup Switch Coffee Maker, White - TF4-RB

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One of the more affordable coffee maker options in our review, the Mr. Coffee 4-Cup Switch Coffee Maker is a classic machine. It is a simple and hassle-free process.

It doesn’t offer bells and whistles; instead, it has been designed to brew you a good, but small, pot of coffee.

Features

This is a small and lightweight coffee maker that has dual water windows so you can see the exact water level as you fill the machine. You can lift the filter out for easy removal of the coffee grounds, and it helps when it comes to cleaning too.

The carafe is made of glass. It offers a ‘Grab-A-Cup’ pause function to halt the dispensing temporarily so that you can have a cup. There is a power indicator light but no automatic shutoff function.

Pros

  • Comes with a filter
  • Simple to use and clean
  • Good coffee

Cons

  • No automatic shutoff

Customer Sentiments

Many users were happy to have a product that did exactly what they needed and no more. They commented at how quickly it could make a pot of coffee, and they were happy that it doesn’t take up much space.

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3. Bonavita 5-Cup One-Touch Coffee Maker

Bonavita 5-Cup One-Touch Coffee Maker Featuring Thermal Carafe, BV1500TS

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This model is slightly larger than other machines we reviewed, although it does still sit in the 4-5 cup brewing range. It comes in at a higher price point than most of the other coffee makers we have reviewed.

It has more functions than other basic models, so it might suit those who want to brew less coffee but still have more control and convenience available to them in their coffee maker. It has been independently tested for brewing to the Golden Cup Standard.

Features

One of the main features of this coffee maker is the showerhead design for distributing water evenly over the coffee grounds, which ensures even saturation. The precise water heater brews at 195 to 205 degrees for better flavor and a pot in around 6 minutes.

It is a one-touch machine, but also comes with an optional pre-infusion mode and automatic power-off. The carafe is made of stainless steel, and the design is understated but pleasant to look at.

Pros

  • Good pot of coffee
  • Easy to use
  • Attractive design
  • Clear water tank

Cons

  • Carafe hard to pour

Customer Sentiments

Customers commented on the great pot of coffee that this machine makes. Many users were pleased to find a machine designed to make and keep a smaller batch at just the right temperature.

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4. AmazonBasics 5 Cup Coffee Maker

AmazonBasics 5 Cup Coffee Maker with Glass Carafe - Black

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This compact coffee maker comes directly from Amazon themselves. It is one of the most affordable products reviewed.

This machine is predominantly made from plastic, and although tall, it has a small footprint so that it won’t take up a lot of space on the counter.

Features

The AmazonBasics machine includes a pause function, which means you can pour a cup of coffee and then replace the carafe so that the machine can continue brewing. Like many coffee makers, the pot stays warm if you leave it on the plate so that you can come back for a warm second cup.

It features a power light to show that it is on. The filter basket has a reusable filter, and the whole basket can be easily removed for quick and easy cleanup. There is a window to check the water level.

Pros

  • Reusable filter
  • Fast brew
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Makes a small pot
  • Some drips

Customer Sentiments

Many users were happy that this simple machine does what is required and makes a simple pot of coffee. Some users commented that it did not make 5 cups and that there were some drips when pouring from the carafe.

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5. Zojirushi Zutto 5-Cup Drip Coffeemaker

Zojirushi EC-DAC50 Zutto 5-Cup Drip Coffeemaker

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This coffee maker sits at the higher end of the price range of the products reviewed. It uses a filter cone that sits inside the decanter. The result is a very compact machine.

The design is appealing, with a concealed water reservoir. It includes a replaceable charcoal water filter that purifies water for a better-tasting pot of coffee. 

Features

The replaceable water filter on this pot is a nice touch. It can last up to 2 years under regular use. Due to the filter sitting in the carafe, the height of this machine is smaller than other models, which could be useful in tight spaces.

It has a keep warm feature for the glass carafe and has a concealed, removable water tank. It has a silver plastic finish.

Pros

  • Produces quality, strong coffee
  • Quick brew
  • Stays warm

Cons

  • No automatic turn off
  • Carafe can’t be filled much

Customer Sentiments

Many of the users were incredibly happy with the quality of coffee that this machine brews. They liked the minimal design. Other uses found that having the filter inside the carafe wasted space, as they could not fill the carafe as much as they would like.

Buy on Amazon


What To Look for in a 4-Cup Coffee Maker

When it comes to a coffee maker, there are several factors to take into consideration to determine your requirements. Once you know what you are looking for, there is a range of features available in different machines on the market.

When it comes to coffee, there are lots of ways to make it, but most commonly, coffee makers are the drip-style with filters. There are alternatives, such as french press, percolators, and pour-over. These can all offer viable options for a small amount of coffee.

Here are some of the considerations when choosing a coffee maker:

Size

There are two size elements involved in the selection of a coffee maker. This review covered the 4-5 cup coffee makers, which are generally ideal for people who like a fresh pot don’t and drink a lot of coffee, or are the only coffee drinker in the house. If you are happy to share a larger pot or drink lots throughout the day, you might need a 10 cup machine.

The smaller cup coffee makers often come in a compact size with a smaller footprint. This makes them ideal for small kitchens, offices, dorm rooms, or RVs. While the 10 cup version will be bigger, it is best to check the dimensions for each machine as you can usually find a narrower or shorter machine if needed.

Quality

One of the hardest things to gauge is whether the coffee maker that you want to purchase makes a pot of coffee that you can enjoy. The quality of the brew can vary between machines quite significantly.

Hopefully, our reviews have helped you in that respect. There are some design features that you can look out for to identify a machine that suits you. A cone filter generally produces a stronger brew, and a machine that reaches around 200 degrees should produce a flavorful but not bitter cup of coffee.

Function

How you use your coffee maker will determine the kinds of features you would like. Many of the smaller models stick to the basics, which means they switch on and make coffee. A lot of users have commented about how beneficial they find an automatic shut off function, so they don’t need to worry about the pot burning.

Some machines come with a programming function, so you can have coffee ready when you wake up. Many of the more affordable, smaller models don’t include features like this. They do include options to keep the pot warm, and some have a pause function so you can take a cup of coffee before the brewing process has been completed.

Materials

For the materials in a machine, there are a few items to note before making a purchase. One is how the coffee is filtered. Some coffee makers provide adequate permanent filters, which minimizes waste and saves you from buying filters. You could find that this produces a slightly different pot of coffee compared to paper filters.

Another material to consider is what is used for the carafe and the removable parts such as the lid. Typically carafes can be stainless steel, glass, or plastic. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages in keeping the coffee hot, cleaning, and appearance. Ideally, you would be looking for stainless steel heating elements rather than aluminum.


FAQs about Coffee Makers

1. Are Coffee Makers Dishwasher Friendly?

You should always check the manufacturer’s instructions for how to clean your coffee maker components. For carafes and lids, it might be convenient to place them at the top of your dishwasher. However, you might find that the markings on the carafe rub off and that the lid could shrink or change shape, which can cause leaks or other issues.

2. What Kinds of Coffee Should I Use?

The good thing about coffee makers is that they are pretty flexible and cost-effective when it comes to choosing coffee. You aren’t tied to a particular type or pod. You can use your own beans that you grind yourself then put into your filter. When it comes to buying coffee from the supermarket that you can put straight into the filter, look for drip coffee. You can experiment with fine or medium grounds to see what makes the best pot of coffee.

3. How Do I Get the Best Result?

There are several things you can do to improve the pot of coffee that you brew. Of course, choosing a good coffee machine helps. Using fresh water, and ideally, filtered water can improve your results. You wouldn’t want the grounds to be too fine as the water will pass through too slowly, but if they are too coarse, you could end up with flat and weak coffee. Another tip is to measure your coffee on scales or with a measuring spoon, aiming for 60g per liter of water.


Verdict

The Bonavita 5 Cup Coffee Maker just beats the others when it comes to making a great pot of coffee in smaller quantities. It isn’t the most compact design, but it offers enough in terms of features, style, and brew quality to be an excellent all-round choice.