I’ve been waiting a while to publish this large coffee maker article because I wanted to open up with this story about the first time I made coffee.
I was in college. I had never brewed a pot of coffee before. In fact, I wasn’t much of a coffee drinker but started in the college house because somebody always had a pot on. One day, I drank the last cup and a roommate asked me to brew another pot. I figured it couldn’t be that hard. I placed the filter in the filter spot, filled up the water reservoir with water and then pulled out our monster tin can of Folgers.
I seldom read instructions and wasn’t going to start then. I figured since the filter was so large, it needed to be filled up with coffee grinds. I scooped and scooped and scooped until the coffee filter was totally full. I put down the lid and clicked “brew”.
I poured up cups of coffee for all my roommates and delivered it to them. One roommate took a sip right away and nearly spit it out exclaiming “how much coffee did you put in there?”
I responded, “I just filled up the filter”.
That got a huge laugh at my cluelessness. It was pretty funny, not to mention I learned pretty quickly after that how to brew a proper pot of coffee. Since then, I’ve moved on to single-serve coffee makers which is impossible to screw up. However, you may want to check out several types of coffee makers or our picks for top small coffee makers before settling on just one.
Moving onto large coffee makers…
While tea is still the hot drink of choice in Europe (with the exception of Italy and France – renowned for their quaint al fresco cafés) and some parts of Asia. But then again, consumption-wise, coffee might just be the top drink versus tea.
With Americans alone consuming around 400 million cups per day, coffee giants hit on a genius idea to introduce personal “barista” style coffee makers where you pop in gourmet coffee “capsules” or “pods” to churn out cappuccinos, mochaccinos, macchiatos, espressos and a whole lot more. It recreates the café experience in the comforts of your home.
I remember the artisan coffees (Kopi) of Singapore. The coffee primary would do a traditional brew on a long-spouted, metal coffee pot and would do an elaborate performance of pouring the coffee as far as half a meter distance from the cup. It was fascinating to watch and the aromas are simply divine. Paired with traditional Kaya (coconut-pandan jam) toasts and a poached egg, it’s a breakfast made in coffee heaven.
And coffee lovers have a lot to celebrate too. With advancements in medical research and organic cures getting discovered every day, we find the coffee bean to be quite the hero in fighting chronic and even fatal diseases like type 2 diabetes, liver cancer, Parkinson’s, and other debilitating illnesses. It purportedly helps burn fat (some claims are a little far-fetched), improves brain functions, and improves your mood as well.
Here, we have put together a range of coffee makers that are versatile for small intimate groups as well as large-scale events. Their features, functionality, and designs will give you the best value for your money.
A. Party/Commercial Coffee Makers
Convenience is key when it comes to catering to a good number of people. Whether it’s a church meeting, a corporate event, a business meeting, or a hotel function, it’s crucial that these large-capacity coffee makers could efficiently dispense cup after cup of hot coffee to perk up weary guests and restore them back to their “alert” state.
1) 40-Cup Hamilton Beach Brew Station
I must say, I was blown away by its sleek design. A very simple and no-fuss metal exterior fittings give this machine a professional look. I love how easy it is to clean and fill despite its big size and the grip handles on top are perfect for when I transfer it to different locations within the venue. I also like how I can get coffee with just one hand when carrying food in the other one.
It also has an indicator light to tell you it’s ready to serve and I really find that useful, especially when a line has formed and people just want to push and push against the dispensing button. Having that “ready” light gives us an idea of when we can fill our cup. And it gives a bit more than the 40 cups it promised. Or maybe I used smaller cups, but hey, the purpose is for a lot of people to have their cuppa and it did just that.
Admittedly, this coffee maker is not the same as the more expensive, industrial, heavy-duty type which mostly has metal components. This Hamilton Brew Station has around 40% of its parts made of plastic material and there is a small plastic basket that directly comes into contact with water. It’s also difficult to fill up soft cups like paper cups as you need to press hard on the dispensing button. You need a sturdy foam or ceramic cup.
Overall, I would say this coffee maker does what it promises. It has a dual heater system that keeps the coffee at optimum temperature. Function and design are excellent, and for its price, quite a steal!
2) Hamilton Beach Commercial 60-Cup Stainless-Steel Coffee Urn
This is one serious buy. The amount of coffee this can churn out is quite a feat and its design is so classic and professional-looking, one can’t help but be proud of having this in their kitchen. I love how it keeps cup after cup at the same perfect temperature, and for a coffee urn so roomy, it is surprisingly easy to clean! I also like the water level window – takes out the guesswork in determining the remaining liquid inside.
Other great features are ON/READY light indicators, grip handles, stainless steel interiors and its 2-way cup trip handle options: press against it to fill a cup or prop it up to fill a larger container. The best feature of all, well at least for someone as forgetful as I am, is the attached plug! I don’t need to be scratching my head wondering where the plug went off to.
But as with all things in this world, the good comes with the bad and this coffee maker has its share of downs. It takes a minute plus to get one great cup of coffee and yes, the 60th cup took an hour plus. Sometimes, it takes longer to heat up properly. But beyond those glitches, I’d still recommend this convenient coffee machine. What’s an hour when you’re surrounded by good conversation and even juicier gossip? Keep those cups coming!
3) West Bend 100-Cup Commercial Coffee Urn
I remember waking up really early to help our local church give free coffee to the homeless, the unemployed and to some passing commuters. It was like a light switch turned on in those tired faces. It was a bitter winter and the cold is unbearable, but a peaceful feeling was felt all around as we all kept our hands warm on those coffees and had conversations as if we’d just found our long-lost friends.
What I remembered most though was the three 36-cup West Bend coffee makers all lined up like Santa’s elves giving gifts of caffeine to all who passed by. I heard from Maggie, our local herald that those 8-year-old elves are still churning out a hot coffee cheer. Bravo!
I wish though that we had these 100-cup West Bend Coffee Urns back then. We would’ve been able to give out more! I particularly love how West Bend improves its products while keeping its classic look. A great feature too is the water level indicator and the coffee gauge. No second guessing there. I hate it when I am next in line and I get a few drops of liquid tasting like sludge. Another plus is, the removable components of the machine are dishwasher safe.
Things to improve on though are the sometimes loosened screws that make the machine leak underneath. The basket too can use a fine mesh for coffee that’s in fine powder form. And there are some issues with the “READY” light indicator. Sometimes they never came on. Or off. Which is a bummer. Confuses me a lot. Still, this is an otherwise, value for money, giant coffee maker.
B. Top Large Drip Coffee Makers for the Home (12-Cup Coffee Makers)
Drip coffee makers are the most popular. Pretty much most households have one. While you can spend a lot of money on these, you can also get perfectly good units that don’t cost much money at all.
4) Programmable 12-Cup Coffee Maker with Hot Water System by Cuisinart
I love Cuisinart products. They have sleek designs, very classy and yet truly functional.
This dual-purpose hot beverage gadget looks daunting at first but once you get the hang of it, it delivers really great-tasting piping-hot coffee. Taking off the lid on the carafe takes a little bit of getting used to but is easy on the second try.
And with a little bit of practice, I pretty much figured out how much water I’m supposed to put in. The hot water dispenser is also very convenient when it’s just me who’s having a hot cup of coffee or tea. One thing that I really dislike though is the plastic taste of the water coming out of the dispenser.
It would’ve been perfect if it was made of stainless steel fixtures. But then again, for its very reasonable price, I’ve learned to deal with it and the aftertaste goes away after some time. Or maybe I got used to it. All in all, this is a great buy and highly recommended!
5) Grind and Brew Thermal 12-Cup Automatic Coffee Maker by Cuisinart
Now we’re talking serious coffee here people! This is not the instant coffee kind of thing anymore. This is gourmet stuff. And what a convenient machine this is! It has a burr grinder and it brews with the push of a button!
Exciting! Exactly how I felt when I first tried my fully automated washing machine with a dryer. I was awestruck. The very modern design of the coffee maker is cool on the eyes and the container full of roasted beans on top of it is a magnet that beckons. Makes me think of a gumball machine.
And boy, does it not only grind and brew, its strength selector also gives you options on intensity of flavor and volume. Truly, truly personalized and I love that. I feel pampered like a diva whose every whim is catered to!
Plus, plus, plus, it’s 24-hr programmable so I can wake up to the nice aroma of brewing coffee and come home to a fresh pot after work. The best thing is, when I unintentionally fall asleep before my usual bedtime, it’s programmed to auto shut off! Great safety feature there!
Lowdown? Well, it’s high maintenance. Meaning you really have to clean it up every now and then. You can’t keep it working day in and day out without cleanup. It’s very easy to clean though so no excuse for laziness. And as with most portable, super budget-friendly kitchen appliances, these will run their course in as short as a year or two and it will have to be replaced.
Good news? You can afford to buy a new one if you’re already hooked on this thing. By that time, you can probably look forward to improvements made to make it last longer or choose from totally newer, better models.
6) Cuisinart 14-Cup Glass Carafe with Stainless Steel Handle Programmable Coffeemaker
In the world of drip coffee makers, this model is state-of-the-art and is the high-end version of all other Cuisinart models. Mostly stainless steel even in the front and sides, it has a sassy elegance that makes it stand out from the rest. It has all the magical functions of a well-made Cuisinart coffee maker.
Totally programmable to personalize the intensity of taste, time of brewing, and volume of coffee needed. The auto shut-off feature also makes life more convenient and safe. This also gives the best-tasting coffee out of all the other models.
For its slightly higher price, I wouldn’t hesitate to get one. It really does look like royalty with its high-tech backlit LCD display, easily programmable, highly convenient, and great for a small group party with its 14-cup capacity. I definitely appreciate the extra capacity this one has over the 1200 model.
As for glitches, there are rare moments when it takes so long to heat the water. You need to do the classic shake and slap before it gurgles back to normalcy. There are also issues with the warming plate. It peels and deteriorates after a few months. The seller would replace the unit but you will have to shoulder replacement and shipping charges.
Overall, this is a great buy and with regular cleanup (it’s self-cleaning too), it could last for quite some time.
C. Excellent Large French Press Coffee Makers
7) LINKYO Large 1.5 Liter Stainless Steel French Press Coffee Maker
What’s so great about french press coffee? It’s the process! I simply put my coffee granules inside the carafe, fill it up with hot water, put the lid on, and slowly press out the wonderful-tasting coffee!
Now this beautiful, stylish stainless steel french press, the LINKYO French Press Coffee Maker, is a great find. Its double-wall insulation keeps the unused coffee hot for a little while longer while keeping the exterior cool to the touch. No more accidental burns!
What I really like about this coffee press are the reusable stainless steel filters. No need to buy paper ones. It does fray after a lot of use but even when you replace them you still save a lot compared to buying disposable ones. Safety-wise, it doesn’t shatter like some glass carafe french presses.
The only problem I had with this product was the metallic aftertaste for the first few uses. It went away in time and I was able to really enjoy using it. Some screwed parts also deteriorate and leave corrosion residues. I had to clean these parts thoroughly every time I use them. Bummer, but otherwise, it functions perfectly. It works for cold presses too! Just put tea leaves or bags and some mint leaves, pour cold water, and press. Instant cooler!
8) Secura 50-Ounce French Press Coffee Maker
Magnifico! Nothing but praise and rave reviews for this consumer’s choice of french press coffee maker. This is by far, the most superior product of its kind and I would say, this is a keeper. I’d probably grow old with it.
I remember my grandmother’s collection of silver and pewter pitchers and teapots that stayed in our family for generations. It’s unthinkable to sell them as they were already woven into the tapestry of our lives. I’ve enjoyed playing dress up as a small girl, having been invited to an exclusively adult event by my grandmother who requested me to sing for our foreign guests. My mom was watching me the whole time making sure I am on my best behavior!
This French Press coffee maker really turns me nostalgic for those gentle times when the world, at least in my eyes, was still sane. The solid thick stainless steel and old-school design of this amazing Secura product really take me back to that time.
I am so in awe of this product I gifted one each to my Mom and my aunt. They shared the same sentiments I had once they used it. I’d probably gift this item to more of my friends. A really great addition to the kitchen.
D. Large Electric Percolators (for the home)
9) Presto 02811 12-Cup Stainless Steel Electric Percolator
This classic beauty with a timeless design has been in households for many years. A lot of improvements have been made over the years giving this old-fashioned-looking pot staying power.
It is easy to clean, makes 2-12 cups, mostly stainless steel ( some parts are made of aluminum), and has a “ready” indicator.
Quite a charmer this one, again with its beautiful form, great price range, and capacity, no wonder a lot of households have one. It’s a no-fuss percolator that requires minimal cleaning.
Only downside? Obviously, with overuse, it will break down. Some units only last for 10 months or depending on usage, might even be earlier than that. Well, some good things never last they say. So make the most out of this percolator and enjoy it as much as you can.
10) Hamilton Beach 12-Cup Coffee Percolator
My, my, what can I say? This is one sexy percolator! Its sleek, streamlined design is simply beautiful. The tempered glass lid window at the top looks like a crystal headpiece on an ice queen. A real modern ice queen.
This product is mostly made of stainless steel but there are plastic components. The good news is, none of them comes into contact with the water, so no pasty, plastic taste here.
I love how these percolators are no-drip appliances. That’s what’s so annoying with coffee urns with their leaky spouts and drip trays. Real fussy.
I also like the cool touch handles, the glass window on top that lets me see what’s going on, and the easy-pour spout.
The lowdown on this model? The detachable cord! I guess it’s only me, but I always manage to lose it. It’s really convenient though as it can transition from the kitchen to the tabletop by just detaching that cord. I will have to live with it. Beauty over inconvenience. Small price to pay for a great looker.
E. Stove-Top Percolator
11) Tops Rapid Brew Stovetop 12-Cup Coffee Percolator
This is as old school as it can get! The modern twist is, in this age, it’s now all stainless steel! Remember those tin pots forever simmering on the stove? I could think of a thousand anecdotes and snippets of memories of highly charged conversations around those simmering pots.
This is totally non-electrical so it’s good for camping, blackouts, and for making traditional brews like the ones still done in the UK, middle east, and most of Asia. And hey, let’s face it, stove top percolators give the best-tasting coffee hands down.
It also has a charming glass knob on top that gives it an elegant, timeless look.
What’s not to like? I think it would have to be durability. With daily wear and tear, this product would definitely take a beating and it would not look as pristine as when first purchased. Another downside is, it takes much longer for the liquid to boil on a stovetop and a few minutes more to brew on lower heat.
I would also love it if this can be made to work on induction stoves. I am crazy about them right now as it heats up much faster than traditional stoves.
F. Large Camping Coffee Makers
12) Farberware Classic Stainless Steel Yosemite 8-Cup Camping Coffee Percolator
This is a really classic piece of stovetop coffee percolator. Its traditional design is timeless. Some pleasures in life just cannot be rushed. They need time to be fully experienced and no amount of technology can buy the satisfaction we get from these old-timers. A reprimed classic played digitally is no match for a scratchy old record played on a Linn LP 12 turntable. Simply fantastic. And authentic.
Obviously for some, coffee is coffee, but for true lovers of this brew, INSTANT is a sin. This Farberware Classic delivers when it boils down to flavor, degree of heat, and intensity. True connoisseurs would love this simple pot. It has a mirror finish, that has nothing to do with the coffee, but makes it a pretty piece to display in the kitchen.
A hardy plastic knob on top lets you know when the magic has begun. It is dishwasher safe and the interior is non-reactive so you get a pure coffee taste and none of the metallic, plastic, or moldy taste.
A minor downside is a spout. Instead of the usual long spouts that curve from the bottom up, this one is fairly small and attached to the upper side of the pot which makes it hard to pour the last of the liquid inside. Besides that, this one is a keeper.
13) Coleman 14 Cup Camping Percolator
My grandmother has one that looks exactly like this! Except for the little glass knob, this could be its twin even if they were made decades apart.
I love the blue enamel color, again a blast from the past! At first sight, it looks petite but you’d be surprised that it’s a 14-cup capacity pot! And quite heavy too as it is all made of metal. I’d buy it just to display it! But it really does its work. Perfect brew all the time. Perfect for the outdoors.
Just be careful of the lid though, it might not fit as snugly as when it’s brand new since metal expands when in contact with direct heat, and it could be bent out of shape over time. And yes the sad part is since the inside is not stainless steel but aluminum, it could rust and the beautiful blue enamel could chip anytime. Gives the pot character though.
All in all, a charming and quaint piece that’s functional. Real pretty.
So there you have it, the best value for your money as promised. It’s up to you now how you want your romance with coffee to proceed. With so many existing blends and more created every day from the basic Robusta and Arabica beans, you have a wide array to sample (and fall in love with).
Coffee has been witness to endless conversations, billion-dollar deals, and giant mergers and has invaded countless homes in the world. Now, it is improving our health too in big ways. It has become a way of life for some, a source of happiness, a way to de-stress, and a great way to start the day.
Creating the perfect coffee now relies heavily on you. Choose the perfect appliance for your coffee of choice. Don’t forget to sit back, relax and let the caffeine kick in.