hot coffee near fireplace

A Good Hot Cup of Coffee: Best Inexpensive Coffee Maker

hot coffee near fireplace

So you like coffee. A lot. Me too. I like it so much I’m a home roaster. And importer. I import green coffee beans direct from the La Minita plantation in the Tarrazu region of Costa Rica. Why? Well, because (get ready) it’s the best inexpensive way to enjoy the best organic, free-trade, gourmet coffee on earth.

Apparently, I am not alone in this. Readers send me lots of questions and comments on the subject. Here’s one:

Which coffeemaker makes coffee the hottest and then keeps it hot without burning it?

Good and Hot

“Hot” is a nebulous term when it comes to coffee. For Mcdonald’s, hot meant a big lawsuit when its hot coffee burned a customer who spilled it in her lap. For my grandson Sam, hot means anything even slightly warmer than tepid.

Coffee aficionados insist that the water temperature for a drip coffee brewer needs to be hot at exactly 179 F. the moment it hits the coffee grounds. Personally, I find that to be on the cool side, which confirms “hot” is a matter of personal taste.

Automatic drip coffee makers have an internal thermostat to control the water temperature and they range from 175 F. to 205 F. depending on the make and model. Most machines will not allow the consumer to change this setting—a feature most of us don’t think about when selecting a coffeemaker.

Manual coffee makers like Chemex and Aeropress leave this matter up to the brewer.

On the rare occasion that I use my Aeropress, I heat the water to boiling, then allow it to cool for just a few minutes until my instant-read thermometer hits 200 F. Using this method I make only the amount we will consume immediately. Keeping it hot is not an issue.









For a true coffee lover, a coffeemaker is an investment in one of life’s pleasures. The joys of a good cup of coffee cannot be overstated.


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  1. jj says:

    Talk about inexpensive AND the best coffee I have ever had: was given a French Press. Was given one after losing my house in a wildfire. Heat H2O in kettle to boil, then cool as you said. Make a few cups at a time and wrap the French Press in potholders and a towel – keeps it perfect temp. I have had Krups (very good old one) Braun, Cuisinart, but the French Press makes such Smooth Coffee, there’s no comparison!
    PS One Long Rainy winter day, a friend brought over his various coffee makers and I got out mine and we had a ‘blind taste test” with the same H2O, same coffee, marked the bottoms of the cups and wrote out our ratings before comparing results! Lots of fun, and unanimously Krups won c. 1994!

  2. Colin says:

    Question about the Bunn – since it keeps ready at a ready-to-brew temp all the time, do you notice a significant impact on your electric bill for that?

  3. Tina H says:

    I have my electric and stove top percolators, Keurig duo, Keurig latte. Nespresso, espresso, French press and small proctor silex single cup (uses pods or grounds) I love my coffee!! Depends on plans for day as to which pot I’m using…
    The difference in taste, isn’t just the maker or the bean, it’s the water. Coffee I make at home, tasted amazing-same coffee, same brand coffee pot but made at my daughters house, “nasty”!
    I use bottled water, she doesn’t.

    • Mary Hunt says:

      Three options with the first being least expensive. At EC inexpensive does not necessarily me cheap … or cheapest available. That can often turn out to be the most expensive.

    • Christine P. says:

      Yes Mark, have been using mine daily for about 20 years. Cost about $20 then, and can still buy one for about that price. But we are in America land of landfills and second shops filled with plug in coffeemakers..

  4. Tom says:

    I’m looking for a “one cup at a time” coffee maker – any recommendations?
    I don’t need anything high end, but quality matters.

    • Saltwater says:

      Yes! I love seeing this very question and of course, answering it.
      I’m the only coffee drinker in my house so coffee is made one-cup-at-a-time here. Regardless of which beans you prefer (I love a dark roast blend from a certain Southern California coffee roaster ground extra fine) the preferred method and equipment is simply a Melitta style cone and paper filter. I have a ceramic No. 4 size I use at home and a plastic No. 2 size for camping, road tripping and traveling. Besides making the best coffee there are no moving parts, filters are easy to come by and they’re compostable.
      This also makes it easy to travel with my own gear for making my morning coffee and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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