Coffee makers certainly matter when it comes to the way coffee tastes, but they’re certainly not the only variable in the equation.

To me, the most important element of every coffee maker I use is the quality of the coffee itself.

Yes, this has a lot to do with the beans, but a coffee maker that brings out the best in these beans is what I want to use again and again.

Here are my 5 favorite coffee makers in terms of the quality of the coffee that they brew Last Updated: 11/21/16:

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What Makes Coffee Taste Great?

This isn’t an easy question to answer, but there are certainly some important things to pay attention to.

1. The Coffee

Even if you’re using the best coffee maker in the world, bad coffee will never taste good. Sure, “bad coffee” is subjective, which is why it’s really important that you first find a coffee that you like before trying a new coffee maker.

By first knowing the coffee you like, you can then more easily determine how your coffee maker is affecting the way your coffee tastes.

2. The Water

Your water should at the very least be “soft” before you brew your coffee. If you are unsure about your water’s purity level, you can use a water tester to measure this.

Personally, I use a Brita pitcher to filter my already soft tap water. What you need depends on how pure your water source is to begin with.

3. The Grind

Your coffee should be ground into even particle sizes for the coffee maker you are using. The reason for this is that coffee is extracted differently depending on the surface area of the ground bean.

Since finer particles tend to extract more than coarser particles, having a mix of the two will give you mixed results. The problem with this is that it usually doesn’t taste very good.

Grinding coffee fresh right before you brew with a burr grinder is the best way to ensure you are grinding optimally for your coffee maker.

4. The Temperature

Water temperature matters too. Unfortunately, many automatic coffee makers can’t heat the water sufficiently for an optimal brew.

The reason many people prefer manual coffee makers in terms of the way the coffee tastes is because water temperature can actually be more-or-less controlled with a water kettle.

SCAA Certified coffee makers however, are auto drip coffee makers that can heat water sufficiently.

5. The Filter

This one is often overlooked, but the way coffee is filtered can have a big impact on taste.

Paper filters for example, tend to filter out more solid compounds than metal mesh filters. At the same time, many paper filters need to be pre-rinsed so they don’t impart a paper flavor in your final cup of coffee.