When you’re scouring the shelves for a new coffee machine, chances are you’ll encounter plenty of thermal carafe coffee makers. What are they and why should you care?
In many important ways, these machines are at the opposite end of the spectrum to single-serve machines. As with all coffee equipment, features and specs vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Typically, though, these coffee makers give you a large thermal carafe made from stainless steel so you can brew up to 10 or 12 cups and keep the leftovers warm for several hours.
Since many consumers dislike being pegged to a single brewing method, increasingly, you’ll find these machines also offering single-serve pod convenience on one side of the machine. If you can’t quite make up your mind, one of these dual-use machines we highlight today is well worth your time.
Today, we’ve done the hard work for you as usual. We’ve curated 12 of the best thermal carafe coffee makers you can find. As usual, we’ve opted for machines at a wide range of price points. We’ve tried to ensure, too, that all the machines we selected are easy to use.
If you’re impatient for the main event, see at a glance the roll-call of coffee machines we’ll be presenting:
I. Our Top Picks for Thermal Carafe Coffee Makers
|Products & Features||Image & Price|
Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System Our #1 Pick
Breville Precision Brewer with Thermal Carafe
OXO Brew 9-Cup Coffee Maker
Zojirushi 10-Cup Coffee Maker
Bonavita 8-Cup Coffee Maker with Thermal Carafe
Hamilton Beach FlexBrew
Cuisinart Stainless Steel Thermal Coffee Maker
Mr Coffee 10-Cup Coffee Maker
Melitta 10-Cup Pour-Over Coffee Brewer
BLACK+DECKER Thermal Coffee Maker
II. Things You Should Consider When Choosing a Thermal Carafe Coffee Maker
When you’re excited by the idea of investing in some new coffee gear, it’s always tempting to grab your credit card and hit the buying trail immediately. This is almost certain to end in disappointment.
While buying a coffee machine might not be the most complex decision, there are nevertheless enough variables to consider that it pays to take your time.
We’ll help you out by guiding you every step of the way across the following areas:
- Type of Carafe: Stainless Steel or Glass?
- Carafe Capacity
- Brewing Method
- Brewing Temperature
- Ease of Use and Overall Convenience
Type of Carafe: Stainless Steel or Glass?
A standard drip coffee maker comes with a glass carafe and a warming plate so what’s the difference when you’re hunting for a thermal model?
It’s all in the carafe. Instead of glass, look for stainless steel carafes. These normally come with double-walled insulation and will keep your residual coffee warm for hours.
Where a warming plate will impart a bitter taint to your coffee if you leave it there too long, you’ll get none of that with an insulated carafe.
The added kicker of thermal carafes is that they don’t tend to have plastic parts. This allows you to remain confident there’s no BPS, BPA, or other contaminants leaching into your morning cuppa.
We’re not done with the carafe yet…
Central to your experience is buying a machine that’s large enough for purpose. The sizings of carafes are always clearly displayed and usually quoted in terms of cups. While this is not the most accurate metric, you should have a rough idea of which machines you can strike from your list.
You shouldn’t make the mistake here of simply angling for the largest machine you can find. Firstly, carafes with more substantial capacities have correspondingly larger footprints. Make sure you have enough space to accommodate any machine you’re looking at buying before committing yourself.
Think, too, about how much coffee you make and how you drink it…
If you work from home and drink huge amounts of coffee, it’s undeniably convenient to have a pot of your favorite roast always ready and close at hand. If, on the other hand, you live alone and snatch a quick shot of espresso before leaving for work, these machines are not the best fit.
It’s vital to think about how you prefer to make your coffee and remember this…
There’s no right or wrong way to make coffee.
If you’re sold on the total convenience of single-serve pods, that’s your call and we’d suggest you invest in a machine that can deliver this.
For fans of drip coffee, most thermal carafe units will allow you to make this.
Some of the more advanced machine are capable of making a reasonable replication of the pour-over method right down to the pre-infusion essential to great extraction and degassed coffee.
We’ve clearly broken down how each of these machines allows you to brew your coffee so make sure you devote enough time to thinking about this. Don’t forget to factor in other household members liable to be using the machine, too.
If you’re looking to brew the perfect golden cup of coffee, respect the importance of water temperature.
You should aim for the 195F to 205F range if you’re looking for optimum results. To put this into perspective, if you boil a kettle and leave it standing for 30 seconds, the water should be within the band quoted by the Specialty Coffee Association of America as ideal for great coffee.
The only exception to this in the machines we look at today is the Keurig. These machines, for all their manifold advantages, unfortunately don’t get the water hot enough. Bear this in mind if you’re thinking about adding one of these single-serve gems to your arsenal.
Ease of Use and Overall Convenience
Sometimes ease of use and convenience are hard to balance.
All that counts here is thinking about your own needs and preferences. The type of machine your friend or brother has might be entirely inappropriate. Keeps things personal.
Think about what priority you place on speed of delivery and push-button convenience then buy accordingly.
Do you like the idea of coming down to the smell of freshly brewed coffee and a whole carafe waiting for you? How about coming home from work to find your drink ready to pour? If so, shoot for a machine that’s programmable through 24 hours and this is a reality.
Make sure you match your preferences with what the machine offers and you’ll have an ally capable of giving you years of faithful service. Rush into the decision and you’re likely to end up with an expensive hunk of meta gathering dust in the cupboard.
Do you ever want great coffee when you’re traveling? If so, there are plenty of portable solutions covering everything from small manual grinders to thermal carafe coffee makers like the Melitta we review that are highly portable solutions.
If you never intend to take your coffee maker on the road, this is obviously something you can disregard completely. If you want a travel companion, we’d suggest you check out the Melitta brewer below.
Rather than focusing purely on the bottom line, you should also give due weight to build quality and durability.
As the bulk of these machines come with stainless steel, you should find they are built to stay the distance.
It’s always worth paying some attention to user reviews here. If any machine comes with a reputation for shoddy componentry or breaking down, give it a wide berth.
A final point worth raising is that the length of warranty offered typically gives you an indication of how long you can expect your machine to last.
Think of it this way…
No manufacturer expects to lose out by offering a guarantee. So, if the machine comes backed for 3 years, you can reasonably expect few or no problems during that initial period. Use this to guide you.
You should now be crystal clear on which aspects of buying a thermal carafe repay your close attention. We’ll push right on now with our thermal carafe coffee maker reviews so you can see what’s up for grabs.
III. 12 Best Thermal Carafe Coffee Makers
1. Our #1 Pick: Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System Coffee Maker with Thermal Carafe
The classic Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System allows you to make anything from a single cup to a half-carafe or whole carafe. This gives you complete versatility even if you have a larger family.
Once your coffee is brewed, you can keep it warm for hours thanks to the stainless steel carafe thrown in.
The Auto-iQ tech baked in means you won’t need to constantly fiddle around with settings. The machine does all the hard work for you.
The Ninja even allows you to widen your menu beyond a diverse choice of coffee. You can even use your favorite loose or bagged tea when you want a break from the norm.
2. Breville Precision Brewer with Thermal Carafe
The mean-looking Breville Precision Brewer is one of the finest looking thermal carafe coffee makers you can find. How does it perform, though?
To kick off, steep and release tech baked in is ideal if you want to make smaller batches without compromising flavor and aroma.
When you’re looking to make a cup of joe the easy way, use the Gold Cup Standard and get a classic cup optimized without you needing to do a thing. Besides this, flick between 6 brewing modes if you want to tweak your drink.
With a pair of filters bundled, you’ve got everything you need to get going out of the box except for those fresh coffee beans.
3. Technivorm Moccamaster with Stainless Steel Thermal Carafe
This manually-adjustable drip coffee maker comes packing a superb stainless steel carafe to warm your leftover drink.
Water heats up in a flash to the threshold required for ideal extraction, 195F to 205F.
Despite delivering such lip-smacking coffee, the iconic Moccamaster couldn’t be easier to use even if you’re just starting out.
The conical brew basket is designed to promote a 6-minute steep leading to a coffee just like you’d get at the local coffee shop but without the stiff bill each time.
4. OXO Brew 9-Cup Coffee Maker
OXO has a hard-won reputation for producing top-tier coffee equipment at pocket-friendly prices. While not exactly a giveaway, this 9-cup coffee maker is keenly priced but is it any good?
As with all worthwhile drip coffee makers, you’ll have your water heated to the perfect temperature for coffee. That’s somewhere between 195F and 205F and you should fine-tune to taste. As with all aspects of making coffee, adjust a single variable until you’re satisfied then you’ll have your brewing method dialed in precisely to your taste.
The double-walled carafe is made to keep that coffee hotter for longer. If you work from home, your leftover caffeine fix should be drinkable for hours. The freshness indicator is a welcome addition and saves you taking a swig of coffee that’s past its best.
5. Zojirushi 10-Cup Coffee Maker
Zojirushi has a solid 10-cup coffee maker bringing all their engineering expertise to bear on this rugged machine.
Are you a fan of iced coffee? If so, you probably hate the way most iced drinks come out dramatically diluted. Kiss goodbye to those attenuated drinks and usher in rich, intense iced coffee to liven up those warm afternoons.
An innovative mechanism puts paid to coffee dripping all over your counter when you’re pouring. Cleaning and maintenance couldn’t be much easier so you won’t be burdened with tasky clean-up marring your experience.
Thanks to a reusable filter, you won’t be constantly topping up those paper filters that are so damaging to your bank balance and the environment.
6. Bonavita 8-Cup Coffee Maker with Thermal Carafe
Next up is a slightly more compact unit still capable of keeping up to 8 cups of coffee steaming hot in the thermal carafe. If this is not to your liking, you can opt for this machine with a glass carafe instead.
Get your brew started the right way with pre-infusion mode. By gently saturating all the coffee grounds before you brew up, any rogue carbon monoxide escapes in a process called degassing. These 30 seconds make a significant difference to overall extraction so don’t skip this stage.
Extraction is further enhanced thanks to the oversized showerhead and filter basket designed with a flat bottom.
7. Hamilton Beach FlexBrew
A favorite here at La Mano, the affordable and flexible Hamilton Beach FlexBrew is a dual-brew coffee maker but what does that mean? Well, on one side of this machine, you slide in K-Cup pods giving you the complete convenience of a single-serve machine with push-button simplicity. When you want to brew more coffee, use the drip machine to brew directly into your carafe.
Fully programmable, make your mornings run more smoothly and wake up to the smell of freshly roasting coffee wafting around and a full carafe waiting to fuel you up for your morning commute.
Independent water tanks for each side of the machine streamlines operation and reduces waiting time.
8. Keurig K-Duo
Keurig coffee machines deliver unparalleled simplicity and the K-Duo adapts this winning idea by including a drip coffee maker so you can make a full 12 cups of your favorite freshly ground coffee. The robust stainless steel carafe acts to warm your drink for hours.
Whether you choose to use pods or ground coffee, you’ll enjoy gourmet drinks in next to no time.
The 60oz water tank reduces the need for constant refilling making the K-Duo a neat addition to any busy kitchen.
One of the other key selling points of this powerful machine is its small footprint. If you have a small or crowded kitchen, the K-Dup will blend in with ease.
9. Cuisinart Stainless Steel Thermal Coffee Maker
This thermal carafe coffee maker is a neat fit if you have a large household all crying out for coffee in the morning.
Get things started in style with the water filter ensuring that 98% of your drink – the water content – is crisp, clean, and sediment-free.
You’ll use a permanent filter so you avoid all the expense to yourself and the environment brought about by disposable paper filters. Your coffee will also benefit taste-wise.
Fully programmable, come home at night or downstairs in the morning to a steaming pot of coffee ready to drink.
Build is particularly solid and you should expect years of happy use from this thermal carafe coffee machine from an industry specialist.
10. Mr Coffee 10-Cup Coffee Maker
While Mr Coffee produces budget equipment, the sleek and elegant aesthetic makes you feel this is a more upscale unit.
The 1300-watt heater means you won’t be waiting around for your morning caffeine fix.
Make a full 10 cups of your favorite roast and keep it warm for several hours thanks to the efficiently-insulated thermal carafe.
Since 98%+ of the contents of your drink are water, it makes sense to use nothing but the best. If you’re disinclined to buy bottled water, Mr Coffee chucks in a filter so you can sharpen up what comes out the faucet free of charge.
11. Melitta 10-Cup Pour-Over Coffee Brewer
Melitta has been in the coffee vertical for over a century and you benefit from all that expertise poured into this highly effective pour-over coffee maker.
The neat and compact design means that, although you can make up to 10 cups of coffee, the unit is ideal for travel purposes. If you’re often on the road but you’re not prepared to compromise the quality of the coffee in your cup, this is the ideal solution.
This coffee maker couldn’t be easier to use so serves as a great way to safely introduce your kids to making great coffee at home the right way. Once you’ve brewed up, keep that coffee warm in the thermal carafe bundled.
12. BLACK+DECKER Thermal Coffee Maker
Last but absolutely not least, a solid thermal carafe coffee maker from power tools legend BLACK+DECKER. As you’d expect, you get precision engineering but what else?
The 12-cup thermal carafe allows you to service the whole family in the morning with the minimum of fanfare.
Flick through various brew strengths until you find your perfect drink. If you’re looking to brew smaller batches, the machine ensures the coffee won’t be unevenly extracted.
The carafe boasts a super-wide mouth so you won’t end up spilling half your coffee over the kitchen counter.
For a dependable and flexible machine that’s built to withstand some serious punishment, place your trust in BLACK+DECKER.
Well, we trust you’re now fully versed in what to look for when you’re scoping out thermal carafe coffee makers.
You don’t need to limit yourself to brewing whole carafes, either. Many of the machines we highlight today also allow you to make single cups or to use pods for even greater single-serve convenience.
Take your time to think closely about the needs of you and your family to maximize the chance of getting the most suitable machine fuss-free.
Don’t forget to bookmark La Mano, too. We have a busy content calendar lined up for the coming months so be sure to keep coming back and we’ll see you soon!